The reality of Mat leave

That is how I would describe the baby days.
They go on and on.
Yes, they are filled with gorgeous baby cuddles, that sweet baby smell and little baby coos but they are also filled with the same routine day in day out.

I spend my days sat on the sofa watching ALL the TV. And do you know what? That’s ok.
I think there’s an idea that the early baby days will be full of naps, coffee shops, garden walks and baby classes but to me, that’s so far from reality.

I don’t have the time to be wandering around gardens with my take away coffee in hand.
The reality is that I need to be at home to feed my baby, let him have a roll on the play mat and then get a good nap in.
Venturing away from this routine doesn’t work for us. Actually, it might work for Thomas but for my mental state I need to be at home doing these things and squeezing the odd house job in.

I’m not saying it’s enjoyable. It’s quite boring most of the time and the days just pass by without much going on.
I’ll nip out to Aldi or Sainsburys and my only bit of adult interaction is if a mum talks to me on the school run.
When I had Betty I found it hard to come to terms with this routine at first and felt quite low.
This time around I’m more ok with it all. I recognise when I’m starting to feel a bit miffed with it all and so I’ll spend a day sorting all the bits out to help me have an escape day that week.
I don’t mean an escape from the children, I mean an escape from the reality of the baby days. I’ll get that take away coffee and I’ll go for a walk around some beautiful gardens and wear my nice clothes. It’s the perfect way to break up the day to day routine and it feels like I’m pressing the re-set button.

I’ve probably rambled on and made no sense at all but I just wanted to say that if you’re sat at home with your baby watching This Morning, drinking average coffee and wishing you were enjoying the baby days like whats-her-name on Instagram then you’re not alone and I bet she’s on her escape day!
You’re not the only one sitting around, tending to your baby for the whole day and still forgetting to sterilise bottles.

Hopefully someone feels a little better for reading this and a little less lonely. Especially those first time mums. Some of them absolutely smash it but some struggle more than they thought they would and beat themselves up about it… reach out to them and tell them it’s ok to spend the day at home and eat dairylea dunkers for lunch (I still do that second time round and they are just as rank!)

Let me know if you plan an escape day, I’d love to hear what you’d choose to do!

Sarah x

What instagram makes you believe the baby days should look like

And the reality. Coffee cups, nappies, bright colours etc

Infantino Flip Advanced 4-in- 1 carrier

So you find out you’re pregnant, amazing! Then you find out all the stuff you have to buy for the baby, not so amazing. You’ll probably put a list together of all the bits you’d like to get and then you talk to your neighbour and they’ll suggest something else to add, then your Gran will do the same, oh and then there’s that lady in the coffee shop that mentioned the ‘you won’t pass motherhood without this’ item and the list is pages long and it’s all a bit overwhelming.

I found it was helpful to do a bit of private research into the items people suggested and make up my own mind if I needed those bits or not. Everyone is different, one baby may love the £100 playmat but the baby next to it may not.

Hopefully I can provide a little insight for you when it comes to baby carriers, an item that I absolutely adore and rave about but one that my best friend just can’t really get on board with (see point above).

I absolutely loved carrying Betty when she was a baby but didn’t do it anywhere near enough so I knew this time round I would try my hardest to wear the baby as much as possible.

Thomas says it’s good to chew too!

Since having Betty the sling style carriers have become quite fashionable and everybody seems to love them but I’m not so keen, they just don’t appeal to me. I like the traditional baby carrier style with thick shoulder straps, clips to keep everything in place and a baby sized seat if you like for the baby.

With Betty I’d used a well known brand of carrier and got on quite well with it but when Infantino offered to send one of their models my way I of course said yes. A new style of carrier to try, how exciting!

The ‘Flip Advanced 4-in-1 convertible‘ carrier arrived and I was in heaven. It’s a gorgeous dark grey with a green bib at the front and the first thing that crossed my mind was how light it was, especially compared to my old one.

• suitable from birth (8-32lbs) (3.5-14.5 kgs)

• the baby can be worn 4 ways including on your back

• adjustable head support

• extra padded straps for long term comfort (I can confirm they really are comfy!)

• natural, ergonomic seat for optimal hip positioning

• adjustable seat, leg openings, straps and waist belt for a customised fit

• supportive belt allows the baby’s weight to be transferred to wearer’s hips for a more comfortable fit

I’ve been using it with Thomas since he was roughly 8 weeks old and he really seems to enjoy it. It is so comfortable to wear and he feels comfortable in it, sounds a bit odd, but he fits perfectly into the seat and it seems to mould around his body.

I’m looking forward to having him facing out to see the world and I really can’t wait to try wearing him on my back, something I never tried with Betty.

It’s a brilliant carrier to go for if you’re looking for something neutral, comfortable, lightweight and easy to throw in the car or chuck on quickly in the rain. If you’d like to read what Infantino have to say about it or to see more of their product range you can do so here .

Sarah x

Mamia range at Aldi

For the past year or so Aldi has been my go to supermarket for the weekly shop. It has a huge selection of products and saves us so much money each week.

I had heard for years that their ‘Mamia’ range was really good and was rivalling top brands in the market but when Aldi turned up in our village Betty was too young to try out their products. She liked the rice cakes but that’s about all I could test out on her!

When I found out I was expecting Thomas I was excited to be able to shop the baby range. Aldi contacted me last month to ask if I would like to shop and try out their Mamia products and of course I jumped at the chance.

I headed into store and filled my trolley with all sorts of goodies for Thomas and actually found a few snacky bits for Betty.

Nappy time

I’d heard wonderful things about their nappy range so was looking forward to giving them a go.

Here’s what I went for…

  • Size 3 ultra dry nappies. Pack of 56 for £2.89. We’ve been using these for weeks now and they are brilliant. Really absorbent and really thin too. They are now part of my weekly shop and I recommend them to everyone. They are also great if you need to dry a slide at the park after it’s rained!
  • Size 4 easy pants. Pack of 22 for £2.04. I wanted to try these as Thomas is between sizes but I didn’t look closely enough and only realised they were pull up style at 2am -not ideal with a wriggly newborn even if said newborn found it amusing! I found they didn’t hold as much but they didn’t leak at all even though they were a bit big. I was impressed with that but probably won’t be buying them again until he’s a bit bigger.
  • Fragranced nappy sacks. 150 sacks for 85p. I’d not seen these in Aldi before so was really pleased when I came across them. They don’t break,hold more than one nappy and smell so good!
  • Sensitive baby wipes. Multi pack of 4 for £1.95. We’ve used these for ages, I even bought them before I had Thomas. Really moist, good thickness and really easy to grab out of the packet
  • Extra sensitive wipes. Pack of 60 for 65p. These are Aldi’s water wipes which we’ve only just started using as they are new to the Mamia range and to be honest I can’t see much difference between these and the usual sensitive wipes. They also don’t separate all too well when taking them out of the packet so it’s a two hand job or a big vigorous shake to get just one wipe
  • Bed time bath bubbles, 500ml for 65p. I love this stuff. It makes the children smell delicious and is always part of our bedtime routine. It’s been brilliant for Betty who has slightly sensitive skin and perfect for newborn baby skin too.

Snack time

Recently Betty has taken a shine to some of the food available within the Mamia range so with Thomas being too little for food I stocked up on bits for Betty. She’s an absolute snack monster so little packets of food are ideal for her, especially on the afternoon school run! 

Here’s what I went for…

  • Organic apple biscotti biscuits a packet of 8 for 34p. These biscuits are obviously meant for babies so are pretty bland and didn’t catch Betty’s attention but my mum pointed out they’d be a good substitute for a rich tea biscuits to dunk in your tea! 
  • Organic mini rice cakes, either raspberry or apple flavour, 52p and just as good as the other brand available elsewhere. Betty loves them so much and they are always part of the weekly shop.
  • Organic oaty bars, pack of 6 for £1.29. These bars are new to the Maria range and I definitely let out a little squeal when I saw these as I have to go to another supermarket to get the oat bars that look very similar. They taste exactly the same and come in two flavours. They are slightly smaller than the other brand but that’s not putting Betty off so they’ll be added to the weekly shop for sure.
  • Organic tomato wheels, 43p. Corn baked snack. Stain so bad but taste pretty good, another new favourite for Betty which she’s only allowed to eat when wearing dark colours! 

I had lots of fun trying out lots of the Mamia range and I can’t wait until Thomas can try out their food in a few months. Considering the store is quite small they had a large range of products and really cater for all ages from newborn to 4 years. If you find yourself near an Aldi it would be well worth your time to nip in and grab a few bits. I can see why they’ve won 46 awards already this year and with a weeks worth of nappy changes costing under £5 what’s not to love!!

A little girls dream…

Once upon a time a little girl asked her mummy for a baby. She spent the best part of a year asking when her mummy was going to grow a baby in her tummy, she would spend lots of time lifting up her top to see if there was a baby in there hiding but sadly there never was.

The little girls mummy desperately wanted her daughter’s dream to come true but it wasn’t as easy as she thought it might be.

However one day the little girls mummy felt a ‘pop’ in her tummy and she just knew the magical journey of making her daughter’s dream come true was about to happen.

The little baby grew lots and the little girl was very excited to find out she would be a big sister. She loved to watch her mummy’s tummy grow bigger and bigger, sometimes she thought the tummy would pop but it never did. It just wriggled a lot and the little girl thought that was wonderful. The baby especially liked stories at bedtime.

There were lots of sleeps until the baby arrived but the little girl liked to count them down nonetheless. She counted through winter and she counted through spring until she got to summer. She knew the baby would be arriving in summer and everyday she would ask her mummy if the baby was coming. One day her mummy said yes and she drove to the hospital with Daddy whilst the little girl stayed with Nana and Grandad.

The baby would take a while to come out so the little girl went to pre school and almost straight after she arrived at the hospital to see the baby.

At approximately 4pm on 27th June the little girl realised that her dream had come true. She hopped on the hospital bed and held the baby she had wanted her mummy to grow for so long.

From that day the little girl, Betty, and the little boy, Thomas, have been the best of friends and we hope they always will be!

Birth round two!

Seeing as I jotted Betty’s birth story down I thought it was only fair to write down the experience of giving birth to her baby brother!

If you have been following me since I fell pregnant (and my blogs for Kicks Count) you may know that I had the choice of having a VBAC or another c-section and after much deliberation and a few scans it was decided I would try for a VBAC should he come early but if not to go for s c-section at 39 weeks (my request- they would have let me go to 40 but I just didn’t want to!)

So 39 weeks came along and there was no sign of him. So there I was heading for a c-section and this is how it went…

5.30 am – I woke up and hopped in the shower, got dressed and did my hair and make up. I know that probably sounds ridiculous but thats what makes me feel ‘me’ and also, I looked a right state after having Betty and I didn’t really want that again!

6 am – I sat on the bed and had a cry. It was all becoming very real and I was so incredibly nervous as I knew what was coming. I also had to take the rest of my pre operation medication and a hydration drink called Pre Load that doesn’t taste of much but should be advised to drink with ice cold water I think!

7 am – my husband’s parents arrived, I faffed around with Betty (probably far too much, I was SO nervous by this point)

7.20 am – it was time to leave and say goodbye to Betty. That was harder than I thought it would be, she cried and I had to stay strong when all I wanted to do was sob my eyes out and wrap her in my arms.

8 am – we arrived at the hospital, checked in with reception, got given and room and then we had to wait.

9 am – still waiting… Jon got taken to change into his scrubs for theatre which gave us a little hope that it might be soon..

11 am – still waiting. I placed my order for lunch and dinner which I was really looking forward to as I hadn’t eaten since the evening before… hangry!! Lots of medical people had been in to talk to me, fill in paperwork etc.

12pm – still waiting. Now a little worried that I won’t get lunch…

Last ever bump shot!

12.20 pm – time to go down to theatre!! I was given a gown to change into and then the walk to theatre began and my adrenaline ramped up a gear! Also still wondering about lunch, hope they leave it for me…

12.30 pm – I was in theatre. The room felt absolutely massive compared to the room I had Betty in. There’s was so much space around the operating table which was in the middle of the room pretty much, it felt pretty surreal and not like the operating rooms you see on the TV!

The anaesthetist finally begins and that’s when the tears really start to flow. For some reason Jon wasn’t allowed with me for this part (unlike Betty’s birth where he was practically nose to nose with me and holding me in place). All I wanted was Jon, I knew he was there but I couldn’t even see him. The first dose of anaesthetic didn’t work and in fact the lady had to administer 15ml instead of the usual 5ml before I couldn’t feel the spinal going in. I didn’t have a panic attack quite like I did during that bit with Betty’s birth but my word did I cry. I tried so hard to keep it in, my head was down the whole time and I was deep breathing but those tears came thick and fast! So thick and fast that they eventually let Jon sit close enough to me so that he could stroke my toes ( holding his hand was what I needed but a toe stroke and the sight of his face was just about enough)

After that I was laid down, they test to see what I can feel with the cold spray and then it’s time to start!

12.55pm – I’m guessing this time but I assume that’s about the time they start the operation.

Jon is banished back to his chair which really bugged me, we could just about touch finger tips. I was so disappointed by that, I wanted him right there with me, not the crazy but lovely anaesthetist who kept stroking my hair and forehead (stop lady, you’re gonna give me spots and greasy hair!)

There was a lot of tugging around this time. It felt so so intense compared to when I had Betty and I remember constantly going ‘errr, eeewwww, ohhh’ at every tug and movement. It didn’t hurt but it wasn’t exactly pleasant, it’s such a hard feeling to describe.

1.07pm – Thomas James Hutton makes his entrance into the world. They drop the curtain so I can see him being born which was magical and incredibly gross at the same time. Jon was practically forced to take a photo of this which we find so funny now as neither of us wanted it caught on camera (just as well as it’s super blurry from Jon’s panic at being told to take a photo!)

He was silent as he came out and got taken to get cleaned up. I waited to hear his cry and then those tears come flying back! Oh that beautiful cry. He was brought straight to me for skin to skin and he instantly settled. Should have known from then that he’d be a mummy’s boy.

He was born to ‘The Boys of Summer’ by Don Henley… not our choice, just what was playing on the radio at the time. He was seconds away from being born to a current ‘pop’ song that no one would remember in years to come so I’m quite glad it was that song.

So that is the story for Thomas’s birth. Planned but still exciting, nerve wracking and beyond magical.

We are so, so in love with Thomas and for me it was the perfect birth and the perfect way to end my pregnancy.

Sarah x

P.S they put my lunch on the side in my room…phew!!

Maternity photoshoot 35 weeks pregnant

Oh me oh my how am I 35 weeks pregnant already?! This pregnancy has gone so, so fast and I’m actually about to turn 37 weeks pregnant as I type this!

It’s been the most wonderful pregnancy, I have been so lucky, thank you baby boy! I would have done more regular bump updates but I didn’t feel I had anything to update everyone on. Since getting over the morning sickness I’ve been fine and dandy with no symptoms, just a growing bump. Don’t worry, you can hate me, I would 😜

I started my maternity leave at the end of last week just in time for May half term and our babymoon to Cornwall. It was a wonderful break away full of lots of quality family time, rest and beach trips. One of the days was extra special as my friend Hannah from popped down to see us and very kindly took some maternity photos for me. She is such a talented photographer and caught the end of my pregnancy perfectly. I never had maternity photos with Betty so I really will treasure these photos and they are even more special seeing as my lovely friend took them.

Below are a small selection of some of my favourites. I have no doubt that I’ll be adding more to my instagram feed over the coming weeks and months so do pop over there so you don’t miss any 😉

Sarah x

16 week pregnancy update

16 weeks. 16 weeks already?? That sure came around fast. I clearly remember telling Betty’s Pre school teacher that I was only 8 weeks and feeling really down about it as it was going so slowly and now I’m 16 weeks and I’m wondering where those past 8 weeks have gone!

Not a huge amount has happened to be honest apart from the bump popping out, the sickness ending (hurrah!) and starting to feel teeny tiny flutters.

I am so excited to see my bump grow, it’s one of the best bits of being pregnant for me, it makes me feel so confident and although my face and arse balloon to a ridiculous size I bloody love it. I wear tighter clothes to show off my bump and well, people just have to put up with the large behind being squeezed into a Breton stripe dress! In fact I got so excited by my body changing this time that I pretty much changed into maternity clothes as soon as I saw the positive test, pretty crazy really as everything just hung off me, thankfully I’m starting to fit into the bits I bought in the sales!

Teeny tiny flutters started from around 14 weeks with the odd big old boot by my belly button a couple of times (gotta be a boy!). They really are faint at the moment and they have no pattern yet, I’m looking forward to them getting stronger so I can keep a close check on this baby. I cannot wait for the day that Betty can feel it kick too, she’s constantly kissing and tickling my tummy and asking if the baby is laughing at her, it’ll be so lovely when she can feel and see it moving around.

I don’t think there’s much else to report at the moment. I’m counting down the days until our 20 weeks scan, I am desperate to see the baby again and hopefully find out what we’re having.

I’ll pop back soon with some other pregnancy bits and an exciting collaboration announcement too so keep a look out for that.

Sarah x

Pregnancy update- 12 weeks

Well here we go again, it’s time to grow another baby!

For a long while I didn’t think I’d be writing those words, I was always happy enough with one and because motherhood didn’t come to me as naturally as I thought it would, the idea of two scared me quite a lot. But then Betty grew that bit older and the memories of the sleepless nights and threenager stage faded, although I don’t think I’ll ever fully forget the threenager stage. That was bloody hard.

Still, we decided to try for a second and that made the wait even longer. We were so lucky with Betty and fell pregnant immediately but it took six months to create this little bean which I know really isn’t a long time but when you’re going through it it’s agony!

Pretty much from the moment I took the test I felt ill. Big time ill. With Betty I suffered with constant nausea but could ease it with crisps and bacon sarnies but this time round there was nothing to stop me feeling awful. I had a painful throbbing headache for three whole months and at least once a week it would turn into a migraine and I’d be bed bound for the day, team that with sickness but only heaving (TMI) and wanting food but having no idea what it was that I wanted (low points were crying over a chicken curry and then crying over three fish fingers on New Year’s Eve with my father in law just looking at me like I was mental!) and you can get how rough it was. I managed to get through it though with the amazing help of my husband who really was the best.

12 weeks came along and we went for our scan between Christmas and New Year which was a lovely time to have a scan. All was ok and there was actually a baby in there (despite the sickness I hadn’t believed there was a baby!).

We could then share our news with family and friends and most importantly Betty who is so so excited that I’m finally growing a baby for her, she constantly asked me for the whole of last year if I could grow her a baby and I was so happy to tell her that yes, I could!

So there we have it, my first pregnancy update for baby number two.

I haven’t blogged in a long, long time but I so wanted to document this journey as I didn’t do anything like this for Betty. I doubt I’ll take as many photos or document this baby’s life as much as I have Betty’s purely because of time so if I can do this as special thing for them to look back on then that’s enough for me and hopefully them too.

Thanks so much for reading and pop back soon for my 16 week update if you fancy a nosey.

Sarah x

And Then She Turned Three

Betty my darling girl, you are now three years old.Instead of feeling a bit sad like your first two birthdays I was so happy and excited for you to turn 3.

You understood what your birthday was and you couldn’t wait for it to arrive. For the two weeks running up to your birthday you would run to my bedside each morning shouting that it was your birthday or asking in a sweet angelic way in the hope that a calm precious approach would all of a sudden make it your special day. Each morning was a huge disappointment to you which I must admit got a bit tiring by day four.

The day finally came though and as a treat, and in the hope that it’d make you sleep in longer, I let you sleep in my bed the night before. As you woke (super early!) you snuggled into me and said “mama is it my birthday?” I was finally able to say yes and it was probably the happiest I’ve seen you in three years. Your very first response was “can I have breakfast in bed Mama?” Which judging by your face seemed like a very special treat indeed. I granted you your wish and then you exclaimed ” I’m older!” 

You are older sweet girl and my don’t we know it. I was sad for your last two birthdays because I didn’t want you to get bigger, it all seemed to be happening so fast. As much as I wish you’d stay small for a tad longer I am just loving you at 3 years old.

We hold proper conversations, you are so articulate. Your imagination is off the scale and I adore to watch and listen to you play games you have made up.

Babies are a new favourite and you are so very caring towards your baby Annabell. Watching you with her shows me how incredible you would be if you were to ever be a big sister. You have formed some beautiful friendships and now play wonderfully with children your own age.

Some things don’t change as you are still as feisty, strong willed, determined and as  sassy as ever. I don’t want that to change, those qualities will take you places if you use them correctly. 

I’m so excited for the next year with you and to watch you grow even more.


Mama x

A Cornish Village

Oh Crantock. Where do I begin? A chocolate box village full of beautiful flowers, sweet cottages, gift shops, tea rooms and a glorious beach.

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We stumbled across Crantock last year and we both fell in love with the place. So much so that we booked to stay there whilst still on holiday for a few months later and constantly consider moving there, I’m just not brave enough!
The heart of the village is small and wraps around in a circle and is a perfect holiday location. It has a small local shop, two tea rooms, a couple of gift shops, two pubs and a beautiful church.

It has a very slow,calm feel about it. It’s easy to wander around the village using the main road as a path, watch out for the buses that suddenly appear and interrupt your day dream of country living though! You’ll regularly see horses walking through the village which I just loved watching as did Betty, don’t worry, they are being ridden and haven’t escaped!

The beach is at the very bottom of the village and is so beautiful. It’s covered in deep soft golden sand and is surrounded by cliff top houses and sand dunes. Stay tuned for another post about the beach!

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I hope these photos do the village justice, I didn’t wander up too many of the lanes so I’m sure there must be more to explore, I’ll just have to go back and find out!