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The small milestones

Obviously, a baby’s milestones are big deals. Their first steps, first words, first time they sleep through the night etc etc.

But now I’m starting to notice Isla’s smaller milestones that make me well up just as much.


This was the first time Isla slept under a duvet instead of her sleeping bag. She was in a sleeping bag up until she was almost 2 because she wriggles in her sleep so much, but we thought tucking her in nice and snug in a proper duvet might help keep her a bit more still. She slept absolutely fine that first night and we only had to tuck her back in once after she wriggled her legs out at about 10pm. She looked so cute I couldn’t resist taking a photo!


Then there’s the first time I watched Isla use a knife and fork. Without making a mess. We were at her best friends birthday party in July and she had some chicken nuggets with chips and peas. She not only gobbled the lot (and turned down ice cream in favour of finishing all her peas!) but used a knife and fork properly, the first time I’d seen her do it. I have to admit I did well up!

There’s also the times she’s said things that make me so proud. We’ve been teaching her to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ but she still needs prompting from time to time. So when I plonked a yogurt in front of her at tea time a few weeks ago, and completely unprompted, she looked up at me and said “thank you mummy!” for the first time I could have burst with pride!

I had a similar reaction last week when I was tucking her in to bed and said “night night Isla Bear, love you” and she said “love you mummy”. I just wanted to smother her with kisses!

All these things are just reminding me that she’s growing up so fast, and soon we’ll be celebrating milestones such as her first night in her big girl bedroom (stay tuned to see how that turns out!) and then before long, her first day at school. Oh god, here come the tears again…

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Our two year old

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Today is Isla’s second birthday, and as cliched as it sounds, I can’t believe how fast the time has gone and how quickly she’s growing up. Our laid back little red headed baby girl how grown into a laid back but spirited and cheeky little girl. She loves nursery and all her little friends, and she’s incredibly sociable.

 We’re amazed every day at how intelligent she is. She’s speaking in three or four word (mostly coherent!) sentences and understands everything we say. She loves reading and knows the names of most every day objects, the favourites are currently Piggy Wiggy, chocolate and dawberries (aka strawberries)! She’s also quite good at counting and knows her numbers, but will sometimes miss out 4 and 7 just to tease us!

We’ve found that she’s very bossy, and if she wants to read or have us read to her she’ll demand it. One of her favourite things to do in the morning is to have us all snuggle up in our bed (she’ll demand “mummy/daddy/Piggy/Isla sleep in bed!”) and we have to pretend to sleep and snore, just so she can jump on us and shout “wake up mummy/daddy!” She also loves her food and eats huge amounts considering how small she is.

I was worried that she was a late walker (she didn’t take her first unaided steps until she was 16 months old)  and this might be because of future mobility problems, but as it turns out, she was just lazy and once she discovered how much fun it is to be walking and stomping about, she is now making up for it! She runs around with the other kids and has no problems keeping up with them, and one of her favourite things to do is go swimming. She loves wriggling around in the water with her armbands on and will swim back and forth between Hubs and I if we stand 10ft apart.

So far, Isla very rarely throws tantrums and seems to have learnt that throwing a hissy fit doesn’t work on us and that if she throws a strop, she won’t get what she wants. If she throws a tantrum we simply walk away from her (only into the next room and if it’s safe!) and after a few minutes of whimpering, she comes in and climbs onto our laps for a cuddle, like she’s saying sorry, and then she forgets all about it. Gradually her hissy fits seem to be getting shorter so hopefully the terrible twos won’t be too traumatic!

Ok I’ll stop gushing now. I know we’re very lucky to have such a happy, placid little girl who’s a joy to be around (her grandparents’ words, not just ours!) and that if we are lucky enough to have another one, we’re very unlikely to be blessed with such a “good” baby next time around so we’re just enjoying it while it lasts!

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I wish it was me

My baby girl isn’t a baby any more – she’ll be two next month and I can’t believe how much she’s changed in these past few months.

Her vocabulary is brilliant as her teachers at nursery have commented on many times, she’s putting together 3 or 4 word sentences and understands everything we say. She also repeats everything we say so we have to be so careful now! Isla is great with colours and numbers, even if she does tell us every colour we show her is red sometimes, and on her occasion her number sequence sometimes goes 1,2,3,5,8! She loves animals too and will happily tell us the right names and sounds of every animal we see.

Her social skills are pretty great too, she’s very friendly with anyone she sees and will shout “hello!” at anyone who stops to see her, and she’s really good at sharing her toys.

Honestly, this blog post isn’t just a brag about how proud I am of my beautiful, cheeky daughter. It’s about how sad I am that all the credit for my little girl’s development isn’t down to me, it’s down to the lovely ladies at her nursery.

As we work full time, Isla is in nursery from 8.15 to 5.30 Monday to Thursday and til 5 on Friday, and I’m well aware that all of her skills and development is due to the amazing care she receives at nurseryas they’re the ones who are with her full time. We do our best to offer her as much of a well-rounded and educational but fun environment when we’re together at home, but I’m well aware that her teachers at nursery have worked wonders with her, and I wish it was me.

As we don’t see much of her grandparents due to living so far away from our families, every time we see them they gush at how well she’s doing, and I feel bad that I can’t say I’m the one who’s taught her to count or that cows say “moooo”. I know I’d’ve done my best, but had I been a stay at home mum, I’m sure I wouldn’t have done as good a job with her as her teachers have.

And while I know it can’t be helped, as Hubs and I both have to work, I wish I could be the one to teach Isla her ABCs and 1,2,3s. I take my hat off to the lovely ladies at nursery for being so wonderful with my baby girl, or toddler as I now have! Gulp.

  • I’m delighted that this blog post was published on The Motherload! You can read it here…

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Ladies, we need to stop the b*tching!

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Whatever happened to solidarity and sisterhood?

I recently found myself being, I suppose you could say ‘body shamed’ and I must confess, it’s really got to me. Like most mums, my post-baby figure has been a thorn in my side for months as I’ve really struggled to get my pre-Isla figure back. I’ve hated my wobbly bits and have been wearing lots of loose-fitting clothes and pairs of Spanx to conceal my ‘mummy tummy’ and for a long time, actually felt very shitty about myself.

In a bid to give myself a kick up the backside, I bought a gorgeous size 8 dress back in March for my step-brother’s wedding, which was this weekend, with the view to shedding a few extra pounds to fit into it comfortably. After much hard work, it fit and for the first time in years, I actually felt like my old self again. I’m a member of a Facebook group of mummy bloggers and I posted the above photo into the group to celebrate my achievement with a group of like-minded ladies, feeling pretty damn good about myself for once.

Yet less than 24 hours after the wedding, I was bought crashing back down to earth by one snide comment, which simply said: “Not an 8 though is it”.

I know I shouldn’t have let it get to me, but it has. Was this person implying that I was lying about being a size 8? Was she implying I was delusional? I have no idea, but it really upset me that a complete stranger felt it necessary to say something like that to me. The responses from other members of the group were lovely and they called this woman out big time, and she’s since been removed and blocked from the group by the admin team. My post, at the time of writing this, has had 457 ‘likes’ or ‘loves’ reactions and 28 lovely, supportive comments from fellow group members, yet that one bitchy comment is the one that’s stuck. I even felt the need to prove to this cow that the dress was in fact an 8 by posting a photo of the label.

Ladies, enough! Life is hard enough without tearing each other down, especially complete strangers. Even if I had been lying/delusional and my dress wasn’t an 8, the fact that I felt confident enough to wear it, and was happy with my body for the first time in years, was surely the important thing here? Why did this person feel the need to knock me down? What had I done to deserve it?

Being cat-called by a group of lads in a souped-up Peugot while I was out running (“hey fatty bum bum!” how original…) is one thing, but this from a fellow mummy? Not cool. We need to support each other, not kick each other, especially when we’re down. I heard a great expression recently: “Just be kind. You don’t know everyone’s story, be kind to them, you don’t know what they’re going through” and it’s exactly right. This woman had no idea what I may have been through in my life, so she had no right to comment.

So come on ladies, let’s play nice!

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Things I’ve learned as a mum


Motherhood is a learning curve, there’s no two ways about it. I’ve learned things about life, myself and my lovely little girl I never would have thought of 18 months ago. As Isla is now 20 months old, I’m taking a trip down memory lane and looking at what I’ve learned over the past year and a half…

  • Kids do everything in their own time – no really, they do. I was so worried that Isla wasn’t developing as fast as she should be because she didn’t walk independently until she was 17 and a half months old. Then one day, she simply planted her hands on the floor, pushed herself up, stood up and simply walked over to the coffee table. On top of this, she was also an early talker and had 44 different words/phrases by the time she was 18 months old and apparently most kids that age have 15-20. So just don’t worry, they will do everything eventually. Honestly.
  • Baby wipes clean everything – mucky high-chairs, tables, floors, TVs, coffee tables, you name it. Also good for removing make up, dusting, wiping noses, removing toothpaste stains…etc etc
  • Yogurts fix everything – a quick snack for a hungry/grumpy toddler? Tick. A soothing teething remedy? Tick. An after-dinner dessert? Tick. Just because? Tick.
  • You can survive on less sleep than you think – when Isla was going through sleep regression and would only sleep in 90 minutes instalments, I still somehow managed to function, just. Whereas an early morning before Isla came along was 7am and I’d be knackered for most of the day. These days if Isla sleeps past 6.45am it’s considered a lie-in! Tired?! I didn’t know what tired was back then!
  • Don’t compare your kids – similar to the first point, it’s something I still occasionally do now, even though I shouldn’t, but I always worry that I’m not “doing it right” and that Isla is lacking in some areas. One of her little nursery friends is Romanian and her mum told me she can count to three in both Romanian and English – Isla can’t quite count in English yet! But I’m trying not too to dwell on that as I’m sure Isla is more developed in other areas that her friends aren’t.
  • An important one this….One very important lesson was to stop caring so much about what people think, and that real friends stick by you, no matter what. I was quite shocked to lose quite a few of my friends when Isla was born. They just stopped calling, texting etc and at the time, I was so wrapped up in the newborn blur that I didn’t think too much of it. “They’re probably just giving us space, maybe they don’t want to intrude?” I thought. But now nearly 2 years on, I still haven’t heard from them, which hurt my feelings I’ll admit and especially on bad days, made me feel pretty shitty. When I was younger I took things to heart much too easily and I would probably have turned myself inside out trying to change and win back these fair weather friends. But now…People don’t like you? Eff them! I know I’m slightly kooky with a strange sense of humour but my mantra is I’d rather be weird than boring. I know I’m not everyone’s cup of tea but I’ve got some wonderful friends who love me for who I am and I’m not going to turn myself inside out trying to persuade people who don’t get me that I’m worth a chance.
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The Law of Sod


The universe has a funny way of noticing when things seem to be going well. As soon as you feel as though your ducks are in a row and things are good, that’s when the Law of Sod kicks in.

Here are my most recognisable Sods Law rules….

  • As soon as you think “Ooh my child has been napping brilliantly lately” that’s when they’ll wake in the night and/or refuse to nap in the day. Similarly…
  • You dread someone asking you if child is a good sleeper/eater/is well behaved etc etc, because as soon as the word ‘yes’ comes out your mouth, child will refuse to eat/sleep etc
  • If you need to be somewhere at a set time and you try to time your little treasure’s naps around said schedule, that’s when child will choose to have a super long nap and wake up 5 minutes after you were supposed to be there
  • The day you decide to nip to the shop without the changing bag is the day child will projectile vomit/poo/pee all over themselves
  • Not to mention feeding child in a restaurant and realising you only have one wipe left, and child has food all over themselves, their clothes, the table and you
  • When you’ve been planning a day out, night out, date night etc etc for ages. You’ve been saving for weeks, got your outfit all planned, booked taxis, hired a babysitter, and you’re just about to walk out the door. You utter the words “bye bye, see you later!” to your little one…almost out the door…then child chooses that moment to projectile vomit and present a raging temperature.
  • That beautiful (and expensive!) little dress you wanted to save for “a special occasion”? The occasion finally arrives…and child has now grown out of it so said beautiful dress has never been worn.
  • You rush to get child home in time for their nap, only for child to nod off in the car for 10 minutes and now child won’t nap 
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I’m tiring myself out trying to be perfect


I currently seem to spend my days in a permanent state of exhaustion, with an aching back and itchy, tired eyes desperate to curl up in bed, but all I can think of is that the kitchen needs cleaning/washing needs doing/Isla’s toys need tidying/prep for tea needs doing etc etc etc.

Sound familiar?

Ever since Isla was born, I’ve been trying my best to keep a clean, tidy, harmonious house for my family. The last thing I’ve ever wanted is for my nearest and dearest is to think is that I’m lazy and I keep a horribly messy house for poor Isla and Hubs to live in, so I seem to go into overdrive and become a Stepford wife.

Hubs, to his credit, has told me many times there’s no pressure on me to keep the house immaculate and food on the table, and as long as Isla is happy that’s all he cares about. Yet I feel as a wife and mum I need to keep a tidy home with plenty of food, especially as he works away so much.

But what keeps going through my mind is that I’m obviously doing something wrong because I know I couldn’t cope with another child right now, if at all, yet other mums do exactly what I’m doing, and probably more, with multiple children. People always ask if Isla will be having a brother or sister soon and I feel I’m depriving her of a sibling and condemning her to a lonely life as an only child by not having another, as society seems to demand. Yet I know I’d struggle to cope with a career and more than one child, so does that mean there’s something wrong with me? Am I not “mumming” hard enough? Or well enough?

I know this pressure is all in my head, but I’m desperate for people to think I’m a good mum and if people see this knackered, frazzled mess I’m worried they’ll think I’m not cut out for this. One of my friends is a working mum with three children and she makes it look bloody effortless! Why can’t that be me?!