Survival Guided

As we’re aproaching the 1 year mark for Casey/ parenting 2, I thought I’d do a little post about things that have helped, hindered and things we couldn’t live without. A survival guide if you will.

First off, top 5 essential purchases;

    1. SLEEPYHEAD Deluxe. The thought of £130 gives you a bit of a squeaky bum but its been our best, value for money, purchase in terms of use. Its only supposed to go up to 9 months so can seem quite off putting however if you just unclip the bottom it will see you till at least the one year mark which works out at about 35p a day. Ready made bed and familiar smells for when you’re travelling, or they have sleep overs. I can’t recommend it enough, although be warned, they dont tumbledry so it could be worth getting a spare cover (although they’re £80)! But so worth it if a family member wants to give money, Dan’s Nan gave us money so I was glad we put it towards something we’ve used every single day. It’s also helped the transition from moses basket to crib to cot. Thank you!  Sleepyhead
    2. MY FRIEND GOO. Just when you think you’ve cracked the new born phase, teething comes and kicks your smug derrière. With Beaux we had Sophie, the giraffe. She was amazing but was an awkward size and would constantly get dropped (if its your preferred teething toy they do harneces for her on Ebay). This time round we got Goo, he is light weight, made with natural rubber and being from an independent shop I knew I was helping a lovely lady, Jenna and her beautiful daughters Elfie and Flo. Shopping small is so rewarding as you know you really are making a difference to someone’s life. Jenna has just started selling clips for Goo too and bibs which are so beautiful. Goo is so user friendly and Casey had 8 teeth come through in his first year. 4 each time! Thank you! Cloudandcuckoo
    3. ALDI/CHEAP AF NAPPIES. I think we must have spent thousands on nappies for Beaux. We used to get them from Costco so always thought we were getting a good deal. We weren’t. I was always concerned of not looking like a cheapskate with nappies but actually, who gives a fuck?! Tesco do amazing deals on theirs too.

Actually, I don’t have any other essentials, everything else is just stuff and I could probably survive the year without them. But these three have been life savers!

Other things that are handy; Alcohol – essential somedays, Date nights, Grandparents, parks, caffeine and snacks, all the snacks!

Do’s and Dont’s

  •  Do whatever gets you through the day
  •  Don’t listen to twats
  •  Do listen to your own intuition. Your instincts are better than anyone elses
  •  Don’t google. Similar to when you google a symptom and it says you’ve got 45 seconds to live
  •  Do what makes you happy, there is no real rule book on how to raise babies. A happy mummy makes a happy baby so make time for what brings you joy – other than those little snot bags
  •  Don’t feel bad for making time for yourself. You fucking deserve it!
  •  Do make time for your friends, real ones though, ones you can message when you kids need an exorcism, ones that haven’t been forced upon you in a baby group
  •  Don’t worry if your friend group changes, you’ve changed. Some get it, some don’t
  •  Do stand your ground, pull up the drawbridge when you need to and make sure not to spend yourselves thin
  •  Don’t let anyone threaten your joy, doesn’t matter who it is. Don’t allow anyone to disrupt your peace. You’ve worked hard and endlessly to create your unit, not everyone deserves to be part of it. And that’s ok!

I’m pretty stoked to be doing a few blog posts coming up for brands I’ve loved, new brands I’ve discovered and products that I think you will love too. If this is something you might be interested in, keep your eyes peeled!

I think that’s about it from my pearls of wisdom! All I can say is do whatever gets you through the day, pick your battles and know that bribary and negotiation is an essential part of parenting. We’re all just doing our best so be kind to others and yourselves!

Hx

Six months of Coops

As I’m pretty sure every parents says it and I am being constantly reminded recently, the time is just flying by. Casey has changed SO much already in his first 6 months, much like my love for him. My love for him is as deep as it is wide, I fall in love with his generous smiles, more and more everyday. We had a rough start and it was a challenging time dealing with severe separation anxiety after recovering from a car accident, along with a lot of other factors, while trying to welcome a second baby into our already well established unit. But as I slowly came out the other side my love has grown ferociously. I knew there was the ability to love a second child as much as the first but I don’t think I was prepared for the capacity in which it floods your soul.

My love for Beaux has also grown tenfold from the way she must always know where he is, have a part of her body touching his when we’re sat together and always asking after him when she’s been away for a period of time. Her generosity and how she’s welcomed him with open arms and an open heart has mine bursting at the seams. (She said she wanted to share her birthday with him and he could have some of her presents and balloons because that is what you do when you love someone, you share what you have) – no you’re crying.

My heart floods with love every time I look at him. Maybe its a Mother-son thing, but the way he smiles and kicks his legs when he sees me like an excited frog that’s just found his feet killlllls me. Believe me, that four-month sleep regression nearly broke me but there really is no coffee that can awaken your heart like those gummy, old man smiles.

My boy B

He’s always been a very chilled baby right from the beginning, and already has the sweetest little mannerisms; that little smile he does with his tongue out genuinely does things to my heart, I can almost hear it crumbling.

Morning Bliss

At six months Casey LOVES his jumperoo, he gets so into the bouncing he then loses it and has to centre himself again. It’s hilarious to watch. He likes to sit upright with us and doesn’t particularly like being flat but he’s very good at the arched back when he’s had enough. His back is SO strong its a struggle to try to keep him sat up as he just straightens up and pulls himself up to standing. He finds sheer delight in being naked though, when he gets fussy and I’ve tried everything we get him naked and like Mary Poppins, we get his sunny attitude shining through again.

I love watching his face light up when he sees Daddy or hears his voice, and the way he gazes up at his big sister so adoringly , always interested in whatever Beaux is up to. Unsurprisingly she was the first one to get him to do the full belly roll laugh which was, as you can imagine, utter joy. They are constantly giggling together and often Casey will just look at her and smile in adoration. If ever you were unsure of having another child, that very look will give you absolute reassurance that it was the right thing to do. They are definitely both old souls and when I see them having secret conversations I imagine they’re both recalling another time.

“And I’d chose you; in a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality, I’d find you and I’d chose you.”

He started having purées a few weeks ago as he was still starving after bottle feeds and had been feeding every two hours during the nights most days so where I’ve felt appropriate, he’s had small portions of age appropriate foods and has since had far less disturbed sleeps.

Oh the irony. And the rolls!

Which brings me onto every mums favourite subject – sleep. I guess that’s all most people seem to care/worry/compete about. Well to be honest, it can vary day-to-day. Some nights he’ll feed 3 times, some nights he’ll just need turning and some, well few, he’ll sleep all the way through. Let’s just say we won’t be winning any competitions anytime soon.

Sleeping mancub

Which leads me on to routine. Yes routine is important. Tiny humans work best when they know what to expect and when, however if that routine doesn’t coincide with them/you that day then it can make for a very frustrated baby and mama. Mostly, he’s alert and ready for the day about 8am, needs a fairly decent nap from 11-1 but then will need another one about 4 then bed at around 8. But if he’s had an unsettled night or his sisters kindly given him her cold I can’t expect to stick to the exact routine the next day.. unless you’re Gina Ford and hate children.. who also doesn’t have a child for her point of reference.

Beaux had even less routine than Casey does, which served her so well for nursery and being looked after by others. A happy baby is a happy life. So while we aren’t structuring our day around meal times just yet and as long as he is ready for bed by 8pm, he sleeps when he’s tired and eats when he’s hungry. That way he’ll be rested and fed enough to last the night, making for one very happy well slept baby! Which is essential as he starts to explore the world even more. He’ll soon be in nursery and I don’t want to be that mum that’s day is utterly ruined and everyone’s been thrown off keel, pulling teeth because baby didn’t sleep from 1:45 – 2:05. I’m just not that structured and need to live life. There may be an emergency trip to McDonald’s at noon, so if baby sleeps in the car half an hour early I don’t want to have to regret my beige food choices for the rest of the week.

Some days I still can’t quite believe that he is actually here after what felt like 265 months of pregnancy. And then I realise that so soon he’ll have been out of my tummy longer than he was in.

I feel so incredibly lucky to be his mummy.

The boy who stole my heart

I just can’t get enough of him – he changes everyday and is developing such an amazing personality, I can’t wait to see his similarities and differences to his sister. And I can’t, for love nor money, stop kissing his irresistible cheeks. He really was the missing piece to this family and he is so loved by everyone, mostly Beaux.

Motherhood is a way of seeing magic in the world that you might otherwise be blind to. A world that so often can be ruthless and cruel. Children’s innocence really is something that makes the world go round, it’s something we could all do more of. I feel so privileged to be able to look at the world through their eyes, and see love and joy in everything.

His happiness every morning waking up to us and being so happy just to be alive is something magical in itself.

Hx

Casey Cooper Bliss

Miscellaneous greatness

I have no idea what the fuck to call this?

I basically had a few bits to use up in he fridge and sort of just winged it… no change there then.

It’s essentially a twist of meatballs with chicken meatballs instead with a twist on the el Classico.

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Just stay with me on this. I didn’t even take photos because I wasn’t expecting much till I tasted at the end and blew my own mind!

You will need:

  • Chicken meatballs/pre made were what we had but if you’re a culinary wizard then smash them out ya self!
  • Passata sauce
  • Worcester sauce (the tits in every meal)
  • Mushrooms
  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Spinach
  • Spaglehettiiiii
  • Garlic

Soooo, we all know where this is going, although this time I didn’t even follow a recipe so the winging was real. (I also expected it to be beef meatballs when I got them out the freezer yesterday so this all came to me like a vision in white.)

Method:

  • In a large frying pan heat oil, finely chopped onion (to the point its pulverised if your other half had an aversion to it and used less than half of one), garlic and salt (if it’s not for the kiddies)
  • Finely chop 2 celery stalks and add
  • Finely chop mushrooms and do the same (I used 2 and again, pulverising was essential)
  • Add the chicken balls, we had a 12 pack and it made 3 big meals (once they were almost fully cooked I quartered them so they were less offensive)
  • Add enough passata to get them swimming, not drowning and add a cup of water
  • Add Worcester sauce, I’d add gallons if I could but you do you
  • Get the spaghetti on
  • Let it simmer and add some pasta if it looks a bit dense. (I let it simmer for about half an hour- 45 mins to get even more flavour)
  • In the last 5 mins add spinach
  • Serve with lashings of cheese if you fancy. Of course you fancy! (Some mozzarella would have gone down an absolute treeeat!)

Beaux loved helping again chopping the mushrooms, breaking up the celery and sprinkling the spinach (could have used basil) we went on a massive walk and got an onion on the way so coming in from the chilly afternoon this was very warmly welcomed! (I did have to go over all the chopping to get it really fine but it was great to get her involved!)

I mean, I’m not sure how much Play Doh she ate with it, but it was a hit! I thought about adding a red pepper we needed to use up but I didn’t think the flavours would gel. Again you could mix up the meat/veg or even pasta type, essentially making it a completely different fucking meal 🤣

Enjoy!

Hx

Chunky fish – Wrap battle!

This is BY FAR one of my favourite meals we’ve made together. Beaux has got completely obsessed with cooking recently and this is a great one to get tiny humans involved in. Also it helps that they chose what they eat so it hopefully assures you they’ll eat everything on their plate.

My portions are never really followed to the book, mostly because looking back and forth at a page or screen kills my creative vibe. I roughly followed this recipe off the bbc goodfood website, but you could just wing it with ease!

You will need:

  • Plain flour
  • Breadcrumbs (we used golden breadcrumbs in alliance with the bearded captain)
  • 2 Eggs (the recipe said 3, we used two and that was plenty)
  • 2 fillets of white sustainable fish (we used cod – obviously depending on how much you want to make adjust the portion sizes – 2 fillets was enough for 4 wraps and 5 fingers frozen)
  • Tortilla wraps
  • Fillings – we used tomato, avocado and cucumber (again I’m leaving portion size and preference to you and your tribe)
  • Garlic mayo – garlic purée and mayo (same as above, but that was all we had)

Method:

You’ll need to set up two prep stations, this was the part Beaux loved most.

The first one for the fingers.

Fish prep station
  • Cut the fish into… fingers, we made a few a little chunkier.
  • Get a plate of flour, beaten eggs in a bowl (Beaux’s forte) a plate of breadcrumbs and a bowl/plate for the ready fingers. (Bear in mind you may need more flour/crumbs after awhile)
“Roll him in snow, bath him in the eggs, roll him in the sand to dry him up”
  • Cover fish in flour completely – ‘give them a bath’ (fully immersed), roll in the crumbs and then lay to rest.
  • Place in pan of oil, a good glug will do. Once they’re browned on each side (compare them to the golden originals if necessary.) Lay to rest on kitchen roll to remove excess oil)
  • While this was going on Beaux was at the other prep station
Filling prep station/garlic mayo tasting
  • I got her to mix the mayo and mash the avo which she loved! – and loved tasting to make sure it was ok.
If you don’t eat the corners of a wrap while you wait are you even hungry?
  • Lay it all out, testing the wrap while you wait… and let them load it up so you know it’ll be a hit

Et voila! A very happy last lunch for the 2 year old!

In her happy place… Lets take a minute to look at Casey waiting for his!

 

I could only manage 1.5 wraps but she had 3! We put the rest in a Tupperware to freeze and she requested them the next day! You could definitely mix it up with chicken which will be our next wrap battle!

Hx

2017- another year around the sun.

Sorry its two weeks late! I’ve been up to my nuts in all things unicorn mentally preparing myself for a 3rd birthday… Finally finished this.

2017 was an interesting one, a fucking long one considering I was pregnant for about 17 months of it. Although I seemed to have blinked and missed it all. 🤔

I barely remember being pregnant, however everyone that was around me will vividly recall how I despised everything of everyday. – Considering I had an absolutely blessed pregnancy for the second time, I feel I probably took the piss a bit. Second time round there’s minimal enjoyment or time to compare your little foetus to fruit and veg. Plus you know what’s coming, or at least you think you do, then the night feeds and zero neck control hits you like a sack of newborn-tar-shit. Second time round it’s really just about getting through the day and keeping everyone alive.

I’m ready for a year of not being pregnant, because this is a biggie for me and all my friends turning 30, so it’s an excellent time to not be pregnant. Listen to my words, BabyGods – notice the emphasis!
Ready to wear things that don’t resemble tents, but at the rate I’m going on the #cheesegate front I may just have to crack back into the maternity box. (that’s waiting for a vulnerable, hormonal pregger to buy off my Depop – not awaiting the next incubation!)

Plus a heatwave would be welcomed in 2018, as long as I’m not 486 weeks pregnant this time.

Here’s just a few of my faves from 2017.

The last few days with my 1 year old
Beaux’s 2nd birthday – cake at 6am before work/nursery definitely sets the day up right.
Cat party with Frank and Bev.
The utter sigh of relief when you see their little body after spending the half an hour in the waiting room working yourself up that you were in actual fact having a phantom pregnancy and the whole thing was a lie.
‘Is it summer yet?’ The classic ‘coming soon’ post.
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These two
The last time. Beaux’s last sink bath
The first walk of the year. Tried to ‘stay active’ during this pregnancy.. even though I was working 9/10 hour shifts a day.
It’s a BOY!
Loving Helen all year.
Always
Quenching that pregnancy craving.
Beaux clearly thrilled about my ever growing bump
CRACKED POTTY TRAINING IN ONE GO soznotsozforthesmugness
Did a 4.5 hour drive to Cornwall solo with this one and survived. Although we listened to Frozen soundtrack the.whole.way.home.
Went for an innocent day out that turned out to be one of the fucking hottest days of the year and stupidly we decided to pick strawberries in a greenhouse.
Literally got to the point I had to hold my bump up.
A day in the gardening swimming, with Dan showing the benefits of sunscreen
The actual hottest day of the year, 35 degrees and about 75 months pregnant.
Baby shower of dreams
Brunching with the Babe Bliss
10 mins before my waters broke I got the weirdest feeling so went and sat with B and took a photo thinking this might be the last time its just us.
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Casey Cooper Bliss 28/07/17 – 15:02 – 6lb7 The cub
He was so tiny!
Breastfeeding her baby
Bee met Bear!
Love
More love
“Never a dull moment”
Love
London
Those cheeks
CoseyCub
That just about sums up the last few months of 2017
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I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
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Watching these two fall in love with each other more every day
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Caseys first night in his own room!
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All got a bit much for him Christmas morning
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1st Christmas as 4!
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Nonnys 90th Christmas and Nanny made a light up gingerbread house of dreams!
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Lads
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The boy

 

And thats basically every photo in my camera roll. JK there’s currently 9k+

Wishing you all a year filled with love and all the best ones.

Hx

 

 

 

A weekend well spent brings a week of content.

I would put my featured image as my face this morning, but in all honest I have no doubt someone would set up a GoFundMe page and send round a Samaritan.

After about 4 hours broken sleep I’d also like to say I’m currently attempting to fill my Monday-caffeine-quota, but alas, Miss Bliss has other plans for me today and she’s already spilt half my gallon-mug all over me. Thankfully, and unsurprisingly, it was cold.

After a brilliant start to the weekend of baking muffins, bulk cooking pasta sauce and generally parenting the shit out of life, a sleepover with Beauxs all-time-faves, us parentals out in London for a gig – and me not losing my shit or getting even slightly clammy. (probs the 29501475934 starters I ordered from Wagamamas that absorbed the fear, or the fact James Arthur was so ridiculously good I was distracted from the amount of people around me. Well done, sir.)

I should have known it was too good to be true on the way home when the car decided to die a coolant death with 4% phone battery between us.

We put the Christmas tree up on Saturday (sorry Scrooges) only to be met with a limited supply of fairy lights. (Its their fault for being so twinkly that I’ve slowly put them up elsewhere throughout the year.) So with a half lit tree I went out on the fairy light hunt.

I’d been gone an hour and returned home to rock solid cookies, Beaux fashioning Sharpie all over her face and had emptied a baggy of star/glitter sequins all over the shag pile rug like she was at a crafting exhibition. – sprinkle that shit!

The tree was finished and we were in full Christmas mode. Turning down Michael Buble only to hear the sweet sounds of Casey, barking like a seal.

He obviously sensed we had a relatively decent sleep on friday night and thought he’d like a show around of Abingdon Hospital. Cheers pal. Croup is a thing of the devil but so was the film playing in the waiting room. ‘Obsessed’ – Idris and Beyoncé what the fuck were you thinking?

Sunday came round before my head even hit the pillow when Beaux decided to wake up the second I got back from hospital to tell me “I just love Kitty cat. Lets read together” Lets absolutely not. She then woke up about 3 hours later to come and ask me to put on her Cinderella dress…

Later in the day we went to a wedding showcase, Beaux was good until we walked in and she demanded food, found some brownies, ate one, licked the rest and then put them back.

Fast forward to last night, where Casey was either trying to attract all the dogs in the area, or dreaming of a past life where he danced for fish at a marine park. #sleepreallyisfortheweak

This morning just set up the day really when Beaux came in with a “present” for me.

She goes downstairs with Dan before work and comes back up when he leaves, sometimes there’s a gap in timing. Today was one of those times. As I began opening the gift covered in paper, a sudden rush of irrational fear swept through me, I saw what looked like a few handfuls of teeth. FFS…Panic averted as it was just an entire packet of chewing gum she’d broken up.

So now I’m just trying to reassure myself that ‘it can only get better’.. till I imagine what it will be like when they’re both able to set fire to the house.

Happy Monday friends. Stay safe.

And if you can’t stay safe just smile and wing it.

Yes that’s Beaux in the back eyeing up which bit of the tree to terrorise.

Godspeed.

Hx

Feminism, Shmeminism

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/26/gender-wars-household-chores-comic?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Thanksgiving

While its difficult for me to get on board with what it stands for, no offence but genocide just isn’t my bag, I like the idea of taking some time to think and voice what you’re thankful for. Something we should all practice more often.

As the saying goes “this too shall pass” and while I’m continuing to battle this anxiety daily, last week I felt so desperately far from those words it seemed I’d lost sight of the forest for the trees. Deep down I know it’ll pass each time but in those moments it seems improbable.

I’m thankful for my little family, the people that open my eyes each time, either by merely existing or for giving me something else to think about. But primarily to Dan for both and for having the patience to let it pass.

Also to my two little loves who help me see the greatness in every waking minute, day and night!

So today I’m very, very thankful

Hx

Hank Marvin

So here I am, telling my 2 year old not to fuck with me till I’m highly caffeinated. Which, by my standards, probably won’t be till about 3pm.

I feel slightly bad as it’s not her fault her brother was an arsehole all night, but she slept in her My Little Pony jumper 🙄 again last night and she’s been sporting a Cinderella dress over the top of it since 6am so as far as I’m concerned, her day can’t get much better.

While I was pregnant anyone and everyone warned me about having a boy. “You’ll never sleep again. Good luck with the feeding. Prepare yourself for their hunger” and I remember thinking “oh bore off” along with all the useless comments people think are acceptable to say to a pregnant person (which will lead me on to another post, fear not)

But boyyyyy was this something that actually materialised to be of some truth.

I mean, it’s not like there’s anything I could do to prepare myself – Like doing a few laps around the village, sucking on some orange slices, getting some extra sleep or even just any sleep in while I was pregs – which by the way doesn’t happen.

But this kid is something else. There’s 3 gestation weeks between him and his sister. She was 2 weeks late and he was a week early. I’ve tried putting her hunger down to being older than she was and his down to trying to ‘catch up’. Realistically they’re just greedy bastards.

At this point she was already having baby rice in the evenings to tie her over – yes my health visitor said it was fine after 4 months if they show signs they’re ready – before I feel your judgey eyes reading this. So I tried some with him last night…

Only to be met with his disapproving looks towards flavour, temperature and just overall experience. But then if I’d been drowning in sweet warm nectar for the first 4.5 months of life to then be given cold red pepper slime I’d be pretty livid about the whole thing too. (Daddy’s impeccable choice from the limited Tesco express selection)

He’s trying to make light of the situation here but I really felt his disappointment.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset We tried apple purée after and that went down like a Nando’s to the cheeky type. He only had 2 spoonfuls but I think it opened his eyes to a whole new world (fully riding that Arabian carpet). I forget how baby’s turn into crackheads after their first purée hit.

I thought maybe we’d cracked it as we put him down for the long nap… alas, I was wrong.

As standard, for the 3rd night this week he woke up with no warning just 0 – Ethiopian-starved in 0.3 seconds. Anyone listening would think we’d locked him in the cupboard under the stairs and waited for a Hogwarts letter to feed him. In reality he’s eating every 3 hours. 😂🙄

So now I sit desperately, looking out the window with my gallon of cold coffee, praying that Tesco hurry’s the fuck up so we can unload all of the baby food.

Meanwhile,

and its only Wednesday!..

Pray for me,

Hx

Kids say the darndest things.

As we draw ever closer to Christmas and being constantly reminded by my daughter every waking minute, its made me reflect on how much more aware of it all she is this year. The excitement is bursting out of her like a can your friend at school would shake in a bid to soak you in humiliation – Unfortunately in this situation I can’t ‘tap her three times’ to minimise the pent up hysteria.

This time last year she could barely speak, had an offensive barnet, tiny gappy teeth and as the title would suggest, if you asked her to say Christmas her response was “Piss”.

It seems we’ve gone in full circle this past year, from telling everyone “Merry Piss” … to her Tangled obsession where she proceeded to tell adults I’d “locked her in the garden”, her inability to pronounce her ‘R’s has had her repeating “rank” in a less than appropriate manner, dropping something in a supermarket and getting very shouty “oh for fzzks Sake!” to telling the entire nursery staff that “Daddy has a tail” – I will never live that down! to very matter-of-factly tell random adults at parties “I don’t like you” and to just now, when Casey’s milk bottle leaked all over him (damn these anti colic contraptions) when she said “Look, piss! its pissed all over him!” –

Note to self – We really must get that swear jar fixed.

Merry almost Piss-mas!

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Beaux – Christmas 2016

Hx