Tag Archives: driving

Everything is Easier With Sleep!

30 Jan

Hi Folks,

Happy New Year! Sorry its been a wee while since my last blog post. It’s been a very busy few months! I wanted my first blog post of 2020 to be more like my older blog posts… back to basics. More info, tips, advice & general rants about surviving day to day as a stay at home – work from home Mama.

I’ve been joking for a long time now that I’ll one day write a book on the bedtime routine I use for the boys, as they both sleep. I’m constantly being asked what my secret is. But to be honest… I have no idea lol. So… I thought I’d share with you all, what we do each evening. I don’t do anything magical, but, you mind find something you’ve not tried. Or, I might be just doing the same as everyone else.

I love reading blogs & I get a lot of my fave tips from other parenting blogs. So hopefully… I can pass some on to you too.

Firstly, I’d just like to say that I’m no guru or medical professional. This is only what we have personally implemented in our own home for our bedtime routine. 

Okay, so lets start right at the very beginning. Seth was born at 38wks via c-section. I was determined from day 1 to be this amazingly successful breast feeding Mama. That just didn’t go to plan. Within the first 6 days, Seth had lost over 14% of his body weight dropping from 8lbs to 6lbs 13oz. We were rushed into hospital – literally the worst day of my life. The guilt I felt was immense. That first week quite literally was sleep deprivation at it’s finest. I had Seth constantly on my boob & when he wasn’t attached to me – an electric breast pump was. I was emotional, recovering from major surgery, I felt guilt that I wasn’t providing for my baby & I felt let down by my breast feeding support nurse. Whilst in hospital Seth began to combination feed. With amazing support from my Husband, GP, Midwife, Health Visitor, Consultant & Paediatrician, I made the decision to stop breast feeding… I had zero milk. Still to this day – I struggle with the feelings of guilt & like I let Seth down in that first week of his life.

Once we were discharged from hospital, Seth gained weight steadily on formula. But, he struggled with extreme colic. It was horrendous. No matter what we did, he’d scream & scream. Even with the help of Infacol & a special milk, he’d struggle. We had a SnüzPod at the side of our bed as I just don’t like co-sleeping ( personal choice). But I’d say for a good 8 weeks, Seth slept upright on my chest or Grahams. It’d be the only way he’d settle. So it’d be hours upon hours of just sitting awake on a night in bed, so Seth could sleep & get relief from the colic. I remember on a morning, retching & throwing up from sheer exhaustion & my Mam telling me over the phone that she’d not heard of anyone dying from sleepless nights. Ah yes, just to add… both my family & Graham’s live quite a distance away from us. So we have no regular childcare or family just popping in to help.

After around 8 weeks, the colic settled, from then on, Seth would sleep 6hrs: Midnight to 6am. We used to class that as sleeping through the night. When you go from zero sleep to 6hrs right through, you feel like you’ve had a week at a spa retreat lol. Seth slept in his SnüzPod beside me until he was 5 & a half month old. He began to outgrow it at that point. So, he went into his own room in a full size cotbed. He looked so tiny. But he slept great & started to sleep from around 9pm to 6am, which was just amazing. At around 7 months old though, Seth started with partial awakening which lasted around 2-3 month. He would literally wake every 45mins screaming. All we could put it down to was teething. That was so hard. Functioning on such little sleep is tough. But, as a parent, you just want to comfort your baby. The only way they can communicate they’re hurting or they’re upset – is through crying. Thankfully, the partial awakening stopped as quick as it had started.

With Seth being our first, we had no experience of a sleep routine. Graham has always gotten home around 6pm/6:30pm, unless he has assessments to mark etc… then it could be much later. On occasion he does have nights away with work or through freelance work. But I’m always here with being able to work from home. We’d both agreed that we didn’t want bedtime to be negative or a battle ground. So, we have never ever used bed as a punishment. Neither of us agree with the cry it out method or self soothing method. I’ve also never let Seth nap in his room. When napping during the day, I’ve always let him nap downstairs. I just always wanted to keep the bedroom for bedtime to make a clear distinction between bed & nap. I’ve also been careful of danger naps… napping after 5pm has always been a no no, unless they’re poorly.

Seth’s routine from being 6 month has been:

  • No napping beyond 5pm… so I’d wake him gently from a nap if he was napping late afternoon or, I’d keep him awake by playing etc…
  • Teatime has always been around 4:30pm/5pm for the kids.
  • Bathtime 6pm – we don’t do bath time every night as Seth has always had baby eczema. Again, this is just a personal choice. I’ve always found, that a bath later than 6:30pm is too stimulating & tends to keep them awake.
  • CBeebies bedtime hour is always on in our house… PJs on, Milk & chill time. So we have no running around or loud toys from bedtime hour starting. Once bedtime hour is over – no more Kids TV. That has always been our rule. Kids TV is too stimulating, so nothing after 7pm. No tablets either & especially not in the bedroom. Again – that’s just personal choice.

Seth is now 3 years old & has gone to bed for 7pm since he was around 20 month old. We take him to bed, he has a wee, we read a story & that’s it. He goes to sleep. Obviously, as a baby, it wasn’t as simple as that. So, after the partial awakening had ended. We always gave Seth his bottle upstairs on our bed around 7:30pm. Then, we’d let him fall asleep in our arms & we’d carry him to bed. If he woke in the night, we’d give him a bottle in our room but with no lights on, no TV. Just keep it super boring. No talking etc… So he’d have the bottle & go back to bed.

One night, Graham was away in London & I took Seth up for his bottle. I lay with him on our bed & he was just looking at me, as if he was saying “well I ain’t sleeping here”… so I carried him to his room & put him in his cot. I took the monitor downstairs & I sat just watching him. I half expected him to cry as he was still awake… but he didn’t. He just lay there stroking his quilt & fell asleep! From that moment, we would give him a bottle & then put him in bed awake for him to nod off.

Still to this day, Seth has his little ambient blue night light plugged in so it’s not super dark. He loves his room & his bed. He’s now graduated to a big bunk bed – he sleeps on the bottom bunk as he’s only 3, we do have blackout blinds & black out curtains in his room – mainly for when it’s Summer. But he still likes his blue light on.

When Ted was born, we already had a good bedtime routine in place, so Ted just kind of fell in line with that.

At this point – I just want to point a few things out that we do:

  • Both boys were bottle fed. Ted from day one as I didn’t want to try breast feeding in case I let down my baby all over again.
  • Both boys have used soothers. Ted always goes to bed with a soother.
  • I have always kept the cot free & empty of toys, bumpers etc… I never used a sleep/grow bag purely as both Seth or Ted would settle in them. So I always used cellular blankets & a tight fitted sheet on the mattress. Seth now takes his quillow to bed & Cub (his little Ikea Bear)
  • Both boys have slept in a full size cotbed – so they’ve lots of space to stretch out. Seth had the sides off his cotbed from 23 month old & then he went into a full size single/bunk bed from age 3.
  • During nap times, both boys have always napped downstairs.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/156200586@N06/44167779470/in/dateposted-public/

Nap times downstairs were a little bit of a mine field when Ted was first born. By this time Seth had outgrown day time naps & began going up to bed at 7pm. But Ted needed somewhere safe to nap. With a 2 & a half year old running round, I was always scared that a moses basket or a lounger would get knocked over. So, we went with a large playpen that had a firm memory foam & sprung mattress from iSafe. It was a life saver. It’s spacious & safe for Ted to nap in. We still have it now. Ted is 15 month old & loves his naps in there. I do allow soft toys in his play pen – purely as I can see him at all times. He doesn’t have toys in his cot bed upstairs. That’s totally free of clutter.

Ted follows the same routine as Seth with regard to when he gets his PJs on, bath time & tea times etc… From 8 weeks old, Ted has pretty much slept from 11pm right through. From around a year old he’s started to go to bed around 8pm, but recently, he’s started asking for bed once Seth has gone up. So, we put Seth to bed, then around 7:30pm, Ted will have a bottle in our room & then goes straight into his room to bed. We put Ted in his cot awake & falls asleep with no problems. We have video monitors on both boys in case they need us in the night. Ted sometimes will wake in the night for a bottle. But it’s literally a quick bottle & straight back to bed.

Ted was in a SnüzPod from birth to 5 month. He outgrew it from 5 month so he transferred to the Joie Kubbie Sleep which is also a side sleeper. He slept in that until he was 10 month old. The he went into his own room into a full size cot bed.

It’s lovely being able to have evenings free. But, being poorly or teething throws the sleeping lark out the window. But that’s just parenting, you have to expect sleepless nights at times.

When we go on holiday, we still follow our bedtime routine. That may sound strict, but Seth still only being 3yrs old, he doesn’t really appreciate a late night as a treat. By 7pm he’s asking for bed as he’s so tired. He’s so active, so he’s ready for his bed. Keeping the routine is constant. We’ve just always kept it up & over time it’s paid off. We’ve taken the boys out at night for meals etc…

I think in the beginning, it can be a bit of a shock to the system at just how much your life does change when you become a parent, but they’re only little for such a short time. Me & Graham met at University & we were together 7 year before we got married. Then we had 5 years together after we got married just us… so we have done the late nights out etc… I think we’re happy being home all snuggly now lol. I’m sure once the boys are packed off to University, we can become party animals again lol.

So there you have it… that’s our bedtime routine. See… I have no hidden secret. It’s just been keeping a good routine in place day in & day out. I hope you’ve found this useful?

Thank you so much reading 🙂

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

 

Catch Up Time

21 Jun

Hi folks,

I think we’re massively overdue a catch up. I just seem to be super busy lately… lots & lots going on!

So… first of all… we had an amazing holiday up on the Northeast Coast. It was so lovely to go away with family & just spend some time together. Newbiggin-By-The-Sea holds so many amazing memories for me when I was little… I always said that I wanted to take my kids there if I ever had any. So to see Seth & my niece playing on the very same beach I used to as a child was just utterly priceless.


We literally just relaxed while we were away… the most energetic thing we did was go for walks by the sea & play on the beach. I was super naughty though while I was away… I ate ice cream… I ate take out & I ate chocolate… yikes! 4 year ago I lost over 6 stone to help me conceive Seth. But… with pregnancy & bad choices… I’m 2 stone heavier than I was when I hit my target weight & I’m currently wearing a size 14/16. I’ve had a word with myself & I’m now currently back in the zone. I’ve been healthy for the last 2 weeks & I’m already 6lbs lighter!!! I WILL get back into my lovely size 12 clothes. I don’t do anything extreme other than drink plenty water & eat plenty veg, fruit & lean meats. I have been having 1 Lean Java Bean Coffee per day too… but thats another story for another blog post as I’ve been reviewing it. I still have treats such as a glass of sparkles or a slice of pizza… but I totally go by the rule of; ‘Everything in Moderation’.


So… I’ve holidayed… I’ve started back with my weightloss &… I’m going to be writing some reviews for the Doncaster Freepress & The Doncaster Star!!! My reviews will all be based around days out & eating out in my local area when you have a young family in tow. I’m super excited!!! I shall let you all know when they’ll be in print.

We had another amazing day out to The Yorkshire Wildlife Park on Saturday. We seriously love that place. We’ve now got an annual pass which is such good value for money. I love going for a long walk around the park then stopping for a lovely little picnic. The weather has just been amazing lately… it’s felt like we’re abroad on holiday. We get so few beautiful days with the sun shining in this country that we need to make the most of them. Plus… when the weather is sunny & warm, you automatically want to eat healthily. You just don’t fancy anything heavy or stodgy.

We have a lot of work to do in the garden in our new home, to make it just perfect. But, for now… it’ll do. We had some paddling pool & bubble machine fun this weekend. Seth absolutely adores being out & about. I’ll be writing a full review on all of his gorgeous new garden toys that we got from the Early Learning Centre. In our old home, we had very little garden at the back & hardly no lawn at all. It wasn’t ideal for Seth to play in  really. So even though our new garden isn’t massive… it’s a lovely size for Seth to be able to play happily. I just can’t wait to get all the decking sorting & some pesky wonky flag stones lifted!


There’s still lots that we want to do around the house to get it just right… for all we’re always super busy with parenting… work… socialising… etc… we’ve managed to get a lot of stuff done. Everything is unpacked & everything has a home. But we’ve decided that we want to swap the spare rooms over. So once that is done we should be pretty much sorted. Seth’s room is looking fab! It’s so colourful & it totally looks like a little boys room now & not a baby’s bedroom. Our room is starting to take shape… although I really want to paint it duck egg blue & pale pink. But I think that’ll have to wait till maybe next year as we have lots of other stuff to do. Once the guest room is sorted, the spare room then can just remain empty apart from Seth’s old SnuzPod & Pram etc… I’m hoping that one day soon it can be a nursery… but I guess we’ll just have to wait & see for that one.

I’m also trying to squeeze in my driving lessons too. As we have no local childcare here, I can only have lessons when Graham is home from work. So I’ve been doing lots of evening driving lessons. Ugh… I so cannot wait until I’ve passed my test & I can go car shopping… preloved cars though of course. I often just wish I’d learnt to drive when I was younger… but then I didn’t so it’s pointless really dwelling on it. At least until I pass, I have Graham to chauffeur us around lol.

I have loads of reviews coming up for you all… JoieMAM UKELCSeamore I Sea Bacon, Crabtree & Evelyn, Hey Like Wow, Lean Java Bean & Panda Life.

Wow… it’s really started to chuck it down with rain here… I’m thinking we could be in for a thunder storm… I mean it has been pretty muggy & humid all day… Seth’s curly hair has been wild with the humidity God love him lol.

Well… I shall leave my post here.

Thanks so much as always for reading… & thanks for sticking with me while I’ve been busy. I promise I’ll be blogging more frequently again!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

 

Getting Things Done

3 May

Hi folks

Wowzers… am I happy to see the beginning of May. Last month was just literally filled with so much stress. We’ve still so many box’s to unpack & flat pack to build. Well who am I trying to kid…? We all know I don’t build flat pack lol.

So… May! May is one of my most favourite month’s. Its seriously up there with December. Generally… the weather is quite good… Spring is in the air & there’s cherry blossoms blooming all over… and… it’s MY birthday month! Oh & the hubsters too lol. May is also shaping up to be a very busy month too! We’ve got two birthday’s coming up… a trip to London… a Wedding… & then a little vacation at the end of the month. As well as sorting the house out. To be honest though… we’ve pretty much sorted the main rooms. But we need to desperately sort out the office & the make up storage situation in our bedroom. We’ve also some shelves to get on the wall in Seth’s room to make him a beautiful big book wall as a little feature for him, just a bigger version of the one he had in his old little bedroom. He’s been having so much fun making a mess in his new big bedroom. He’s taken to the new house so well… it’s like he’s just not bothered. He’s gone from sleeping 10hrs through the night to almost 14hrs… loves his sleep that kid.


The kitchen is pretty much sorted, but I really want to convert the utility room into a pantry like we had at the old house. But that’s not priority really I suppose. The hubster is absolutely desperate to get out into our new garden to get that all tidied up. Nothing major, but the garden needs a little TLC… mainly just the grass being cut etc… & some wonky flags sorted. We’ve got some decking which is going to be our garden project… I’ve also told the hubster I want him to build me a garden bar out of wooden palettes lol… so watch this space for that!

I actually really want to do a tour of the house on Youtube. I need to back to Youtubing too. As well as needing to update my website. I seem to be developing a to do list the length of my arm! Or in fact… make that the length of both my arms out together!

In June, we’re getting a skip to basically declutter in the shed we’ve kind of inherited with the house. We made a discovery of lots of broken toys & a rundown rabbit hutch. So… skip it along with any of our stuff we can part ways with. I’m like the anti-hoarder. If it’s not been used in the last 12 month & it’ll sell? I sell it. If it’s junk? I skip it. I hate clutter. Plus… clutter makes it so much more time consuming when dusting & cleaning.

The front garden is little & cute & Auntie Nicky got stuck into that this weekend just gone. I have no idea when it comes to gardening… so I just thought we had an array of full big bush type thingy’s… apparently not. Some were killing other bushes & were badly overgrown! Who knew? So… she got stuck right in there & literally in a flick of a garden trowel – she’d totally spruced it all up. It looks like a new little front garden. Thanks Aunty Nicky!

I’m still ploughing on with my driving lessons. I think I’ve had 19 lessons now. For those of you who are familiar with Doncaster… I’ve done all three big roundabouts. York Road Roundabout & Hub Roundabout have been fairly easy to master as they’re big… but they’re broken down with plenty traffic lights. However… the Racecourse Roundabout is a little more scary. But… I’ve done it now quite a few times. So I guess now it’s just all about building confidence. Luckily for me – I have a fab instructor. I need to start swatting up for my theory test big time… I haven’t even booked that yet!

So… going back to the house. It’s amazing to have a fully equipped kitchen again. Before we moved I had things packed & I was trying to use up all of the food I had in stock & we’d also sold a few appliances. So to have a proper kitchen again is just fab. I’ve been in the kitchen making lots of lovely, healthy, home cooked food. We’ve had loads of beautiful, fresh deliveries from Bearefaced Groceries too. I always feel so much better when I’m eating better & drinking plenty water & green tea. Hey… I even managed to fit into one of my favourite size 12 sweatshirts last week too!!!



Life seems to be returning to some kind of normality thank God. Seriously… moving… it’s the pits! I’m never ever moving house ever again! Packing & unpacking… just yuck! This weekend shall be filled with fun… rather than house stuff. It’s mine & the hubsters birthday weekend so it’s all about fun & our little family. I guess what we’ll be doing will mostly depend upon the weather. I’m hoping ti’ll be nice so we can have a little picnic at The Yorkshire Wildlife Park. I’ve promised Seth that he can go visit the ‘real’ Lion Guard & the ‘big’ Sophies. For anyone who’s life isn’t consumed with Kids TV & Kids teething toys… that’s just Lions & Giraffes lol. I’m also hoping that at some point over the weekend I’ll be taken out for a meal too 🙂

I’ve got some reviews coming up on Skincare... Scented Wax MeltsEarly Learning Centre… & Music Bugs!

Well… I hope I’ve not bored you all far too much with my little catch up 🙂 Thanks as always for reading!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

 

 

 

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun!

28 Feb

Hi folks,

Wow… I cannot believe that Seth turns 1 year old in 2 weeks time!!! It’s just so surreal. It seems like only yesterday I was holding him in my arms for the very first time. As you can imagine – I’m in full birthday mode. I’ve already sorted the party bags, the cake has been ordered, Seth has a new outfit & the gifts have been wrapped! I’ve organised a little tea party of close family & friends & then, we’re off to Centre Parcs. So we shall be there for his actual birthday. I just can’t wait for a little break in my most favourite forest.

This year has just simply flown by. Time seems to move so fast when you’re Mammy-ing. Everyday goes so super fast & everyday just feels like a dream. I don’t think this elation of finally being a Mammy will ever leave me. I love spending my days with Seth. He’s developed & learnt so much, but so have I. This whole journey into MammyHood has been such an eye opener. I think I’ve actually become more fun & carefree. Things that used to bother me, really don’t anymore. Everyday is like a little party when you’re with Seth. His sparkling personality is just so infectious. He just smiles & giggles all of the time. He’s my perfect little dreamboat. Although… he does keep you on your toes… he crawls at the speed of light. No time for putting your feet up I can tell you.

Seth is now walking!!! He started last week at only 48 weeks. He’s my little star! He’s also saying: Mama, Dada, Hiya, All Gone, Dog, Good Girl & Coco! I think Coco is his best friend… he literally adores her & Coco seems to have taken it upon herself to be his body guard. It’s just so super cute watching them together. I can’t wait for more family days out in the better weather… altogether picnicking & making memories. The best part about him walking now is that he’s slower than his crawling lol… so I shall enjoy this small dose of respite before he learns to run!


So… what have I been up too… well…

Driving is becoming so much fun! I’ve had 13 lessons so far & love it. I feel like I’m actually making so much good progress now. At the beginning I was just like… whaaaaaaaat!? But now I can drive pretty much ‘stall’ free lol. However… if you’re ever behind me on York Road in Saturday traffic at the traffic lights… I do apologise if I hold you up. This will be my year to pass my test. I’m so determined. Getting a bus places with Seth is totally manageable… but if I’m to have another bambino… I just couldn’t face it… 2 under 3 on a bus… no thank you. I NEED to drive! Then there’ll be 2 cars on the drive & a fight over who keeps the current car & who will get a newer car. It won’t be a new new car though… just ‘newer’ lol.

I’ve got some fab reviews coming up! So keep your peepers peeled for that!

Me & Seth have been lunching lots & generally just being social butterflies as per really. We’ve also just gotten a place in a new Music Bugs class for older bambinos. So tomorrow shall be our last day at ‘Baby Bugs’ & next Monday we will start our new ‘Bigger Bambino’s’ class. I don’t actually know who enjoys it more… me or Seth lol. Well, I’m saying we’ve been social butterflies… last week Seth came down with laryngitis & tracitis… It’s been so awful! I hate it when he’s not well as it makes me feel so helpless. We totally experienced our very first sleepless night too. For 3 nights on the trot he was just inconsolable bless him. He just wanted cuddles all night. So, after 3 nights of cuddles in our bed – we decided we needed to upgrade to a Kingsize bed lol. Sunday morning… we went out & bought a one. I so cannot wait for it to arrive. But, you shall all be pleased to know that Seth is back to his usual 11 to 12 hour sleepies through the night. Pheeeeew! See… Mammy-life is so much fun lol. Thank God for make up & coffee! I tell you… life’s never been so glam lol.


I’m still plodding on with my long term weightloss journey. I love cooking & coming up with colourful, healthy creations. But, sometimes ‘life’ gets in the way with it’s ups & downs & suddenly you find yourself snaffling a Greggs pasty & a greasy fat pizza. Yes… that totally happened when Seth was poorly. Also, there shall be cake, pie & goodies at his party… ooooops! This is why I always refer to my ‘diet’ as longterm. It’s a lifestyle. I eat healthy & I eat bad. But 80% of the time it’s good choices. Life is all about balance & I need to teach Seth good habits. Everything in moderation. I’m currently a size 14 & around 13st 4lbs… pretty good going I’d say. But… I shall be 12 stone once again… at some point. I shall strive for it, slowly & sensibly. I’m no longer that 19 & a half stone girl… that’s what I have to tell myself. I’ve come a long way. I’m also working toward a blog post all about healthy eating & feeding your family on a budget. I’m currently experimenting with lower priced products to see how it all matches up & compares to higher priced goods. Once I’m done with my research… I shall be sharing my post & findings on saving money but eating well.


I’m so looking forward to tomorrow… My Mammy is coming to visit – yey! Not so yey though that I have a hospital visit on Thursday. But Friday shall be Mammy/Daughter/Seth day. I’m sure it will involve going out for lunch. My Daddy will be coming down at the weekend too. So it’ll be a lovely family weekend. Then… next week shall be the countdown to the BIG 1st BIRTHDAY! Seth will have both sets of Grandparents & all his God parents here… I’m sure he’ll be one spoilt little boy.

Well… I think thats everything!

Oh my God… I’m so not finished! I almost forgot the most important bit! I bought a sparkly new kettle! I mean… it’s actually sparkly AND… it has a massive diamantè on the lid! Now come on… nothing says class like a big diamantè knob mind lol. £24.95 from B&M… utter bargain! Makes a good brew too! (the pics totally don’t do the glitter surface justice at all… I promise you it’s nice!)


Oh &… before I forget… if anyone would like to buy a Cofi Coo Quillow, I have been sent a unique discount code to share with you all. Head to their website & enter code: IxxyPoco for free delivery & 10% off!!! I’ve ordered a one for my niece as a little non-chocolate Easter gift.


Well… I shall leave it there. Thanks so much for reading!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

www.HayleyThorne.co.uk