Buying our first home

It's traditional to get married, to buy your own home and then to start a family. We have done everything totally backwards. We had a baby, are about to buy our own home and marriage is last on the cards. It would of been nice to do things the traditional way but who does that these days? I don't know whether to feel sad about the lack of tradition or to be elated that we aren't trapped in the routine. 

I blogged all about my new years resolutions at the beginning of the month and on my list was to buy our own home. I mentioned that it was a bit of a long shot but hoped that we would at least have our deposit saved up before the end of the year. Little did I know that less than a month later we would be an inch away from that dream. Our money is saved up, we have our hearts set on a house. They have even accepted our offer.  

Earlier this month we viewed a few properties. Where we live there isn't really much to choose from. It's either have a decent house but in a rubbish location or a smaller house but in a nice location. Both for similar prices. It's been really hard as it is such an overwhelming decision. If you rent you can up and leave but when you buy you are stuck. 

We viewed a few houses and only one really struck a cord with us. It felt right. It's in a nice part of our town, near the local nature park. It's so quiet and it smells like countryside, it just feels so nice and the perfect place to bring up our Son. The house was previously owned by an old couple and it needs a lot of work doing. It's a work in progress and an investment. We decided we would rather go for a house like this in a nice location rather than a house that needs no work doing but in a rough part of town. 

The house has no central heating, it needs rewiring, a new kitchen, a new bathroom, new doors, perhaps new windows and most rooms need redecorating. Sounds like a nightmare doesn't it? The previous owners have accepted our offer at £10,000 less than they originally wanted and houses on the same street generally sell for £40,000 or £50,000 more than we have paid! So if we spend money on the house and spruce it up hopefully further down the line we will of made money on our property and can move into something better. That's looking a long way down the line though as we are buying a house for a home but if we can make money on it then even better. 

We are meeting with our bank tomorrow and hopefully everything will be set into motion. The house needs to be surveyed but everything should go ok. I won't feel fully confident that the house is ours, not until we have the keys in our hands.

Wish us luck, we are going to need it! 

Review: Pampers Baby-Dry

Ever since Noah was born I have been on the hunt for the perfect nappy. I am obsessed with trying out as many nappy brands as possible and I am gradually turning into a nappy snob. You name it we have tried it and Pampers are a firm favourite in this household. Pampers were kind enough to send me a pack of their new Pampers Baby-Dry nappies for Noah to review. We hadn't tried this type before so we were looking forward to testing them out.

Pampers Baby-Dry sizes run from baby through to toddler but would be ideal for the younger baby. When Noah is more active I probably would switch to Pampers Active Fit and use the Baby-Dry for night time dryness.
 I found the nappies to be softer and lighter than other brands but this did not effect the absorbency level in the slightest. They easily last throughout the night without any leakage and with no funny smell. They fit like a dream and we had no issues with nappy rash. The elasticated waistband is soft and very stretchy which looked very comfy for Noah to wear. Noah will get red marks on his belly where the waistline has rubbed when using other brands but we haven't had this problem with any type of Pampers so far. 
Pampers are a bit more pricey than other brands but it's well worth paying that little bit extra especially when using Baby-Dry through the night. There are baby events on at the moment too at ASDA and Tesco where you can save money on multipacks of Pampers and there are dozens of money off vouchers online.  
We were extremely happy with the nappies and since reviewing our pack have stocked up as I feel fully confident putting my baby's bottom in Pampers Baby-Dry.

- I was sent a pack of Pampers Baby-Dry for the purpose of this review. However all opinions are my own. 

Mummy's boy

Noah you are 11 weeks old today. The past 11 weeks have been a whirlwind and it's incredible to see how much you have changed in just a short space of time. 

You are such a Mummy's boy already and literally stare at me all the time. A habit I am sure you have picked up from me because I cannot take my eyes off you either. You are the love of my life and I'm so so proud of you.

Only have eyes for Mummy

I hope some Mummies out there can help me out with this one. Noah has been a well socialised baby ever since the day he was born. We have numerous visitors on a weekly basis and we are always taking him out to visit family. Each time he is passed around like pass the parcel and he has always been very happy about it. There was a time when he was a newborn that taking him out to visit family was the only way he would nap during the day. He enjoyed being held and the constant chatting in the background must of soothed him. 

Noah is now 10 weeks old and for the past week or two when we have been visiting friends and family he has had hysterical crying episodes. One minute he will be led there babbling and smiling away at everyone and the next minute he is screaming the house down. When he first did it we were at Nick's parents and it was so sudden and such a horrendous cry that we mistook it for pain and actually took him to A&E. The following week he had these episodes on and off and I assumed he was having some belly ache or trapped wind so I cracked open a bottle of gripe water, gave cooled boiled water and tummy massages in hope that that would solve the issue. 

When he was at home during the week with me he would be fine. He wouldn't have one of these so called "episodes." That's when it all fell into place. He was only crying hysterically when we were at someone elses house and was being held by someone other than me. As soon as he was back in my arms he would instantly stop crying. It's proper crying too, his face goes bright red, tears streaming. He cries so hard that he gets out of breath and no sound comes out. It's so distressing to witness and hard to explain to the person that was holding him that he does it with everyone at the moment and he just wants to be back with me. 

It seems to me that this is separation anxiety or something similar? But at 10 weeks old isn't it a bit too early for this? To say he is such a socialised baby I'm a little surprised he is feeling this way. 

Is this just a stage he is going to get through?
Have you had any similar experiences?  
Or do you have any tips for me?

Letters to Noah: Father and Son

Some say that Father's don't have that instant love for their child when they are born, that the love develops over time. I don't agree with that sentiment at all. The minute you were born your Daddy was overcome with emotional. I could see it in his eyes that he had never ever loved anyone to that extent before. Your Daddy looked down at you with bewilderment, astonishment and adoration. It was plain for everyone to see and he couldn't take his eyes off you. I know that he will be the best Dad you could of ever hoped for. Everyday the love between you both grows and grows and my heart literally aches when I see the two of you together. It aches because there is simply nothing as beautiful. I love you both so much.

I love being a Mummy

Words cannot describe how much I love my boy and how much I am loving being a Mummy. It is tough at times but there is nothing more rewarding than caring for your little one and watching them bloom before your very eyes. When he was born I didn't think it was humanly possible to love anyone as much as I did in that moment in time. I was totally and utterly wrong because I love him more and more each day so much so I sometimes feel like my heart is going to burst. 

The past ten weeks have flown by in exhausted bliss and I wish I could hit the pause button as time is going by so fast. Noah is already so much bigger and has changed so much in such a short amount of time, it is crazy. I am totally soaking in every single moment I have with him as these days are flying by so quickly.

I am insanely proud of my son, like every parent is. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me.  

Before and After Labour - What I didn't know.

It has now been ten weeks since I gave birth. When I look back on going into my induction and labour I was very naive. I thought I knew what I was getting myself in for but I didn't really do my research. Even researching you can never prepare yourself for what is about to come. Here are some of the things I learnt along the way.

I didn't realise that the induction process would take so long. People had warned me but I went in hospital on the Saturday morning thinking I would be bringing my baby home Sunday night. If only. My induction took three long and painful days. By the time I was finally in active labour I was already exhausted from my time in hospital. Thankfully my labour was quick, moderately easy and only took 6 hours.

I hyped labour up so much that personally it wasn't as bad as I imagined. I was high on gas and air and think I would of managed just on that if it wasn't for Noah back to back. I felt so much pressure in my back and it got worse and worse as he got lower. It felt like my back was breaking. Thankfully I opted for diamorphine and it instantly took my back pain away. I was then able to sit down for the first time in 6 hours and I actually gave birth led on my back, in stirrups! Never thought I would of birthed that way.

It takes a lot longer than you imagine. I was pushing for 45 minutes which isn't that long really but when you are there pushing with all your might it feels like a lifetime especially as they portray it as a quick and easy job in the movies. I didn't find it painful but it was extremely exhausting. I ended up bursting lots of blood vessels in my face, arms, chest and legs as I was pushing so hard. I looked like I was covered in freckles! I kept asking if I was doing it right and my midwives would laugh and say yes!

For me the recovery period was more painful than the labour itself. I didn't realise how sore I would be and that to me is plain dumb! You push a baby out of there of course you are going to be in agony! I was physically and mentally drained from the whole experience. My body felt like it has run around the world and back, every part of me ached. I only had minor stitches but I was so sore and struggled to sit down for about a week afterwards. I remember sitting in countless salt baths and cringing every time I imagined the stitches. I'm such a wimp, I never even took a look either. In hindsight I wished I'd prepared a bit more of labour and learning how to perform a simple perineal massage can help and prevent some tearing.

When I look back at my labour I am pleased by how it went. I would change a lot of things but I am glad I managed okay and that my baby was healthy. I just so wish that I didn't have to be induced and I had gone into labour naturally. I hope one day I get to experience it and be as natural as I possibly can. 

How was your labour experience? I'd love to hear about it.

Baby Diary: 2 Months Old

Today you have turned two months old! We have spent the day cuddling up to one another on the sofa and I have loved every second, just as I have enjoyed every second since you entered the world. You have really come into your own this month, it's been incredible watching you learn and develop. You now recognise Mummy and Daddy and love to babble and smile at us, nothing makes me happier.  

I said it on your one month update and I will say it again, you are such a little character! You are such a Mummies boy already, which I love! Your character reminds me a lot of my own. You know your own mind and can be really impatient, especially when it comes to feeding time! As much as you love to be held you have become more independent this month too and we can actually set you down in your swing or on the sofa without you screaming the house down. You can actually lay there and entertain yourself, it's great! You are becoming so vocal and a real cheeky chappy.

You now weigh 12lb 11oz are currently wearing 0-3 month clothes and the majority of them fit you perfectly now, some with a little more room to grow. The issue with most sleepsuits though is that you have rather long feet so we do tend to have to stretch the feet sometimes. You are becoming such a big boy. 

Other than the occasional trapped wind and runny nappies you have been great. Recently the trapped wind and belly ache has reared it's ugly head again. You get such bad trapped wind that you end up hysterical but nothing a bit of gripe water, cooled boiled water and a tummy rub doesn't fix.

You still absolutely love your milk! When you are feeding people always comment on how much you are enjoying it and that they have never seen a baby guzzle like it! We did switch onto hungry baby milk and it agreed with you but after a few weeks of consideration we switched back to regular Cow and Gate so we have hungry baby milk to move onto further down the line if you need it. Otherwise we would of had to move onto solids early if milk wasn't satisfying you anymore. You now drink 5oz every 3 hours during the day and have 6oz at bedtime which usually sets you through the night.

Although you still don't settle until 1am in the morning your sleep has improved tenfold this month! You now take frequent naps throughout the day which is brilliant because it makes you a much more content baby. We have also cracked the moses basket situation and you are more than happy enough to sleep in it through the night and through the night. I mean that you sleep for a full 6/7 hours in it without waking! You then wake for a feed and then have a few more hours kip. Because you are only settling at 1am you do sleep until lunch so we are trying out best to get our times better but if we try settle you any earlier than midnight you scream the house down. I think we just have a night owl on our hands. 

- Smiles. Proper social smiles! You love to give Mummy lots of smiles, from little smirks to big gummy grins. Each one you give to me melts my heart! So amazing.

- Lifting your head. You started lifting your head at an early age but you are still mastering the art. You can hold it up for long periods of time but you are still a little wobbly.

- Becoming alert. Again you have always been alert but this month you don't miss a beat. You now turn your head not only to different things that you see but to different things that you hear too. You have also discovered the TV and like to lie on the sofa and gaze at it in amazement. You now recognise Mummy and Daddy and chat and smile the most to us. 

- Vocal. You are so chatty! From eyy's to iyya's to cooo's you come out with some real noises and love chatting to everyone and anyone. You have such a lovely sounding voice, it's so adorable. Your favourite time to chat is after a nappy change. 

- Touch. You are still mastering the art of touch. You can grasp and pull but you aren't grabbing your toys as of yet. I have caught you pulling your dummy out and you bash your toys but you are still learning. 

Things you like

- Milk! You still love your milk!

- TV. You have discovered the TV this month and your favourite show is Spongebob Squarepants! You lie on the sofa and watch TV. It's hilarious.

- Going Tata's. You love being out about in the car, pram and going shopping. You love it even though you sleep the entire time.

- Baths. You absolutely love being bathed. You have a big smile on your face the entire time and have a real kick around. I can't wait to take you swimming.

- Sitting in your chair. You now don't mind being sat down and put down where as last month you would scream the house down. This makes my life so much easier.

- Laying on my chest. You still love sleeping on my chest and I am enjoying every moment while I can.

- Sitting up. You can't sit up on your own of course but you love sitting back on the sofa. You like acting like a big boy!

- Music. I recently started playing music to you and you really enjoy sitting their and taking it all in.

- Late nights. No matter what we do to try and make you sleep earlier you prefer to stay awake until the early hours.

- Moses basket - You now love sleeping in your moses basket.

- Blankey - You love your blankey against your face, it really helps you to doze off.

- Your Dummy - I sucked my finger growing up and didn't want you to suck your thumb so encouraged you to take a dummy as we will be able to take that away from you when the time comes. We also struggled getting you to sleep and found a dummy helped. We only give it to you when you are unhappy or when you are going to sleep. 

Things you don't like

- Being put down. You like a lot of attention!

- Waiting for a bottle. When you are hungry you want a bottle there and then. 

- Early nights. Like I said you like staying awake until the early hours. 

- Getting dressed. You still really hate being dressed and normally protest. 

- Being winded. You still fight being winded. 

It's been incredible watching you grow this month as you have grown and developed so much. Everytime you smile or coo it gives me goosebumps and I love you more and more each day.

Top 5 Valentines Destinations

It's fast approaching that time of year when we take a breather and really appreciate our other half. Valentine's day. I know Valentine's Day isn't for everyone and there are some romantic scrooges out there but personally, I love it! It's a nice excuse to dedicate time to your special someone, spoil them rotten, and show them you care. It's also not half bad getting spoilt yourself too!

This year we would like to do something a bit different to celebrate that special day and perhaps go away for a few nights or even a mini-break. I'm always looking at ways to change things up when it comes to our date nights. If you are anything like me and want to add an extra touch of excitement you could always purchase some human pheromones, in spray, moisturiser, or oil form, to set the mood. Add a little extra spice to your long-awaited date!

I have put together a few ideas of what I would like to do. Some may be a bit far-fetched but a girl can dream.

Mini break

Alcudia is our home from home and we have been numerous times. As I was pregnant last year we didn't go on holiday and I am really feeling those holiday blues. It would be amazing to go back soon and even more amazing if we were able to go over the Valentine's period! I keep thinking what an amazing place it would be to propose too? Though I think Nick would have to shop for Engagement rings first. 

Weekend away-

What would be nicer than a weekend getaway to a luxury boutique in the Yorkshire countryside? Ox Pasture Hall is not only an ideal location for a Valentine's getaway but perfect for weddings too. 

Stay local-

Hopefully, if the weather picks up in the next few weeks we could take a lovely family walk on Valentine's day. Not only would it be budget-friendly but it would be nice to get some fresh air and take in our beautiful local countryside. 

Go gigging-

Nick and I are both huge music lovers and an ideal destination for us on Valentines would be going to watch one of our favourite bands live. We usually go to Manchester Academy to see a show.

Dine out-

We dined out a lot before the baby is born but haven't had much time to since he arrived. We have saved up a bit of money not going out as much so it would be nice to splurge a little on Valentine's day at a place like Mitton Hall which is local to us. 

Have you any plans for Valentine's day? What is your ideal date?

This is a PR Collaboration. 

My New Years Resolutions

I'm not normally one to actually make New Years Resolutions nevermind stick to them but this year with how much my life has changed recently I wanted to change my ways and create a few New Years Resolutions and stick by as many as I can.

Family time.

Now Nick, Noah and I are a family I want to make sure we spend a lot of quality time together especially now while Noah is young. As he get's a little older and more aware I want to take him to the zoo and the sealife centre. I'm so excited to be able to do things as a proper little family.

Mummy and Daddy time

If you are a parent you will know that as soon as your little bundle of joy arrives there is a lot less time spent with your significant other. Although I see Nick every single day sometimes I miss him because we don't have that quality time together anymore as our focus is on our son. At least once a week I want to snuggle up on the sofa and watch a film together and at least once a month I want to have a date night with Nick where we go out and enjoy one another's company.  

Diet - Join Slimming world

I was heavier than I would of liked to of been before I was even pregnant so of course going through pregnancy too I have a lot of weight to lose. The last time I was weighed was at my 12 week scan and I didn't even ask what I weighed as I didn't want to frighten myself. We don't actually have any scales in our house but I know I need to bite the bullet and see how much I weigh. I feel like I could lose about 2 stone. So I have a long long way to go. 

I am not the best when it comes to dieting or eating healthy. I did join Weight Watchers a few years back and lost a stone as it was easy to follow but it didn't really work for me in the long run. I have decided to give Slimming World a go as I have heard nothing but positive feedback from the programme. So wish me luck! I am going to need it. 

Excersize - Be more active.

I just want to be more active on a whole. I don't mean go full throttle working out every day cause lets face it I have a baby and don't get much sleep so at the moment that won't be feasible. Perhaps in a few months down the line I may join a gym but at the moment I just want to get out the house and go for long walks with Noah in the pram. This will be more appealing when the weather picks up a bit. 

Holiday - First family holiday.

Nick and I love going abroad and our home away from home is Alcudia in Majorca. We didn't go away in 2013 as I was pregnant. It was the first time in years we didn't go on holiday, we really missed it. This year we want to take Noah on his first holiday, which is so exciting. Probably back to Majorca knowing us! 

Mortgage - Buy our own home.

In 2013 we were accepted for a mortgage but we just need to now decide where we want to live and find the home that is right for us. We are getting there with our deposit but by the end of 2014 I hope we are in our very own home or atleast on our way to that goal. We are currently looking through various estate agents UK to find the perfect family home because now we have a baby it's time to start building a foundation for us as a family. 

Savings - Pennies make pounds.

Nick and I are dreadful when it comes to spending. We waste so much money and really need to learn how to budget better. Our savings would look a lot more attractive right now if we weren't throwing money down the drain left, right and center. We spend way too much money on meals out and takeaways. I aim to put a little bit more money away into our savings each month.  

Wedding - Make plans.

We have been engaged for a few years now and haven't talked in depth about our wedding as of yet. We've always been preoccupied with moving house, new jobs, redundancy, pregnancy and now a baby. This year I want to atleast start discussing our wedding plans and begin saving up. 2015 wedding? Who knows!

Here are my New Years Resolutions for the year. Lets see what I stick to! Here's to 2014!

Baby's First Christmas

Christmas this year was always going to be a special one for us as it was our first Christmas as a family and our beautiful baby boy's very first Christmas! He was only six weeks old at the time so even though he won't remember it there will still be a million photo's to look back at once he is older and it was very special to Nick and I.

We had a lovely lie in on Christmas morning as Noah had had us up until the early hours. All three of us led in bed snuggling, then I dressed Noah in his Christmas gear. We then got up and Nick and I opened our presents while passing the baby to and fro. He watched us opening the presents and seemed to like the sound of the scrunching of the paper. Next we opened his little presents which was a Fisher Price Seahorse, Sophie le Giraffe and Lamaze Rattles. I gave him his play mat earlier in the month as I couldn't resist giving it to him early, bad Mummy! We didn't go bonkers with his presents as we knew he would be spoilt rotten by our family and we wasn't wrong on that front. After that we got ready for the day whilst Noah had a little cat nap, we had a busy day ahead. 

We then drove across the motorway and over to my Mum's where she and my Sister and Brother were all waiting. We exchanged far too many gifts and opened all our presents together whilst Noah slept. We then opened his gifts whilst he slept some more! He is a very lucky little boy indeed. I then did my hair and makeup while my Mum made the Christmas meal and Nick watched Noah (life of riley eh! But I didn't want to look like an extra out of The Walking Dead on our first Christmas photo's!) We then had our Christmas dinner together with my family, a glass of wine and pulled all the crackers. We had such a laugh around the table at all the corny cracker jokes..

My personal favourite was; Why does Santa have three yards? So he can ho! ho! ho! Ha ha!

Noah slept the entire time at my Mum's just waking for feeds. He must of been worn out with all the festivities oh and keeping Mummy and Daddy awake until 3am! 

Late afternoon we drove back over the motorway to Nick's parents house for our third round of presents! There we met up with lots of Nick's family and had a huge present swap. It was actually insane how many presents there was in that house, insane. The three of us were spoilt rotten just like at my Mum's. We are all very lucky. Noah then decided to wake up for a few hours and was passed around like pass the parcel everyone wanted a cuddle of the boy! 

After a few hours we called in a night and went home to put our feet up. Our first Christmas was super special and spent with all our favourite people. We couldn't of asked for a better Xmas and can't wait until next year! 

2013. What a year!

It's safe to say that 2013 has been a life changing year for us! At the start of the year we decided to start trying for our first child. We didn't take the decision lightly, we made sure we were ready. Nick and I have been together for 5 years and have a very healthy relationship, we have a nice home, we both have secure jobs and can afford a child financially. 2013 just seemed like the right year for us. I decided to write all about my favourite moments of the year. 

Positive +

After just one month of TTC (trying to conceive) and on our 5 year anniversary we got out BFP! (Big fat positive) I was pregnant! I thought we would be trying for a while but it happened so fast and we couldn't of been happier. I still remember that red line appearing, bursting into tears and literally dancing around the front room! I then had to wait all day for Nick to come home from work to tell him the news!


I absolutely LOVED every second of being pregnant it was one of the best experiences of my life. Creating and nurturing your baby inside you is just indescribable and a feeling I miss on a daily basis. I am already looking forward to being pregnant again a few years down the line!

My Boy

Of course the best moment of 2013 after out BFP and my pregnancy journey has got to be meeting our baby boy.. Life changing, all consuming adoration. I remember that last big push and felt him be born into the world. Hearing his cry for the first time and having him placed on my chest. I still can't believe we created something so perfect. 

Everyday my baby amazes me. He is now 7 weeks old and has changed so much since I first set eyes on him. He is such a character already and I could literally stare at him all day long in amazement. 

Here's to 2014!