Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Things Can Only Get Better

I almost didn't post a Silent Sunday picture last week.


Because the picture I posted didn't sum up my week at all. That picture says I had a lovely week enjoying the sunshine with my daughter when, in reality, this wasn't the case.

However, I didn't have a picture of sick, snot, phlegm, coughing, crying, tantrums, house looking like it had been burgled and me looking like I'd been dragged through a hedge backwards.

That was my week...and that was the week before too.

The serene picture you see of MC was taken on Saturday afternoon on a meet up with the inlaws. I can assure you the scene off camera wasn't the same but I'll blog about that another day.

I shouldn't be moaning.

I know so many people who have a tough time constantly. People with really poorly children, people with children with special needs and others. I know I'm lucky. I have two (usually) healthy kids, a nice house, a fantastic husband and so on.

Yes, I have a lot to be thankful for.

I'm the first to admit that.

However, things just got on top of me.

Even though TC is an amazing sleeper for someone who only turned 2 months old on Monday it has been MC who had been keeping us awake.

Last week we ended up at the local hospital with her at 10.30pm one night as she was that bad with her coughing.

I have to admit, whilst she was ill I crumbled. Lack of sleep and her constant demands because of how poorly she was got to me.

Since I had TC I've been quite strong - only having a touch of baby blues on day 5 after the birth. Last week I think it all caught up with me.

I fell behind with my freelance work and I started to panic.

I felt like I was sinking.

The sun was shining and I couldn't get out in it because of the kids. Everyone seemed to be out and about and I was stuck in feeling pretty miserable.

I neglected my blog, I neglected my blogging friends, I neglected my work, I neglected the housework, I neglected my friends.

More importantly I neglected ME.

I think as mother's we always put our families above everything else but if we aren't functioning properly then our families actually suffer more.

This week both kids are fit and healthy (although MC is still coughing at night a bit), I've managed to catch up a little with my freelance work, I have plans to catch up with friends and I've taken a few hours out to go and get my hair done and sit out in the sun a little.

This week is like night and day compared to last.

So next time I feel like I'm sinking I'm going to make sure I try and get some time to myself and remember that things can only get better.

Taken 30th May 2012

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

The Poo Cycle

He wants feeding.

I feed him.

He poos.

He falls asleep in pooy nappy.

I change him.

He wakes up.

He wants feeding.

I feed him.

He poos.

He falls asleep in pooy nappy.

I change him.

He wakes up.

He wants feeding.

You get the gist. The never ending poo cycle! How you are ever meant to get anything done or leave the house sometimes with a poo cycler is beyond me.

Almost 8 weeks old and crapping for Britain. There should be an award for it...he'd take on every baby in the world and win hands down.

Sometimes we change him thinking he's filled his nappy only to discover it was just a little 'blipper'. Then he's all awake wanting food and afterwards usually fills his lovely clean nappy completely. I'm sooooo going to invent see-through nappies and take them on Dragon's Den. I'm convinced Peter Jones and Theo Paphitis would invest.

Despite the poo there's this...

How can you get frustrated with the poo cycle when he looks like that?

Biased, I may be, but my boy is gorgeous.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

I'm Sleeping With Two Men

Well almost...

We are co-sleeping with Tiny Ched.

*sharp intake of breath from the anti co-sleeping brigade*

When Mini Cheddar was born in 2009 we were parents in need of sleep. She hated her Moses basket. It may have been because we didn't give her time. You know how it is with your first born? You practically run to them if they make the slightest little noise. You're on edge constantly, checking they are okay and questioning every action hoping you're caring for them correctly.

MC was also a comfort feeder. I've spoken about this on my blog before. When she was 3 weeks old the health visitor saw how broken and exhausted I was from breast feeding. She told me to get a dummy. When I explained MC was difficult to settle she said "why don't you co-sleep?"

I almost spat out my decaf coffee.


A health visitor suggesting something as controversial as co-sleeping!


I swear...she did.

She went on to explain about how breast feeding women are totally aware of their babies whilst they sleep. How if Matt and I don't smoke or drink then there is no harm in it and it is actually beneficial to both mother and baby.

She told us that if we put MC between our pillows in a wide enough space it was perfectly safe. When does your head ever roll off your pillow and if it ever did it's just your head, not your whole body.

She even directed me to the UNICEF website that talks about it and explained that women all over the world co-sleep with no problems. It's a natural thing to do and breastfeeding mothers and babies get more sleep by co-sleeping.

Thankfully Matt and I are the proud owners of a super king size Tempur bed. Yes, I love our bed - it's totally amazing. This means there is plenty of room for 4 or 5 people (not that we've ever had that many in there you understand!) so co-sleeping with a tiny baby is a doddle.

We co-slept with MC for the first 6 months whilst I was breast feeding. We had no issues moving her to her cot in her room when the time was right. I expected a struggle but it was easy.

TC is a completely different baby to MC. He very rarely comfort sucks, he self soothes and he likes the Moses basket.

So why co-sleep?

Because we like to.

He will sometimes start out in the basket but end up in our bed. Having him close is wonderful. He also sleeps 5-6 hours between feeds at night and has done since he was about 3 weeks old. It may be because he's a typical lazy Lucas male or that we are more chilled out with him being our second child but I like to think that co-sleeping has an impact.

Yes we co-sleep. So what?

For those of you who do co-sleep, you may appreciate this hilarious co-sleeping chart. With thanks to Charlie and Andy at for allowing me to put this on my blog:


Monday, 14 May 2012

I'm Really MAD...Again!

I took a blog break last week.

Yes, it was only a week but Tiny Ched and I were full of cold and my freelance work had been catching up with me a bit. I've also been off Twitter and Facebook, choosing to lose myself in the escapism of the photographic loveliness of Instagram instead.

I was completely unaware of something major happening in the world of parent bloggers last week.

The MAD Blog Awards finalists had been announced!

I didn't have a clue.

I wasn't expecting to be shortlisted. I thought it was sheer fluke I was up for Best New Blog last year.

So, imagine my surprise when the very lovely Katie from Mummy Daddy and Me Makes Three (she's up for some awards, check her out - she rocks!) wished me congrats on Instagram and asked if I was going to the Awards Ceremony.

I was drinking Yakult at the time (yes, I'm THAT rock 'n roll) and it almost came out of my nose! I headed over to the MAD Awards website, clicked on Best Pregnancy Blog and low and behold there was my name. Wow!

I was over the moon!

Then, almost 24 hours later I got a tweet from the MAD team with a #ff to the Best Baby Blog finalists and mentioning me.

Eh? *confused face*

I went to write a tweet back saying I was 'Pregnancy' but before I did I checked the site as I'd not had chance to go through all the finalists at that point...I'd just headed straight to Best Pregnancy. Sure enough, there I was down for Best Baby Blog too. My baby is only coming up on 7 weeks old. Double Wow!

So, this post is to say a huge....


to each and every one of you who voted for me.

I only have a very tiny number of close friends and family who know about my blog and a small number of followers compared to my fellow finalists so it means such a lot to me that you guys got me through.

The fellow bloggers in my categories are all amazing and I'm feeling like the donkey in a race of pure thoroughbreds. I'm quite sad that a lot of bloggers that I voted for who I assumed would easily make the finals haven't.

I'm under no delusions of grandeur, I haven't a hope of winning and, you know me, I'm not one for asking for votes but hey I'm ecstatic that I've made enough of an impact in the blogging world to make it through to a second consecutive final. I've only been blogging less than 17 months so you have no idea what it means to me.

I love you guys so much.

Thank you once again for making me MAD. Not often you can say that without sarcasm!

Mum and Dad Blog Awards 2012
Vote for your winners above

Tiny Ched and I say THANK YOU!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

A New Job For Matt And New Menus For Frankie & Benny's!

As my regular readers will know, Matt has been dreadfully unhappy in his work recently and I haven't exposed this on the blog before but the threat of redundancy has hung over us for a while now. He's now been told he's safe but, like any job, for how long? His recent trip to America for a job interview wasn't something we were entirely happy about but we went with it for his sanity. He's had a few job interviews recently and had a couple of loose offers on the table but these have all required him working a certain amount of time each week down South. Something neither of us want.

Anyway, we had some great news last week. He has been given a superb job offer from someone - and he didn't even have to interview for it. Yes, he was headhunted!

This job will mean a lot more money and he won't have to spend a great deal of time away from home.

MC enjoying a milkshake and a jigsaw
To say we are both happy is an understatement.

So, what did we do as a mini celebration?

We went out for our first proper family meal together as a foursome and we were treated to it thanks to Frankie & Benny's to test out their 4 brand new menus.

I had to laugh when I was contacted with the offer to review the new menus. The morning I received the email we had already decided to pop there for lunch. We practically live in Frankie & Benny's. In fact, I'm the mayor of our local one on FourSquare! True fact.

You can't beat Frankie & Benny's for a relaxed atmosphere, speedy service and good value food. Mini Cheddar loves it there - she ALWAYS has the tomato penne pasta on the kids menu and laps it up. Plus, the kid's activity packs and balloons always help.

Frankie & Benny's have 4 exciting new menus they have just launched - breakfast, lunch, specials and desserts.

Starters - mmmm Amazing Skins!
Hard at work

I have to say, what I love about Frankie & Benny's is the choice. Their menus are very extensive so everyone is sure to find something they love. I obviously opted straight for the Amazing Skins with crispy bacon and melted cheddar. Delicious!

I always sit in awe at the chefs at our local restaurant on how they cook such great meals so quickly in full view of hungry diners.

Their new menus are fabulous and such superb value for money. Look what's on offer:

Breakfasts are just £5 each and you can have unlimited refills of tea or coffee for an additional £1.50

Lunch (Mon-Fri, 11am-5pm) you can enjoy 1 course (£5.95), 2 courses (£8.25) or 3 courses (£9.25) with unlimited soft drink choices when you buy a regular drink

Specials can be enjoyed all day Sun-Fri for £10.95 for 2 courses or 3 courses for an additional £2.25

Mains - yummy!
Desserts - even yummier!

As for the! I had the sticky toffee pudding and it was amazing. In fact, Matt actually tricked me by saying "Look at that photo!" over my shoulder. I turned around to see nothing, turned back to see Matt digging into the toffee sauce. He did share his marshmallows from his amazing sundae with MC though.
Yes, it has to be said that we thoroughly enjoyed our meal at Frankie & Benny's but, then again, we ALWAYS do. I think it's a great family restaurant and we will continue to eat there - after all, I have my Foursquare mayorship to keep up now don't I?

Frankie & Benny's gets the thumbs up!

We received a £50 voucher to spend at Frankie & Benny's 
but all photographs, words, views and opinions are my own.


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