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A Child Free Weekend in Bath...

on Tuesday, 08 April 2014.

This past weekend I had my first child free weekend ever.  I have been away before for the odd night when we just had Mads and I went away to Brussels with work for two nights when Mads was around eleven months old, but I have only been away from LL for a night before.  I was excited and a little nervous about leaving them for the weekend.

The reason for my travels was it was one of my best friends hen do's in Bath.  Her wedding is in a couple of weeks and I am bridesmaid so I was really excited about spending some time with her and her friends, as well as one of my other closest friends from uni.  

We had a great time, the only downside being that I was not well earlier in the week and on the Saturday it came back with avengence, meaning that I got glammed up ready to have some drinks only to find that my stomach was so painful I had to go home early.  I was so disappointed and upset, typical that I am poorly on the one weekend that I get to go away. 

Here is my weekend in iPhone photos...

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Arrived in Bath early on Friday for a spot of lunch with the lovely Lucy.  

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We had a wonderful time catching up. 

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Bath is so beautiful and also has some lovely quirky shops, could have bought everything in this toy shop.

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Beautiful country house for the weekend.  Check. 

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Gorgeous room. Check.

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Warm fire. Check.

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Cheers.

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Bathroom selfies and my two best uni friends.  One in a toilet paper wedding dress.  The other the actual bride.  

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Not a bad view to wake up to.  

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Actually had time to eat breakfast for once.

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Most people have limos for their hen do, we had a horse box.

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Kicked out his transport.

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This little fella was an hour old. 

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Cuddles with another baby and a spot of shooting.

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Super shooters.

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Relaxing in a huge bubble bath.

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All glammed up and fizzy willies.

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A little treat brought home for my little ladies (and Mr E!) - some chocolate ducks!

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A little card for Mr E. 

It was a lovely weekend and it was nice to be able to just relax and not have to be 'Mummy' for a while.  I was the only Mum there bar the hens Mum, and for once all my conversation didn't revolve around tantrums, nappies and sleeping patterns, although I kept showing them all photos of my lovely little ladies.  The girls had a great time with Mr E and when I spoke to them on the phone Mads kept saying she 'missed me so much.'  I came home to the biggest cuddles and they didn't leave my lap for the whole afternoon.  

They definitely missed me just as much as I missed them.  

Roll on the wedding! 

 

 

{The Ordinary Moments 14} #14 The End Of A Journey...

on Sunday, 06 April 2014.

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I became a Mummy thirty-nine (ish) months ago.  And for almost twenty-four of those months I have shared a very special journey with my two little girls.  That journey is breastfeeding.  

I had no idea whether I wanted to breastfeed before Mads came along, but after doing NCT classes I decided that I may as well give it a go.  Those first few days were horrendous and I had bottles of formula sitting there waiting for me to use, but after a short stay in hospital and a scare from Mads, I became determined to breastfeed my newborn baby.  I think I was exhausted, scared and some how thought in my head that breastfeeding would help protect her from germs and illness.  (You can read about all that here)  Luckily after a couple of weeks it got easier and I ended up feeding Mads for 11 months before stopping.

This time around with LL it hurt like hell again for the first week, but I had the benefit of hindsight on my side and I knew it would get easier.  So I perservered and I have really enjoyed my breastfeeding journey with her.  It got to 12 months and I told everyone, including myself, that I was going to stop, but here we are at nearly 14 months and I am still feeding her a morning and evening feed.  

The thing is, I deep down don't know if I am ready to stop, I am still clinging on to the fact that she is most likely our last baby and that I will never share this bond again.  It isn't hurting us continuing, she only feeds for about five minutes and then it's over.  But I have to stop at some point, and so this weekend is the time. I am in Bath for a hen do and I have decided that I will feed her before I leave and then as she is with Mr E for a couple of days it will be a perfect time to stop.  I will come back after two nights away and then we will just have to try and distract her from the idea when I am home.  

It has been the most wonderful journey with my babies.  Those early days, when it was just us against the world in the middle of the night snuggled close together.  The way they both used to play with my hair, and gently stroke my skin.  Those snatched moments of eye contact and the way they used to stare up at me with such love in their eyes.  The times they would fall asleep on me and I would sit for ages just marvelling at how I managed to have a part in creating these amazing little people.  It's a bittersweet memory of those newborn days, a constant reminder about just how quickly the time goes and how each and every moment is so fleeting.

I recently wrote an article for The Motherhood about breastfeeding and how I really don't have an opinion on how other people choose to feed their babies.  If I hadn't been able to breastfeed or hadn't wanted to then I know I would be sat here writing the same thing about weaning my babies off a bottle.  It's more just the fact that it is the end of an era, and it's about letting go of that last little bit of babyhood.  Of milk being the thing they need to grow and thrive the most.  

That said, breastfeeding has been a huge part of my life as a Mummy and I asked Mr E to take a photo of my little LL and I sharing what potentially was our second to last feed together.  It's a grainy iPhone image but it is hugely sentimental for me.  

It's been a very ordinary moment for the last 13 and a half months.  But it's been an extraordinary story I will never ever forget.  

My little ladies are growing up so damn quickly.  And it is oh so bittersweet.

 

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The One Where I Totally Fail At Being Kate Moss...

on Thursday, 03 April 2014.

For someone who adores her camera and documenting every single memory I can, there is one thing I absolutely HATE with a passion.  Photographs of me.  Don't get me wrong, I like natural shots with my babies, and I love the odd 'selfie' on my iPhone but ask me to pose for a photo and I end up looking incredibly uncomfortable.  

However as a Mum I don't get to treat myself as much as I used to.  Before children my money used to go on exciting things such as holidays, bags and clothes.  Nowadays I have much less and it goes on mortgage payments, bills and clothes for them.  Therefore when Florence and Fred got in touch to see if I would like to try some of their range I thought I would put aside my serious 'being in front of the camera' anxiety and channel my inner Kate Moss.  If you want a laugh keep scrolling down.

I must admit I don't buy a huge amount of clothes from Tesco for myself.  I have the odd thing from there, and my girls probably have over half their range every season, (it washes so well for the price!) but it's not somewhere where I would particularly shop for things for me.  However I was so impressed with the amount of things they had on their website and I had a great time picking out some bits and pieces from their collection.

Aside from being uncomfortable and tense in these photos, I also don't have the luxury of Mario Testino photographing me, instead I had a slightly grumpy husband who had just got home from work and wasn't impressed with my modelling.  But here is what I purchased...

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Awkward pose and expression aside I love this spotty pinky jumper.  I teamed it with my own shirt and jeans, and it is something I know that I will wear a lot.

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Kate Moss so wouldn't leave the coathanger plastic thingy out.  Rookie mistake.  

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Nervous laughter and Kate Moss would definitely have had one of her assistants pull those unsightly weeds up.  But I do love this flowery dress, I have a fair few family things coming up so will wear this when I want to be smart casual with tights and boots.  Note to self- remember to straighten hair properly next time.

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A solution!  Grab a baby to pose with- that will make it easier.  I really like this white chiffon top, it doesn't cling to my tummy and is smarter than just a t-shirt.  Love the pumps as well, I have a thing for neon.

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Love them- perfect for Spring.

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Love my Russian Doll necklace.

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The smallest model was starting to get fed up by this point, and was a little embarrassed about standing outside our house posing for all the neighbours to see.  But I do love this neon striped top, it's perfect for wearing on my endless exciting and glamorous trips to soft play.  Basic but pretty.

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Did you know that F&F also do gym stuff?  Nope I didn't either.  I am happy in this one as I am about to run away from the camera, love this neon orange vestt!

I also got two beautiful little sets of dungarees for the girls (can't beat kids in dungarees in my opinion!) but they are shorts for summer and are a little big at the moment so they will fit in time for our holiday.  I am really pleased with the outfits that I selected and it was so lovely to be able to treat myself to some things for me.  Definitely worth ten minutes worth of awkward photo taking.  I am pretty sure Kate Moss won't be concerned about me taking any work off her soon!

Thank you so much Florence and Fred.

 

NB.  I was gifted £100 to spend online at F&F as part of their #ffontrendmum campaign.  All thoughts, opinions and horrendously awkward poses are entirely my own.

 

An Impromptu Day Trip To The Seaside...

on Tuesday, 01 April 2014.

With no plans for Mothers Day bar dinner at my Mums in the evening, we decided earlier in the week that we would have a day out somewhere on the Sunday.  However after waking up ridiculously early on Saturday and seeing the sun was shining we concluded that we should change the plans and go somewhere then instead.  

We decided that as the weather was reasonably nice we would head to the coast for our first seaside trip of the year.  The nearest one to us is Hunstanton, which although isn't the most pretty of seaside towns, is fine for a day trip.  It's got ice cream, a beach, fish & chips and arcade machines- really what else do you need?  

We had a really lovely family day out.  In the morning when we arrived we went for a walk before having massive ice creams that were a very naughty treat but totally worth it.  Mads loved having £3 to play on the 2p slot machines in the arcade, although she was most indignant that she didn't win anything.  We then had a picnic in the sunshine, with myself and Mr E having traditional fish and chips because quite frankly eating anything else for lunch at the seaside is against the law.  The girls had ham sandwiches although LL had a couple of chips too.   Mads is a little strange in that she doesn't like chips, she certainly doesn't take after her Mummy.

In the afternoon we went down to the beach and the tide was out so far that we couldn't go paddling, but we did plenty of serious sandcastle building and rolling about in the sand.  LL hadn't felt sand before and was absolutely fascinated by it, crawling around non stop for ages.  It was a delight to watch her as she loved being able to roam free and crawl about.  She did eat a few mouthfuls of sand when we took our eyes off her for a few seconds, but didn't seem too fazed by it!

We then headed back to the car for the journey home with windswept hair, very full tummies, and sand absolutely everywhere with two little girls sleeping soundly in the car seats from an overload of sea air. 

All in all a perfectly lovely Spring day and hopefully the first of many as the weather gets a little warmer.

 

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