Tuesday, 31 May 2016

A very modern family.

This is the second part to NICU Mum and Mummy and Nina talk- Family. Please let us know by getting in touch what does family mean to you? Who are your family? Enjoy, this is all about 'my family'.

When I think of family I have to admit one of the first things that pops into my head is Phil Mitchell saying ‘We’re Faaamily’ to one of the millions of Mitchells, I don’t actually know the names of. That and the old age saying of, ‘You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family’. How very true. I will not bore you of the details of my Jeremy Kyle worthy story but let’s say I grew up completely envious of my friends and their families. Friends who had a loving mum and dad and a close knit army of brothers and sisters that cared about them, and would protect them at any cost. That’s what I believed a family should be a mum, a dad and their children.

However, when I look back on my high school days I learnt that family did in fact mean something a lot more than the traditional set up we are taught to believe is the ‘right one’. Family meant going to live with my nan and my uncle. Over the years we became as close as any ‘normal family’. But this was because we were a normal family. We of course went through highs and lows. Arguments and make ups just like any other family but deep down we cared about one another and I still class that house as my home.

As I didn’t have much family I heavily invested in my friends. It really is true that you know who your friends are when you go through something traumatic and they stand by you to pick up the pieces. I have a wonderful band of ladies whom have been part of my life for 13 years. We are a family, I love these girls and they have stuck by me through thick and thin. When I didn’t know who I was. When I rebelled at everything. When I get so drunk they make sure I get home, even after throwing up down the side of their car. When I self-destructed they were there and they still are.

When I was in hospital having Elijah and learning that we would be admitted to NICU these girls did everything. From feeding my cats to driving Greg to and from the hospital and contacting me every day. These ladies are my sons, ‘aunties’, and God Mothers. They are a huge part of mine and Elijah’s lives. Yes, they are not biologically related, and my son has ‘real’ aunties who he hasn’t even met! That couldn’t tell you what his favourite program is, or what he likes to eat or what new words he has said this week.  His, ‘aunties’, spend their free time taking Elijah to soft play or look after him when I am at work. They can tell you the name of the nursery he goes to, his keyworkers name, these ladies are my family and are my son’s too.
I saw a great term used the other day, ‘love cousins’, its where you’re not related via blood but your child and another have a bond that is so much more than a friendship. Where you care about the children as much as your own. I was so lucky to be pregnant at the same time as a friend. The pregnancy brought us that much closer. Evelyn and Elijah were born exactly one month apart to the day. We have gone through everything together in these 21 months. More so with Elijah’s op. When Sam said goodbye to us before we went to London for the op she cried. She cried because she cared so much for Elijah that she too was as worried as I was something bad was going to happen. If Evelyn or Elliot have to go to the doctors or even hospital I have been as equally worried about them. Elijah adores Millie and looks up to her, she looks after him as if they were brother and sister and it melts my heart. She is like a big sister to him.
I look at the people I care about, the ones I class as family and 90% of them I am not related to. But I wouldn’t be without them, they are my family. When I look at Elijah I do sometimes feel slightly sad for him that other than two Great Nan’s he doesn’t have any other grandparents we are in contact with. But then I think why should I feel like this? My son has everything I didn’t when I was growing up. He has a loving mum and dad and a network of ‘aunties’, and ‘uncle’s’ that care about him and this is what I think family is.  He doesn’t have the traditional set up of what we are lead to believe is more beneficial to the child. I know single parents that do a better job of raising their child than two parents.  I know gay couples who would be the best loving and caring parents I could think of. I know couples who don’t really like each other but are staying together for the children as this is what we are led to believe is the right thing to do. But is in fact wrong, neither party are happy and the children are suffering.
Even in this day and age there is some (not as much as days gone by but some) stigma attached to having a child out of wedlock. Well me and Greg did this. We are engaged but we are not married. I chose for my son to have Greg’s name as I too one day will take his name. We are one, a unit, and this does still provide some confusion at the dentist, or the doctors when they realise we are not married and yes, we do have different surnames. Sigh. This is after they have pronounced Elijah’s name wrong for the 100th time. Big Sigh.

The conservative idea of a ‘family’, I believe is dead. It has evolved and grown into something so much more. Whether you are married, un married, gay, single, blood related or not, if you love and care about one another than you are family. When your child goes through open heart surgery, it is the people who are still standing by your side that are your family at the end. The people that are still standing by you that even through the surgery is over and he is a happy and healthy little boy.

There are people who showed genuine concern when Elijah was having his op both friends and ‘family’, but when it was all over and we have returned to our lives they are now nowhere to be seen. Family are the people that stand by you even through the boring mundane days. The days where they tell you your living room looks good after you have redecorated it, or send you pictures of Harry Potter MEMES as they know you will laugh.

I may not ever write a book (however if any of you want to offer me a deal I will be happy to accept!) so I am using this as my ‘for page’.
This post is for my ‘family’, you know who you are, I love you, more than you will ever know, I am grateful to each and every one of you crazy buggers.

And for the one constant in my life, for my whole 26 years, Nan you are the most inspiring woman I know and have the honour to love. You have taught me everything but mainly what it is like to be loved and to love. I also blame you for my love of Tom Jones and mint imperials. x

Click here to see part one of Nicu Mum and Mummy and Nina talk- family, or to be taken to the amazing Mummy and Nina blog.


Monday, 30 May 2016

Mi Familia - Mummy and Nina- Family

Although we have not actually met I find myself talking to the lovely Nina from Mummy and Nina nearly every day! She is a talented, funny and may I say quite hot Mama who speaks her mind and isn't afraid to ask the gritty questions. I decided I wanted to ask what family means to her. This then prompted a collaboration where over the next two days we will be both answering that question. Please find Nina's guest post as below;

Love. Obligation. Hate. These are all but a few of the emotions people associate with the word ‘family’. The fluidity and broadness of the concept has left it’s understanding down to interpretation and experience. The structure of the traditional family has changed over the years into a ‘pick ‘n’ mix’ model - take what works for you and leave what doesn’t – so is there still a need to analyse the family or is every household unique?

Grab a dictionary and it is still defined as two things: ‘a groups of two parents and their children living together as a unit’ or ‘all the decedents of a common ancestors’. But what about that friend that has laughed with you, cried with you and been more of a sister than you could ask for - are they not family too?

On the surface our family is nuclear. A father, a mother and their two children. Peel away the label and it becomes much more complicated. We temporarily adopt a single parent family formation when my husband is away on 3-week business trip. My parents live 1.4 miles away and so have characteristics of an extended family.

Rather than compartmentalising families into rigid groups with a shared norms and values; is the term family outdated and should each household be seen as individual, having its own idea of what is an acceptable way to raise children?

They say the first 7 years makes the (wo)man and there is an obscene amount of pressure on parents to get it right. Why? because the family is the focal point for providing a stable, loving environment for children. The way in which that love and support is measured isn’t whether both parents live together; or whether your children are a descendent of your ancestors. It can’t be measured, It’s a feeling of happiness. If you’re happy it’s working for you.

When I had my first son I realised how important my family was. People fell into one category or the other: those that were loyal, supportive, accepting and loving and those that weren’t. There was a structural shake-up my grandparents, parents, aunties and uncles – who I thought would never accept the situation – were without doubt my strongest support and a foundation of confidence. Granted everyone was shocked but in our time of need the family formed a protective circle around us. They made me happy.

It became a process of sorting the positive life-supporting wheat and the negative judgmental chaff. What I thought would be a difficult situation turned out to be a cleansing process. I have been fortunate to have a stable and comforting network completely dedicated to each other’s needs. Whatever the problem we solve it together. We laugh together, cry together and give each other a good kicking when we’re acting up – they’re the unspoken rules of the circle of trust.

I have come to realise that although I have 555 Facebook friends, 173 real friends, I only have 26 hard time friends. These 26 people, that’s my family. It’s not a house of cards but rather a diamond
house: in the rough they’re there, shining brighter and brighter.

Regardless of who I’m technically suppose to consider family, if you can you sit around a table, have a laugh and honour the rules of the circle – we are family. Real family.

Please check out Mummy and Nina's amazing blog by clicking here.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

What does family mean to you?

Family. Means so much or so little to so many of us. But what does family really mean to you?

Me and Nina from the lovely Mummy and Nina have collaborated to bring you two posts where we explain what family means to us.

Part one coming tomorrow from Nina, and part two coming on Tuesday from myself.

As it is now bank holiday weekend, many will be spending it with their family. But who do you class as your 'real' family?
                                            Click here to visit the Mummy and Nina site!

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Mummy and Nina- Guest Post- Heartbeat

If you could ask me anything about Elijah's story what would it be? Would you be brave enough to ask an intrusive question or prefer to skirt over it as you feel uncomfortable?

Nina from Mummy and Nina took the bull by the horns and asked me a gritty question in which I provided a raw and honest answer.

I do not want to be ashamed of how I felt during this time, which to be frank was dark. It was okay not to be alright. I shouldn't have had to feel guilty for "not bearing up".

I loved Nina's question and it was so refreshing to have someone ask me a direct question about it! Not many people have! It also helps she is a bloody lovely and funny lady!


Friday, 27 May 2016

The Mama Cave Guest Post- Discovering Strength.

Below is an inspiring message to all of the Mama's on finding your Mama strength. This brilliant guest post was written by the lovely SJ of The Mama Cave who is mum to Bambina.

Wow becoming a Mama is a real crash bang wallop on all the senses, isn’t it?

It is the most intense thing, I for one, have ever experienced; the hormones, emotions, physical exertion and pain. And then a Baby: A Baby who is unbelievably familiar whilst also a complete stranger to you, A Baby which you expect to look to you for everything as their Mama.

That expectation, that feeling of becoming everything, providing everything, can be all encompassing, a real emotional firework, a joyous yet turbulent responsibility, a heavy load and a huge adjustment. And sometimes being everything is actually more than you can actually give.

It may be that your Baby won’t latch to feed, that they require medical intervention, or perhaps it could be that you yourself are in need of some care and attention. It may be that colic has caught hold, or that sleep deprivation has you questioning if you are in fact awake or dreaming.

It could be that you have other children to balance or that PND is paying you a visit.

Whatever the cause – it is inevitable that one day you will look at your Baby looking at you as their everything and you will have the lump in your throat as you realise you cannot be everything, do everything, as hard as you may try. The classic Mama-guilt will descend; heavy hearted it can feel like defeat…
But it is not defeat it is strength – Strength a Mama learns to grow and trust in. A strength that comes in accepting that you are being the best Mama you possibly can be. A strength that discovers the difference between being everything and always loving relentlessly. A strength that reaches out for help, acknowledges the need for a break and realises that being a Mama is not about being perfect. A strength that is summoned by a tiny bit of you acknowledging that your Baby is growing quickly and the world is bigger than just you.

You will certainly discover that this strength is always backed up and paired with an aching heart… occasionally in a supermarket whilst your threenager throws their person about the floor over a pineapple and definitely whilst in the doctors’ waiting room with a limp sweaty babe.

Nothing will make you sadder and nothing will make you happier than being a Mama, and you may not feel diamond strong whilst covered in puke, changing nappies or negotiating a teenage tantrum – but woman you are raising the f**king future and that is no weak thing – you are stronger than you will ever allow yourself credit.

And FYI - You may not be their everything all of the time but you will be their world - as they are yours. And one day they will let you know what sort of super woman you are, an absolute pillar of strength, a hero in their eyes – no doubt.

For those who haven't checked the site out, please go show this lovely lady some love! The Mama Cave site.


Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Holy Hell I am on the Huffington Post!!

I am honoured to have been invited to join the Huffington Post Parent Bloggers platform!

My first post is live!

I am beyond proud and excited!

Please check it out via the link below!!

Click here to view HP post!

Monday, 23 May 2016

Has becoming parents ruined our relationship?

‘Can you please make sure you scrape the plates, you didn't do it the other night and the cat was eating it?'

‘Can’t you do it, I made tea’.

‘I'm going to bed, you do it, and it’s disgusting.’

Just like that we were bickering about who does more, who works more, who looks after Elijah more and who is to blame for the current state of the house and lack of clean pants. We point scored for quite some time until I trudged upstairs to bed on my own. But it got me thinking, when did our close and care free relationship change into bitter squabbles over dirty plates. Then it hit me quite obviously, it is when we became parents.

Me and Greg have been together for 8 years, and nearly 2 of those years as parents. We met when I was 18 and spent many nights getting too drunk, having the obligatory arguments over exes and enjoying the care free life as a young couple. We travelled and went on some amazing holidays where after 5 years Greg finally proposed (after much badgering from me). Then we decided to try for a baby. If we are honest I don’t think Greg was too keen on the idea to begin with, and may have been swept along in my excitement when in January 2014, I got those two blue lines on a stick.

Greg was known for staying out too late after work and not telling me where he was. He still bloody does this. I think it is the last of his rebellious wannabe rock star ways. However, slowly over the course of the 9 months he became more committed and responsible, more so than he had ever been. We were very close when I was pregnant. It wasn't about sex, drinking or nights out any more. Our priorities shifted, and we became homing pigeons, nesting like mad and sharing the new parent delusions.

We painted the nursery and Greg attended ante natal classes; whilst we day dreamed about how our lives would be when the baby came. These day dreams were shattered. Not just because of having a new born is draining, stressful and you suffer from sleep deprivation, but because our baby was ill.

Our baby was admitted to NICU, click here to read Elijah’s admission to NICU, he also needed open heart surgery, click here for the surgery story too! This put immense pressure on our relationship like never before. It nearly broke me; it most definitely nearly broke us. 

Greg had two weeks paternity leave and we spent 9 days of that in hospital, therefore we didn't really get to spend much time at home together as a family, before he had to go back to work. I began to really resent him for this. For being able to escape and go to work and not have to deal with a colicky baby or sit staring at the same 4 walls becoming more and more depressed. That he didn't feel the guilt I felt like this was my fault. I became bitter towards him that he got to go to work and escape the worry and the fear. At times I didn't even think he cared about what we were going through.

When he was at home, I didn't want him there and I pushed him away. When he was at work I wanted him at home. Greg could never win, whatever he did was wrong and I think he was beginning to realise this.

I think for that first year as parents, we have been through a lot more than most. I think we could count on our hands the times we spent together as a couple. When we do have couple time, I tend to just miss and worry about Elijah. We normally always end up talking about him! It has now become less about ‘couple time’ and more about ‘me time.’ After a week of working, studying, blogging and looking after Elijah, I just want to go and have a bath on my own. Our evenings after Elijah has gone to bed tend to consist of watching re runs of Bad Girls and moaning how tired we both are. This then ends up in a competition of who has the right to get the title of most tired parent.

As we near the end of each month and inch closer to pay day we always plan a date night for ourselves which 9/10 does not happen and before we know it we are skint and too tired to care again. Now we have our hands full with Elijah who has hit the terrible twos it just doesn't seem that high on our priority list to spend time together any more. I have a new main man in my life and my whole attention is focused on him all day every day. 

This doesn't mean I have lost interest in Greg by any means, and I do get him sweets or little presents that I know will make him laugh. I send him funny pictures of me and Elijah when he is at work and keep him up to date with everything going on at home so he doesn't feel left out. But it’s not exactly the same as going on holiday to Greece or being able to have sex on the kitchen table whenever we wanted is it?

I mean like most parents of a toddler, our relationship isn't exactly a passion induced Durex worthy advert. Spending that first year with me adjusting to my new post partem body and being in and out of hospital does not exactly scream romance and enticement. That’s not to say we have no sex life, get a few pints or gins in us and we are good to go! It is like most things to do with us being a couple, not at the top of the to do list (excuse the pun).
One of the biggest adjustments to our relationship was the fact we are no longer the centre of each other’s world. We have a third little human who is dependent on us for everything. He has become the centre of our world. Even more so with Elijah’s condition. Throughout life you can be someone’s girlfriend, wife, partner but this may not last forever. What will, is that I am Elijah’s mother. This is my new role and it has changed me and Greg as people. We have become parents and there is no doubt this has had both a negative and positive effect on our relationship.

Whether it is for the better? I am not sure. What we have been through together has made us as strong as we can be. We have shared something together that did change our lives. We look at our son who is happy and healthy and have become as proud as we can be of his amazing achievements. We no longer really make time for ourselves, we snap at each other at more than we used to. We bicker; we bitch and turn it into a competition most of the time. That’s not to say we are not happy. I couldn't imagine my life without my scruffy prince charming, it's just we don’t have what we used to. We have both more (Elijah), and I think less of a relationship now and more of a partnership.

I wondered if it was just me that felt like this so asked Greg aka NICU DAD if he feels our relationship has changed. He agrees, that yes it has, we do snap (he may have mentioned when I become a She Bitch), but 90% of the time we are in fact closer than we were before we were parents. The bond between us is stronger now we have Elijah binding us together. I wondered if Greg mourned the life we had before Elijah, not regret him but just miss the life we had before. When we could sleep, when we had money and we were free to do what the hell we like. But I don’t think he does. Our lives are different now. It may not always be great or sexy any more. However, we have come through the toughest 18 months of our lives. And we came through it together.

So in a nutshell, yes, I think becoming parents has ruined our relationship but it has made us into a partnership that is closer and stronger than ever.

Except now as I have just had to pick up his socks off the floor. AGAIN. 

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Home Alone

When you think of Home Alone I am sure like me you think of young and innocent Macaulay Culkin (before he turned into a drug fuelled skeleton) being ‘forgotten’ and left at home while his parents went on holiday. The loveable scamp cheekily left marbles and booby traps to fool two bumbling robbers while he ate ice cream all day. Never once was anyone truly concerned with his safety of being left alone, nor were his parents prosecuted for neglect when they finally realised they left their son at home. Now, what about if we replace Culkin with a 10-month old baby? Being left on their own in a locked house? I am guessing that wouldn’t be a Christmas family favourite.
Mumsnet user ‘Daikin1’ recently took to the site to ask if others would find it acceptable that she left her child (a 10-month old baby) on their own while she went to a shop 50m away to pick up a couple of parcels. It was apparently okay as the baby was napping. She did it so she didn’t have to make two trips up the stairs with a baby. She also wanted to try on the clothes she ordered, ‘in peace’. Hmmm. Others took to the site to say that they were outraged with the decision to leave the baby on their own. While others whole heartedly agreed with ‘Daikin1’ with one even going as far as walking her dogs while her child slept. But it was okay as she left another dog in the house for ‘security’. The discussion sparked a huge response with over 800 parents weighing in on the argument.

Ask any parent if they would leave their 10-month old baby on their own and I am pretty certain there would be some Gary Barlow worthy eyebrow raising in your direction. I have spent days with Elijah glued to my side, making drinks, lunch and doing the washing etc. wishing I could leave him for a sec to go for a wee. Sometimes I have left him on the play matt or in his bouncy chair for 2 minutes when I have nipped upstairs to the toilet. We spend days assessing what is and isn’t safe for our children. So how on earth did ‘Daikin1’, come to the conclusion she was being a responsible parent when she made the decision to go to the shops and leave her child? Now, we have child proofed and installed stair gates I am happy to leave him in the living room watching Mr Tumble while I go for a wee in peace! Or make a coffee. Would I leave him to go to the shop? No. Would I leave him to nip to my neighbour’s house which might I add we are attached to. No. I wait until Greg gets home to put the bloody bin out! If he is napping I will wait for him to wake up to put the washing out!

Am I protective? Yes, I bloody am. I believe all parents should be but considering I am a NICU Mum maybe I am more so. Surely, it is our right that until our children are old enough to deem risk for themselves we have to protect them from it? If it means that Greg has to get my parcel or I wait until Elijah wakes up and have to make 5 trips up the stairs so be it. Or here is an idea why don’t you get someone to sit with your child? Or get your friend to pick the bloody thing up. Nothing is that important to put your child at risk.

Elijah wasn’t quite walking at 10m but he was moving. He was mobile, pulling himself up, crawling and cruising. Who is to say he wouldn’t wake up from his nap. You really cannot guarantee how long a baby will nap for. In a routine or usual habit, whatever you just cannot. You could not guarantee that the baby wouldn’t pull himself up on his cot and get over the side. What happens if they fall and break a bone? That the stairgate isn’t closed and they fall down the stairs? Or that they are ill, how quickly do children come on being ill? Elijah literally just chundered all over the living room and has been fine all day. Who is to say they won't choke on their sick and suffocate? Elijah has been sick in his sleep before and although he can roll on his side I have had to flip him over to avoid him choking. She bangs on and on about how she was gone for 7 minutes, her child could be dead in 7 minutes. The risk of SIDS is also still present with a baby of that age.
I may be slightly neurotic, slightly paranoid and tend to think the worse will happen however I sort of think I have learnt that right considering what we have been through on Elijah’s journey. And also what we have had to witness him go through. So as soon as I even think about a baby being left alone even when sleeping, I just feel like my mind is literally going to blow up. All I can think about is the risk involved to her child and herself for example;
What if there is a fire? The baby is in a locked house with no way to save or defend itself. Fires do happen more than you think, things flood on electrical items, chargers and straighteners blow up or a laptop overheats.

Yes, it is not as common during the day but what if someone breaks in and takes the child? I will use this time to allude to the case of Madeline Mcann where the parents where only meters away from the room. Yes, the chances are slim for someone in daylight breaking in a house and taking a baby without anyone seeing or hearing but as we all know it can happen.
If as soon as you leave (we’ve all been there baby is fast asleep as soon as you leave the room they wake up) the baby starts screaming, red faced cannot catch breathe screaming? Before Elijah’s op I would never have let him ‘cry it out’ especially not for over 7 minutes. What if the baby has an underlying un-diagnosed health issue? That causes them to stop breathing, or to be sick? Or a seizure?

The mum herself could fall down the stairs and knock herself out; who will know the baby is left locked in the house?

What if she is hit by a car and killed? How long until the baby is found?
I know these are all extreme circumstances but they do happen. Yet more and more parents are taking the risk and leaving their children alone. Arrests happen every day to parents in the UK who have left their children alone. Including babies. Recently there was the case of the couple who went out for a night out and left their young baby wedged in the bed, the child slipped down and tragically suffocated. Why are people taking the risk? Especially with babies? The fact that a baby/toddler and young child depend on you for everything to look after them, to care and nurture but most of all to protect them from harm why are we leaving them unprotected from possible fatal threats?
It got me thinking, I have never been in a position where even if I have had an important appointment I have not been able to get childcare. Maybe I am a lucky to have an extended network of people I trust as well as Elijah being in nursery for a day and a half a week. Is it childcare costs or lack of accessible childcare that is forcing parents to leave their children at risk? At first I thought that some of these Mumsnet discussions are so stupid, irresponsible and downright ridiculous that they are made up. To provoke others in a heated discussion. That it is someone orchestrating the whole thing for the benefit of social media and the tabloids. But why then are parents getting arrested every day for doing this? Why are over 105 parents facing investigation for doing just this?

Gov.UK advises that the law doesn’t actually state an age when you can leave a child on their own. But it is an offence to leave a child if it places them at risk. It goes on to advise that babies, toddlers and young children should never be left on their own and parents can face prosecution for neglect if they do so. The CPS when charging parents look at a number of factors, the age of the child, the period of time they were left, the potential dangers and the environment they are left in. The case of Tim Haines the father who left his ill baby in the car outside the pharmacy he went into to get Caplol, was in fact charged but later won his appeal to have the charge overturned. You could also face prosecution if you leave a child in the car while you go and pay at a petrol station. Here is where the law needs further clarity and harsher punishments need to be enforced for those irresponsible parents leaving babies at home.
But honestly ‘Daikin1’, I don’t know you, I don’t know your circumstances but if you feel the need to get clothes and try them on that much get a bloody sitter for Christ sake. Hay even I will do it, but please do not leave a baby napping on their own in a locked house. 7 minutes, 50m whatever. Take it from a mum who has watched her son endure a NICU stay, and recover from open heart surgery, you do not want to put your child at risk for them to have to go through something this.

So the question is....

Would YOU leave your baby alone in the house?

I would love to know what you think!

Saturday, 14 May 2016


Come and check out the new Twitter account and follow me you lovely people!!


Image result for twitter

Friday, 13 May 2016

I was nominated for the Liebster award!

The gorgeous @Maisies_Mum was kind enough to nominate me for the Liebster award! As I have only been blogging for 2 months. It means so much that my blog was even considered! It is much appreciated you lovely lady! I had been feeling a bit down this morning about the blog and that I didn't get the response I thought I would when I put out an advert for others to share their stories and this has made me feel so much better! It has reaffirmed that I must be doing something right (I hope)!!

Here are the rules: 

1. Thank your nominator and link back to them from your post.

2. Answer the questions you’ve been set and tag your nominator when you share your post on social media.

3. Nominate 5- 11 bloggers to answer some questions from you. Don’t forget to let them know!

My questions were set by Jennifer (@maisies_mum) 

What made you start your blog?
When I joined  Instagram and was opened up to the world of parenting blogs; I noticed there didn't seem to be one that dealt with the issue of your baby being in NICU and needing a life threatening operation. I wanted to be brutally honest about how you really feel as well as laughing about the highs and lows of raising a toddler!

How did you pick your blog name?
I decided pretty early on I wanted the NICU Mum name and as I was honestly confessing to what it is like to be one, it seemed to be the obvious choice!

Describe yourself in three words?

What’s you blogging inspiration?
Mainly my lovely son, however the brilliant blogging Mamas and Papas of Instagram provide a lot of inspo!

What’s the best thing about motherhood?
Unconditionally loving and being loved by someone.

What’s your ideal family day out?
The beach! or theme park! Or both!

What do you do to relax if you manage to get some baby free time?
Read, drink gin and watch re runs of Bad Girls! (I don't get out much!)

What’s your favourite book?
I could pretend to be clever and say Great Expectations as Miss Havisham is my fav character but if I really had to choose, deffo Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets!

What was the last film you saw?
Die Hard 2

What’s your favourite holiday destination?
Dominican Republic

I would  like to nominate the following Blogs for the Liebster Award.
1.  Nina from Mummy and Nina
2. Nicola from Too Much Mothering Information
3.  Jenny from Mamazou85
4. Selena from The Mum Coach
5. SJ from The Mama Cave

My questions for you are;
1. What is your number one blogging tip?
2. How do you find inspiration for new posts?
3. What is your target blog audience?
4. Your guilty pleasure?
5. Your favourite drink?
6. Your celeb crush?
7. Top parenting tip?
8. What type of parent do you think you are?
9. Your funniest parent fail is....
10. What is your lifelong dream?
Don’t forget to tag me in your replies and nominate other Blogs.

Thank you once again Jennifer @maisies_mum xxx


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Wednesday, 11 May 2016

A funfair, living the park life, a lost phone and a crappy haircut.

It's been a while since I have posted about our current adventures and shock bloody horror the sun has been shining, so we have been making the most of it. We have been playing a lot in the garden (I love this as it is free and there are on site toilets and food is available if I have remembered to go shopping), we visited a fen near our house. It's literally a 5-minute walk from us and has loads of fields, a small river and a park. Why in 19 months I have not been here before baffles me as Elijah bloody loved it. He did leg it off quite a few times but it wore him out and it is FREE!! There is even a resident hawk that flies over!
Going down the slide without any trousers on- standard Elijah behaviour
We also crossed another first off the list with him experiencing his first funfair! Another first was that I attempted to cut the little rat tail off his hair which was beginning to morph into a mullet and gave him a pretty crappy bowl cut my mistake. Whoops. First shit hair cut is now officially ticked off the list! I tried to cover it up with his sun hat but he won’t keep it bloody on! It’s like he is purposefully dobbing me in!
With spending so much time with my little Damien I have learnt he is officially a twonager. There have been tantrums, tears, throwing himself on the floor, throwing things at me, a complete public meltdown, which resulted my serious mum voice coming out and enough food crushed into the carpet that I am pretty sure I may  have to rip it up. He now talks more than Katie Hopkins and is making me laugh with the strange things he is coming out with. Especially when he did call our cat MewMew a bitch. Ahem cue giggles then changing the subject quickly!

Playing in the garden, sounds so fun, so easy! You are SO wrong!  It requires much planning and I wish it was just a case of lobbing him outside with some chalk. You would think as you are at home it is a familiar place, with food, toys and nappies on tap it would be great. However, it can also be bloody stressful here is why;

       1.     The minute I get the hat and sun cream out Elijah throws a hissy fit and runs away.

2.       He is obsessed with making a break for it down the path which leads to a busy main road.

3.       You spend ages setting up an activity only for him to get bored within 2 minutes and want to go watch C Beebies, even though you are trying to catch a sneaky tan.

4.       The snack you brought him is now tipped on the floor and covered in ants.

5.       You now realise that Elijah maybe responsible for the ants being found in the playroom.

6.       He doesn’t want to wear his shoes in the garden and you always loose one.

7.       You need to be on a constant visual for stones being eaten.

8.       The poor cats now get terrorised outside.

9.       He finds it more fun to open and close the door rather than play with all of the toys you have brought him.

10.   It will eventually lead to Elijah diving head first of a chair/slide/ climbing frame or table and getting hurt.
Bad bowl cut making a reappearance
       Sometimes I wake up and think right we are going to do something fun! Let’s go out! Something that everyone else seems to be doing and then they take amazing family photos of which look so natural and easy. We will go for a walk! At the fen! I have packed the blanket and a picnic out of packets of things I have in the draw. I have got my new camera ready to take some Instagram worthy pictures of our amazing nature filled walk.  Was it natural and easy? Was it bloody hell. I spent most of the time (after releasing the beast from his confines) running after Elijah with the pram as he ran in every other direction than I wanted him to. Then he fell over. A lot. He threw a wobbler whenever I got my camera out. Then he was hungry, snack given I looked away for 2 seconds to find said snack dumped on the floor. Then he wouldn’t leave the park, threw a tantrum and had to be wrestled back into the pram whinging all the way home. Sigh.

Future model in the making

The weekend rolls in, with the sunshine still present (that’s got to be a new record? 4 days in a row!) I have even shaved my legs and got last year’s flip flops out! The factor 50 has been purchased. The battle between me, Elijah and the sun hat has been raging on. We decide as the fair is in town it’s the perfect way to spend Saturday Afternoon (and daddy’s money). I have bundled Elijah in the pram, packed the reins and go to meet our play date for the afternoon. I mean what could possible go wrong? Two toddlers, one (teething) 7 month old and three adults? Surely the odds are in our favour?
All the fun of the fair
No, they really were not. I think within about 5 minutes it began to slightly go wrong when Elijah and Evelyn wanted to go on their first ride and me and Sam had to cram our arses into it too. I did not fit in this bloody thing and went around the little track with my leg (and pretty sure my foof too) hanging out. Elijah then threw one of many tantrums of the day which involves him throwing himself back on the floor on his reins when I said we couldn’t get on it again. I was slightly worried this time I wouldn’t be able to get out and the fire engine and local papers would be called. Poor Sam squished her boobs into a little car when really they needed their own one!
They look so innocent... right?
We were then robbed by hook a duck, hook a bag etc.… £3.00… I am still annoyed and my purse is still very much lighter. Each kid then took their turn in throwing a wobbler. Evelyn also did a great job of driving a tiny electric boat! She did it for the girls, where as Elijah got in a mood when I took his shoes of and then screamed his head off! 
Eventually we left the interesting sights and sounds of the fair, pretty much bankrupt to take the kids to a nearby public garden. We closed the gate so they couldn’t get out and just let them run riot it was great, and free. Did I mention I like free things?! It didn’t even dampen our spirits when two grown older men came to sit on a bench and drink Stella you know at 16.00.  Laura then managed to lose her phone and have to go meet some shady but strangely honest kids who found this and handed it back to her. Who said there wasn’t any hope for the next generation?  Elijah and Evelyn had a whale of a time digging in dirt with sticks like some 1970’s outdoor kids. Made us think why did we spend all that money at the fair again? We didn’t even stop for doughnuts! It’s okay the fair is still on for another week there is still time to go back and spend the rest of my month’s pay on doughnuts!!
Bubba Elliot
Literally having the time of their lives
This weekend also saw me dumping ahem I mean lovingly drop my adorable bundle of joy of the Nana’s house for a sleepover! While Mama hit the town, well Dereham Hollywood Cinema where time has stood still since the 90’s! With the bestie to see a film, mock her tomato juice habit and the fact she takes PG Tips into the cinema. Who under the age of 60 does this? TELL ME!! The next morning, baby free you would think I would be sleeping in without having a little sleep robber kicking me in the face or head-butting me causing me to think that crunch may have resulted in him succeeding in finally breaking my nose. No, Elijah has successfully ruined my body clock and I was up, dressed and out of the house even earlier than if I had him! WAAAH. There was an even bigger kick in the crotch when my Nan announced he slept through the night until 7.30 AM without a peep. FML. Always the bloody case.
He doesn't normally like ice cream, unless it's mine.

So there we have it, the adventures that this NICU Mum, her toddler and the kitchen scissors had last weekend.

P.S in case you were wondering since coming to write this post the sun has now disappeared and it has rained all day. That was the Great British Summer of 2016. I am off to put the flip flops and jelly shoes back in the cupboard for next year. Bloody annoying when I have spent a small fortune on factor 50 sun cream for Elijah! Grrrr.

Model shot #2