Where’s the time gone….. going back to work! 

It’s been nearly half a term since I returned to work (yes I teach!), after just over a year of maternity leave! I had very mixed emotions about the whole ordeal and now after some little time to reflect I thought I would update you on how it has been going. 

Firstly let me give you a little context. I’m a teacher working in a small school in Surrey. I absolutely love my job and have been at my current school for a number of years. I have the most fantastic colleagues and the children that I have the pleasure of teaching are on the whole pretty great too!

I really missed my work whilst on maternity leave and it actually took me a very long time to adjust to not being there (perhaps another story, for another time, if I’m ever feeling brave enough.) Whilst on maternity leave, I chose to keep a lot of contact with my work, popped in occasionally to see my friends and keep an overview in preparation for what I would be returning to. I also managed to do a number of my ‘in touch days’ which I really enjoyed and were a good way to keep contact and ease back in. 
Harvey was a summer baby and I worked up until he was born (two weeks late.) In return I was able to take the full year with him, not returning to work until he had passed his first birthday. By this point there were only three weeks remaining until the school summer holidays started and I would be off again (I was very lucky it worked out this way!) 

In regards to childcare for these three weeks we relied solely on our family. Harvey spent the first week in Sussex with my in laws and the subsequent two weeks with my parents who live locally. 
The first week was by far the hardest. We didn’t get to see Harvey at all (except for a few pictures) and I found the return to work exhausting both physically and emotionally. When Harvey finally returned home on the Saturday after my first week I was over the moon to see him, even if he did try hard to give me the cold shoulder for the first ten minutes! Looking back I know that not having him about was very fortunate, I got up early and worked late and I didn’t have to feel any mum guilt about missing dinner, bath or bed because no matter when I returned home he wasn’t going to be there! 


The next two weeks were a little different. Harvey went to stay at my parents who live about thirty minutes from my work so I was always conscious of the fact that if I finished early enough I could make it to theirs for some of the bedtime routine and most importantly a Harvey cuddle. The first week he spent with my parents I had a number of work commitments and only managed to get there three out of five nights. In the final week I was fortunate enough to get to Harvey for dinner, bath and bed every night. This was exhausting, not only was the return to work a shock to the system but my desire to do everything (work to my full potential and be the best mummy I could) wore me out. By the time the holidays started I was shattered! 
Now I have returned to work on a long term basis (at least until baby number two arrives). I work four days a week and have been lucky enough to have family do all my childcare (Harvey spends his time with both sets of grandparents, he loves it!). I have found the first half of term absolutely exhausting and I can not wait until the holidays start again in a few weeks time. The days have been long and I’ve been growing big, currently in my third trimester! I miss Harvey terribly and have found the adjustment very difficult. Harvey on the other hand has taken it all in his stride.
So what have I learnt? I don’t have to do everything; Harvey will still love me. Let family help; they want to and it’s what they are there for! Work and motherhood together is in no doubt exhausting and it’s been hard to find a suitable and practical work/life, mummy/teacher balance. 

For now I’m just trying to make the most of the weekends with Harvey and I’m looking forward to my half term holiday. I’m sure just as I finally get used to it all, I’ll be off on maternity leave again and starting a whole new challenge with two little ones! 

Love 

Lindsay 

X

Counting Little Green Sheep…. ðŸ‘🐑🐑

Just over a week ago we received some very exciting blogger mail in the form of a mattress from ‘The Little Green Sheep’ Company. 

‘The Little Green Sheep’ Comany is a brand I have come across before and in all honesty had always heard very positive reviews about. So I was really excited to be able to try out one of their produts, review and feedback on our experience. I clearly remember the numerous searches for product review when I was expecting Harvey from buggys to bath seats, it’s endless. 

Before I give you my thoughts I think it’s important to know a little about the brand, so here we are….

🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑

‘The Little Green Sheep’ was founded in 2006 by Mark Nicholls and Paul Maurice, two friends who first crossed paths whilst at University in Birmingham. Once they completed their University courses each ventured off on their relevant journeys, between them gathering experience in the product and marketing business as well as the organics industry. ‘The Little Green Sheep’ was grown later based on the simple idea of offering parents and babies the best in baby bedtimes and originated by the friends desire to design and manufacture a baby mattress that combined the best quality support, made in the most natural possible way (using natural and organic materials), the first mattress was launched in 2007! 

🐑 The Little Green Sheep Values & Beliefs

‘The Little Green Sheep’ believe in providing the best for babies. It’s this which inspires them to do what they do, creating beautifully made products; shaped by simple, honest ingredients, and produced in an ethical and appropriate way. They believe in providing babies with the most natural environment possible, away from toxins and harmful chemicals but never compromising on quality.

🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑


So how did we get on?

The mattress we chose to try out was the…

 ‘🐑 Link – Twist Natural Cot Bed Mattress 70x140cm’ 

On first impressions the mattress looked great! It had a clean and appealing finish with a quilted cotton cover, looked smart, but also felt soft and comfortable. 

After looking past the immediate visual impression the important thing to note is that the mattress (unlike many in the market) does not have a removable cover. Therefore it is recommended (essential) that you use a mattress protector to protect against any possible damp (I’m thinking poorly babies, leaky nappies and potty training toddler accidents). ‘The Little Green Sheep’ sell their own recommended mattress protectors which are just as soft and organic as the mattress it’s self!

‘ ðŸ‘ Link – Little Green Sheep Mattress Protector’

The next thing to look at are the two sides to the mattress; these have been cleverly designed to take your baby through their toddler years to a recommended age of five. 

The mattress has been smartly designed to incorporate two different sides of support. One with a side designed for 0-12 months (firm surface). 

The other for side little ones from 12 months to five years (supple yet comfortably). Based on Harvey’s age, 14 months, we used the mattress on for the elder ones. 

Harvey took to the mattress immediately, snuggling down with no complaints and sleeping happily through the night. Prior to Harvey’s nights on the mattress he was sleeping on a mattress made by a different brand and if I’m honest also had no difficulties sleeping. Harvey is generally a good sleeper, although an early riser (sadly the early rising didn’t change with the introduction of the new mattress, despite wishful thinking from both Mummy and Daddy). 

So what were the benefits of the mattress? 

First of all it gave me a greater peace of mind knowing that my baby was sleeping on a mattress that didn’t contain any chemicals or toxins. This made me feel happier and far more content about putting him down at night, and sometimes it is just the little things that make all the difference.

I also really loved the fact that the mattress is naturally fireproofed, further peace of mind for Mummy and Daddy. And finally, and most importantly, is that fact that by it being natural it is by far the most gentle on Harvey’s delicate skin(eczema prone).

Now having used a ‘The Little Green Sheep’ product for myself I am highly interested in their other products and I know with the new bump on the way I would love to discover more about some of their other items. As well as mattresses they now also produce a range of baby sleepwear including babygrows, sleepbags and bedding including sheets, pillows, duvets and muslins. The sheet we received in our trial is without a doubt one of the softest I’ve come across and I’ll certainly be investing in some more for both Harvey and the bump! 


And finally in addition to all this they are also the creators of the well know co-sleeping baby crib; the snuzpod!

Good luck with your mattress search and baby purchases, I hoped this helped and I welcome any questions! 

Love 


Lindsay x

Thank Teething jewellery for Mama’s and babies!! 

When I was asked if I was interested in trying out some new Jewellery I jumped at the chance, I never miss a opportunity to accessorise!!! Only this was jewellery with a difference. This was Jewellery designed by a mama for a mama, yes this was teething Jewellery! 



If I’m honest I was sceptical at first, I imagined a large garish plastic looking bracelets and necklaces in neon colours that screamed this is purely practical. However, one look at the Mama and Belle website and I realised how just how wrong this misconception was (if you don’t believe me take a look!) 

Mama and Belle is owned by the lovely mummy of two Suzy and was launched in 2014. Taking inspiration from the teething Jewellery craze that was slowly becoming popular with mummy’s across the globe, but with much greater consideration to style! Suzy aimed to create Jewellery that was functional and fashionable! Well let’s say she succeeded. 

The Mama and Belle Jewellery comes in a range of colours/styles to suit your mood/favourite colours and latest fashion tends. ‘Rose gold!’ That all so alluring pretty rosey shade which has starred in collections from the likes of Valentino, Noon By Noor and Monique Lhuillier and has littered the the spring/summercatwalk. This can currently be found featuring in a number of the pieces in the Mama and Belle collection. Showing that us mummy’s can still be on trend (whilst also being a little practical with a baby in tow!). 

The Mama and Belle collection includes necklaces, bracelets, dummy/teether clips, a mini Belle collection for those little toddlers who want to dress just like mummy and even a very sensitively designed dad collection (yes, I know, amazingly daddy can take part in this too!). 

So what did I go for and how did we get on? 
So after deciding that this teething Jewellery didn’t look as I thought it would (tacky, plastic and tasteless) I made my selection! 

I opted for the Amelia nude quartz and marble teething bangle with the Amelia rose gold and marble teething bangle to stack with it! (because one is never enough!). I then also added the Aurora quartz teething necklace in its complimentary colours! 

After checking out all the important safety bits (safety first) and being completely satisfied that all the items were one hundred percent safe for my little man (see above) I put them on and headed out! They were immediately a hit with Harvey. He’s currently teething crazy and if he’s not putting something in his mouth he’s attempting to bite down on me! Ouch!!! Well let’s just say these items have already saved me from a number of nasty baby bites. 

We will certainly being making lots of use of these over the coming months and I’m hoping they will save me from from lots of nasty bites!! 

Giveaway time!!!!!

And now for the best part……..
The lovely ladies at Mama and Belle are offering you the chance to win your own set of teething Jewellery! Your choice of necklace and bangle!!! All you have to do is click on the ‘Enter Competition’ link below! Good luck!!

Mama and belle/the rustic mother
https://js.gleam.io/e.js

Love 

Lindsay x

 Cake in the post?!? Harvey’s letterbox cake 🎂 

Wow yesterday was such a busy day! We started our celebrations for Harvey’s first birthday and we had the most amazing and busy day we’ve had in a long time! My feet ache soooo much and my little solider is absolutely exhausted, but we feel we’ve kicked off Harvey’s Birthday celebrations in style (more on that in a later post) and are looking forward to them continuing today.

What I wanted to tell you about today was that little something extra that we took with us to make our day out a little more fun!! 
We were kindly given a very unique cake by the lovely people at Bakerdays. What made this cake unique is that it was small enough to fit through our letter box and therefor small enough for us to sneak under the buggy and tuck into whilst at the zoo! 

A little on Bakerdays….. 

Bakerdays are a company based in Nottingham who specialising in making cakes for all occasions, what’s different about their cakes is that they can be posted through your letterbox, yes a cake, in a tin, through your letterbox! The company founded by cake lover Andrea Guzyova creates these unique cakes perfectly for one or two (or perhaps some little sticky fingers) to enjoy with the added bonus that they can be delivered next day all over the UK! 

It may be small in size but that doesn’t effect its flavour, as can been seen by our little cake lover who couldn’t keep his hands to himself!

Harvey’s cake was personalised to fit his special day out (the zoo) and we opted for a lemon sponge as Harvey is a fruit lover. The cake didn’t disappoint, it was perfect for the little occasion and the three of us to enjoy. 

I can’t help but think what a lovely little gift this would be for that unsuspecting someone on their special occasion – birthday, graduation, Father’s Day, new baby!! 


Love 

Lindsay 

X

Where’s the time gone…. Harvey is nearly one!!!

I can’t believe we are on the count down to Harvey’s first birthday! With just over a week to go I’m pretty sure I’m not ready for such a momentous occasion! 

Sadly Harvey turning one also signals the end of my years maternity leave and my return to work. And right now I have very mixed feelings about both events. 

Harvey turning one is both exciting and frightening! It makes me so happy to see what a gorgeous little boy he’s turning into and everyday I can see new physical developments and personality traits growing. I’m excited for what’s to come, his first steps, his first sentence! I’m excited to see his favourite things to do, favourite books and toys and to enjoy all the exciting activities that we will be able to do with our toddler as he grows that little bit older! 

However turning one also brings with it the end of his baby year. Where did my tiny sleepy baby go? How has the little guy that could sleep all day become such an independent little boy. I can feel myself mourning his baby days, looking back a pictures of this cute little thing and wondering how time can possibly have gone so quickly. 

I’m starting to wonder how I’ll feel on the big day….. excited for the next stage or sad to say good bye to such an exhausting but ultimately exciting year! 

Over the past few weeks I have found myself looking back at so many of Harvey’s baby photos. Remembering the highlights and the tough times. The long sleepless nights which at the time felt endless. Harvey took a long time to sleep through the night and my husband and I began to wonder if it would ever happen. Ironically now neither of us can remember exactly when it did happened as it all seems so irrelevant and minor now. I remember the first smile and giggle, the first time he rolled over. His first cough and cold and those dreaded first immunisations (I cried more than him!). 


I also remember the tough days when I struggled, thought I couldn’t do it and wished time would speed up so my husband would come home from work and help me! Writing this now a have a sense of guilt and wish I’d never hoped that time (even the tough times) would hurry up! I remember the days I felt like a rubbish mum, the days I cried or felt annoyed with him for things that seem so minor and silly now and I wish I’d never felt that way! I wish I hadn’t wasted my time on those feeings because what I didn’t know then is that I’d be sitting here now with only a week to go wishing I could rewind time and have it all back. 

However I feel on the day I know that I have an amazing little boy and so far despite all the challenges that have been thrown in my direction I’ve done a good job! He’s a happy, healthy, determined and independent little guy with an amazing future ahead of him! 

‘Mummy loves you Harvey xxx’

Love 

Lindsay x

Tiddlers to track……

Thinking back to when Harvey was born (just short of ten months ago!) I was fanatic about keeping track of all his feeds and sleeps! Trying to see if there was any sort of sleep pattern developing and constantly wanting to be sure he’d consumed sufficient quantities of milk each day. 

Of course like most things for a new Mummy, despite constantly feeling as though I was the only one with these throughts and worries I soon discovered I wasn’t! When I met with my NCT group a few weeks into motherhood and the babies feeding times arrived we all pulled out our scrappy note books and scribbled down our little ones feeding time and number of oz’s whilst the breastfeeding mummy’s were tracking time and side….. left/right! 

I can assure any new mummy’s out there that as your baby gets older you get less obsessive and eventually start to record less. Which is a relief for a while, although often short lived! Because before long your little one is weaning and off you go again! Making sure they are eating/drinking enough to fill all of the minimum requirements you’ve been told by your health visitors and midwifes. It really can be exhausting. 

And then there are those occasions when you leave your little ones and manage to grab a little “baby free” time!! And you get the inevitable questions…. What time does he have his milk? How much should I give him? When should he nap? How much for dinner? What does he like? Suddenly your little scrap book of notes doesn’t seem so silly anymore! 

Here I’d like to the introduce a company called…..’tiddlers and nippers’

I can whole heartedly say I wish I’d know about this company when Harvey was born! The clever people at tiddlers and nippers have designed a series of note books to help you keep track of your little ones daily feeds and needs! They were designed after the trials and tribulations they felt when tracking their own little ones feeding patterns, so as a result they are created by parents for parents and they really are a fantastic products! 

When Harvey was small I tried versions apps for my phone to track his days but they didn’t have the convenience of pen and paper! I wasn’t going to leave my phone with my parents if  he stayed at theirs for a night and it wasn’t easy for my husband to see what he had been doing when he took over for a bit. And then of course there was always the worry that we might lose all the data and then we’d be back to square one. No pen and paper worked best for us (like many others it would appear!) so this is what we stuck too!
 
Tiddlers and nippers have created a set of notebooks each aimed at a different stage of your babies development! The ‘Tiddler Tracker’ is the first in the series and designed for those new parents and the early days. The front pages contain a clear and simple ‘how to’ guide and example and then from there on each page is clearly laid out for easy day by day tracking of your little ones feeding, nappy changing and sleeping as well as a column to record expressing and a notes box for an extra bits and milestones…… prefect!! 

Of course Harvey has now moved on from this and we have just started using the ‘tiddler toddler tracker.’ This note book is different in its layout and the space for milk feeds has been replaced with columns for eat/drink, as well as one for naps and changes as well as activities and again a little space for notes/milestones. 

After a week of getting to grips with the new book, we are really living it. We can now record all of Harvey’s daily activities and feeds etc, I’ve really enjoyed looking back over the week to see how’s he’s forming patterns and achieving new milestones. For us I feel this is really going to prove useful in a few months time when I head back to work and my parents and inlaws will be covering most of the childcare. This will allow us all to know exactly what’s going on as he moves between us all. 

It’s always great when you get to use a product you love. Not only are these notebook unbelievable useful and practical they also come in a range of cute patterns and colour for you to pick from ❤️💛💚💙.

To get one for yourself visit the ‘tiddlers and nippers website (click) 👉🏻 ðŸ’» or follow them on Facebook, Instagram and twitter 📲. 

To playpen or not to playpen……. ? 

Do you have a playpen? Did you use one? 
My husband and I have had discussions back and forth about having a playpen in the house. Trying to reason if we really need one or not! We tried to think of the pros and cons of having one….

Negatives

  1. It takes up ‘a lot’ of space and our cottage is small, very small! 
  2. It more ‘baby stuff’ in our ‘adult space’ and we do like to have some (babies really take over!) 
  3. It restricts his crawling/walking space…?
  4. It looks like a mini baby jail!
  5. It’s expensive 
  6. It might not be used for that long
  7. He might not like going in it….. that means a waste of money and a waste of time! 

Positives

  1. His toys stay in one place when he’s playing
  2. He can play safely in the kitchen! (This is where we want to keep it)
  3. I can get stuff done without needing eyes in the back of my head.
  4. It will work for us as a family
  5. We can use it in the garden in the summer months!

Despite finding more negatives than positives we decided to go for it!! 


We opted for a baby dan white playpen with gray playmat. It looks nice and as a little bonus matches the new kitchen. Yes it’s taken up loads of space but I can finally get things done without having to worry about what Harvey is up too! I know he’s safe so losing a little space is a small price to pay, espically as he’s becoming more active by the day, and let’s face it, it’s not forever! So far Harvey has loved it! I can cook and clean (yes lucky me!) and I can even get some work done while he plays. 

It’s so easy to set up and move which is great and in the summer we will take it out to the garden. My wonderful Mummy managed to find a special tent top that goes on the top which means that as he gets a little older it will will provide lots of fun for him! 

See how we get on through our insta pictures!! 
Love 

Lindsay 

X


Handmade with love….

I have a particular soft spot for handmade items, espically soft jumpers and warm blankets. Harvey has had an array of cardigans, jumpers and hats over the winter all knitted by his very proud Nana and a Peter rabbit blanket from his Great Nanny. There’s a certain luxury to handmade items and I’m going to enjoy putting Harvey in them while he’s to young to complain otherwise. 

So I was over the moon when Harvey was the recipient of some beautiful hand made items from the lovely Eleanor at Belles and  Bean! 


She sent Harvey a gorgeous pram/play blanket and an adorable bunny bonnet   (especially well timed in the run up to Easter!). 


Well without a doubt the bonnet looked adorable on him and the blanket was an immediate hit with its soft texture and gorgeous combination of colours. 


The Belles and Bean is an small business ran by Eleanor, who hand makes all her own items. You can find her over on her Etsy page as well as on her Instagram feed! Read about Eleanor and find the link below….. 

Happy shopping 
Love 

Lindsay x


Read about Belles and Bean….

Announcement Welcome to Belles and Bean! I started my crochet journey when I began my maternity leave before having my little boy. I have always thought myself quite creative and so thought I would give it a go! It is something that I enjoy doing and find very therapeutic and relaxing. Making something beautiful and practical for children is an absolute pleasure that I get a lot of satisfaction from. The name ‘Belles and Bean’ was formed from my best friends calling me Belles which I love. When I found out I was pregnant with my Harvey I looked up how big he was and he was the size of a bean! I hope that you enjoy browsing my shop and perhaps even making a purchase or two! xx

Belles and Bean Etsy page! 💻

KIT days…. nearly a working Mummy! 


Today I’m going into work for my sixth KIT (keeping in touch) day. For those who don’t know what these are, keeping in touch days are a set of days (10 in total) that a mother on maternity leave is allowed to work (in agreement between employer and employee) without affecting her maternity pay. 


My work have been fantastic about me working my days. They pay me a daily rate based on my salary and have been very flexible about when I do these days. 

I read about KIT days very early on in my pregnancy and knew quite quickly that I was keen to do them throughout my time off. As I was planning on taking a whole year off I was concerned about losing touch with what was happening and these seemed a great solution.


As a Mummy to be I started asking the other mummy’s in the staff room if they had taken KIT days, how many they had done, how the pay worked and how you organise them. Much to my surprise I couldn’t find a single Mummy that had taken the KIT days on offer. 
I then approached my works burser about KIT days and sadly recieved a rather negative response (along the lines of….. well only if we need you and agree, said in a rather abrupt manner) and left feeling rather unsupported, quite disappointed and a little upset. After discussing this with my husband I then approached my boss, who was the opposite! Very keen, immensely supportive and made me feel a valued and important member of staff. 

Once I’d been on maternity leave for a few months and visited work several times to introduce my colleagues to Harvey I raised the issues of KIT days with my boss again and she jumped at the chance to have be back in for the days. 

Since then I’ve compleated six of my days and really enjoyed them and I have every intention of taking all ten days. I would definitely recommend taking KIT days to any mother on maternity leave. They have been fantastic for  a number of reasons, here are my top ten reasons for taking KIT days! 

  1. Keeping in touch with my colleagues.
  2. Keeping in touch with what’s happening at work, changes etc.
  3. Feeling valued in my work place. 
  4. Feeling like me still (not just Mummy). 
  5. Practice spending a day away from my little man in preparation for when I have to go back. 
  6. Trusting that others can look after him 🙈 (even when you know they can).
  7. Getting my little guy used to not spending the whole day with me.
  8. Remembering how to work and that I still can.
  9. Enjoyment – I LOVE my job and think it’s one of the best jobs ever! 
  10. The pay…. especially when my maternity pay is so low and stops altogether for the final 13 week.



Love

    Lindsay 

    X

    Eight months on….

    If I thought the first four months went fast, well the second have been a whirlwind! This week Harvey reached his eight month marker and I had the shock thought that we were now two thirds of the way through his first year! 

    SIZE: I haven’t had Harvey weighed yet this month but I’m expecting a heafty weight. At his six month check up his height was off the percentile scale and his weight sat comfortably on the 95th line. 

    NEW SKILLS: In the last four months months Harvey has come a long way. He can now sit up independently and can pull himself forward. Just this week he has started rocking on all fours, although he doesn’t seem particularly fussed about crawling just yet (I’m secretly quite happy about this.) He very proudly chats away and shouts dadada at every opportunity. He has really found his voice recently and loves to practice making noises and testing his vocal skills. He really enjoys weight bearing on his legs and finds this very amusing. 

    FOOD: Harvey now enjoys three meals a day. We started food at four months as was always so hungry for milk and begun on puréed food. We have since moved on to a mix of baby led (bread, pasta,vegetables and fruit are all popular) and spoon fed and it is working really well. I have been so proud of how well he has taken to it, he has his off days when he is feeling poorly and just wants cuddles and milk and he also had his days when he is ranevous. 

    SLEEPING: Harvey has recently leant to sleep through the night (amazing!!) he has started this pattern a few times but was always interrupted by a cough or cold. To Mr R and I it felt like a tease of what we could have! This month Harvey has had consist 12/13 hour sleeps and we are all feeling better for it. 

    DEVELOPMENTS: Harvey has had his first two teeth push through in recent weeks and despite the constant dribble and one night of disrupted sleep he has taken it in his stride. 



    PARENTHOOD: I can still remember my life before Harvey but absolutely love my life now Harvey is here. My husband and I are still permanently exhausted and barely find time for each other and our lives and still so different now we are parents. Harvey continues and will continue to take presidents over everyone and everything. We can no long go out at the drop of a hat and we have to plan and replan if we want to day trip. But one giggle from our little man and we don’t really mind.



    Love 

    Lindsay x