I recently shared a new video on YouTube showing what I carry in my changing bag for a typical day with a toddler. I actually really naively didn’t think I would still be using a changing bag at this stage, I assumed it was just for really small babies who need lots of changes and emergency supplies. Well more fool me! A changing bag is beyond useful when you’ve a walking talking toddler who gets into messes and needs snacks and toys on demand. I was recently sent the Luxury Changing Bag from Bounty Boutique, a new online shop from Bounty. You’ll probably already be familiar with Bounty, they provide free goodie bags during pregnancy full of samples and vouchers, one of my pregnancy holy grail products was actually brought to my attention in one of these packs. I swear by the Palmers stretch mark body butter and have Bounty to thank for…

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Last year we inadvertently started a bit of a tradition, an annual pilgrimage to Nottingham to visit family and have a pumpkin experience. Last week saw us carry that on with a 4 day trip to stay with Matts’ brother and girlfriend. As you’ll see our pumpkin experience at Maxies Farm was rather windswept, thanks to the approach of Storm Brian. It was wonderful & helped me tick another item off our Autumn to-do list. Once we’d had our fill of the ocherous gourds we headed ‘home’ for a delicious vodka pasta – it was my first time trying the dish and won’t be my last!     Whilst we were in Nottingham we also visited a stately home, perused John Lewis and sampled other delights not found in Northern Ireland, like Krispy Kreme and Aldi. It was a thoroughly ordinary four days, in some ways, but exciting and refreshing…

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Each day I wake up, make breakfast and begin attending to Luisas’ needs. As someone who doesn’t go out to work I spend most of my time without adult company. Like most parents who stay at home, if it wasn’t for the phone in my pocket I could easily go 8 hours or more without speaking to another grownup. I’ll occasionally be out and about with Luisa – off to the GP, grocery shopping or heading to the park. Quite often I feel a bit cut off, a bit lonely, a face in the crowd. Everyone rushing by; busy, important, on the go. The invisibility cloak that is my pram often renders me imperceptible. I feel adrift, in society but not a part of it.     Modern life is fast, connected, automated. It’s amazing – the ease with which we communicate with people all around the world, how we…

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One of the best things about having a ‘proper’ toddler is that they get to fully experience occasions, attractions and seasons. Last Autumn and Winter Luisa was 1.5 or so, she was walking and starting to chat more but she couldn’t really join in thing properly. Don’t get me wrong I wasn’t wishing away the baby days but it is so exciting to be able to look forward to all the season fun with my little friend this year.     I’m having a bit of trouble with writers block right now so i’m taking part in a ‘blogtober’ challenge where I’m going to write, most days, to a prompt. Todays prompt is ‘date’. If you know me at all you’ll know i’m not about to write anything romantic so here we are with a tenuous link to the calendar aspect and a toddlers Autumn to-do list.   Collect leaves,…

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I’m pretty confident everyone with a child over 14 months knows, at least deep down, that their kid can be a bit of a shit sometimes. Don’t get me wrong Luisa is funny, she’s loving and smart and I wouldn’t trade her. But she can be a right brat when the notion takes her. I know that she’s a small human who’s brain is expanding rapidly making thousands of new connections a day. I appreciate that the world is big and scary and changeable. I understand that she’s testing boundaries, looking for security and developing her own personality. But. She is killing me slowly. I’ve never had any time for anyone who dares to utter the famous ‘rod/back’ analogy. So if you’re tempted to peddle that you’d best leave now.     So, back to the title, am I an attachment parent or a martyr? I’m not really sure and honestly…

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This post was written by my dear friend, Harriet the powerhouse behind Toby & Roo. If you’re not familiar with Harriet, firstly, where have you been? And secondly, change that right now. Not only is she a witty and powerful writer she’s a genuine person and wonderful friend who’s always just a few taps on the cracked screen of my iPhone away. Gush gush. Anyway, today Harriet is sharing her thoughts on being a WAHM (Work at home mum) and dispelling a few myths. If you’re a WAHM i bet you’l be nodding along to this! If you’re not, spare a few minutes to read and get a bit of insight into what some of your friends or family could be up against.     “It’s so much easier for you, you get to go to all the school events, it’s not like you’ve got to ask for time off!”…

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*This is a collaborative post with Growing Generations For many of us, it seems like conceiving a baby is ‘easy’, for some like me it was a bit too easy – unplanned but not unwelcome. The notion of a ‘happy accident’ seems like a pretty common story but it’s not always the norm. You might not realise it but around one in seven couples is unable to conceive naturally after trying for two years. It’s highly likely that you know couples who have struggled, or had some kind of treatment, even if they never mention it. I can honestly say I never thought struggles with infertility would be something that affected me until a dear friend shared her journey. I can’t possibly do her story justice so I’m really grateful that she offered to share a few words here, for the purposes of this blog post we’ll call her Claire.…

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It’s 7.14am, you’ve just woken up but to be honest it could easily be 4 or even 11am, you’ve built up such a massive sleep debt that it doesn’t really make a difference anymore. If you’re lucky the mini dictator is still asleep and you can get to the bathroom, maybe even make a cup of tea before waking them up. Bleary-eyed you stand in the kitchen, greasy hair and crumpled pyjamas. Sigh. Another day begins.     Most people have a lot of time and understanding for new parents, the newborn days are simultanteously brutal and wonderful, at the best of times. Friends and relatives usually make an effort with little gifts and offers of their time to help out. But the days when you had more visitors than you could shake a stick at are long gone. It’s been months since you ate the last of the frozen…

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No matter what age your kid is it seems like the world and his wife have two priorities, A) finding out what ‘naughty’ things they are currently doing and B) warning you of the hell to come. Lucky for me I have a A-level in eye rolling and a degree in ignoring unsolicitied parenting advice. Luisa was always what you might call a ‘good’ baby. She was easy pleased, or maybe we were just excellent slaves – who knows. Either way she never gave us much bother. Sure she didn’t (doesn’t) sleep through the night but she’s always been a happy wee soul.     But, as Bob Dylan aptly put it, ‘The times they are a changing” so if you’re here to feel smug about my unruly toddler you’ve come to the right place! This kid is a force of nature. She drives me up the wall and tests…

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