husband wife and baby, family photo, clumber park, family photography, organising photos, capturing the moment

Organise your memories


Dear baby Eva,

As your mother I feel it is my duty to pass on all my wisdom and life lessons learnt. Today I have realised I have made a massive mistake, even thinking about it fills me with anxiety and nausea. I am wasting hours in the evenings trying to rectify my error and wish someone would have given me the same advice I am about to share with you. If I can prevent you from experiencing half the anxiety I am experiencing by sharing this with you then I feel my role as a mother is complete.

You can choose to take this advice on board at any point in your life but it is specifically related to the time in your life when you are hopefully lucky enough to have a family of your own if you so choose. You see from the second you give birth to your beautiful baby something inside you compels you to take photos of every little moment. First hour photos, first outfit photos, first cuddle photos, coming home photos, meeting family photos, blinking photos, breathing photos etc etc the list goes on and so do the photos. This is where my advice comes in.

From the moment you get home after having your baby enjoy and cherish every moment, take as many photos as your energy allows in your new sleep deprived state but forget about the house work and focus on keeping your photos in order. Get behind at your peril. I have been late uploading and editing my photos causing a backlog of epic proportions. Pre you I printed off photo books each year which I hope we will have a lot of fun looking back on together one day.  However we are now in April 2017 and I have not printed off a book since 2015. With you arriving at the start of 2016 it threw me off and also more than quadrupled the number of photos I would normally take. I remember part way through last year attempting to tackle this problem but I became too overwhelmed and put it off, buried my head in the sand and hoped someone would just come to my rescue with all my favourite snaps organised into beautiful books. That obviously never happened so I am now spending whatever free time you give me scrolling through literally thousands of photos (mostly of you) trying to organise these memories into folders, edit them and work out which ones I would like to see in my albums. I truly hope that when you are bigger the albums discussed here will actually be a reality and we can look back through them together. What makes this task even harder is just how god dam cute you are. I start right back at the beginning and by the time I have looked through the first few months of you being born I have wasted hours without making any progress at all.

After a beautiful morning at Clumber park I am taking my own advice and currently trying to edit the photos I have taken today. Sending them straight to the folder entitled April 2017. Hopefully next time I write my files will be perfectly ordered with beautifully edited, chronologically ordered photos all ready to be printed out and kept for ever.

Love you more than squidgy cookies, which I am shortly about to demolish.




IVFT story – repost

Two years on from that first injection which started our whole IVFT journey I wanted to share  the story I wrote last year. Please bear in mind this was written just a month or so after giving birth to Eva so the sleep deprivation was pretty intense at this point. I think it needs a re-write so I will put it on my ever growing list of things to do and hopefully get around to completing it in time for next year.

I love to connect with you all so please share your stories and ask any questions in the comments below or send me a message.


Trust Your Motherly Instincts

Dear baby Eva,

I stopped writing to you once again. Life just got busy. Another story for another time. I am writing today as I found a letter which I never published. It was from months ago when you was just fourteen or fifteen weeks old. It seems really relevant today as you approach fourteen months as I am feeling a bit run down after an unusual bad night from you.

What really hit me was three things, firstly just how far we have come and developed together over the last fourteen months. Secondly how things are never as bad as they seem. The desperation and exhaustion in this letter brought the memories back to me and made me realise that actually last night in comparison to those early months was not that bad, I am not that tired and I am not that desperate. And finally and most importantly I realised that trusting your instincts and blocking out external pressures was and is the single most important ingredient to happy parenting. I went with my instincts, I have let you lead the way and I think we are doing a pretty fab job. How do I measure our success? is it the fact you have been consistently sleeping through since eleven months now with the exception of the odd bad night due to illness, teething, developing and partying like last night.  or the fact that we baby led  weaned and now you eat everything in site including fruit and vegetables with no drama, could it be the fact that you was an early crawler and walker, that you know numerous animal noises and names? No. I base the fact that we are doing a pretty fab job on the basis that in general you are happy, you are healthy and you are developing into a delightful and independent toddler with all the normal ups and downs this entails.

A letter from months ago…

The mystery continues. It seems like a distant memory that night you teased me by sleeping all the way through, the nights of eight or nine hour stretchers. Where has my sleeping beauty gone?

sleeping baby, sleeping baby girl, chico next 2 me,
Asleep in your Chico Next 2 me crib

My head is almost too tired to put words together and make sentences. When I’m speaking my words come out wrong or different to what I’m thinking. My eyes sting. My arms are heavy. Why? I don’t know why, nothing has changed, our routine is the same. Sleep regression is my only thought. What ever the reason please, please, please just let this be another phase that will soon pass.

I haven’t wrote for a while because everything has felt like such an effort. You are so much fun at the moment through the day but looking after you and keeping you entertained is zapping what very little energy I have. Anything and everything else is on standby until sleep resumes.

Big news You rolled over, both back to front and front to back. I think back to front was a fluke though as you haven’t done it again since.

We have had some gorgeous weather recently and have been making the most of it by spending it in the garden. You in your sun tent.

The biggest news is you randomly started taking a dummy after days of trying to suck your hands. I thought this was going to be the answer I was looking for but sucking seems to stimulate you not sooth you. It reached a point where you was waking every hour or more screaming when your dummy fell out and then taking forever to drift back off because you was sucking so hard. I have two options now, first is to back track and remove the dummy or second try bigger dummy’s which are easier for you to keep in. I’m trying option one first.

Dummy, baby girl, baby with dummy
Asleep in the car the first time you took a dummy

Option one is likely to involve lots of comfort sucking on my nipples but I’m good with that if your happy. It just seems everyone else has an opinion on it. Apparently the general public, family and friends think that at fifteen weeks I should be getting my life back, you shouldt be feeding as often as you do and you should be sleeping through. Well they can all fluff off. What I’m doing feels natural, when I follow my instincts we work well together. When I second guess myself because of something I read, feel like a failure because someone has made a comment or change our ‘routine’ to fit other peoples expectations that’s when it goes wrong.

It’s amazing how oppinionated people suddenly get around babies and how they feel the need to comment on things which if they was talking about an adult would actually be quite rude. She doesn’t have much hair, is she a ginger etc etc. Then you get the old schoolers who weaned early, put babies to sleep on there bellies, kept them REALLY warm and bundled up and didn’t leave the house for the firsts three months and it didn’t do their children any harm. I’m sure it didn’t but research has evolved and I am choosing to raise my child, my beautiful little starfish my way based on what I feel is THE BEST and healthiest way for us.

Rant over, feed over (with extra comfort sucking ) time to put you down and see what tonight will bring.
Love you princess

Mummy x x

A whole new world 

Dear baby Eva,

So much to catch you up on and so little time. I’m watching you on the monitor trying to settle yourself after a short wake up fifty minutes after going to sleep. It’s been an odd day on the sleep front with a super long two hour nap this morning and a ninety minute late nap this afternoon.  it makes me nervous when you sleep like this in the day. It’s like the calm before the storm.  i I strongly suspect teeth are the culprit.  

Speaking of teeth and catching you up you currently have your two front top and bottom teeth and today another top one has poked through with another close behind.  

Wow is all I have to say to you at the moment.  these last few days have been incredible, you have been incredible.  you are looking at the world in a completely different way. Toys that you used to just bash or eat are now being pushed  stacked and explored.  you are dancing when you hear music, clapping, waving and pointing, listening and laughing at me when I say no, standing up for a short time solo. the list goes on. you are a little human now, no longer a baby but my baby forever.  Sorry.  night times have been consistently inconsistent and I have to say I am just a little bit shattered at the moment.  it is just one good night followed by one bad at the moment.  developmental,  almost definitely.

Mummy has been super busy making growth charts for Christmas orders.  I’m hoping that I will have finished them all by December so we can enjoy some fun, festive time. In my head this is likely to be my last month off so let’s make it a good one.  I’m dreading the thought of going back to work in any capacity.  Not being around to see your face makes feel very sad. But it was a choice we made when we moved into this house and we want to give you nice things and take you to nice places so unfortunately it isn’t optional. I have come to the conclusion that I need a job rather than a career though as daddy gets stressed in his job so mummy needs to be able to just leave work at work and come home relaxed. 

Other exciting news is we have a slow cooker again.  a lovely gift from nanny.  I am hoping it will revolutionise our day to day life’s. when we started baby led weaning I was so excited and enthusiastic. I took photos of every thing you ate. fast forward four months and it’s a different story. trying to think of and prepare three nutritionally balanced meals each day is exhausting not to mention the mass clean up operation after.  you have started using a spoon which is big news.  

Mummy and daddy was married for six years on Sunday.  to celebrate we had our first date might since you was born. we have had lunch dates but never an evening out. we decided to go to the spa as it was local and sounded relaxing.  nanny and poppy came to look after you.  what a lovely evening we had. we took chocolates and prosseco and just floated around in the swimming pool enjoying having a bit of adult time.  I feel a bit beat up at the moment with you forever pinching me, pulling my hair and sticking your fingers in my eyes and upy nose.  I don’t mind boo boo it’s your way of exploring and developing but having a bit of me time, floating with no weight on my body was the thing of dreams.

 until next time princess. 

Love mummy 

Unsleepable baby 

Dear baby Eva,

You have caught your first cold.  

On Tuesday mummy was poorly. It was ‘JUST’ a cold but a bad head one, the type of cold where you just want to hide under the duvet all day. Accompanied by an extremely bad sore throat.  To make things worse daddy was working and had a quick turn around so was stopping the night in Leeds leaving us to fend for ourselves.  It was tough trying to care for you when I felt so Ill myself but you made it as easy as possible at seven months old and was so very good. 

Not everyone will understand this next statement but I genuinely don’t beleive you reach adulthood until you have a child. pre children you may have the responsibilities of a grown up,  mortgage,  career, bills and car but at any point you can check out.  Go on holiday on a whim,  pack up and move,  decide to travel the world and more relative to this post call in sick and hide in bed all day.  With a child,  not so. they are one responsibility you can never check out of. No calling in sick for me I had a mammoth two day and one night shift to survive whilst poorly.  

At one point I didn’t think it could get any worse than looking after your baby when you are sick.  I was wrong.  The next day after a horrendous night you got your first cold.  I have learnt the one thing worse than looking after your baby when you are sick is looking after your baby when they are sick.  Heartbreaking.

You couldn’t breath through all the snot so feeding was difficult for you.Your eyes were all puffy and you had a high temperature.  Despite all this you smiled and played through the day but at night woke every thirty to sixty minutes needing comfort.  I took the kettle and a couple of pans up to bed and each time you woke filled a pan with boiling water and some mint oil. The steam and mint really helped to decongest you. Before each nap we did simular but created a steam room with the shower. 

So after several sleepless, poorly nights we had my cousins wedding to get ready for.  I had been looking forward to it for weeks and a little bit of sleep deprivation wasn’t going to stop me from enjoying it. It was at the same church mummy and daddy got married in and then the reception was at the farm.  Nanny had offered to babysit for you and Ollie during the evening. My first time leaving you at night. Even if it was only two minutes away. 
Napping is what you do well, you haven’t always but for the last month or two you have been great.  You almost always have an hour and a half in the morning and a simular amount in the afternoon although that one is a little more inconsistent.  Even with your cold you was still managing your naps. Except of course the one day I was banking on and needed a good first nap. You had a shameful twenty seven minutes.

There was no time to fit another nap in before the service so we just went with it. Daddy sat at the back with you incase he needed to take you out and part way through the ceremony he gave me the signal that you had fallen asleep.  since you arrived daddy and I have become very good at communicating silently through signs. I relaxed for a brief moment hopeful that even a thirty minute nap would see you through a good chunk of the day. Oh no I remember this part,  the part after they are married, when they give each other their first marital kiss then………….every one claps and cheers. I look around at daddy who is looking down at you shaking his head.  ten minutes max this could be a disaster.  

The wedding was beautiful and it was so lovely to be surrounded by family and friends. By dinner time around 4pm you was surviving on 30 mins sleep for the day. I’m not sure how but you was a delight smiling and flirting with anyone that gave you a bit of attention.  

6pm came and that meant bedtime after a destastrous sleep day I knew this could be interesting.  An overtired baby, with a cold, in a travel cot and in an unusual house is a recipe for disaster.  you surprised me once again with just a little more protesting than normal but asleep fairly quickly. Mummy can now leave and go back to the party. 

Nanny text after just thirty minutes saying you was wide awake and wouldn’t settle.  She got you up for play time but couldn’t get you back to sleep.  We came home at 10pm and you was still up. the worst sleep day in your history and it didn’t get any better through the night. 

The exorcist 

Dear baby Eva, 

I knew this day would come. I have been waiting for it since you was born and last night it happened.  Like a scene from the exorcist I slowly woke to your crying. Focusing in on the monitor there you was sat bolt up right in your cot with glowing eyes from a tiny light. 

Last week you dropped a nap.  Just like that,  you went from three naps one day to two long naps the next. The first night you pulled out an all nighter the first one in months.  Ten and half solid hours sleep.  I obviously didn’t sleep solidly but wow what a great night. The next one was simular but with an early morning feed at 5am I thought a corner had been turned but no. The last two nights you have regressed, four hour blocks of sleep. Not good. 

You have longer awake time now which means I have to think of ways to keep you entertained.  It’s a fine balance between finding fun activities and not creating too much mess to clean up. I sometimes ignore the amount of effort and mess involved and go for it. I made you a jelly with some of your toys set inside.  It took a few minutes to make a while to clean up but it kept you happy for about a minute so it was semi worth it. Other activities such as pan bashing and ball play are becoming favourites.  

I am having a very rare sit down at the moment.  Now you are eating you are also creating a lot of work.  Preparation pre meal, supervision during and clean up post food. This mixed with general household responsibilities equals very little time for anything else.  You have an inbuilt radar, some sort of senser built into the sofa.  It is triggered by me sitting down and normally results in you waking up. Not this nap. A rare few minutes of sitting and it feels good. Will need to get up and get practical shortly though as there is so much to do.  

I was feeling a bit pooped this morning.  Daddy went to do the shopping before he went to work and surprised me with a special gluten free cake from a local deli. ‘When your down,  eat cake’ a great moto everyone should live by. I literally inhaled it and instantly felt better. Seven pm seems like a long way off today Booboo.  

Love mummy 

When it rains, enjoy the rain drops 

Dear baby Eva 

There are lots of sayings relating to the weather like wait for the storm to pass, it has to rain to see rainbows and when it rains dance in the puddles. All these are very true and very fitting for the last few days. I’m not sure the last cloud has blown over yet but the eye of the teething, illness, behavioural storm has definitely moved away, instead of a rainbow I get smiles and giggles from you. Hopefully a big gust of wind will come along and clear the last few stubborn clouds away leaving blue skies and sleepy nights.  The storms just make the sunshine sweeter and I know no matter what weather cycle we are experiencing a change in pressure will quickly alter the elements.  

I was very excited yesterday morning after picking this piece of apple up from the floor after you had thrown it down. Bite marks! Your two little teeth are doing their jobs. 

Summer holidays are a bit sucky with a baby.  Our usual classes and playgroups break up for summer and all the quiet places we usually go to are full of big kids. In an effort to still get out and about i walk you up to the Swings most days. You love it. I love it because I can just sit on the grass in front of you pushing you back and forth. Effortless, peaceful and fresh air. We quite often walk to nanny’s first and she will come with us for a walk. Poppy came yesterday. 

In an effort to get organised I have a one room a day rule now. If i can deep clean and tidy one room each day then I should be able to stay on top of it. Today was the lounge. While you napped I dusted and hoovered,  sorted toys and fluffed cushions. Whilst dusting the window ledge I spotted this spikey fella and had to go out to help. 

He had a little rest, some water and a bit of food and then dissapeaered into the undergrowth. If it wasn’t for all his fleas I might have brought him in the house to eat all the spiders. After hoovering up so many of them I’m now scared of the hoover. I need you to grow big and brave so you can catch them for me.

Your doing so well with your baby led weaning.  I can’t actually believe how much you eat. The mess is driving me bonkers but it will be worth it hopefully. I couldn’t load your spoon quick enough yesterday.  You loved the bolognais. 

Keep up the good work. Your growing up so well. 

Love you x

Stay calm and carry on

Dear baby Eva,

What a day. You woke and started the day much better than the last few. You was obviously still not one hundred percent but more smiles than tears. We decided a family outing was on the agenda so set off after nap one.

I dressed you in a new bunny outfit which was a little too big but very cute. 

On route to Southwell our chosen location for the day I noticed a rash all over your hands and face and leaped to panic station number one. Daddy pulled over and I examined you from head to toe. An all over body rash.  Was it teething related, was it the new top you had on which I stupidly didn’t wash first or some thing worse, what if it was something worse. I messaged my very knowledgeable sister in-law with pictures and started poking and prodding your skin to see if the rash dissapeaered or not. Panicking because I couldn’t remember which alternative was good or bad. 
Milk is my answer to everything so we sat in the lay by feeding you and calming myself during which time I could rationalise. You was OK in yourself (compared to the last couple of days), it dissapeaered under pressure which was good and it was still going to be there whether we was home or out so we decided the plan of attack was to continue family day, stay calm, closely monitor you and enjoy being together. 

We parked up and strolled leisurely through town.  I was still a little edgy and kept checking your temperature and monitoring your rash but the fresh air and quiet town was helping and by the time we reached the minister you had given me enough smiles to ease my worry.  

What a pretty place.  

We walked around the minister, daddy loved the history and then strolled around the gardens, mummy loved the flowers. 

You was starting to get sleepy so when we passed the toilets in the palace daddy said he would walk you around while I visited the ladies.  Two minutes maximum was all it took me and I came out to find you and daddy stuck in a lift. I wasn’t sure if it was funny or if I was angry but I couldn’t stop laughing. I was running upstairs and down trying to call the lift and make sure the doors were shut but still nothing. In between giggles I started visualising how I could squirt my breast milk through the gap for you.  It’s all about the milk with me. 

Eventually panic station two was abandoned as the lift started to function again and we got you back outside in the fresh air so you could sleep.  

We had a lovely walk around while you napped. 

Followed  by a drink in a lovely courtyard watching the world go by. Some sweets for daddy and fudge for mummy on the way to the car commenced our family fun day. We was all a bit pooped from the excitement and we both fell asleep while daddy drove us home.  
Judging by the two unpleasant nappies you did this afternoon and taking into account all the other clues such as rash and all the other symptoms we thought was linked to teething over the last few days I suspect you are coming to the end of a virus or bug of some sort. It has not been nice or fun and I hope you feel so much better tomorrow.  

Love mummy. 


The best medicine 

Dear baby Eva, 

Not only did you get your first tooth but also your second the following day. I thought you was coping remarkably well until today.  both your bottom teeth have now made an appearance and I thought the cutting through the gum part was the worst bit but apparently not.  Things started to go funny from nap one which is usually around one hour and a half but today you kept on going and added another hour on. Its funny because you can’t win, I want you to sleep well but when you sleep I just want you to wake up. I did get a lot done though.  

Daddy cooked us a lovely roast chicken dinner before he went to work while I cut the grass and you played with nanny who popped in. You was a little whingy at this point which is very out of character for my normally chilled out, smiley monkey. By the time  dinner was ready you was nap ready so I put you down while daddy served up. Plating you up your very own portion.  your normal thirty minute nap turned into an hour and thirty minute nap so at this point you had well exceeded your normal daily sleep. You woke up very unhappy and kept crying out. I could tell it was going to be a tough afternoon when you wasn’t interested in your dinner so i quickly decided that after a quick nappy change a trip to the Swings was on the cards.
 Talk about a bad ten minutes. Whilst changing a very unpleasant,  weaning nappy Wilson started Barking to go out. You was getting grumpier and more unsettled by the second and quickly progressed into a cry fest. I picked you up and made my way downstairs to let the dog out when I was met at the front door by a swarm of flying ants, inside and outside.  Luckily they were black rather than the biting red ones but they was everywhere so I squirted ant powder all over with you still crying and the dog still Barking.  I secured you in your pushchair,  let the dog out and left the house in a slightly stressed daze. 

Fresh air is definitively one of the best medicines and I felt instant relief which was also helped by the fact that fresh air had calmed you down with help from your teething necklace. We walked around to nanny’s and then to the park for a play on the Swings. It was a nice few minutes and a few much needed smiles from you inbetween little crys.  We walked nanny home and then ambled around the village for a while. You fell asleep chewing on your necklace and slept for twenty five minutes.

I got a few smiles when you first woke up but then the tears started.  Teething is heartbreaking to watch. Seeing you in pain hurts me. We tried dinner but that just made things worse and you got more upset.  It was time to bring out the calpol as my cuddles had stopped helping. 

I don’t have television on around you very often. Not because i am particularly strict or against it but just because I know in the not so distant future I am going to lose you to it so I am trying to delay that event. Today though was an exception and after calpol we sat snuggled on the sofa watching word party on Netflix.  It had the desired effect and distracted you enough for the calpol to kick in. 

The night got worse after lots of crying out in your sleep you eventually woke in the early hours screaming with a low grade fever. Medicine, cuddles and a snuggle in mummy and daddy’s bed helped and after an hour and half sleep in our bed I put you back into your cot around 4am. 
Today has been much the same. Temperature and grumpiness,  poor baby. Daddy is off so we had a family walk to the woods which helped relax and distract you. Today sleep has not come so easily and after just three short cat naps I put you to bed early and you fell straight asleep by 6:30pm fingers crossed for a better night and a happier day tomorrow.  

Teething sucks!  Enough said!

Love you 


First tooth

Dear baby Eva,

Wow you are keeping me busy.  too busy to keep updated on your diary. I  have missed telling you about loads of your firsts, lots of highlights and low moments but today that stops.  I am back on it as they say. 

Big news, you have got your first tooth! As if by magic and out of no where it has suddenly erupted through your gum. 

I feel like we have been a bit unlucky recently, without going into it too much daddy smashed his phone, mummy smashed the windscreen (with your pushchair) the shower broke, the freezer broke and your furry dog brother Wilson escaped the garden and bit a dog,  he was provoked but happened to be the bigger dog.  Naughty boy. We are staying positive as we have you at the end of the day and things can only get better, right? 
It’s the summer holidays which means you will more than likely be seeing lots more of your cousins. Yesterday we went on a nature hunt. Half way around you decided to unleash a semi solid kale powered, teething induced, explosive poop. It leaked everywhere, in the middle of the woods we had the option of floor or a bench. It was a two person job as you was covered and trying to roll off the bench, grab the nettles and chew on a twig.  But mission accomplished and back to nature we went. It was a lovely walk and you even gave me a rare pushchair nap which I am hoping is going to be more of a regular occurrence to make going out a little easier.  

Today is first tooth day.  I discovered this exciting development when you started chewing on my finger this morning. You have been a bit moany compared to normal standards but not too bad at all. Hopefully you will deal with all your teeth like this.  

Lots of play time today and a visit to the park and Swings.  

Love you

Mummy x