Our favourite things to do as a family!

Family time is so important to me, especially as we really get so little of it where the three of us are all together, thanks to Sam's shifts.

When we are all together we have things that we really love to do!

1. Seeing family - Seeing family is something we try and do as often as possible, but having a big get together with either side of the family (mine or Sam's) takes a lot of planning! We are really lucky that everyone is happy to be flexible to try and fit it around us, even if that means that sometimes we go quite a while before we see people because schedules just don't tie up.

2. Day trips - I work a 9-5 and Sam works shifts, which means, unless I book some holiday, we only get 2 weekends out of every 5 together. We will try and squeeze as much as possible into those four days and that usually includes some sort of day trip, whether that be a trip to the local farm, soft play or even a picnic in the park. We are so lucky to have so much close to where we live, especially for Harry and he loves the time that is just the three of us.

3. Tech free time - This one isn't always a strict rule but, on weekends that Sam is home we try to turn off the TV and put down our phones and really get into it with Harry, we will read a million and one books, drink thousands of cups of imaginary tea, build hundreds of towers, paint pictures, bake, and basically enjoy time with each other. I feel like this is so important these days and I love to take time away from the 'online world' ignore Facebook or Instagram notifications and just be with my boys!

Things as parents we need to remember...

I know from experience, as a parent I often feel at a loss, or even sometimes like I'm failing. Having severe anxiety probably doesn't help! But sometimes, I look around at the state of my house, or myself even and have to remind myself of some facts, so I thought I would write them down to remind all of you too!

Firstly, you are not a failure! I can pretty much guarantee that while you are thinking this, your child is smiling at you. So your house is a mess and you haven't done your hair and makeup

in weeks? Your child is happy and healthy. They are fed and loved. They don't think you're a failure, so give yourself more credit.

Secondly, please stop comparing yourself to what you see of social media! I am way too guilty of this. I obsessively scroll through Instagram wishing my page looked like some of the others I see but at the end of the day I'm a normal mum, who works a normal job and sometimes its just not possible to have everything perfect all the time. I can also bet the pictures I see on Instagram or Facebook are only part of the story, those mums have days, just like me, when they are a complete mess and everything gets on top of them. No one is that perfect!

And finally, one of the most important things to remember as a parent is to be proud. Be proud when you are nailing it. Be proud when someone compliments your child for their behaviour or manners, Be proud when you put that final load of washing in away! You did that! You taught that tiny human to be something people take the time out of the day to mention it to you. You spent that time out of your busy day getting the chores done. You did good and it deserves to be recognized! Hell, when everything is falling down around you, be proud that you made it through the day!

My 2019 favourites

2019 is over and what a year it was. I discovered some really great things in 2019, so I thought I would do a little round-up post for you all.

Favorite food - Has to be, for me HelloFresh meals. We signed up to HelloFresh this year and honestly have loved about 95% of the meals we have tried! I think my absolute favorite meal we had was the lamb meatball curry!

Favorite Film - This year I watched so many films this year but my favorite film of 2019 has to be Aladdin. I was so nervous about seeing this film because let's face it Robin Williams just made the original, but I LOVED that film! Will smith was EPIC as Genie and I loved the little extra bits Disney threw into the film this time.

Favorite series - RIVERDALE. Hands down. I had not watched this for so long and honestly, I have no idea why! It is brilliant! I think I'm a little bit in love with Jughead Jones!

Favorite book - I didn't get to read as many books as I wanted to in 2019, but I did get to read (or listen to, thank you audible) a few. My favorite was definitely Eve of man. What an amazing idea and so beautifully written.

Favorite Youtube channel - This year I discovered Phoebe and Me on Youtube. Jess is a brilliant mother and I wish I could budget like her! P is also an amazing little girl. I love their vlogs so much and cant wait to see all of the new content coming for 2020! You can find Jess here - https://www.youtube.com/user/JVCxo

Favorite 2019 memory - Our first family holiday wins this hands down. What an amazing experience and I am so looking forward to having plenty more in the future!

Hello 2020... My 2020 goals!

Well, 2020 is here and time for my annual 'goals' post. I'm not going to write a massive introduction for this because let's face it, we all know what these posts are about!

Here are my goals for 2020 -

1. Stop buying things unnecessarily - I'm terrible at realizing I have money left and blowing it all on something ridiculous. This year I want to get my S**T together and really think about what I'm buying. My plan is, especially for big-ticket items, to not buy it for a few months. If I then still really want it, then I will sacrifice something else (normally Costa) to save for it.

2. Make healthier choices - I said lose weight last year, and while I came into 2020 a few pounds lighter then I started 2019, I definitely didn't get to where I wanted to be. I don't like to feel pressured and I think that's why I gave up with slimming world. So this year I'm just planning on enjoying myself, learning to love myself and make much healthier choices. I have already uped my water intake (not hard I never drank water) and eat so many more portions of vegetables than I did before. Things can only get better.

3. Make the most of my time with Harry - I realized last year that Harry is growing up really fast and in September he will be at school and won't be asking me to play with him constantly. So I'm going to make the most of it while he still asks me. You never know when it will stop

4. Take more photos - I'm never not going to have this on my list. With Harry growing up so fast I don't think I'll ever be happy with the number of photos I take.

5. Be happier - We have a very hard year ahead of us but my goal is to get through it and come out of it smiling!

Goodbye 2019...

2019 was a very big year for us, as a family, as parents and even as individuals. We definitely had lots of highs and plenty of low points too! I thought it would be really nice to write a round-up post for our 2019! I love reading these and I think that it will be lovely to show Harry in the future too!
2019 started pretty well for us. Sam and I working at jobs we enjoyed with great friends. We decided in January that it was time we started introducing Harry to the potty. He had been obsessed with the toilet for a good couple of weeks before this point and was bringing us a nappy to change him when he filled his nappy. Harry is still not potty trained but knows what the potty is for and making great progress! January was also filled with cold walks and warm coats. February for us was pretty uneventful, to be honest, but we made lots of effort to see our friends and Harry had some wonderful playdates! We are looking forward to plenty more this year!

March brought with it preparations for Harry's birthday, We didn't do anything different for Harry's 3rd birthday apart from he was super excited as Nanna, mumbles and Doo Doo (my mum, sister, and brother) came with us this time. I honestly think Harry has had enough of sea life for a while, he's still obsessed with sharks, but for his 4th birthday, we are considering either Woburn Safari Park so Harry can see some real elephants as he ADORES elephants or Peppa Pig world. Whichever we don't do for his birthday we will be doing over the summer holidays so he won't miss out at all!

April, May, and June were fine, nothing really worth mentioning, but then we got some very bad news at the beginning of July when the company I worked for went bust and I was made redundant. I love working and so to be suddenly out of a job was a hard thing to cope with at first. I went to a very dark place mentally for a few weeks, to be honest. But then the summer holidays started and I had Harry with me every day. I haven't been able to spend proper time with Harry in so long so this was AMAZING. I really felt like we were bonding in a way we couldn't before because I was always working. We got into an amazing routine and with the way Sam's shifts worked out we also got some great family
time over July, then mid-August I went back to work but that really didn't stop the fun. Harry and I finally got our first ever passports in August, ready for what was possibly the highlight of our 2019... Our first ever family holiday! 

We were incredibly lucky that my mum, brother, and sister paid for Harry, Sam and I to go to Menorca with them for our 10th anniversary in Septemeber! We honestly had the best time and
Harry loved the villa and especially loved going on an airplane! We had the best time and honestly are hoping to go back very soon.

October was uneventful for us but then in November, we decided that at 3 and a half it was time Harry got rid of his dum. It was a night full of mixed emotions, only really for us! Harry didn't even seem to notice but I was a mess! I definitely didn't want him to get rid of his last 'baby' thing, but proud of him for doing it so brilliantly!
December was a difficult month, usually, in December I'm full of Christmas cheer, but I just wasn't feeling it, which is funny because it honestly turned out to be on of the best Christmases.
December was particularly hard because in the middle of the month we found out that Harry will have to have his open-heart surgery in early 2020. It's not something we expected but I don't want to go too much into it in this post. Maybe I'll do another closer to the time or just after letting you know our experience.

But that was pretty much our year. I think my favorite thing of 2019 had to be hearing Harry say gracias (thank you) while in Spain. And seeing his face Christmas morning of course.

How was your 2019? 

Where It All Started

Birth Story

Harry's birth story seemed like a fitting first post on here. Bear with me because it was written months ago. More posts to follow ever...