I love a good tag, which I feel like I mention every time I do one, but I just love them, its a perfect way of getting to know someone or when you are feeling a little ‘finger dead’ and experiencing a bit of writers block, a tag will always refresh your mind and get you in the mood for writing things down.

Thank you to Gee for tagging me in this lovely little tag about being a Mama and now its onto the questions –

The Mama Tag –

HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU HAD YOUR FIRST CHILD? – I found out I was pregnant with Kai when I was 23, while its not exactly the youngest age, A lot of my family members made a big deal about me being ‘too young’. we had to remind my grandma that she had her first at 17 so she couldn’t really talk.

WHAT WAS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING PREGNANT FOR 9 MONTHS? – Honestly all of it, I struggled with headaches, back pain, leg pain, bleeding, endless Braxton Hicks, Sciatica, hip pain, sickness. I hate being pregnant but I adore babies.

CAN YOU THINK OF ANY GOOD THINGS YOU ENJOYED DURING THOSE 9 MONTHS? – The one good thing I enjoyed above all was probably the ‘nesting’ period and, while many think I am mad, the labour and birth, the best part of pregnancy for me is getting that beautiful screaming pink potato at the end of it.

IN YOUR OPINION, WERE ALL THE THINGS YOU HEARD ABOUT CHILDBIRTH ACCURATE OR WAY OFF? – I was told all sorts of scary stories about labour, so much so that when it happened I panicked, I didn’t want to push with my first child and I was terrified, when I had my second and third I was more experienced, it was still terrifying and I ended up having a panic attack while in labour with Robin, I came out the other side with this amazing feeling, Giving birth is the single most powerful experience of my life. I would gladly do it all over again just to feel that power.

WOULD YOU HAVE HANDLED CHILDBIRTH DIFFERENTLY IF YOU COULD RE-DO IT? – I did redo it and I handled it a lot better than I did with the first, My first was helped along with an epidural, forceps etc but I didn’t want to have that kind of birth again, I did ask for pain relief and was given just the gas and air, with my second and third, I listened to my body and let it do the work, and while I did panic with Robin, her labour and birth was the quickest out of the three purely because I listened.

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE FOR SOMEONE WHO IS ABOUT TO HAVE A BABY? – Pay attention to your mothers instinct, if something doesn’t feel right, always talk to a doctor and if they mug you off make sure you find a different opinion!

WHAT HAS BEEN THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A MUM? – All of it, everything about being a mum is hard, you are no rest, no free time and you have to just ‘get on with it’ without complaining.. its endless, from the minute you discover they are on the way you devote your whole life to someone else.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST REWARDING THING ABOUT BEING A MUM? – Watching them grow, its hard to see them go from this tiny pink potato to a child and into a teen, but watching them learn new things, find friends and find themselves is an amazing thing.

WHAT WAS THE MOST SURPRISING THING YOU DISCOVERED ABOUT BEING A MUM? – Just how lonely it can be, you loose a lot of friends when you have a child and then with me and my social anxiety its hard to then make new friends.. it can be an extremely lonely  being a mum.

WHAT IS THE BEST MEMORY YOU HAVE INVOLVING YOUR CHILD? – Too many, but I think them meeting their sister at the hospital for the first time is up there with the best.

WHAT WAS THE MOST EXCITING MILESTONE? – I think them talking, it changes the relationship a little bit when they start to communicate more, its always a good day when a new words is uttered.

WHAT IS THE WORST THING YOUR CHILD HAS EVER DONE? – Kai has a habit of sneaking into the kitchen and stealing food when he wakes up early, the girls seem to be little angels haha.

WHAT HABIT DID YOU WISH YOUR CHILD DIDN’T HAVE? – Kai has a stupid habit of walking on his toes, we don’t know why he does it but have been asked by the doctor to keep reminding him not to do it, which only works for a few minutes.

Amelia is just lazy, she will find anyway out of something, She isnt lazy at school but at home, she gets Kai to do all the work

and Robin… I just wish she would sleep..

WHAT HABIT OF THEIRS MAKE YOU MOST PROUD? – I am honestly so proud of how kind and generous they all are, they aren’t scared to play with other children at any age.

DO YOU SHARE ANY SIMILARITIES WITH YOUR CHILD? (BOTH PHYSICAL & PERSONALITY) – Kai and Robin both have my grey eyes, I don’t think personality whys they share any with me, but I think Kai is as shy as I was as a child.

WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR CHILD TO BE IN 10 YEARS? – I would like them to just be happy, what more could you ask for.

IS THERE SOMETHING THAT HAVING A CHILD HAS TAUGHT YOU? – I feel like they taught me not to take any shit from anyone, I am a lot stronger than I think I am thanks to them.

DID YOU IMAGINE YOU’D BE A MUM AT THE AGE YOU BECOME A MUM? – Not really, Kai was an accident.. I sort of hoped to be married and have a house before I had my first child but unfortunately we did things backwards

DESCRIBE YOUR CHILD IN ONE SENTENCE?

Kai – Shy, Excitable, Helpful

Amelia – Artistic, Kind, Emotional

Robin – Outgoing, Funny, Small.

HOW HAVE YOU CHANGED AS A PERSON SINCE BECOMING A MUM? – I think I have become more exhausted, I no longer have the time to do things I wanted to do, I had just started to get a little bit of me back and then had Robin so everything went back to square one.

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I tag

Becca

Clare

Stacy

Vicki

Kirsty

All the best

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Feeding, Not Judging!

Something wonderful happened a few months ago, Midwives are now no longer going to pressure women into breastfeeding if they choose not to, and its about time that this is a thing, there are to many stories on the internet of Midwives and other health professionals not even bothering to help mum’s with their choice in feeding their baby, or even making them feel like they are doing something wrong with not choosing to breastfeed.

Now, they are there to help and its fantastic, women shouldn’t be judged for how they choose to feed their baby. which is why I am a strong supporter of the Fed is Best campaigns, while breast milk is the natural way if a women decides that they wish to use formula instead for whatever reason she will be supported and helped, given information on the safe ways to do it and hopefully now given a crash course in making bottles and using sterilizers.

Things No One Tells you..

When I gave birth to Kai, I was determined to breastfeed, I struggled badly even in the hospital while being man handled by the midwives who got tiny drops out from my sore boobs, I begged them to give me some formula but I was told time and again, while in tears, that I ‘had enough milk for my son’ and how important it was to breastfeed with posters everywhere stating that only the best parents start their babies lives out right with breastmilk. we was discharged, and still not feeding properly, they were just happy that I had been to the toilet after my epidural than wither or not my son was getting everything he needed, he was turning orange but I was told to put him in sunlight and he should get better.

What they don’t tell you is the best way to help improve jaundice is through feeding, enabling the body to flush it out, sunlight only did half the job.

I was sent home, exhausted with sore nipples and crying at every feed, it wasn’t until my midwife who saw me through my pregnancy came to do the usual visit and saw just how orange Kai was and how my mental health was slowly deteriorating and told me it would be best to artificially feed him, she saw how much we was struggling and helped, gave advice and despite the heartbreak of not being able to feed him, got him healthy and that’s all that mattered.

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I have always felt shy about my opinions on feeding, I have always experienced negativity whenever I fed in public with formula, I have dealt with being told I was poisoning my child that he would grow up stupid because I hadn’t given him my milk, which the way it dried up there wasn’t much there to begin with but now, now more people are being open and honest with it, not just formula mum’s but breastfeeding mum’s are being proud of showing that they feel that fed is best above all, mental health of the mother and the safe feeding of the baby is more important than where the milk comes from itself.

and that’s now going to come from the most important people who help you bring these tiny humans into the world, no more judging, no more pushing, MUM’S KNOW BEST and that’s final! They will respect your choices like they should do.

Education is BEST!

Educating women on how to safely feed their baby regardless of how they choose to feed is so important, educating them on how to safely make a bottle of formula or even how to safely clean bottles should be a part of it. I remember being left on my own when I had Amelia and they used a cold water sterilizer while I had only ever used a steam microwave one and no one was willing to help me, show me how to use it because of the ‘breast is best’ movement and I was made to feel so guilty for not choosing what was ‘best’ for my baby, with Robin they thankfully started making pre-made bottles and I used them, but not sharing how to use this strange sterilizer felt so off and unfair.

We are made to feel guilty no matter how we choose to feed and its going to be wonderful to be able to give birth and feed however it suits us.

Support all mothers with their choices and never EVER judge someone for it, I know I dont turn my nose up at a woman breastfeeding their baby in the park as I hope she would return the favor not to make a judgement because I choose to formula.. have pride in what you do but please be more understanding of others who may have struggled here you have succeeded.. we are all in this journey together and should support and stand by one another regardless.

Until next time

For more information on what Fed Is Best does then find them on twitter here and website here, what they try to stress is that they aren’t about formula, they support all mothers regardless of how they feed which I feel some do not understand.

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In our house we love wooden toys, I think they look pretty when they are tidied away neatly where they belong and of course the one blessing of wooden toys is the fact they are good for the environment so when I was asked if we would be interested in reviewing the Hape Fantasia blocks train I didn’t say no.

The train itself is three parts that connect together so its easy to pull along with beautiful and bright blocks sitting on top held together with wooden pins, each train has different colored wheels which then match up with the blocks that sit on top, the quality of the wood is wonderful, it isn’t like Grimms wooden toys which are just painted wood without any protection as the painted bricks and wheels are glossy while the train body is more a smooth bare wood which I think prefer as they are a lot easier to clean and we all know how sticky fingers can get.

Robins first call of action was of course to remove all the bricks off their pegs and run off with them, which she found easy to do as they aren’t clicked into place. the bricks themselves are beautiful and covered with many different patterns and shapes and are overall really attractive to little hands.

They are pretty easy to fix together, the front and middle train has wooden pegs similar to where the bricks fit onto so you can join up each train but the one thing that bothered me was just the fact that you need to look before picking them up as I had a habit of picking up the wrong one and dropping them, but that’s my fault and not of the design of the toy.

The toy itself is amazingly sturdy, I am forever paranoid with toys that they break off or fall apart but as I said it has been dropped many times and not a scratch has appeared onto the paint work or even the wood itself, which is a sign of a good quality toy, the pegs that hold the bricks are stuck into place and I have given them a good tug to make sure they wont come out and so far so good, I always find wooden toys to last a lot longer than plastic ones and I feel like this toy will be a forever part of the toy box.

The Hape Fantasia Blocks Train is a stunning toy that looks amazing on show and is getting lots of love from all my children who enjoy anything with wheels and I can see it being used for many years to come and at the price of £19.99 is fantastic price for such a wonderful toy.

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Disclaimer - This product was sent to me for review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Where have I been I hear you wonder (not really hah) and frankly these few weeks have been mad, so I feel the need to update you on what has been going on in the life of Mummy Cat and her kittens.

Firstly we have all been under the weather, on Friday 13th I woke up absolutely full of cold, I was so ill that I even got Mr S to do the afternoon school run, I wanted to basically sleep and do nothing else and thankfully the children when they came home helped big time with everything but nothing could prepare us for what was going to happen on the Tuesday 16th, everyone went to bed as planned and all seemed happy to get to bed, no fuss and no arguments however about an hour into sleep there was this coughing and wet sound coming from our bedroom.. Robin threw up and my god it was gross as she had a full bottle of milk before going to bed so it was just horrible, which began a full week of sick children and naturally sick mummy and daddy followed suit and we all spent a lot of time that week hiding inside and feeling very VERY sorry for ourselves.

On the Saturday 14th however, despite the cold I was suffering with there was a plan in motion to get all of us over to Birmingham to meet up with the wonderful BC April babies once again, it was the one year anniversary meet up that I have been so excited for since it was booked up! the plan was to meet at the same place as we met before the ThinkTank, have some lunch and let the babies explore and go wild, this time however we went by car so my anxiety over the train was not even there and I felt so much better going in the car, Mr S drove us and I think it took us a good hour and a half to get there but it honestly was such a nice smooth drive up on the motorway.

Once we arrived we got to paying and then it was the hunt to find some of my BC April girls, there wasn’t as many as there was the last time we did this, which was sad but I think it was a lot better, I felt like I could talk to those who had turned up and it felt a lot more relaxed but the children had a blast running around and playing in the water, and I really loved catching up with the ladies and just seeing them enjoy their time in the water and all the wonderful interactive parts that are all over the ThinkTank, I still highly recommend you go to it at some point in the future as its so much fun for all the ages and there is a lovely area for the younger children to play with fake food and learn things about their surroundings.

Here’s a couple of photos that I took of the day –

I had planned to vlog the day but I got so caught up into the fun that the only footage I have is of us going up the M1 and some clips of windmills, I don’t think I am cut out for vlogging just yet haha, I enjoy taking photos more and I guess getting them into Lightroom and editing them up to look clear and pretty, and as I said before, if you ever get a chance to go to Birmingham I highly recommend you give the ThinkTank a go, it was such a fun day for everyone and with the water, no one really got to hot.

I have some more adventures to share with you shortly of our first family holiday but that will have to wait for another post, for now its lovely to be back into blogging after having such a long time off either being sick or being away.

How has the start of the summer holiday been for you?

until next time

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Keeping the Kids Busy Outdoors in the Summer

When school’s out, all the kids want to do is stay indoors and play with their gadgets. It’s hard not to think of this as a waste though, because summer is the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors. You can make this season more fun for them by introducing activities that they can only enjoy when they’re out in the sun.

Outdoor Picnics

Picnics are a great opportunity for children to get some much needed fresh air and learn more about nature. They can also give the entire family a chance to bond.

You can opt to have a picnic in your own garden, but why not take things a step further and plan a picnic in one of England’s beautiful nature spots? The Telegraph’s list of the best UK picnic spots include places like the Quarry Bank in Cheshire and the Beningbrough’s gardens in York, in case you need ideas.

To help get the kids excited for the trip, you can promise to serve them their favourite deserts at the picnic or encourage them to help out with making the picnic.

Water Fight

If you don’t own an inflatable pool, you can host a water fight instead! It’s a fun outdoor activity to keep the family cool on a hot day. Use your garden hoses or sprinklers as playful weapons, or give the kids water guns for them to defend themselves. For a cheaper alternative, you can buy some water balloons. You can even use the games as a creative method for watering your lawn. To ensure that no water goes to waste (and to keep your water bill down), be sure to set a time limit.

Gardening

There are several ways to turn your garden into an interesting area for the kids. For one, you can introduce them to gardening by assigning a space for them to grow their own plants. Kids are naturally curious, so they may love the idea. My children were fascinated by the tomato plants we once attempted to grow. Not only is gardening a great way to try your hand at growing your own food, it’s also a fun summer hobby that can teach children the value of responsibility.

Garden Playground

Why not transform your garden into a playground? If you have logs lying around, you can arrange them as stepping logs for the kids. It’s a simple activity that can teach them balance and coordination. You can also invest in a little playhouse, so that kids can have their own “home” away from home. Screwfix notes the significance of garden playhouses, stating that they can allow a child’s imagination to run wild. You can empower them with their own space, which they can even use as storage for their outdoor toys.

A Scavenger Hunt

Here’s yet another fun game that allows kids to learn about the outdoors. Prepare a treasure hunt for the kids with a promise of a prize afterwards. You can either prepare the list by writing down descriptions of the items, or drawing images of them. The items themselves can be a variety of things and do not have to be nature-related. For instance, The Spruce’s guide on a scavenger hunt includes clues for household items like the garden gnome, grill, and the post box.

These activities can help the kids appreciate the outdoors more. Additionally, they can create lasting childhood memories. Go now and prepare your summer itinerary so that the family can have a summer blast, and a season to remember.

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