5 Things I never thought I would do as a parent

Before I had a child I didn’t have much knowledge about different parenting styles.  I knew there were certain things I wanted to do, like breastfeed, but there was lots of unknown things.  I remember my friend telling me that her son often came into her bed in the middle of the night, I remember saying ‘oh you’ve made a rod for your own back’ and thinking I would never ever do that.  I also thought I would never be the type of person who buys lots for their child, but when you see something you or your child loves, how can you leave it there?!

Here are the 5 things I thought I would never do as a parent…

1. Baby-led Weaning

I had never ever considered baby-led weaning.  All I had ever known was babies being traditionally weaned.  I don’t think I actually knew anyone who had done baby-led.  On Facebook I noticed a girl I had done my nursing training with was doing BLW and I looked into it a bit more.  I decided after reading up about it that it’s what we should do, I chatted to Stu about different types of weaning, and he agreed that it seemed best for us.  It was definitely worth doing!

2. Co-sleeping

We didn’t intend to co-sleep at all, it was just a bit of an accident.  When Oliver was teeny tiny and spent most of the night feeding I took to feeding him lying down.  I always cleared a space for him, moved any bedding away from us etc. and I dosed whilst he fed.  In the mornings he always got into our bed when Stu got up for work and we slept for a few more hours.  Once he got a little bit bigger, he used to get in bed with us when he wouldn’t settle and he loved snuggling in.  It wasn’t something we ever set out to do but it was something that worked for us.  Nowadays, he doesn’t often come in our bed to sleep.  It’s pretty rare, but when he does I love the snuggles!

3. The Jumperoo (and all the other plastic fantastic!)

I remember seeing the monstrosity that is the jumperoo and thinking ‘I will never buy one of those’.  How wrong I was!  Oliver was such an active child it was what he needed, and when one popped up on a local selling site I thought why not!  He loved it and it was a staple piece in our home for at least 2 months.  It’s now sat in the loft awaiting it’s next user.

I hate plastic and noisy toys, wooden ones are just ten times better in my eyes.  But of course Oliver loves them so they have made their way into our home.  The main problem is we have a Barnardo’s charity shop in our village, it’s solely dedicated to all things children, and overtime I go in there I leave with something.  For a pound or two I can’t leave it if Oliver takes a liking!  The other problem is Oliver’s massive Thomas the tank engine addiction, if we walk in a shop and he sees something with Thomas’ face on it he shouts and points.  In most shops I just ignore him but if it’s in the charity shop I give in straight away!!

4. Babywearing

I had never heard of baby wearing before I had Oliver.  I had asked for a Baby Bjorn sling from work as my leaving present, as I had thought it was a good idea for when we went on walks etc. where a pram wouldn’t go.  Through a Facebook breastfeeding support group I found this whole world of babywearing.  Oliver was a baby who loved to constantly be held and I instantly knew it would be something that would work for us.  I started with a stretchy wrap and then Baby Bjorn, then once he was bigger I moved on to an Ergo 360.  Oliver went through a month or two when he would just scream every time he went in the buggy and the Ergo saved my life!  Nowadays we still use it on walks and occasionally when we’re out.  I use it in the back carry and Oliver loves it!

5. Have SO many clothes

When I found out I was having a boy I thought it would be fine, his wardrobe would be small because there isn’t lots of nice boys clothing like there is girls (god help my bank balance if I ever have a girl!).  Well after a lot of shopping around, I have found my favourite stores and Oliver now has a VERY healthy wardrobe.  That and a lot of people gift clothes.  He’s such a midget that he’s mostly still in 9-12 month clothing, so all the winter clothing I had bought in the sales in 12-18 months is far too big still!  I’m just hoping he fits in them at the other end of the summer!!

What did you think you would never do as a parent?  Let me know!

 

3 Little Buttons
The Pramshed
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Giggling Squid: Little Tapas for Little People

We were recently invited along to try out the new ‘Little Tapas for Little People’ menu at Giggling Squid.  If you’ve never heard of Giggling Squid before it’s a brilliant chain of Thai restaurants, mostly based in the South and Midlands of the UK.  I love Thai food, the flavours are just beautiful.  I think I would eat Thai food all of the time if I could!

Oliver is a big lover of flavour, the more flavour the better with him.  A few weeks ago I tried to give him fish fingers for dinner, he took one bite, chucked it on the floor and wouldn’t try it again!  However, the curry I cooked up last night he devoured!  He’s still mastering the spoon and 99% of the time refuses to let me feed him, so finger foods are always a big hit with him.  So when I was emailed to see if I wanted to come and try out the new children’s menu, it was an instant ‘yes please’!

“Pranee Laurillard, owner and mum-of-three devised the menu to inspire kids to be more open minded with their food choices.  With memories of her own childhood and what she cooks for her own children, she wants to encourage children to try something new.   As a mum myself, I love encouraging my kids to experiment with new dishes and ingredients. Hopefully they’ll be more open to a wider choice of food and cuisines when they grow up.”

I think this is a brilliant way of thinking. I think it’s great to open our children up to a wide choice of different cuisines and flavours.

I loved the design of the menu, with clear pictures of all the dishes.  I’m sure that it would make children find it easier to choose what they’re having.  It’s only £5.95 for 2 dishes, there are 8 dishes in total, so they can choose 2 out of those 8.  There’s a good variety of different dishes, curry, pad Thai, steak, chicken pork, dumplings and spring rolls.  For an extra £2 your little one can add a dessert, with ice cream or a roti, which is a bit like a pancake.  As you can see from the picture, they have a match the picture the menu game.  Which I actually enjoyed doing whilst we waited for our meals!  It also flipped over to reveal a colouring sheet!  They provided us with crayons and Oliver happily sat there doing a bit of colouring whilst we waited for our meals to arrive.

We ordered Oliver the chicken satay and peanut sauce and the spring rolls, as we thought they were perfect finger foods (and not too messy..!).  All children’s meals come with plain or sticky rice.  The portion of plain rice was HUGE, I think it was actually bigger than the portion I had with my meal!  He loved eating the chicken off of the skewer and licking the peanut sauce off, and the spring rolls went down well, especially as they were something he had never tried before. He quickly tore his way through his meal and even had a taste of ours too (I had the Thai green chicken curry and Stuart had the grilled beef and sticky rice, they were both delicious too!).

The staff were very friendly and happily entertained Oliver when they were walking past our table.  There were highchairs available and they seemed well set up for little visitors.  I am sure we will be back again soon, we had a really nice chilled out lunch.  Sometimes I feel like when we are out for lunch with our child the staff are either really good with children, or you feel like they want you to leave ASAP.  The staff at Giggling Squid were all brilliant and really great with children!

If you live near a Giggling Squid I urge you to go and have a meal there, and take your children along too.  I’m sure they will love it, and it’s a nice change to your usually family meal out.  Their lunch deals are really reasonable too.

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One Year of Blogging: What has it taught me?

So this weekend it came up on my page that my blog was one year old.  I couldn’t believe it!  A whole year of ‘Mummy Miller’, sharing our story and my thoughts and feelings.

I set my blog up to share the big and everyday moments in my parenting journey and Oliver’s life.  I think my main motivation was to document things for me, so I didn’t forget.  My memory is awful and even more so since Oliver came along!  But it was also for our family who don’t live nearby to see what Oliver’s been getting up to.  But I think over the past year it’s become much more.

My blog is one of my biggest passions, and probably my favourite hobby now!  I can easily spend a few hours in the evening writing posts, participating in linky’s and reading other peoples new posts.  Instagram is one of my favourite platforms and I could easily spend hours getting lost in it.  Now with the addition of Youtube I have added the realm of video editing as well!  This world of blogging and vlogging has really sucked me in!

I’ve been lucky enough to work with some brilliant brands and I’ve been invited to a variety of different events, all through blogging.  I never expected to get these sorts of opportunities and I am grateful every day for it

What have I learnt from a year of blogging?

Nothing comes easily

You can’t just set up a blog and expect it to be read by the masses straight away.  You have to share, share share.  I didn’t do anything for the first month or two whilst I navigated the blogosphere.  Then I started participating in ‘linky’s’ which if you don’t know is a place where bloggers can share their blog posts with other bloggers.  It’s a great way to find new bloggers and blogs to read!  The first linky I shared a post with was the Sharing the Blog Love linky run by Katy and Laura.  I was so nervous when I hit the submit button but over the past year I have been one of their featured bloggers several times, which I am so grateful for!

You can’t expect to start a blog and for it to have thousands of followers overnight.  It has taken me a very long time to build up followers across various social media platforms.  I have worked hard at this (probably not as much on Twitter, but certainly across Instagram and Facebook).  Followers don’t come easily, you have to post good content, use good hashtags, post at the right times.  There’s a lot to work out!

It can be easy to earn money with guest posts..

…but do I want to post content on my blog that I’m not interested in or really enthusiastic about?  I have had so many emails asking for them to put a guest post on my blog about ‘a related subject to my brand’.  Or there are various websites who have contacted me who can feed your blog with guest posts.  Of course, I would love to be getting £20-£30 for a post that’s pre written but I don’t want to lower my blogs standards or the brand I am building.  To take posts that aren’t about something I’m passionate about or very interested in for a couple of easy pounds isn’t something I want to do.

When I get the chance to start earning money from my little blog I want it to be from something I have a real love or passion for.  I want to feel that I’m genuine and someone you can trust.  Someone who actually would use that product or brand, not just write about it because I’m getting paid to do it!

If you’re thinking about it, just do it!

It took so long to work up the courage to start my blog.  I thought about it for so long.  In some ways I wish I had pursued the blog that I started when I was pregnant.  Writing this blog is one of my favourite things to do, I’m just gladded I finally plucked up the courage!  This year one of my goals was to proceed with my Youtube channel, I had started it back in September but chickened out after one video!  Now I really enjoy shooting a video and sharing it with you!

People might not agree with you, and that’s ok too

I wrote a post recently which was picked up and shared by Mumsnet.  I got a lot of negative comments on their page as well as on here.  There were some positive comments too, but those mumsnetters can be pretty nasty!  I didn’t let them get to me, everyone is entitled to their own opinions and that’s fine.  This is my little corner of the cyber world and it’s a space I feel I can voice my thoughts and feelings on certain subjects.  People may disagree with you, and it’s easy to get your back up if they don’t, but I love how these sorts of comments can also open your eyes and start a discussion!

So thank you to all my readers, subscribers and those who have commented, liked and shared my posts over the past year.  Here’s to another year of blogging and sharing our moments with you!

I would also love it (if you enjoy reading my blog) that you would nominate me in the Brilliance in Blogging Awards.  I would really love to be considered for the Fresh Voice or Reader’s choice category. Click on this link to go and nominate your favourite blogger!

The Pramshed
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My 10 Happy Things

I was recently nominated by Claire over at The Pramshed to share my 10 happy things.  There is a lot of negativity going around at the moment in the blogging world – mostly from the media.  I think a bit of positivity won’t go amiss.  So here are my 10 happy things..

My baby

Of course, how could this not be the first thing that makes me happy!  Oliver lights up the room and can always put a smile on my face.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some days when I am reaching for the bottle of gin before he’s in bed, but on the most part he’s the easiest happy little soul you will ever come across!

My husband

This man lights up my world.  I love him so much, and love what a brilliant father he’s become.  He is supportive of all my choices, as I am of his.  I really don’t know where I would be without him, we work so well as a team.  I’m very lucky to have him.

Flowers

I love flowers, if you follow me on Instagram I’m sure you will have realised because I throw in quite a few flower photos!  I love growing flowers in my garden and I love having flowers in the house.  They just light up the room and make my house and garden look pretty!

Burgers

I LOVE burgers.  When we go out for dinner it’s generally a throw up between a burger or a steak.  I don’t know what it is about a burger but it’s just something that I really enjoy.  They make me happy!

Gin

I love trying and finding new gins.  Luckily, my mum shares the same passion and she usually supplies the new gins to try.  I love having a glass of gin and lemonade (don’t hate me..I don’t like tonic) at the end of a hard day and just relaxing!

My Family

My extended family are another source of happiness for me.  Whether it be my own family or my husbands,  someone is sure to make me smile and laugh!

My Friends

I have various different sets of friends, some I don’t speak to or see enough.   Some friends I speak to most days, some friends I speak to once every few weeks.  But I know that they will always be there when I need them most.

Shopping

I’m like Rebecca Bloomwood and in her words ‘When I shop, the world gets better, and the world is better, but then it’s not, and I need to do it again’.  I love spending afternoon trawling around shops, I don’t have to actually buy anything but browsing makes me happy too.  None of this makes my husband happy, you can’t please everyone!

Being Outside

I love getting outdoors, whether it just be pottering around the garden or somewhere further afield.  I think my love for being outside has grown so much more since Oliver arrived.  I love finding new places to explore with him.

My Blog

This is my happy place, and it’s where I come to to record the happy times we have had.  In years to come I hope I can look back at my posts and remember the adventures we have had!

That is my 10 happy things!  I hope you’ve enjoyed reading.  What makes you most happy?

 

Pink Pear Bear
3 Little Buttons

Oliver at 15 months

We’re here already.  These months are passing us by so quickly, and Oliver is changing so quickly with it.  This month has been a month of change here.  Oliver has officially become a toddler. He’s a walking, talking whirlwind, that barely ever stops!

Food

You’re still a brilliant eater.  We are making progress on lunches too, snack plates are definitely your thing.  Rather than a sandwich, you seem to enjoy lots of bitesize bits.  I’m getting less worried about the fact you won’t eat sandwiches, to be honest I’m not a massive fan either!  You have a very big appetite, when I make you porridge for breakfast you eat a portion that I would be happy with!  I’m not sure where you put it because you’re still a petite little thing.

Movement

You’re walking!!  Hooray!  It was Easter weekend and we were at my mums house and you decided to take those first steps, in exactly the same place you started crawling confidently as well.  There was no stopping you and you’ve been walking ever since.  I think the only times I’ve seen you crawl is if you’re underneath something and can’t stand up!  You’re almost at a point of trying to run (well you have tried to run, but this often ends up with you falling over).  We are so proud of you, and you’re most certainly a toddler now!

Speech

Another milestone here, you can say mama!  I’m feeling all the love right now because mama is quickly becoming a well used word, but it’s usually said in the context of ‘get me that mama’ or ‘feed me mama’.  But I’ll take it!  You’ve turned into such a chatterbox this month.  You haven’t stopped chattering away, and we are starting to learn what certain sounds/words you say mean.  Car is still you’re number one word.  We open the curtains in the morning and the first thing you say is car when you see it parked on the driveway!

Personality

You’re still the cheeky chappy you’ve always been.  You’re determined and focussed and if anyone gets in your way you will go into full meltdown.  God help us when you reach the terrible two’s because you’re stroppy enough as a one year old!  However you are becoming much more affectionate.  You have started properly giving us cuddles and kisses, which both daddy and I love.  It’s so nice to see this loving nature coming out, and you will kiss anyone who asks (Uncle Alex got 3 birthday kisses, the lucky man!).

Growth

You’re still a little squirt.  You’re definitely taking after your parents and being a skinny little thing (not that I’m skinny now but I was when I was little!).  Height wise you’re pretty average, but you’re just so tiny around the middle.  I’m really struggling finding trousers that stay up.  You’re still in a lot of your 9-12 month clothing, 12-18 month clothing swamps you still, when I do dress you in them the sleeves and legs all need to be turned up and the trousers are constantly falling down!  It’s a pain because your 9-12 month trousers are too short, they need an interim size!

Your teeth have really bothered you this month.  Although you won’t let me look in your mouth properly, I’m pretty sure you’ve had about 4 come through, some premolars and I think the other day I saw a molar popping through.  No wonder you were such a grump!

What have we been up to?

We’ve had plenty of trips out this past month.  We have been to Wisley gardens a few times, last week it was beautifully sunny and you had lots of fun running around in the sunshine, you even have a little tan!  We took a trip to the farm the day before you started walking, we were hoping it would motivate you to get moving and it must have done the trick!

We also took your belated birthday trip to the Sea Life Centre in London.  We had lots of fun, although you slept most of the way around so we took it very slowly so you didn’t miss too much!  I filmed our day out for my Youtube channel.  I loved watching all of the fish, it’s so relaxing and you seemed to like them too.

Last month we also made the trip to Little Street in West Byfleet so I could review it, you had a great time, I’m sure it will become a firm favourite as you get older.  Easter flew past us, Stu had to work the whole weekend so we spent most of the time with granny and auntie Alice.  Your great aunt and some of my cousins came over to see us, we had lots of fun and you have developed a good knack at sniffing out chocolate/easter eggs!

So that’s your 15 month update, another month has passed us by so quickly, but we are loving every day we have with you!

Pink Pear Bear
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