Over the years I had always toyed with the idea of starting a blog, but I never really knew what it would be about.  I’ve always liked writing, I remember starting various stories when I was a child (they were usually about 2 pages long and then I lost inspiration!).  I first learnt about blogging when my cousin Sophie set up her blog Sophie Rose (which if you’re interested in beauty and lifestyle is a great blog to check out!) which she’s now been successfully running for a few years now.  In my late teens/early twenties I was engrossed in beauty and lifestyle blogs, they were my guilty pleasure, I loved reading about people’s lives and their thoughts on various products.

My lovely cousin!

When I fell pregnant I started looking up reviews on baby products I was thinking of buying, that’s when I first found the world of parenting blogs.  I started documenting my late pregnancy when I went on maternity leave (said posts/blog has since been deleted), then I was overwhelmed with a newborn and didn’t find the time to blog.  I properly started blogging in the spring, when it was actually Stuart who encouraged me, and with his blessing and support I started my new blog.  

I primarily started it to document Oliver’s life and my journey through parenthood.  We have family who live far away and overseas and I thought it would be a nice way of them seeing Oliver’s life.  I love to write and share my views and general experiences of parenting and just our everyday moments.  It also is a way of keeping me sane and just giving me some ‘me’ time during my year off on maternity leave. 


If you run a blog what inspired you to start it?

One Messy Mama
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This week I was thrilled to receive the notification on Twitter to say that Lucy’s Locket had nominated me for the Liebster Award.  I love reading Lucy’s blog and I think we share quite similar views on parenting.  This is an award given to bloggers by bloggers, it’s a great way to discover new blogs and to learn a bit more about bloggers.

Firstly I’m meant to thank  the person who nominated me, so thank you Lucy!  I’ve only been blogging a few months and didn’t expect to be receiving any nominations for awards quite yet (even if it is just a blogger to blogger award)!

Secondly, I need to proudly display the badge, so here we go!

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Next, 10 random facts about me…

  1. I LOVE the colour pink, always have done.  I will always choose pink if given the choice!
  2. I have lived in the same village my whole life, I never want to move away!
  3. I met my husband at school, he stalked me for a month before I caved in and started going out with him!
  4. I’m missing a bit of bone in my left knee, it broke off when I was 18 and was floating around my knee joint for 6 months before I had it removed.  It caused a lot of damage, meaning I will need a knee replacement early in my life (even sooner if I become overweight).
  5. I love baking, I would love to do it professionally but I just don’t have the time. My best friend and I have decided when we are old and give up nursing we will open up a tea room and make our own cakes every day (we can dream, right?!)
  6. I am obsessed with Harry Potter, I have read the books and watched the films hundreds of times and I have visited the studios 5 times!  Our wedding table names were all places from the books.  I would love to go to the theme park in Florida one day, I really hope Oliver likes HP!
  7. I hate the words Nan, Nanny or Nana, they make me cringe and my skin crawl (I know it’s a weird response to a word!)
  8. I wear way too many stripey clothes, one friend said she’s never seen me in anything but stripes!
  9. My favourite sweets are Jelly Tot’s, every Christmas Stu buys me a tube or two because they’re best out of the tube!
  10. I love the winter, I love wrapping up warm and feeling the cold on my face.  I just wished it snowed more in Surrey!

Lucy also asked me 11 questions, here are my answers:

  1. What inspired you to start blogging?
    I wanted somewhere to document my journey through parenthood and Oliver’s life, so that I can look back at what we have done.
  2. What is your favourite blog post that you have written?
    Our Anniversary, obviously it’s writing about something (someone) I really love!
  3. Are you a fan of Christmas?
    I LOVE CHRISTMAS!  I’m like Buddy the Elf.  Stuart isn’t too bothered and hates how excited I get.  I start decorating as soon as December starts!
  4. What genre of books do you like to read?
    Romantic comedy generally, I love the Shopaholic series, I like anything light hearted and not too hard to read . I do read some historical fiction as well but not as much.
  5. What TV series are you currently watching (if any)?
    My daytime series is Gilmore Girls, I’m catching up on it before the new episodes later this month.  In the evenings Stuart and I are watching House on Netflix.  We generally use Netflix to find TV series that we haven’t watched before.
  6. Are you a morning or night person?
    Definitely a night person, I hate the mornings! So many people say their children wake up at 6am.  I’m so glad that even though Oliver wakes at 6 he will happily go back to sleep until 8 or later.  I’ve always struggled to get up for work in the mornings, I have to leave the house at 7 and I used to get up at 6:30 and manically get ready!  Stu is constantly telling me off at bedtime because I always start doing pointless things that could have been done much earlier in the day.
  7. What has been the highlight of your year?
    Giving birth to my baby!
  8. What is your greatest achievement?
    Ever?  Probably getting my Nursing diploma and achieving a sisters position within 2 and a half years of qualifying.
  9. Since you are all mothers, what is the one piece of parenting advice you wish you’d been given?
    I’m not sure its advice but to be told that it’s ok if your child doesn’t sleep through the night.  All I’m ever asked is ‘is he sleeping through yet?’ like it’s a bad thing that he isn’t.  It’s completely normal for a baby to wake in the night!!
  10. What is your top goal for 2017?
    To go back to work and be ok leaving Oliver!  I’m not looking forward to having to leave him for a whole day twice a week but I will have to get used to it.  In regards to my blog, going self hosted is probably going to be my main goal for next year.
  11. Dogs or cats?
    Dogs!  I would love a dog but Stuart and I have decided because we work long hours it wouldn’t be fair to get one.  We will wait until we have children old enough to take one on walks for us!!  I’m allergic to cats, my husbands mum has about 5 cats (I say about, she lives on a farm in Wales and has lots of stray cats turn up on her doorstep so the numbers change often!) every time I go I have to load up on antihistamines otherwise I spend the whole weekend sneezing!

Finally, I have to nominate some other bloggers, so without further ado my nominees are:

 

Twin Pickle Mom

Abi from Something About Baby

Kimberley from Oh Just my Little Blog

These are the rules so have a look and I hope you complete your nomination!

Louise x

The Pramshed

 

 

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I have read so many blog posts on the Daddy Tag, started by The Frenchie Mummy.  I recently read JakiJellz‘s Daddy Tag and I was inspired to get Stuart to complete it, so without further ado over to Stu!

img_6057Are you a Stay at Home Daddy or a Working Daddy?
I am a working daddy because I have to, someone’s got to bring home some money!  I work 6 days a week so that I can make sure we have enough to have a good life, and that’s still not enough!

Would you have it any other way?
Yes, I would much rather be at home more but I have to work to pay the bills. (I do contribute too!!)

Do you co-change dirty nappies? Even the very smelly ones?
Yes, not nearly as often as I used to but yes I do.  (I wouldn’t call removing the nappy before bathtime changing but hey ho! Today he actually changed a pooey nappy and I nearly wet myself laughing because he was getting so stressed out with Oliver crawling off with a pooey bum!!!) We used to have a rule that whoever was closest or holding the baby had to deal with the stinky nappy, but slowly that rule has disappeared!

A little fairy gives you the possibility of breastfeeding? Are you going for it or do you run away?
*long pause* erm…I would like to be able to feed my child but I can’t quite get my head around me breastfeeding, it seems a bit wrong! I’m not sure I like the idea of Oliver sucking on my nipples…I’ll leave it to you!

img_8766What is the one must-have item for a daddy?
A baby! Otherwise I wouldn’t be a daddy!

But in all seriousness, a big car, I’m so glad we got our VW Passat.  If we hadn’t we would have never fit the pram in the boot.  It has great boot space that you don’t get with a lot of 4×4’s and other big cars.  (It’s all my fault, I chose the unnecessarily large pram!)

How many kids do you plan on having?
2 or 3, (he looks at me for reassurance) is that right?

Lads’ nights? How often do you have them?
What’s that? I played PlayStation with my brother the other day, does that count? (I think so because it takes up the whole evening and he sits there with his headset chatting and I get bored out of mind!)

Your children’s favourite achievement?
Saying dada first, we were in Nando’s!  We had been swimming that morning and gone for our usual post swim Nando’s and he just sat there saying ‘dadada’.

img_8506What is your best memory with your kid(s)?
The day he was born, he fell asleep on my chest and we must have stayed like that for hours.

Name one thing you miss since being a daddy?
Going to the cinema, we used to enjoy going and now we can’t really go.  Although I am planning on going when you go to Ireland later this month..

Weight gain, before pregnancy, during, after and now? And we mean YOU DADDY, not the mummy!
I stayed exactly the same, it’s been the same for years (yep I hate him too!)

Dream holiday with your kids?
I don’t know (names some race circuits ‘no Stuart holidays the children will enjoy not you’) erm, Texas? I have family there and that was my most memorable holiday growing up. I would love to take Oliver to learn to shoot and drive!

Dream holiday without your kids or even without the other half? (You’re allowed to dream)
Track day at Spa (Belgium) in a McLaren 675LT (I have no idea what that is!)

img_5131How has your life changed since having kids?
Not a lot, I now have a good excuse why I can’t go out other than I just can’t be bothered!

Finish the sentence “It makes my heart melt when…”
Oliver gets in bed with us in the morning and snuggles up to me and we go back to sleep.  (We are then usually awoken because he’s kicking Stu in the face and head butting me in the face!)

Favourite beers brands and football team?
Peroni, I’m not a massive beer drinker, draught beer makes me really ill (it’s true, he pukes after a pint of draught but is fine with a bottle!) and Tottenham Hotspur’s, it was how I was raised!

Huggies or Pampers?
Pampers, we’ve never used Huggies!

Have you always wanted kids?
I was never really interested in keeping goats (no Stuart, children…) I think so!

Best part of being a dad?
I have a new best friend! (That and someone to share his car obsession with, he’s already pleased that Oliver has taken an interest in wheels!)

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I tag any daddy’s (or mummy’s reading this to get their other halves)  to complete the challenge.  I would love to see your responses!



the Frenchie Mummy Blog
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3 Little Buttons
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I chose to breastfeed.

I never felt pressured to breastfeed by health professionals, I never felt pressured by myself to breastfeed, I felt very lucky to have it come to me very naturally.
When I fell pregnant with my son, I knew instantly that I wanted to breastfeed, I never even considered bottle feeding. My husband was very supportive of me, especially in those early days when it was all so new to me, he made sure I rested, that I kept well hydrated. He would bring my nipple cream to me, bring me a glass of water if I needed it, when I was in pain he brought me pain killers, because breastfeeding isn’t the most comfortable thing in those early days. He encouraged me, he knew this was what I wanted, and what he wanted. The best start in life for our son, breast milk is amazing, it is tailor made to each individual baby giving them everything they need.

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I remember the first time my son latched on just an hour or so after his birth, it came so naturally to him.

The first day or so of feeding wasn’t easy, I struggled with latching him on, but the midwives were so helpful and made sure they checked his latch many times before we left the hospital.

When we got home I didn’t struggle with feeding, but the effects of breastfeeding on my nipples soon became apparent. It became painful, shooting pains through my breasts every time I fed my son, but I persevered. My nipples were cracked and sore, but it was to be expected, having a baby suckle on them for hours and hours every day was obviously going to take its toll. A few days after his birth my friend came to visit and she could see the pain on my face when I fed my son, she couldn’t believe that I was able to get through the pain. I just sat there thinking to myself every time ‘this will end, it will get better’.
And it did. It got easier, after about 8 weeks of painful, cracked nipples, they healed, I no longer needed to lather on the nipple cream after every feed and shower. I didn’t even need to use it anymore. Feeding got easier, the pain disappeared, it just felt like second nature, it was so natural. Yes we spent most of our evenings with him attached to my boob, but that is completely normal.

Cluster feeding is just one thing that you can expect in a newborn, for some people it makes them question breastfeeding, wondering whether they should just give their baby a bottle, they think that they aren’t getting enough milk. I was very lucky that I had a good support network around me, who helped me realise that this was all very normal. The only problem I encountered was that my son only fed from one side, he just couldn’t get a good latch on the other one. It’s left me a bit lopsided but I’ve learnt to live with it!

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I love the connection we have when he’s feeding, the way he looks up at me with those big beautiful blue eyes. He always looks so happy and content when he’s feeding. I love the cuddles we have, nowadays he doesn’t really cuddle any other time than when he’s feeding, he’s too on the go! He makes me laugh when he unlatches himself mid feed just to smile at me or make a little happy gurgle.

It’s not so great when we are out in public, but I’ve got used to the fact that there may be some nipple flashing going on when he feeds. I used a cover when he was smaller, but once he started getting interested in the world he started getting frustrated with being covered during feeds and would just push it off. I don’t blame him, I don’t think I would want a sheet draped over my head when I was eating!

When I got pregnant my aim was to breastfeed for 6 months, not long after he was born I realised that a year was better for him. So that’s my aim. We have been feeding for 8 months now, and I am very lucky to have never suffered with any real problems so far (I put that down to wearing a well fitted bra, the girls at Bravissimo are wonder women!) I think I will be sad when we stop at a year, but I will be happy knowing that I have given him the best start in life and I will look forward to my next feeding journey, whenever that may be.

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About 80% of mothers in the UK breastfeed their child at some point but only 1% make it to 6 months and only 0.5% make it to 1 year. Breastfeeding also reduces your risk of breast cancer, especially those who feed to a year or past it. This was a significant reason to continue breastfeeding as my grandmother died of breast cancer, so anything I can do to reduce my risk, is worth trying. I just hope in the future the figures continue to rise and that there is easy access to good breastfeeding support for everyone.

This post first appeared on Meet Other Mums where I am a regular blogger, please go and check it out as there are some brilliant other blogs there!

 

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When I found out I was having a boy, I was worried what I would dress him in.  It’s a well known fact that the boyswear section is always so much smaller than the girls in all of the high street stores.  In most stores I really hated the boys clothes, that or they were too grown up for a baby.  I just wanted some nice plain, non garish clothes.  

When Oliver was a newborn I dressed him in a lot of sleepsuits, lots of white and pale blue was worn.  I loved it because he looked so fresh and clean.  The perfect newborn!  I found the best places to get sleepsuits were Next, Sainsbury’s Tu collection and JoJo Maman Bebe. They were all by far the softest, cosiest sleepsuits and they had the best designs for boys.


I had been aware of JoJo Maman Bebe before Oliver was born because I had been given some bits in bigger sizes.  I visited their store and I loved everything they had for boys.  Their designs are all adorable and perfect for a young boy.  It’s not too grown up and everything is colourful but not garishly so.  Oliver now has a few bits from their collection, various tops, vests and dungarees.  They are great quality, wash well and look so cute on!  I am currently loving their leggings and top combos, they’re all so adorable.


I also like Gap for their boys section.  I love Oliver in navy blue and their boys section has plenty of navy in it.  I really like their knitwear, Oliver has a couple of jumpers and cardigans from there.  The hooded bear cardigans are great, they come in so many colours and are so roomy, I know we had the newborn sized one until Oliver was over 3 months old and the 6-12 month ones he’s currently in are really roomy and I can see lasting well past a year.  Their long sleeved vests are brilliant too, I love all their designs and they often have really good witty slogans on.


Tu by Sainsbury’s is one of my go to places for clothing, they’re very reasonably priced and they wear and wash well.  Some of my favourite outfits have been from there.  The best thing is they often do 25% off their collection, meaning you can get a really good deal.


The Little White Company has a gorgeous range, but I generally wait for a sale as I can never justify the full price of their clothes for a little person!  I’m very lucky that my granny always buys Oliver bits from there and he’s had some lovely pyjamas from my mum too.  Their clothes are very generous too, he’s still wearing a 3-6 month jumper at almost 9 months old!


I think you just have to look a bit harder for nice boys bits, and perhaps spend a bit more but when you find somewhere with a good selection you wonder why you worried!  

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