Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Plum-Baby 'Little Yums' Review

Oh man, I do love a good review. Especially where food is concerned. Even if it is kiddy food, Mommy can have a nibble can't she? ... 
According to Montgomery, No! These 'Plum-Baby' 'Little Yums' are not for sharing according to my little man. Too good to part with even the smallest mouthful it would appear. :-( Good for him, bad for Mommy. 
Ah, how rude of me. Let me tell you more about the product that Montgomery and I were asked to review. So, we were asked to try 'Plum-Baby' 'Little Yums'. We were given 2 packs of these biscuits. 1 pack being Spinach, apple and kale. The other being banana and pumpkin. In each pack there are 6 smaller packs of 3 individual biscuits. Great amount really when your littlie wants to snack. And, great for popping in your bag last minute. 'Little Yums' are suitable for littlies from the age of 6 months plus. They dissolve very easily which is a weight of your mind when you are going through the weaning stage and you are looking out for choking hazards. They are also designed to help with the teething process and help ease pain. Which in my little man's case seemed to work well. They are baked with fruit, vegetables and buckwheat with no added sugar or salt. This is what really appealed to me with this 'Little Yums'. You see, I like Montgomery to snack and I enjoy watching him do so. However, I dislike him being a chocolate monster every snack time. So, these really fitted our snacking bill. It's great to know that NO junk is going into their little systems. To make that fact even better, they are organic with no genetically modified ingredients or artificial flavourings, colours or preservatives. How great is that!?! 

I found these biscuits really handy when out and about with Montgomery on my back. You see, they aren't sticky or messy. So, I'm not left with any unwanted handprints all over my clothes after an hour or so of baby wearing. 
My Mini Moose enjoyed both flavours on offer very much. He loves food in general. So, finding something new is always  plus.

Montgomery is 16 months old now with quite a strong pallet and enjoys brave flavours. I feel that the younger your littlie is or the nearer they are to the weaning process the more rewarding 'Little Yums' will be. I wish I had known about them when Montgomery first hit solids. They would have been great as the flavours are a real mish mash to help train the pallet. 

All in all a big THUMBS UP for 'Baby Plum' 'Little Yums' from both myself and my son. :-)

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Tuesday, 29 April 2014

A Family Holiday To Pentre Bach In Wales

So, Easter has come and gone pretty quickly I feel. One minute we were busy waiting for it as we knew we were off an adventure with family and friends and then the next minute, BOOM, it's gone. But, I mustn't moan as it was lovely. The time away we spent with those dear to us was lovely. Really lovely.

I figured that you may well be wondering where I've been for the last 2 weeks and what I've been up to. So, I thought I'd share our family holiday with you. Not only do I want to share it because I want to show my little Moose in super cute sunglasses and a wet suit. I also want to share it with you because I cannot recommend the house that we stayed in enough for those of you with big families or those that holiday with friends. What a place. What a place!

Let me tell you more. Well, my parents booked the house and the holiday for us. For this we are hugely grateful as our finances wouldn't have provided us with such luxury this holiday, trust me. We stopped in a holiday place called 'Pentre Bach Holiday Cottages'. Now, if you follow the link and visit their page you will see that they offer 3 cottages. 

 Now, as there was so many of us, we rented all 3. I mean there were 5 families all with children. So, yeah. All 3 cottages were ours. The families besides ourselves stopped in the main house which sleeps 12-16 people. The older student crew hung out in the Y Popty and we stayed in the Y Laethdy. It so suited us all. The bathrooms were really big, lovely and clean with baths and showers for all to use. There were TV's through out all 3 cottages and free WiFi. The kitchen in the main house is where we mainly hung out. To be honest, we spent very little time in our cottage. But, it was great having it as Montgomery could stick to his routine nicely. He was able to nap as usual and go to bed at a normal time.  The kitchen in the main house is huge and was able to cater for every single one of us with loads of storage for all our grub and we eat a lot. We are all foodies. Haha. 
The best part of 'Pentrebach Cottages' for me and for us was the garden and the outside facilities. The space you get is just amazing with a stunning view. Their is oodles of space to run, tyre swings for fun, a table tennis table, a pond, a working garden, walks and you are surrounded by farm life. 

Seriously, this place is something special. Something really really special. I would recommend it to anyone without a doubt it my mind. Whether, you were just thinking of hiring one cottage or whether you were going for the lot, the place is just lovely. Your a short drive from Barmouth and surrounded by sea and beaches. What more could you ask for? 
Please please please go and check out their website and find out more about them. Don't worry this isn't a review post, I'm not being paid to say this, it's not an advert. It is a genuine Happy Customer just sharing her experience with you all. I know how difficult it can be sometimes to find a holiday destination that you and your family are comfortable in. This won't disappoint. 

Monday, 28 April 2014

Easter Holidays

Yes, they are over. Yes, we have been away for most of them and were off the blogging scene for pretty much the whole time. But,

YES, we are now happy to be back! 

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Guest Blogger #2 - 2nd Baby Hindsight ...

I'd like to welcome my second guest blogger of the week, Naomi. I have a feeling that Naomi's journey is one that many are going to relate to. It's a lovely honest post. Well worth a read.

So I returned to work a few weeks back and have been asked so many times since returning “the last one?” “are you going to have more?” and I find it hard to answer either way. I know I don’t want any more children but, I do want to do it again. Let me explain………………
I have two gorgeous children Orson who is 4 and Emie who is 10 months and how very different their first few months in life have been. I had amazing home water births with both of them but that is pretty much where the similarities end. The transition from non-parent to parent was a really hard one for me, all through the pregnancy I got told how I would be a natural, how with my organisation skills our child would be sleeping through the night, blah blah blah…….. It didn’t come naturally at all! I was in a lot of pain following his birth, it was the middle of winter, breast feeding was not going to plan, he was crying all the time I was crying all the time, Jamie didn’t know what to do and my baby wasn’t doing what the book said. We were all exhausted I continued my degree at university after Orson was 6 weeks old and I got through each day by the skin of my teeth hanging on for the elusive 3 months old when he would start sleeping through like everyone said.. Well that date came and went and still sleep was but a distant memory we all plodded on doing what the book said, and the health visitors, and the family, and the sleep therapist and no amount of crying it out, being hard, learning to self soothe was doing any of us any good.
I went back to work when Orson was 10 months and tried to continue a career and be a mum, and after about a year we started to just accept what was. The books were left ignored, appointments were missed and we started to be OK. Its true you do start to get used to less sleep it didn’t stop me being angry about being tired a lot of the time when Orson still wasn’t sleeping when all my friends little ones were. They all had the same advice “leave him to cry and he will go to sleep”. I just couldn’t do it! I didn’t bring him into my bed for fear of the shame of having to tell everyone that we were doing the worst thing imaginable letting our baby sleep in our bed but, we did go to him and Jamie and I took four hour shifts every night. I got promoted at work and went back to full time hours, and we clung on to the one thing that wasn’t lacking …… love!
Finally at three years old Orson slept through the night for 3 nights on the trot we felt amazing and we decided it was time for another baby…………… go on laugh………
Now, fast forward 9 months Emie has arrived with us, a faster delivery, a smaller baby, summer and acceptance are already with us. We are ready for no sleep and Orson is still waking almost every night at least once, just to check in more than anything so we are in a new rhythm. Breast feeding hasn’t gone to plan again, but this time I’m ok with it. We move to formula and embrace the fact that Orson can help feed his sister and feel involved and we move on quickly leaving dreams of breastfeeding forever behind us. Jamie and I are already taking shifts having her sleep on our chest downstairs so the other can catch z’s and attend to Orson if he wakes. We cuddle her when she needs it, feed her when she asks for it and just enjoy it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still hard, and what I wouldn’t do for a hint of routine or any idea what might come next but, this time we are doing it on our terms. We are BRAVER! We are telling people how we are parenting. We are not ashamed when we tell our family and friends that Emie sleeps in our bed and from time to time Orson joins us too. I don’t care how my friends look at me when I throw Emie or Orson on my back and wrap them as close to me as my own skin and I laugh with them when we talk about how I have turned into an earth mother or a hippy. And, we accept the eye rolls of our parents and the rods for our backs that we are creating as “times have changed” we tell them, “how do you think we parented as cave people” and are parents go along with our new age ways. And all of these reasoning’s and explanations become justified and obvious to everyone when Orson interrupts his play time just to turn to anyone in the room to tell them how much he loves them (at the moment it’s all the way to the moon when its day time) or, when like a hippy Emie is wrapped against my back snoring her head off with the utter face of contentment so let’s be honest, who can really argue with that?
But what I can’t change is that we didn’t feel this way with Orson and we felt like we were doing it wrong. I want to go back and tell Jamie and I that we are doing great and to not be ashamed. To just do it our way and stop worrying about what everyone else is telling us. I know I can’t and what makes it OK is that I know we were just learning, finding our way into the confusing and overwhelming world of parenthood and, Orson is the most loving, sensitive happiest little boy we could have asked for so really what did we do wrong? Nothing! But still I feel like I want to start again so here you see my dilemma and I am sure you can agree that no-one at work really wants to hear that long explanation, I think they are looking for more of a polite “yes/no” answer.
So what’s the moral to my story well there isn’t one so I will end it with a message. To all the parents out there, on those days when you doubt yourself I mean really question whether you are fit to be a parent as your parents are telling you about “back in their day”, your friends are pouring out advise you don’t want to hear, and you have made yourself 3 cups of tea that have gone cold whilst still in your pyjamas at 2 in the afternoon, genuinely from me to you:
 “High 5” you made it through the night! And secondly, you are an amazing parent, your child(ren) don’t care that your still in your pjs and you haven’t brushed your teeth, they love you know matter what and hey, tonight you might get some sleep, or tomorrow you might make it to the supermarket, or hoover or any of the things you meant to do today.. The people spouting advise genuinely want to help you so try not to take it to heart and, be proud in your choices they are right for you and yours whatever they are. We are all on our very own journey so own it!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Guest Blogger Post #1 - 'A day in the life of.....'

Why is it that when the clocks spring forward the kids regress an hour? I was sure the 6am wake ups would be 7am with the change but no, it's like it's an inbuilt alarm clock that only silences with milk.
A quick coffee in bed before they boys are up and daddy's home from his night shift.
Another long night shift for my poor husband who it seems is like a passing ship in the night. In he comes 6.30 all blood shot eyes and looking drained. A kiss and 2 minute chat and he's off to bed.
7am - Oh, there's Tom up, I can hear him thundering out of bed, the usual routine. I hear him slump onto his floor, flick a switch and blast away on his guitar before he starts moving for school.
This mornings chosen riff, Metallicas 'enter sandman'. Ironic or coincidence that I'm praying the sandman would share some sleepy dust with my little ones? I can't decide. Then down the stairs he plods, a quick grunt of 'good morning', some toast and he's in the shower. Next up Franky, 27 months he's wild!
Frankys routine is milk, then non -stop action pretty much until bedtime at 7. Today I plan to scour the wall of the crayon drawing he decided to create me yesterday (sigh). So wicked, so energetic but boy he's bags of fun and within seconds he will have the whole house roaring.
Finally my little joe (10), he's always last up. He's the one that always needs peeling from his pillow. There will be no words from Joe until he's sat for at least 15 minutes, and ate his cereal. We know better by now to not engage him any conversation until then. He's just not a morning person, but once he's come around he's a little darling. He busies himself chasing Franky about playing hide 'n' seek, or 'the tickling monster'. He's the sweetest boy with the biggest heart.
By 8am Toms already out to school, by 8.30 the rest of us are dressed and making our way on the school run with Joe.
We're back home by 9, ready for a fun filled day of activities to keep the babies entertained. There will be building blocks, cars, story time, cleaning (the crayon from the wall!), piles of washing/ironing and walking the dog via the park.

The plan is to wear these little ones out. Trouble is this often also wears me out, by the time dinner and dishes are done, baths and feeds, my sleepy heads are all snuggly and tired, soon they'll be in bed. A time to sit, relax, chill with a glass of wine, appreciate the silence and also miss the chaos. Yes, I'm exhausted, my feet ache, my hairs a mess, my clothes are full of baby food, snot and tears. I'm going to savour this cold, crisp glass of Chablis.......
9.30 - I'm woken up by Tom! 'Go to bed Mam, I'll lock up'.
My eldest baby can see I'm tired, he's caring, sweet and very observant!
Good night kids, Daddy's turn tomorrow.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Mumpreneur Mondays #11

Guess what folks? It's that time of the week again. You know the one. The Mumpreneur one. So, Mumpreneur Mondays is here and yes, with it it brings another lovely Mommy with a business. 
Let me introduce you to this weeks Mom. Please meet Toni Sarabadu, Mommy to 2 lovely littlies. Not only is she a little human Mommy, she is also a doggy Mommy. And, a doggy nanny. Yes, that's right this Mommy runs a dog sitting business. 
Toni, tell me a bit about your business:
'I look after doggies when their owners need a much needed holiday and want their best friend looked after with the care and attention they deserve. We take on dogs for the day when their owners do not want them left alone all day, or overnight for short breaks or extended stays when their owners are on their jollies.'

Speaking as a dog owner knowing that there is someone local that loves having dogs is a real assurance. I know, that when I leave our dogs without us. I like to know that the person I leave them with is responsible and loving. Seems to me that Toni really is.
'The business has been running for around 3 years. I decided to start my own dog boarding business as I was made redundant from my position as an IT Manager whilst pregnant and wanted a change of scenery. As my husband and I have a fondness for dogs with 2 of our own, a 9 year old working cocker spaniel called Scooby and an 8 year old dobergirl called Kiki, both rescues, it seemed a good fit with our family as we would not put our own dogs into kennels and thought that there would be commended people out there. Staying with our dogs in our house means that the dogs we look after get lots of love and attention from humans as well as being socialised with our two dogs.'

When speaking to Tony about her business, the one thing that sticks with me as a real positive is that she classes her dog boarding as a 'home from home' service. She makes sure that dogs continue with their home routine just in a different environment. This makes me really happy. You see, our dogs are on a raw food frozen diet and knowing that they could continue with this diet is hugely reassuring.

So, are you dog owners looking for boarding kennels or a dog sitter? Then, look no further:

And, for those of you looking into leaving your dogs with Toni. When booking or enquiring quote 'Moms The Word 2012' and, you will receive a discount. How wonderful is that!