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1st year survived, time for my first blog

Hi my name is Jess and I’m a first time mummy living in Norfolk, I have started this blog because I love being a mummy and I don’t want to forget anything about it.

I would love to reach some mummies and share my experiences, fails and occasional pearls of wisdom.

So here goes ….

Samuel is one year old, how on earth is that possible?! he was a tiny new born last month, well that’s what it seems like.

We decided to have a party, and at the time it did seem like to much work, we’d invite our family and friends and have an informal get together with a drink and some food. How hard can that be? well when you start to plan it quite hard!!

  • There’s invitations to write (or create on vistaprint and get them sent to you)
  • Guest list to write
  • Buffett menu to plan
  • Do I hire soft play?
  • Do I do party bags?
  • Would people expect table decorations?

So after my extensive planning, because I do like a plan, we had a guest list of 67 people and an extensive buffet menu and I was even contemplating hiring some soft play equipment.
I excitedly told my husband my plans and quickly realised if we were to cater for 67 people then I would have to tone down the menu and loose the soft play equipment ( the venue had some soft play toys and a lovely enclosed garden, and we all got a free train ride). We were on a budget after all.

Now if your planning on making a buffet for a party the most important thing is preparation. If you can pick most of your foods that can be prepared/baked 1-2 days in advance this is going to make the morning of the party a lot less stressful. We opted for quiches (baked 2 days before the party), potatoes salad, pasta and salad for the adults and sandwiches, cheese scones, veg sticks and fruit for the babies. I then baked 4 different types of cakes, opting for the quick to prepare and bake recipes, good ‘ole Mary Berry, I managed to get most of these done the day before during Samuel’s two naps.

After I got over the initial stress of the baking day on Saturday, Sunday morning (Samuel’s birthday and day of the party) was surprisingly calm, just the cheese scones to bake and sandwiches to make ( I’d recruited my mother-in-law and my grandma to help with some of the food) I love it when a plan comes together.

It was basically like doing a big cricket tea……unfortunately I have experience of this but that’s for another blog.

We had a lovely day Reepham and Whitwell station it was the perfect venue, the staff were lovely and all our family and friends felt so relaxed. We were so lucky with the weather it was a lovely sunny day, so we made the most of the enclosed garden.

Although we had a lovely day, and I love how funny and cheeky Samuel is at the minute, I was quite sad because it feels like I’ve lost my baby now.He has changed so much in the last few weeks and he is more and more like a toddler every day. He isn’t walking yet but he is very close, and he seems to becoming more and more aware of his own mind. I think he may be just as stubborn as his mummy and daddy!!

We are off to wells tomorrow, my mother-in-law has rented a beach hut for her birthday and all the family will be down there. This will be our first day trip to the beach (we’ve been on dog walks), I’ve got my list and the bags are packed so fingers crossed I haven’t forgot anything.

I’ll let you know how it goes xxx

 

Mystery Blogger Award

Thank you so much to Becky over at Bringing up the Berneys for the nomination, I’m loving reading her posts so make sure you check out her blog!

What is the Mystery Blogger Award? Well, it’s a chance for bloggers to get to know one another, and for readers to find out more about that blogger too! It was created by the lovely Okoto Enigma.

—- The Rules —-

  1. Put the award logo/image in your post.
  2. List all the rules.
  3. Thank whoever nominated you and leave a link to their blog.
  4. Mention the creator of the award & provide a link as well.
  5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  6. Nominate 10-20 people.
  7. Notify each nominee by commenting on their blog.
  8. Ask nominees any 5 questions of your choice, with a weird or funny question (specify)
  9. Share the link to your best/favourite post of yours.

Mystery Blogger Award

Three things about me:

  1. I love music, all types: pop, folk, country, rap, classical EVERYTHING and wish I could sing.
  2. I would much rather night in, on the sofa with my husband in my trackies, than a night out.
  3. I love food, especially when I don’t have to cook it and wash up afterwards!

Becky’s Five Questions:

  1. What made you decide to get into blogging – and what’s kept you going?

I was looking for a hobby, I’d just started back at work but for only 10 hours a week and I wanted something I could that didn’t involve housework while Samuel napped, and id tried crochet and I was rubbish, although it is still on my to-do list to learn! I thought blogging would be a great way to document our family life and my son as he grows, and i love helping people, so the thought that through writing I could possibly help even just one person to feel that that aren’t alone spurred me on to give it a go!

2. What three things couldn’t you live without and why?

This might sounds a bit cheesy but my boys: Hubby- Adam, and my beautiful son’s Samuel: 2 (at the end of may when did that happen??!) and Elijah: 5 weeks old, they are my absolute world and I would be nothing without them.

3. Are you a morning or night person?

Definitely a morning person, I like to get up and get going. I’m rubbish in the evening I just fall asleep on the sofa.

4. What and where would your dream holiday be?

My dream holiday would be a safari, I love animals and to be able to visit Africa would be amazing.

5. Pizza Hut or Dominos?

Dominos – without a doubt, it reminds me of nights out with our friends Laura and James before we had children, we would always order a load of pizzas when we got in at silly o’clock in the morning.

My Five Questions to You:

  1. If you were stranded on a island what is the one item you would miss the most?
  2. Do you prefer the city or the country?
  3.  What was the make of your first car?
  4. How many languages can you speak?
  5. Would you rather go a day with out your mobile or a day without food?

My best/favourite post: What a difference another baby makes

My Nominees:

Hannah and the minibeasts

Sophie mummy blog

Tales of Two Children

Raising the Rings

Ankle biters adventures

Life love and our girls

At home with connor blog

Mrs Mummy Harris

Jaki Jelley

See what mummy says

What a difference another baby makes!

No matter how many children you have parenting can be amazing, knackering, frustrating, beautiful and even more tiring!

Before I had Elijah I was excited, but equally as daunted. How was I going to cope with two children ? Two children under two.

When I had Samuel (my first) it was hard because I didn’t no what to expect, I worried all the time. Worst of all I pressured myself to be the image of a ‘perfect mummy’ the image I had created before I had any children!

You no the one, the mummy that will:

  • Never shout
  • Give her children chocolate
  • Let them watch television
  • Bribe her children with the promise of snacks.

I also let other pressures get on top of me, there are so many pressures to exclusively breast feed. I struggled feeding Samuel, it seemed like all he wanted to do is feed. When I cried to the health visitor telling her that he wanted to feed 11,12,13 times a day she just said that’s normal every baby is different. She made me feel bad when I suggested giving him a bottle for a few feeds a day, or maybe I made myself feel bad. Because I had imagined feeding my baby until he was weaned onto cows milk, in the end I gave Samuel 1-2 bottles of formula a day and breast feed the rest of the time until he was 5 1/2 months.

I feel differently now, maybe because I know that we can’t be perfect, that some days you will be super mum and bake the healthy snacks you see on Instagram. Other days you will need ten cups of coffee and the help of Justin fletcher to entertain your little munchkins.

At the moment I am very much the second mummy, but that’s ok Elijah is only 5 weeks old and we are slowly but surely getting used to our new family rhythm, and getting out the house with two little people! (Which is soooo much harder!)

So when I was struggling with feeding 2 weeks ago with Elijah, I spoke to the midwife and asked if it would be too early to start combination feeding. I did feel a bit like a failure because again before I had Elijah my ideal was to exclusively breast feed not just because of all the health benefits but because it was soooo much cheaper, and I didn’t want the faff of making and sterilising bottles! The midwife was so supportive and basically told me I had to do what was best for my family. I agree, Elijah’s feeding was established so there was no problems giving him a little formula, just to give my nipples a few hours break, my milk would still be enough to feed him the rest of the time.

This was the best thing I’ve done because it helped me to continue breastfeeding, I’ve managed to increase my milk flow and I’m now going to try and express a little so I can replace the formula with expressed milk, (but if I can’t that’s ok too).

The great advantage of giving Elijah a bottle is hubby can feed him, he really enjoys this and it’s a lovely bonding experience for them, it’s so lovely to see.

Although the Midwife’s and health visitors really encourage people to breast feed they don’t tell you how hard it can be.

I think the best thing to do is just trust your instincts and do what is best for you and your family. In the end that’s what really matters.

Did you have struggle feeding? Comment below and don’t forget sharing is caring!

3 Little Buttons

Gousto box review 

Ive seen the adverts for these type of boxes before and alway thought they looked like a great idea so when I was offered a free Gousto box I was very excited d to give it a go. Because I dread choosing what to cook for tea, and making sure I have everything, we just seem to have the same thing every week.

So when I was faced with a website of mouth watering recipes the task seemed a lot easier!

The website was really easy to use and I had the choice of a great variety of meals. I liked the fact that the website showed the length of time each recipe took to cook, because sometimes we just want a quick tea! I loved the packaging and the fact that it was recyable. I thought the way they used sheeps wool to keep the food cool was genious!


As I sorted through the ingredients I was really pleased to see that the meat was British and all the other ingredients looked really fresh.

I choose two meals ‘posh burger and chips’ and ‘lamb biryiani’ both these meals were for two people.

All the ingredients were measured out exactly so there is no waste which is great!


Posh burger and chips ingredients 


Lamb biryiani ingredients and a free wooden spoon!! 

When I first saw the ingredients I thought that the portions would be really small, but actually it was quite enough!

The recipes were really simple and easy to follow, and i liked that the recipe cards have holes in them to be able to put them in a ring binder and use them another day.


This was absolutely scrummy! I particularly liked the homemade tomato ketchup and the basil dressing. I would have liked a little bit of salad to go with this but other than that it was lovely.


This was the lamb biryiani and it was really nice, it’s not something I’ve ever cooked at home but I will definitely do it again, it was simple and quick to make so great for mid week ‘quick’ tea!

I’d definitely order this again, I ordered the meals for 2 this time because I thought it would be nice for me and my husband to have a nice meal once the boys were asleep.   It was lovely because we both got in the kitchen with a glass of wine and cooked together, we haven’t done that in a long time because one of us is usually entertaining at least one of the boys!

Have you tried the Gousto box? If you’d like to try Gousto they are offering a £20 discount on your first and second box if you use the code ‘TORNADO’. This means your first and second box could cost just £7.49!
What’s your favourite recipe?

JakiJellz

An “anxious” Norfolk Mummy

I’ve never written about my anxiety but I’ve been thinking about it for a long time. It’s quite a personal thing to announce to the world but I think the more you talk about something the easier it gets. So here I go . . . 

I’ve suffered on and off with anxiety for most of my adult life, but it really started to affect me 4 years ago. I suffered with panic attacks for about a year and a half but I haven’t had a major one now for a good couple of years. I found one of the hardest things was explaining to my family how I felt, I always though if they could understand then maybe they could help or be a bit more patient, and I was right! I’ve written this so hopefully I can help others in the same situation. 

Ever wondered what a panic attack feels like? Wanted to explained to someone you love what it feels like but never be able to? 

This is what it feels like in the moment when I’m having a panic attack: 

“I feel so alone but there’s a room full of people and I just want to run away. Everyone’s looking at me, nobody care’s or notice’s that the room is closing in on me and my heart is about to explode out of my chest my eyes are welling up and I’m fighting back the tears. I clench my jaws to stop me from bursting into tears, I must look miserable people must think ‘she’s a miserable bitch’ if only they knew I felt like I was drowning like my heart could beat right out of my chest. 

My breathing gets shallow, I feel like i can’t breathe, I’m going to pass out!”

So this is what’s going on in my head when I have a panic attack, i know this is not how people think of me but at that moment in time that’s how it feels. 
It might be similar for someone you love. If you know someone with anxiety ask them what you can do to help when they are feeling like this, for me just a simple hold of my hand or an arm around my shoulder (before I got to the shallow breathing I’m going to pass out stage) would make me so much better.

Even if this helps just one person to explain how they are feeling to someone they love it will be worth it!

My top ten newborn hints and tips

I am by no means a parenting expert! But I thought I’d put together a post of things that have really helped me when having a newborn. Because let’s face it, it’s hard! So hopefully you will find something that you or a friend might find useful.

1. Roll a blanket up and place in your babies Moses basket or crib to make him/her feel safe and caccooned, you can then put a fitted sheet over to make sure it doesn’t unravel. This is a great economy version of the sleepyhead pillows.

Place like this and then pop a fitted sheet over the top.

2. Thank you cards: instead of having to write out loads of thank you cards and post them why don’t you try the touch note app. You can send postcards for just 1 credit ( 10 credits= £17) any where in the world straight from your phone. And it’s lovely that they are personalised and who doesn’t want to show off their beautiful newborn baby.

3. Make life easy for yourself, have a changing mat, nappies and wipes upstairs and downstairs so you don’t have to keep running up and down the stairs. I have two canvas storage boxes downstairs one with nappies, wipes, breast pads, nipple cream, muslins and a change of clothes. The other one is for dirty clothes and muslins (because with the amount of sick/poo explosion you get through lots of clothes!)

4. Try not to book too many visitor in for one day! It may seem ok at the time but it is very tiring having a newborn, and you need time to rest. You also need time to bond and snuggle with your baby with out having to pass them round to visitors.

5. Accept help! I didn’t do this as much with my first, but this time round I’ve really appreciated the offers of help! If some says ‘ what can I do to help ‘ don’t just say ‘nothing’ it’s fine especially when you know your washing has just finished or you have a sink full of dishes. They wouldn’t ask if they didn’t want to help so just let them, I’m sure you would do the same. I am not ashamed to say that I have asked my mum to come round earlier just so I can go to the toilet ! I had a sleeping toddler and a baby that won’t let you put him down without screaming the house down! Needs must!

6. Purchase a nursing pillow and take it everywhere with you! It makes feeding a lot easier and It’s lovely to have round you even if you are just having baby cuddles.

7. Serve your meals in a bowl, it’s easier to eat while feeding! Because Sod’s law baby will want feeding as soon as your dinner is ready.

8. If you are going out in the morning pack your bag the night before, organisation is the key when you have children and it will make your morning a lot simpler. All you’ll have to deal with is the poo explosion just as your about to leave the house and the sick up in the car on the way!

9. If you like coffee invest in a cafeteria, there is nothing better than the smell of freshly ground coffee and it taste soooooo much better than instant. It doesn’t take much longer either! And we all know your gunna need the caffeine!

10. Finally Trust your instincts! You will have lots of people giving you advice but you know your baby better than anyone else. It can be hard to do, but your doing great, well done mama !

If you have any friends that are expecting or have just had a baby I’d be very grateful of you could share this with them!

Sharing is caring !!

My Petit Canard
You Baby Me Mummy

20 facts about me

I was tagged in a post on Instagram to share  20 facts about me so I thought I’d post on here as well so my lovely followers could learn a bit more about me. 

1. I was born in Norwich and I live in Reepham.

2. I went to collage to do A levels but stupidly ‘dropped out’ half way through year 2!

3. I’m a qualified Dental nurse, but haven’t worked as one since I went on maternity leave to have Samuel. I love dental nursing and if the UEA had a dental school I would train to be a hygienist. 

4. I’m married to the lovely Adam who I met at school and started seeing in year 10! We’ve been married 5 years in August. 

5. Adam proposed on my 21st birthday, in our living room and I cried ( with happiness) that weekend we went to Cambridge and we picked out an engagement ring. 

6. I have two beautiful boys Samuel age 1 year 11 months and Elijah 3 weeks old 

7. I love being a mummy, I’ve wanted children for as long as I can remember and I hate being away from my boys.

8. My favour film is Notting Hill, I know every word!

9. My favourite song at the moment is Ed Shearan ‘castle on the hill’ entirely because of the line ‘driving at ninety down those country lanes, singing to to ‘Tiny Dancer’ – because we live in the country and when we were younger Adam made me a mix tape/cd with Elton john tiny dancer on it !

10. I have suffered quite badly with anxiety in the past – but haven’t had a panic attack for a couple of years which is great.

11. I’m very clumsy.

12. I love coffee.

13. I don’t like bacon.

14. My favourite animals are cows, I just love their cute noses.

15. I like to be independent, but didn’t realise quite how much I needed my family until baby no. 2 came along! I wouldn’t have been able to survive the last 3 weeks without them, they are all amazing. 

16. I have one sister called Anna she is 2 years younger than me. She is obsessed with our dog dolly! And she is a great help at bath time when daddy isn’t about! Samuel likes to get ‘Anna wetta!’ 

17. I’d much rather go for a beach walk than shopping for clothes.

18. My favourite place in the world ( apart from at home with my boys) is wells-next-the-sea.

19. I love going out for breakfast! 

20. My favourite restaurant is ‘The Gunton Arms’ in Gunton, Norfolk 

Phew that was difficult, could you think of 20 facts about you?? Comment below with an interesting fact about yourself so I can learn more about you. 

Hello baby . . . 

Introducing Elijah William Meek born 23/03/17 weighing 8lb 10oz, born in the midwifery led unit of the Norfolk and Norwich hospital with just gas and air for pain relief. 

How is Elijah 3 weeks old already ?? 

The last three weeks have come and gone in a blur of night feeds, nappies, visitors, washing ( how is there so much washing, thank fully my mother-in-law has been an amazing washing fairy!!) , toddler temper tantrums, car shopping ( our stupid car decided to break a week before Elijah was due!) and lots and lots of baby and family cuddles.

I’m not gunna lie the last three weeks have been hard work! But completely worth it! 

Adam had two weeks off after Elijah was born which was lovely, the last time we spent two weeks together was when Samuel was born. 

When we came home from the hospital with Elijah, it was 1:30pm just 7 hours after Elijah was born. My mum and sister were there to help us with Samuel which was great because Samuel was very wary of me, I had burst blood vessels all over my face and I looked shattered I was also walking rather strangely ! For a good week and a half Samuel wouldn’t cuddle me or kiss me which was absolutely heartbreaking, we were so close before.
Thankfully Samuel slowly started to give me more attention and affection and he is now back to his normal self! 

Elijah has been amazing he was 8lb 10 oz when he was born and lost just 7oz, we had a midwife appointment today and he is now 9lb 2oz! Feeding is going well, I’m exclusively breast feeding at the moment but I have found this hard as he feeds ALOT!! At least 12 times a day so I may introduce some formula for his last feed at night so Hubby can give him this and I can sleep!! But we will see how it goes. 

The last couple of days Elijah has been a lot more alert when he’s awake, and is now awake for 1-2 hours at a time ! 

Big brother Samuel is (most of the time ) brilliant and very gentle, and patient when I’m feeding Elijah ( although Mummy guilt really does set it if Elijah is having a cluster feeding session ) of course he has his moments when he is tired or hangry!! But for the amount of change he has had to cope with I think he is doing really well. 
I’ll give you a another update in the next few weeks. And more baby spam!! 

My Petit Canard

Life is not always as it seems !! 

I went on my first outing with my two boys on Friday, we went to my friend Ruth’s house for a play date.
It was the first time they had met Elijah and she is due to have baby no. 2 in a week so we were all excited to catch up and talk babies and birth stories ( that’s for another post!)

We had a rather stress free morning, hubby had got Samuel up and dressed so I just had to dress Elijah feed him for the 5th time that day!! And get Samuel and myself some breakfast. There were no temper tantrums, and we got out of the house only 15 mins late !

We were met by lots of cuddles and lots of cake which was amazing, then we got down to what us ladies do best. . . Chatting !

We were chatting about the ups and downs, and how Samuel was adapting to being a big brother. Ruth my friend said to me ‘ well you look like you are coping really well, the photos on Facebook are lovely’

That got me thinking, if I’m doing this ‘blogging’ thing then I need to share more of the imperfect moments, not just on blog posts but on Facebook and Instagram as well. Because although I love my two boys and a lot of the time Samuel is a lovely big brother, there are times when I feel like I can’t cope and Samuel is an absolute terror!

So I promise to give you a more realistic view of A Norfolk Mummy raising two under two!

Rhyming with Wine

Life as we know it is about to change. . . And it’s ok 

Baby no. 2 is due in 5 days and for the first time I’m not panicked by this, there is a sense of calm that’s come over me and everything has just started to fall into place. 
Samuel has been sleeping really well for the past week, every night except one he has slept through 7pm – 7 am which is amazing for him ! We’ve also seem to have cracked his nap, so he now sleeps for 2 hours during the day. The best thing is he actually enjoys going to bed, he loves his bedroom and his cot and all the teddies that join him!
The weathers better! I know it sounds weird but it means when we are at home we aren’t stuck in the lounge with the hum of CBeebies in the background, we can actually play in the garden to the sound of birds, and the odd car. It’s so much better for mine and Samuel’s sanity! 
The house is mostly de cluttered! As we are trying to fit another human being into our little 2 bed house I went on a major de clutter mission and I’m pleased to say it is now finished ( as long as you don’t look in the under stairs cupboard or the shed. . . Or the loft!!) 
Samuel is also becoming more and more independent by the day this is a bit bitter sweet, because I’m loosing my little baby but gaining a very funny toddler. I can’t believe he will be 2 at the end of May no one can prepare you for how quickly the time goes.
Now I’m sure when I have a newborn who has kept me up all night, and Samuel is demonstrating the best of the terrible two’s it may be a different story, but at the moment I feel pretty optimistic that maybe I can do this! Fingers crossed! 

Egg-Gate!!

This weekend we popped into our village for some essentials, and hubby was attending an event to promote the local cricket club. 

So all was going well, we dropped daddy off to set up and wondered into town, Samuel was walking nicely and holding my hand, I was feeling very smug.

This didn’t last long! We went into the local cafe/health food shop to get some yeast for our pizza dough. As I was at the counter paying, Samuel ran away from me, he stopped at a shelve and next thing I knew he had had an egg carton in each hand! He turned round to look at me with the most devilish look on his face and as I said ‘ DON’T YOU DARE!’ He through both egg cartons on the floor!

SMASH!!!
Que mummy’s complete horror! 12 free range eggs completely smashed on the floor, I quickly scrambled together ( eggcuse the pun!!) the eggs and £3.12 and dumped them on the counter and ran out of there with a red face! 
Samuel was promptly put in his pushchair, where he was feeling very pleased with himself ! The ordeal didn’t quite end there though, oh no I ran into a local lady I know and she stopped to have a friendly conversation about when the new baby was due and helping out with the cricket club. Little did she know she had stopped a hormonal pregnant lady who had just had to deal with Egg gate! So half way through the conversation I just burst into tears, in the middle of the market place, it wasn’t even a nice feminine cry it was a proper ugly face cry. 
Looking back on it now I’m sure it was just the hormones that made it seem like the end of the world, but I am now using reins whenever Samuel is not in the pushchair.
I still get him to hold my hand but it is just an extra safety level in case he slips out of my hand. It’s made popping into shops a lot less stressful, because Samuels not even two yet so I can’t really expect him to be able to stay still and hold my hand when there is so many exciting colours and objects in shops.