Days Out · Reviews · Uncategorized

The New Forest Fairy Festival

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Last Saturday we paid a visit to The New Forest Fairy Festival in Burley. We’d taken Darcie last year when she was four months old when she was too young to really appreciate what was going on but the excitement of having a baby girl to take to a fairy festival was too strong for me to resist! This year however she was able to enjoy the day a lot more. As she is now walking, she just loves having space to roam and explore and all the bright colours and music at the festival were an added bonus too. Continue reading “The New Forest Fairy Festival”

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These Shoes Were Made For Walking 

A month ago we went out to get Darcie her first pair of shoes, she’d just began walking and I’d seen the most perfect pair of pink bunny shoes on the Clarks website and was thrilled when they had them in our local branch. 

At first she hated them. She’s always been a barefoot baby. Partly because I couldn’t see the point in shoes and socks until she was walking and she didn’t want to wear them anyway so it made life easier to not even try.

Gradually I convinced her that shoes were fun. Putting on shoes meant we were going on an adventure. These days she will even try to put them on herself and I know that means she wants to go outside. She loves being outdoors and would happily live in a tent at the bottom of the garden of I’d let her. 

There’s something very special about that first pair of shoes. I can be sentimental about the most ridiculous things so there was no doubt that I’ll be keeping these shoes to get out and show her when she is older. I had visions of us getting out these beautiful shoes and showing her how dainty and sweet they were.

What I didn’t count on was the dirt. The mud, the sand, the water. These shoes are not going to be a perfect pretty pair of baby shoes to hold onto. But I will hold onto them. Because they will remind me of the adventures she had in them. Her very first adventures.

Her first visit to the farm when she confidently walked around outside for the first time, where she brushed the goat and shouted ‘duck’ at everything she saw.

Her first proper trip to the beach. When Daddy tried to share his chips with her and she ended up with seagulls advancing on her from all angles. She loved playing in the sand but the sea was too cold so we had to make a hasty retreat to rescue those chilly toes.

Our first trips out without the pram, to go on ‘adventure walks’. Taking a Tupperware pot for her to pick up stones and leaves to carry and take home. Except she couldn’t hold the pot the right way up so ended up clutching a leaf in one hand and the pot in the other.

The countless hours we spend in the garden. When she will happily carry rocks around for ages, transferring them between her sandpit, swing and sand and water table. And every time she hands me a rock it’s as if she’s passing me the most precious thing in the world to her. Somehow the shoes (and her feet) have so far escaped having a rock dropped on them. 

Every water mark and scuff holds a memory, each discolouration on the leather tells a story. About these days that she won’t remember but that are the best times of her life so far.

The shoes tell a story of an explorer who has endless energy and enthusiasm, who stops to look at every flower and to admire every stone, who loves being outdoors and messy in nature.

They might not be pristine, but neither is my daughter. She’s a nature loving, scruffy haired wild child and I’m glad that the shoes tell this story instead.

Favourites · Reviews · Uncategorized

Mum & Toddler Monthly Faves// July

I love reading other blogger’s round up posts of their monthly favourites so this is my first go at creating one of my own.
Darcie is at an age now where she has a new favourite thing almost daily but I have tried to just round up the best of the bunch otherwise we would be here all day, and I’m sure we’ve all got more productive things we could be getting on with! You might notice that I’ve called her a toddler properly for the first time on this blog so I think we all need to take a minute and have a little cry about that.

I’ll start with Darcie’s favourites:

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Peter Rabbit
I try not to have the telly on too much while Darcie is awake but when she does watch it she absolutely loves Peter Rabbit at the moment. If she’s having a grumpy five minutes or is feeling poorly, you can guarantee that Peter Rabbit will cheer her up. I like it too because as children’s TV goes it’s quite sweet, and it reminds me of reading the books when I was younger.

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The Paddling Pool
The sun seems to have gone off on his own holidays over the past few weeks but at the beginning of the month we had the paddling pool out almost daily. She will spend ages in there, splashing around and playing with her bath toys. I usually get five minutes to relax in the sun too so everyone’s a winner!

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Walking!
This has been the big one this month. She is officially on the move and now spends more time walking than crawling. She loves going out for walks and generally strutting around the house. She’s even grown to tolerate her shoes as she knows that when the shoes go on it means she’s off on an adventure.

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Cuddly Toys
She’s showing a really caring aspect of her personality recently. She can often be found trying to feed her cuddly toys pieces of her snacks or trying to get them to drink from her sippy cups. The best part of any day out for her is going into the gift shop and giving all of the cuddly toys a hug. She gets so excited every time we hand a different one to her and just loves having a cuddle. Thankfully she doesn’t mind that she doesn’t get to bring them all home!

IMG_0821.JPGGoing to the park

She’s loved parks for a while now but up until recently has been limited to the baby swings. Now she can walk she loves exploring the whole park, going through tunnels and trying to climb up on the climbing frames. For anyone local to Southampton I would highly recommend the park behind Primark in town, it keeps Darcie amused for hours!

 

Some of the things I’ve been loving this month are:

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My beautiful new changing bag
Technically not a changing bag, just a regular rucksack. I’ve never felt the need for an expensive all singing and dancing changing bag and to be honest it’s always been a mystery to me what Mum’s have in their bags which are bursting at the seams. This rucksack (Primark £10! Go, go go!!) does the job perfectly for me. It has enough pockets to keep dummies, snacks etc separately and the main compartment is big enough for everything we need for the day.

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Getting creative
Somehow I have found the energy to get back into making things this month. I feels so much happier in general when I have a creative outlet so I’m making sure to find time to spend doing these things. I’ve been working away on an exciting new venture and I’m enjoying every step of the journey so far. Watch this space!

IMG_9542.JPGWater Wipes
We were kindly sent some water wipes to try out this month and I have to say I am impressed with them. I try not to use products for Darcie that have too many chemicals in them so these wipes are ideal. They are 99.9% water and the remainder is a drop of fruit extract so you can be sure that no chemicals are coming into contact with your babies delicate skin. I particularly like using them for her face after meal times as she has a tendency to try to chew baby wipes so I know she isn’t ingesting anything more than water.

IMG_1078.jpgMummy Time!
Recently I’ve been making a real conscious effort to take time for myself and for my friends. I’ve caught up with a lot of old friends this month and been out for lots of lunches, often with Darcie in tow but it makes a nice change from our usual trips to soft play and the park. I’ve left her with Dan a couple of times too, to really ‘have a break’ and take some time to just be Hanna.

 

I really enjoyed taking this time to reflect on the last month and intend on making this a regular monthly post. Maybe next month I’ll actually get around to posting it before the 7th of the next month, you never know!

What have been your favourites for the month of July?

 

 

 

Breastfeeding · Uncategorized

Yes, I’m Still Breastfeeding

IMG_0025Looking back through this blog I realise that I talk about breastfeeding a lot. I’m not actually as obsessed by breastfeeding as it would seem, but there is no denying that it has been a big part of my life for the last fourteen months so it is only natural that I have a lot of thoughts on the subject. I think it’s easy to assume that because I am still breastfeeding now, that it has been plain sailing. This is not the case, I never thought I would still be breastfeeding at six weeks let alone at nearly fifteen months, but here we are. So how did I accidentally become an ‘extended breastfeeder’? Continue reading “Yes, I’m Still Breastfeeding”

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The Rise of the Mummy Blogger

Unless you’ve been living underneath a rock, or you don’t have children and you don’t read blogs, in which case you probably didn’t mean to stumble onto my page, you’ll probably have come across the phenomenon that is ‘The Mummy Blogger’. It’s become a total 21st century cliche for women to have a baby and start a blog. I should know, that’s exactly what I did. I read somewhere that there are around eleven thousand parenting blogs in the UK at the moment and there are more appearing daily. But where have we all come from? Why are we suddenly springing up, sharing our lives with the internet and expecting anyone to care what we have to say? Continue reading “The Rise of the Mummy Blogger”

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Let Them Be Wild

One of my favourite quotes that is quite often written in beautiful calligraphy and hung up on nursery walls is ‘Let them be little, let them be wild’. I don’t want this to be something that I just frame for Darcie and put on the wall, I really want to make this a motto for how we raise our own little wild child. I want to raise Darcie to be free, to run wild, to finish the day with knots in her hair, dirt on her feet and a crazy sparkle in her eyes. I want to encourage her curiosity and I want every day to be an adventure. When I look back at my childhood I think of spending time outdoors, of exploring and of being creative. This is what I want for Darcie, I don’t want her to be glued to the television, finding all of her joy in CBeebies, I want her to be outside whatever the weather. I want us to go strawberry picking in the Summer and splashing in the puddles in the Winter. I want us to go on treasure hunts through the forest and shell collecting on the beach. I want her to feel free, to not be afraid of the world around her but to feel a part of it. Continue reading “Let Them Be Wild”

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Tongue Ties // Our Experience 

I don’t think I’d ever heard of a tongue tie until we were told that Darcie had one. It’s not something I’d thought to research which is why I thought I would share our experience to help any other parents out there who are expecting a baby soon or who have been told their baby has one and are making the decision about whether or not to have it cut. Continue reading “Tongue Ties // Our Experience “

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Why I Love Being A Stay At Home Mum

IMG_7897I’ll be the first to admit that some days I don’t want to be a stay at home Mum, it’s definitely not the easy ride that a lot of people perceive it to be and nothing grinds my gears more than when stay at home mums are talked about in a derogatory way. There are days when I would love to swan off to work in the morning, wear smart clothes, drink hot coffee and talk to adults and then come home to my beautiful daughter who has been worn out all day by somebody else. Ninety percent of the time though, I absolutely love being a stay at home Mum and these are some of the reasons why. Continue reading “Why I Love Being A Stay At Home Mum”

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Intrepid Little Explorer 

IMG_4079One of Darcie’s latest tricks is climbing up the stairs. The first time she did it, I blinked and suddenly she was on the first step. It hadn’t occurred to me that she would be interested in the stairs yet so I was totally mentally unprepared for this development and also completely in awe of her and her newfound skill. Watching her do it is amazing and terrifying at the same time. She has totally mastered how to go up but has no idea how to come down. She likes to speed crawl up to the fifth step and then lean back without a care in the world. She knows that we are there to catch her. She has no reason to think she will fall or even any reason to be scared of what would happen if she did.

I love her determined expression as she climbs up, her whole body is only the height of two of the steps and yet she can conquer them in a matter if seconds. It is so beautiful how blissfully unaware she is of any danger, and as a result there is nothing to stop my intrepid little explorer from reaching dizzying heights. Nothing is holding her back, not even me as I hover behind her ready to catch her the moment she gets bored and decides to take up free falling instead.

I think it’s a pretty good metaphor for Motherhood really, and for the type of Mother that I want to be and hope I am already. Aside from totally illegal and immoral behaviour, I never want to be the reason she doesn’t do something or try something, I never want to put my own fears and insecurities onto her. I know she will grow to have them the same as everyone else but I want them to be her own, not mine or anybody else’s. And I want her to always know that when she lets go and needs back up that I will be there, ready to catch her. Of course the practical thing that I want her to do next is learn how to safely shuffle back down the stairs again but I’m sure it won’t be long…!