I love doing the odd guest post, so when I read Geraldine from Over Heaven’s Hill  blog and saw she ran the ‘In Conversation With’ series, I knew I had to get involved.  She has a fab set of questions, and I really enjoyed answering them for her.  Here are my answers, and you can find the interview over on her blog, along with all the other In Conversation With’s she has previously done with other bloggers!

How would your parents have described you?

Kind and laid back. I have always made sure I’m kind. When I was little my best friend was autistic, I hated that all the other children were nasty to him because he was different.  They teased him and I hated how unkind other children could be. I suppose that’s how I ended up in nursing, I always wanted to help people. I’ve always been very laid back, nothing really bothers me and you’ve really got to upset me to get a reaction! At work, people can’t believe how laid back I am. I can keep my cool in the most stressful situations!

Mummy Miller

What family tradition do you cherish the most?

Probably that we always get together for important occasions, Christmas, Easter and Birthdays. We will always do something to celebrate!

Did you enjoy being pregnant?

Yes, other than the sickness in the early weeks, I was lucky enough to have a relatively straight forward pregnancy. I think I suited being pregnant! It was hard in the final weeks.  It is pretty exhausting growing a baby and I definitely got plenty of sleep.

What was the hardest part about being pregnant?

Not being able to eat paté and soft cheese! My one demand when I gave birth was that someone had to bring me pate.  Luckily my lovely mum kindly obliged and I had a lovely bit of pate on french bread… yum!

What’s the one thing you would have done differently as a parent?

To make sure my son would take a bottle and that he was able to go to sleep without me being there. Having been breastfed I never really needed to give him a bottle, but when I have wanted to go out I have had to schedule it around feeds as he point blank refuses a bottle. Now I am trying to begin the process of weaning him off the boob it’s really difficult! His sleep has always been pretty poor, not the amount of sleep, just how he goes to sleep. He will only fall asleep if I am lying next to him, it’s a nightmare as I didn’t realise what I had done before it was too late!

Mummy Miller

What is the one thing you never had that you want for your kids?

To have a happy home. My parents split up when I was 16, but they had been unhappy for a long time before that. We weren’t a typical unhappy home, but my dad worked away a lot of the time and he found it difficult readjusting to family life. My parents bickered a lot when he was home. I don’t want that for my children. I want them growing up knowing their parents are happy and love each other.

What do you miss about your life before you had kids?

A full nights sleep! I love my sleep so I have found it difficult having a years worth of broken sleep. I used to sleep for 12 hours or more!

What is the best thing about being a parent?

The unconditional love. There’s nothing quite like the love you feel for your child and you can see that they feel for you. Now I completely understand how my mum feels about me. I would do anything to protect Oliver!

What advice would you give your younger self?

Work harder for my exams. I did really well in my GCSE’s but when I got to my A-Levels I didn’t put enough effort in. I got an unconditional offer for my place at university so I didn’t bother doing lots of work to do well at my A-Levels. I passed them but not with great grades. If I did it again I would have put the work in.

Mummy Miller

You’re in the store with a full cart and your baby starts crying

I give him his dummy. If that doesn’t work, then I pick him up and carry him around, whilst attempting to steer my trolley. Generally that works as he usually is just bored of sitting in the trolley!

So that’s it, thank you to Geraldine to let me feature in her series, please go and check out her wonderful blog and see her other interviews!

In Conversation With Over Heavens Hill

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We have been using a sleeping bag since Oliver was born, as he never liked being swaddled.  So after a few weeks of trying to stop him wriggling his arms out of a swaddle, we tried using sheets, which he always managed to kick off.  Since then Oliver has used sleeping bags.  We started with the GroSnug (leaving his arms out) and then progressed onto GroBags.  Oliver is quite a restless sleeper, he doesn’t stay still, so a baby sleeping bag always seemed to work best.  He’s just like his dad, who is a massive fidget in his sleep too.

Now Oliver is one I have slowly begun trying to transfer him to use a blanket/duvet at naptime with the aim of using it at bedtime once he grows out of his GroBags.  The trouble is that he kicks the sheets off all of the time!  So when Room to Grow contacted me about trying the toddler Snuggle Sac, I thought, why not?

The Snuggle Sac is like a proper sleeping bag that you or I might use.  There is a built in pillow slip, so you can use it with or without a pillow.  It is really soft and snuggly, and it looks like it would keep you really nice and warm.  The outside is a soft fleece material and it is lined with a soft cotton.  The Snuggle Sac is endorsed by The Children’s Sleep Charity, so you know you’re child is in safe bedding.

The best thing about it is that it’s really versatile, you can use it for sleep, but it would also work really well as something to just snuggle up in on the sofa when it’s a bit chilly or your little one isn’t feeling great.  It also comes with a handy tote bag to store it in, so you can easily pack it up if you’re going away.

On trying it, it seems to work well.  Oliver napped really well in it and he didn’t manage to wiggle his way out!  I think this is a great solution to the transition between a baby sleeping bag and a duvet.  Over the next few months I am going to continue using this with the aim of him using a duvet once he is around 18 months.  It still keeps them snug and secure, yet also leaves them with  a bit more freedom to move around.  I would love an adult sized one for snuggling up in front of the TV in!

How did you transition from a sleeping bag to a duvet?

*This post was in collaboration with Room to Grow, all thoughts and opinions are my own*

Hot Pink Wellingtons
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Personally, I’m not a big fan of plonking my child in front of the TV for entertainment.  I would much rather he learnt and explored the world around him.  However, there are days when Oliver has had enough, whether he’s feeling under the weather or tired out, when he just won’t settle unless I pop the TV on in the background.  There aren’t many programmes that will settle him, or capture his attention, so I thought I would share what does!

1. In the Night Garden

I actually series linked these when we got Sky at the start of the year.  Just so I have the full quota of episodes, in case of a meltdown!  Oliver loves it and gets so excited when he hears the theme tune.  His favourite character is definitely Makka Pakka, he loves it when he plods on and he always really watches him (I’m assuming it’s a he but who knows?!)!  We are off to In the Night Garden Live in July, I’m hoping his love affair continues until then.  I wrote a previous blog post about the magic of In the Night Garden, it really is magical!

2. Thomas and Friends

We found this series on Netflix (my best friend) and the first time I put it on Oliver got really excited and wouldn’t look away!  I loved Thomas as a child so it’s a bit nostalgic for me, although it’s all animated now.  I did find the old episodes on Amazon Prime, and it was so old school!  We’ve ended up with a lot of Thomas paraphernalia around the house since his obsession began.  Every time we are in the shops and he spots anything Thomas related we have to pass by it quickly,  he will just sit and point if he spots it and usually cries because he can’t have it! Today I was in Asda and he spotted Thomas yoghurts and jelly, obviously it ended up in the trolley..!

3. Dave and Ava

This isn’t strictly a TV show, but it is a series on Youtube.  It’s quite American, but I really enjoy it, and it’s great to just have in the background.  If you haven’t seen it before, it’s an animated collection of nursery rhymes.  The main characters ‘Dave’ and ‘Ava’ feature in each song and you meet all their friends.  Since I started putting it on the TV, Oliver has learnt ‘if you’re happy and you know it’ and can clap his hands at the right time!  It’s nice because you can just have it in the background and sing along to the songs or do the action.  The best thing is that it’s sing along, they have the words along the bottom of the screen, so if you don’t know the words it’s a good prompt.

Do your little ones enjoy any of these?  What are the guaranteed shows to distract your little ones?

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I have now been back at work for a month, and I know that the question I get asked the most is ‘are you enjoying it?’.  My answer on the most part is a firm ‘yes’.  I was pretty apprehensive when I went back.  I was going from spending 24/7 with Oliver, to leaving him for 2 days a week.  These 2 days aren’t your average 9-5, I leave the house at 6:50am and I’m not usually home until 8:30pm or even later.  Most days that I work, I don’t see Oliver at all.  This was a huge change for me.  I was afraid that I would miss him terribly.  That my mind would be elsewhere.  That I would be wishing the day away so I could get home and see him snuggled up in his cot.

But this hasn’t happened.  I do bloody miss him, of course I do, but it’s not in the way I expected to.  When I went back I thought I would spend every 5 minutes thinking about him.  Wondering what he was getting up to, what I was missing.  But to be honest, I don’t get the time to even think about him.  People are always asking me about how he is, whether I’m missing him.  My answer is usually, no, not really, it’s nice to have some me time!

I love my job, and working as a nurse, you’re always busy.  I can’t spend time thinking about the world outside of work when I’m there.  My head’s got to be in the game for the entirety of my shift, otherwise things get missed.  When people’s lives or wellbeing is in your hands, this isn’t something you want to do.  So Oliver is pushed to the back of my mind for 12.5 hours, 2 days a week, and my brain gets to be used!

Being at work is good for me too.  As much as I would love to be a stay at home mum, the adult interaction is so refreshing.  Of course I get adult interaction at home, but it’s usually whilst trying to drag Oliver away from climbing on something he shouldn’t!  Mummy chat’s main topic is of course babies, we do talk about other things but our babies are always at the forefront of our minds!  So it’s nice to talk about normal things, not spending my day discussing poo, snot and other bodily fluids.  Actually scrap that, I work on a ward that deals with your waterworks and bowels, so I do spend a lot of my day talking about bodily fluids!  But at least it isn’t my baby’s!!

I now look back and wonder what I was worried about.  I was so worried I wouldn’t remember how to do my job, but in handover my first day back it all came flooding back!  Of course I do still ask my colleagues how to do things if I feel unsure, but as the weeks go on my unsurety reduces.  I worried about Oliver.  About how he would settle in at the childminders and whether he would nap for my mum.  But he’s fine, he always seems to enjoy his days without me.

Of course, I am very lucky that I could go back to reduced hours.  I’m lucky that doing 23 hours is only 2 days a week.  Oliver seems to be happy with our routine for now, so I am happy too!  It’s not the perfect situation, I don’t see Oliver at all, for 2 days a week, but it works for us for now.

 

How did you feel when you went back to work?

 

 

Pink Pear Bear
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I wasn’t planning on continuing my monthly series on Oliver’s development past his first birthday.  My plan was to do a 6 monthly update, but I still see him developing and changing every day.  I want to make sure I document everything, so here is his 13 month update!

Food and Milk

2 weeks after Oliver’s 1st birthday he stopped breastfeeding.  He naturally weaned himself and is now happy having cow’s milk, albeit a very small amount at bedtime.  He doesn’t seem to be a big milk drinker/lover but I am hoping his love of milk grows with time!  Food wise, Oliver seems to have developed a HUGE appetite.  Blueberries seem to be the food of the moment, I’m pretty sure he would eat a whole punnet if I let him.  His favourite meals seem to be macaroni cheese, sausages, pulled pork and shepherd’s pie.  They are the meals I can offer him, and know he will eat the whole plate!  After supper he always likes to have a fruit puree pouch, he gets so excited when he sees them!  We have found that the Kiddylicious range seem to be his favourite snacks, he LOVES their smoothie melts!

Movement and Speech

We still haven’t seen those first steps, but Oliver is well on his way.  He’s starting to confidently stand alone and let go of us when he is holding on.  This week he has begun to walk whilst holding onto my fingers, he gets really excited and almost starts running!  He even took his walker out for a walk down the road the other day (although he got really annoyed that it didn’t go up the steps!!).  Oliver still loves climbing the stairs, although he had a little slip down them the other day.  Although that slip only stopped him for about 2 minutes and he was back on them again!

What have we been up to?

The week after his birthday, we took Oliver for his first haircut.  His hair is a bit sparse on top, but it was getting quite long around the back, so we thought it was best to get it snipped!  It’s already starting to grow back though, I’m hoping he doesn’t end up like Stu who needs a haircut every two weeks!  We took him to Trotter’s in Guildford, the hairdresser was brilliant and he even got a certificate.

Since I’ve been back at work Oliver has started spending one day with his granny and the other with a childminder.  He loves his days with Granny because he gets super spoilt, treats galore and naps on Granny!  He seems to really enjoy going to the childminders too, apparently he has made buddies with the other little boys she looks after as well.  Other than our new work arrangement, we have been busy with classes.  Oliver and I started a new music class this month and Oliver seems to be enjoying it so far (especially the cymbals)!

We visited Wisley for my sister’s birthday at the end of February and saw the first signs of Spring. Then we celebrated my mum’s birthday a few weeks later, we had a lovely lunch out and spent the rest of the day eating lots of cake, macarons and biscuits!  Of course Oliver enjoyed it, anything sweet and he’s happy!  Oliver’s Great-Granny (GG) passed away in January and we had a celebration tea in her honour a few weeks ago.  She didn’t want a funeral, but as a family we felt we had to do something for her.  It was a really lovely afternoon and Oliver was definitely on his best behaviour.  I swear babies can often pick up when they should be good.  But then again, they don’t always!!

All in all it was a lovely month.  We have really loved watching Oliver grow and develop.  I feel like I will blink and he will suddenly be a full blown toddler (strops and all, he’s already pretty feisty!).  Where did that little baby go that I brought home, not even that long ago?  We hope you have all had a lovely month too!

JakiJellz
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