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Holiday in your own County

Thursday, 11 January 2018

A common misconception when you go to book a holiday is that you are looking to "go away" when infact what you are looking for is to put your feet up and get away from your everyday.

So with that in mind we are holidaying within our own County of Norfolk. With a not very well travelled a six month old, a mama going solo and a car packed to the brim it was with great comfort that I knew we only had about a 40 minute drive till we were on our holidays.

My mum treated us to a beautiful cottage in Holt by Barefoot Retreats which had all the mod cons as well as very instagramable decor, white fluffy robes and the most comfortable beds I have ever stayed in!  Gone where the mundane tasks of hoovering,washing and cooking replaced with great restaurants round the corner and freshly turned down sheets all on my door step.

Holt is a beautiful town in Norfolk with a great array of shops and eateries including a personal fave Byfords Cafe (it's a must go if your here). Only 5 miles from the stunning North Norfolk coast and seal trips at Blakeny it really does offer town,country and seaside in one luxurious package! 

So take the stress out of the great get away and start seeing what's round your corner....

Making the Most of Maternity Leave

Friday, 5 January 2018

Having a year off work sounds like some sort of dream. Long baths, endless shit telly, dinner dates and the freedom to do whatever the eff you like.
Throw a baby in the mix and at some point you will wish you were back at your 9-5. So, with the return to work only round the corner for me I thought it was only right to share my Maternity leave experience and how I made the most of it!

The first few months are a stressful, mad blur where you feel your life is upside down and you will never have a routine or any sort of rhythm to your day. However, with my partner returning to work I thought it was time to ditch the milk stained pjs, pull on a large pair of granny knickers and dip my toe in the world of mother and baby groups. I was struggling with feeding Archie so I went along to my local Sure Start Centre where I joined a breastfeeding cafe (now it's a feeding clinic so any sort of feeding is welcome! Yay for us bottle mamas!!)where I sat around with other mamas feeding our babies enjoying hot cups of tea. It was so useful with aiding my feeding journey and the health professionals are on hand to offer advice. When you have a newborn as they just sleep,eat,shit,repeat you feel that there isn't a lot of groups that you can attend so this is a great starting point (I soon learnt that this is not the case and any group you turn up with a teeny tiny newborn women will flock).

When you hit the 3-4 month stage and they become more alert this is a lovely time to head for more baby play groups. I found joining local facebook pages, looking what's on at local churches ( I am in no way religious but welcomed with open arms at all the church groups, so don't let that put you off) and keeping up with the children's centre all of which are usually free. Then there is the franchised classes that have a cost Baby Sensory, Water Babies, Tiny Talk to name a few.
What I found useful is having a diary and putting in all the dates of the free classes so if I was at my wits end I could see when my next activity was to relieve some of my sanity. I then signed up for one or two of the paid classes just so I was mixing in with all different mums to find my groove.

I found the more I got out there the regular faces you'd see and the small smiles across the room soon turned into friendly waves and hello's and before you know it your discussing your nether regions in depth and how you've never been the same!

I have to say that getting out there is daunting and can be rather overwhelming especially when you walk into a room where you know nobody but the more you go the more people you meet and before you know it your hosting a party...well I was anyway!

I have to say that it's the mums I've met along the way have made the mat leave amazing, I'm sad to be returning to work...

If your about to go on Maternity leave let me know what your most excited for in the comments below!

A First Family Christmas

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

So with the festive period quickly becoming a distant memory I wanted to share a few photographs from our first Christmas morning as a family of three. Archie surprised us with his own gift of lying in till 9am...RESULT! Then we made it downstairs and slowly but surely tore through his gifts. We didn't go overboard as at 6 months old he can't even distinguish whether its a Wednesday or a Friday let alone Christmas but he enjoyed peeling back the paper and mostly playing with the labels! 

We kept our festivities small and intermit with presents, prosecco and a lovely roast all at home and saw family either side of the big day!

I hope you all had a cracking day... roll on 2018.

15 Things I've learnt since becoming a Mama

Monday, 18 December 2017

1. Breastfeeding or Bottle feeding no one gives a shit anyway!

2.Sometimes you will just cry and that could be in the middle of a sensory class to a woman you met only 2 weeks ago and see for an hour... it's cool she gets you.

3. Parent parking space rage! It's real people, that woman with the invisible toddler taking up the child space just because she can't be arsed to walk far to the shop is a real douchebag. Until you remember actually that was you last year! Still RAGE regardless of my previous actions!

4. Photographing every new hand gesture/expression/new outfit will become the norm. Your phone is no longer full of selfies. Oh and no one really cares about seeing the pics except you?! But let's show everyone anyway.

5.Going to the mum groups gives you first date nerves.

6.BUT.. once you have made some mum friends you will find them to be the kindest,warmest people you could meet. My faith in sisterhood is restored!

7. Night outs are rare and even when you go to let your hair down you remember that tomorrow you will be up at 5am with the twirly woos....*put's hair back up*

8. Every baby song now has a sign routine that for someone with complete left and right dyslexia has been challenging...

9.At the end of a long baby filled day all you want is to hop in the bath until you remember that there are a pile of shitty nappies stacked high next to the bathroom bin. Ahh well you bathe anyway, poo is the new odour to your life.

10. Having your nails done is a thing of the past with the volume of bottle washing that comes with these little people.

11. I will only have wooden toys. I will only have wooden toys. I will only have .... *looks round living room full of fantastic plastic crap* .... whatever makes them happy.

12. Milton and even better Milton Wipes... sterilising everything is just the norm and in wipe form I'm there.

13. On the subject of wipes! You will not only use them to wipe those peachy cheeks clean but I have been found taking off my make-up with them, quickly dusting the window sills of the spare rooms with the pending arrival of the inlaws, oh and to wipe round my car dashboard (who has spare cash on maternity pay to get the car cleaned? Not me!).

14.The three C's Coffee,Cake and Chat don't think I've ever done/had either three of these in the quantity I do today! Ever!

15.You will never see the bottom of your laundry basket again! Sicking pooping machine!

And I've learnt all this in just over six months, think of what the next 18 years will bring. It's been a journey and hey it's only just begun...

I'm back...

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Yes I am back. I'll be honest parenting takes up well all of your once "free time" and the "free time" you get only happens after a good bedtime battle after which you slob in front of the telly, to which you don't even realise is the YouTube live repeats of peppa pig. The mum life is real and it's all consuming and it's far to easy to loose that sense of YOU.
So the other night I sat down and wrote a list of all my hobbies (blogging) being one and have decided that now the sprog is no longer a newborn it's time to make time for me again. 
That said you may hear a little more from me from now on. I'm not going to commit myself to a schedule of postings as life just doesn't allow for that but what I will do is write when I can. Follow my insta as I am sure to shout about it on there when I do @hollybobbinblog 

Week Eight

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Everyone always say they grow up fast and crikey their not wrong. I can't believe we now have an 8 week old baby and we've been doing this parenting thing for that long!

These last four weeks since our last update seems to be full of changes, I finally gave up the breastfeeding at 6 weeks. He is such a demanding baby and it meant we just couldn't get out the door some days which made both of us miserable. It feels like an end of an era as it's all we ever knew but he has taken to the bottle feeding great and it's great to share the load with Tom too.
He smiled for the first time this month whilst laying in bed with his dad, so we now spend a lot of time making ridiculous noises trying to get those little smiles (our poor neighbours must think we are a couple of nutters!). Now he smiles it feels so much more rewarding, even when we are up at 3am.
He is so much more alert, taking everything in and interest in toys and playmats, bring on the plastic tack that my house is about to be covered in!
He just does not stop growing and is now fitting into size 3-6 month clothing, so I have sorted through everything that doesn't fit and popped it into the loft. It's amazing how long I spent ironing, organising and preparing his clothes whilst pregnant, to then already be out a lot of them.
This month also saw us host a 'Welcome to the World' party which we had instead of a baby shower. It was a lovely day and great for him to meet so many of our friends and family. We also took him back to my family in Rutland, which was lovely but my god do you have to remember a lot of stuff.

I have also been going to a few mother and baby groups, which has been daunting but really nice to chat to other mums going through the same milestones that we are.

Health wise we had our last home health visitor appointment, and our six week check so we are all signed off the health service. Although injections are happening Monday.

Here's to week eight ... bring on the next four...

Delivering a Special Care Baby

Monday, 7 August 2017

When you think about the birth of your baby, you think about 'will there be forceps? will I be cut front to back? and at worst case will I have an emergency c-section' never do you think that your baby will be in intensive care especially after a "text book" pregnancy.

However I wanted to share my story about our experience as it may offer some comfort to anybody who is going through the same thing. And as this is sort of my online diary I wanted to get pen to paper as such whilst it's still relatively fresh, as this is the journey of how our little babe came into the world.

So, following on from my amazing waterbirth the midwife started to perform the standard newborn tests and slowly one by one poor Archie was failing them. First his hearing (this is pretty standard due to all the gunk that goes with birth) then his blood sugar levels where low which was worrying as he was born on 97th percentile, then his oxygen pre and post his heart, it was dangerously low post which meant his lungs were not working to their full capacity.
On this our midwife quickly summons a cot and he was wheeled off to the neonatal intensive care unit quickly followed by Tom. Unfortunately I was too weak to walk, so had to slowly make my way up to the unit. The staff are amazing and kept me so calm that it didn't really hit me till I entered the assessment room. The little babe that was sprawled across my chest moments before was now in an open incubator being worked on my a whole team of doctors, consultants and nurses. Tubes and wires inserted all over his tiny body whilst multiple blood tests where drawn. I remember feeling so helpless and emotional, we waited until we spoke to his consultant who explained that he needed to be kept in the unit on high Dependancy for the next few days, he went into detail about potential problems that Archie may have but we needed to wait for tests,scans and bloods to be returned. Dazed and drained we headed back to the delivery room where we had him on our own, the room that was so joyous felt sad and empty, as we lay there in silence waiting to be moved to our own room and wondering how our baby was.
Eventually at 8pm we were moved into our own room off the main postnatal ward. Both exhausted and only room for me to sleep we decided it was best that Tom went home to catch up on some sleep as we knew we had a long week ahead of us. I'll never forget opening up my suitcase that night and seeing the tiny "going home" outfit all ironed on top along with a little grey bunny my mum had bought him. I think that's when it hit me, that and hearing the cries of all the other babies on the ward outside. Why couldn't I have my baby with me? I spent the whole night crying into the little bunny.

The next day when Tom arrived we went up to the unit and spent the whole morning sat next to his incubator. They cover the incubators in thick duvets so you can't see in very well but it was nice to know he was next to us.
After the doctors and consultants had done their rounds they decided that it would be OK for Archie to have skin to skin with just me. I really felt for Tom, he was going through the same pain as me but was still unable to hold his baby.
It took two nurses to transfer him on to my chest, when I held him it was so emotional and I never wanted to let go. I only had an hour with him as not to stress him too much, but my god it was amazing! I think the photos say a thousand words.
That evening Tom went home and I sat next to his incubator all night, chatting to the other mums in the unit who were doing the same. The nurse we had on that night was brilliant and we slowly turned his oxygen down to see how he coped which he did brilliantly. It was so good to see him coping so well. She said that if we could get it down then he would have a good chance of being 'normalised' the next day following the consultants rounds.
I went back to my room, and got some rest and waited till 7am when I knew Tom would be back. We went up to the unit and our little boy was in a hospital cot with less wires, they had normalised him. We hid our relief and joy as we were in a room full of sick babies who were not so lucky and the desperate parents that was once you. The nurses spent the day with me establishing feeding and closely monitoring his progress until an emergency came  on to the ward and we are moved down the corridor from high Dependancy to special care. The room was so full and we were squeezed into a corner, I couldn't take it anymore & begged them to let me have him in my room with me as he was only on antibiotics through his canula for suspected sepsis although nothing was confirmed as we needed to wait for bloods to come back.

They let me have him in my room and it was amazing, just how it should be after childbirth sat in a hospital bed having skin to skin.
We were eventually discharged on Father Day and now have a happy and healthy almost 8 week old baby.

I wanted to share my experience so if their are any parents going through a similar experience that you are not alone and if your pregnant that it's ok if your journey doesn't go to plan not to worry.

If you have any questions then don't hesitate to comment or contact me privately.