New Year is Here! Are you ready for your New Arrival? 5 Beautiful Nursery Ideas from Murals Wallpaper

So Christmas is nearly here and before you know it January will be knocking on the door. Now that New Year is round the corner the birth of your little bundle of joy is suddenly looking a lot closer. You have dreamed about the pram, picked out a few sleep suits and got the all important first stuffed bear. But the nursery? Oh you have thought about it but nothing quite lives up to all you dream of. You want a perfect room, a beautifully neutral space to enjoy with your new arrival. Somewhere to sit and feed, cosy but uncluttered. A space for everything and everything in its place.

So for your planning pleasure I have teamed up with Murals Wallpaper to bring you 5 beautiful nursery ideas.

Starry Night

Gorgeously neutral and chic, this simple theme of grey and white creates the perfect place for your new arrival to catch those needed zzzzs. I love the mixture of stars and hearts. Teamed with simple white furniture the Mural Wallpaper creates a modern nursery that will grow with your baby.

Cloud Illusions

A pale pallet of soft pinks and blues, keeps this nursery beautifully neutral. Simplistic cloud patterns will brighten even those dull grey February days, leaving you calm and relaxed. Again crisp white furniture helps bring this Murals Wallpaper alive – keeping the room feeling fresh and inviting.

Tweet Dreams

Know you are expecting a special little lady? This stunning woodland design complete with birds and owls is perfect. Elegant and fun with lots of things for little ones to look at as they grow up. This paper creates a brilliant nursery and captures imaginations as babies grow. A few girly accessories and some cute bunting will set this Mural Wallpaper off wonderfully.

All the Leaves Are

Another more feminine idea with this stunning leaf drop paper. Beautifully colourful yet subtle. A quirky pattern that will remind you of all the seasons. This Murals Wallpaper is right on trend, but trendy doesn’t have to mean uncomfortable like those pre-pregnancy shoes you craved! This nursery gives off a warm glow, a cosy feeling of nights spent curled up with baby. The pattern has so much going on that a just a few accessories are all that is needed to complete the look.

Nordic Nuance

Ah have you been dreaming of those clear cut nordic lines in your nursery? Its understandable but sometimes minimalistic can feel a little cold. This paper from Murals Wallpaper brings the gorgeous nordic colours and prints with a twist of cute fun. Clean and bright this nursery is perfect for baby boys and growing boys.

Fallen in love with these ideas? Or perhaps you think you have some great designs of your own. Mural Wallpaper can create wallpaper from your own uploaded images. Does a nursery get any more personal than that? Have a look at the Mural Wallpaper website for further details.

*DISCLAIMER – This is a collaborative post with Mural Wallpaper. All thoughts and opinion are my own. All images are from Mural Wallpaper*

Admitting You’re Not as OK as You Make Out – PND

We all know that being a parent is not an easy job, we all have good days and bad days. But what do you do when you start to feel like the bad days are outnumbering the good ones at 10:1? It’s not an easy thing to admit that at the moment you are not enjoying being a parent. I know I have been there. Here is my first post about my battle with PND

When Pudding was born before Christmas, I was elated at last the pregnancy was over. I had survived the elective c-section (a real concern of mine) and I was finally cradling my beautiful girl in my arms. I fell in love immediately. Totally head over heels for this tiny Pudding as soon as they laid her on my chest in the operating theatre. Taking her home and enjoying our first Xmas as a family of four surrounded by proud grandparents was wonderful. Then the festivities were over and everyone returned to work leaving me to deal with having two small children.

Let me tell you reality hit home hard. I was so tired and still recovering from major surgery, but Pie didn’t really understand that. He wanted his Mummy back to do all the things we used to do. Not to mention Pudding who needed feeding and changing as an almost constant. I could feel all my patience for the children start to slide away from me slowly. I was irritable and snappy all the time. Everyday started to feel like ground hog day, get up, breakfast, activity, lunch, film, tea, bath, bed. Over and over like a monkey with a miniature cymbal. Feeling myself slipping away. I had become a drudge for two small children and there was no light at the end of the tunnel.

I started to dream about just getting in the car and driving as far away as the petrol in the tank would take me. Wanting to run away from my life. How could I have been so deluded to think that I could handle two children? I wasn’t cut out for this motherhood thing. As my mood got lower, my relationship with Pie really started to suffer. He was my constant source of irritation. I found myself nagging and niggling at everything he did and said. I knew I was being unreasonable but I just couldn’t stop. All I kept thinking was that if he could just calm down and be quiet I would feel better…Lady sitting cross legged on floor

Everything came to a head one night, as my husband and I climbed into bed and prepared to dream feed Pudding. I had made the decision to give her some formula in a vague attempt to get a bit more sleep. So I settled back into the pillows to feed. As I tipped the bottle I realised I hadn’t put it together properly. Milk went all over me, all over her and all over the bed. This resulted in what I can only describe as a ticking time bomb going off!

I plonked Pudding on her Dad, announced I was a rubbish mother and that it was no surprise the children hated me and then ran from the bedroom sobbing. I think that was a pretty big red flag to my husband that I was probably not as ‘OK’ as I kept telling him I was! After sorting out a very cross Pudding he found me sitting outside in the rain in my dressing gown. We talked about how I was really feeling, about how I spent a lot of the day sobbing or just walking about in a daze. He was great and he made me realise that all the things I was feeling were not normal. That maybe I needed to actually get some help.

The next morning, I rang first my Mum, who did some long distance counselling. Just talking to her and my husband made me start to feel better. Then I called my health visitor, she was amazing! She came round that afternoon and spent an hour talking to me about how I was feeling. Explaining that postnatal depression can strike at any time within the first 12 months and that it was nothing to feel ashamed about. Some of the guilt I had been dragging around with me started to lift.

The HV suggested that if I thought it would help that I could stop the breastfeeding. This would at least give me the opportunity for a break away from the children if I wanted a break. She also suggested a local talking therapy group and said she could arrange for someone to come in and watch the kids for awhile if I needed some extra help. She was so helpful and understanding. I had felt like such a fraud ringing her, but she made me realise that I had done the right thing. I chose not to go down the route of medications before I had accessed the talking therapy and actually now I feel like I won’t need to start taking any tablets.

Things have really started to improve, and I am finding that the blogging definitely helps me to express some of the things I am feeling. I am trying to lose that guilt that I am not doing a good job. I know I am never going to get it perfect every time. At least now I am starting to enjoy both the children. I have a great load of support from friends and family now I have admitted that I need some help and that I am no superwoman. I am so glad that I reached out when I did and didn’t let PND consume me.

 

Photo Credit: Al 8574 via Compfight cc

The Lily Mae Foundation

This is the first post in our Inspirational Parents series, this week our guest is Amy Jackson from The Lily Mae foundation. This is a charity close to my heart as its one of the ones that my Special Care Baby Unit work quite closely with and I was chuffed when Amy agreed to answer some of my interview questions, I will leave her to tell you a bit about how The Lily Mae Foundation began and what they are doing with all the money they raise.

 

LILY MAE FULL COLOUR LOGOTell me a bit about your amazing girl Lily Mae and her story;

Amy and Family
Amy and Family

Lily Mae was born on the 7th Feb 2010, she was our much longed for 2nd child. We didn’t know until we found out her heart had stopped that she was a girl. This was a bitter blow to us as we had a four year old boy at the time and had hoped for a little girl to complete our family. Lily Mae’s pregnancy was relatively uncomplicated and I was 36 +5 when we found out that her heart had stopped. I had noticed a lack of movements one day so went into be checked but unfortunately a scan revealed the sad news. I was sent home from hospital that Friday evening and asked to return 2 days later to be induced to deliver Lily. The day Lily was born will stay with me forever, I remember every tiny detail like it has been etched into my memory.

Who or what was your most important support network/mechanism

Following Lily’s birth I started receiving support from our local Sands (Still Birth and Neonatal Death Charity) group and met a really lovely girl who gave me great support in the early days. I also spent hours trawling the Internet and made another great friend virtually through a forum who had lost her little girl just before me and lived in Devon. We became great friends and having her going through it at the same time as me really helped. My friends and family were also amazing, they were there for me 24/7 and supported us as a family.

What would be your best piece of advice for other parents who are going through similar experiences 

Get support from other bereaved parents, they know exactly what you are going through and will be a great pillar of support and advice.

Why did you choose to set up the Lily Mae Foundation? 

We initially started fundraising by holding a Golf Day 12 weeks after we lost Lily to raise money for our local Sand’s who had supported us and also it was my husbands way of coping and keeping busy. After two years we then decided to go it alone so we could do exactly what we, or other parents, wanted with the money we had raised. I also wanted to start providing Memory Boxes as I felt that collecting Lily’s memories was so important. We had struggled to do this and source the things we wanted when under such time constraints.

Has it been tough returning to the hospitals where Lily Mae was cared for?

I found it very hard to go back to the hospital and luckily didn’t have to for a while. Eventually I had to go back to see a dentist, who found it very strange that I cried the whole time. I think she thought I was very scared of seeing her!!!

What has been your proudest moment since starting the charity?

Seeing how important our memory boxes and support for families is.

   .Memory box boy Lily Mae Foundation

What kind of fundraising have you been involved in for the Lily Mae Foundation?

We have held a Golf Day and Dinner Dance every year since losing Lily. We have just held the 7th Golf Day on April 8th 2016 at the Belfry where we had over 260 people attend and raised £11300; our most successful year yet.

Have you got any events this year that people could get involved in?

We run a Fun Run every year in Balsall Common, this year it’s on Sunday 25th Sep, entry is now open and you can apply here:  http://www.lilymaefoundation.org/funrun/

I would like to say a huge thank you to Amy for writing such honest answers, she is truly inspirational. Amy and The Lily Mae Foundation are doing a really great job at providing bereaved parents with a beautiful memory box, it doesn’t take the pain away but it gives them something to treasure while their hearts are breaking. If you would like to make a donation or get involved with The Lily Mae Foundation, please visit their website or click here to go to the justgiving page.

If you would like to know more about Sands you can find them online at https://www.uk-sands.org/ 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
Pink Pear Bear
3 Little Buttons

Motherhood: The Never Ending Shift

crying baby picture

Our new arrival is now nearly 3 months, cute little dot she is, very smiley and pretty easy going. Mind you she has to be as our 3 year old (4 next month, where did that time go?) has decided that his only aim in life is to push his mother to the brink of insanity! It’s not that he is a bad kid, he just is struggling to adjust to not always being the number one priority in the house…
Last week really saw the tipping point! My other half hasn’t been working any more shifts than usual, it just feels like he has because he seems to be gone for days at a time. Our sons first question is always ‘where’s daddy? Is he working again?’ I guess it’s pretty hard on him as when either of us go on shift he doesn’t see us from one day to the next, we are up before he wakes and home long after he has gone to bed. Or worst still he has to be quiet round the house because one of us is sleeping for nights…. Any way; I digress back to the story I was telling.
So it’s Tuesday, and we are heading towards bed time, always a time where there is a risk of explosion in our house! It’s even worse this evening because the 3 year old in his infinite wisdom woke the baby from her nap and she is screaming. Unfortunately this happened around 6 hours ago and she has screamed like a banshee since then, my ears are ringing and my son looks like the world has ended! The sausages are cowering on their bed with their paws over their ears…
Dutifully I run my sons bath plonk him in and pick up his squalling sister who redoubles her efforts to sing me the song of her people… As I dance round the bathroom, swaying on the spot with my eyes momentarily closed to attempt to block out the noise my son decides to pick up his dad’s razor that has been left on the side of the bath (I hadn’t even noticed it was there…) he nicks his finger, cue major melt down from him! Without thinking I pick him up with one arm out of the bath, now I am soaking and have screaming in stereo. To add insult to injury the sausages have reached their tolerance limit, Toby turns to look at me and promptly vomits all over his bed, Flick takes flight upstairs to hide under my bed (I later realise her intention was actually to hunt out a forgotten used nappy and rip it up all over my bed, takes dirty protest to a whole new level). It’s at this precise moment my husband rings to see how we are doing and to find out what’s for dinner as he will be finishing on time, he is greeted by what can only be described as manic laughter….
Suffice to say bedtime could not come quick enough and it was with a great sigh I sunk onto the sofa at 7.30 with my ears still ringing. The reality of having two small children certainly hit home and my heart goes out to all those single parents out there or those whose partners work away. I only have 3/4 days a week utterly unsupported fighting the continuous demands of my offspring – believe me that is enough. No matter what my job as a nurse chucks at me least I know the shift will end, being a mum, now that’s a shift that never ends!
The Secret Diary of Agent Spitback
Pink Pear Bear

Introducing Pie

Picture

Hi Pie here, I am 3 and have recently been lifted to Big Brother Status, this is quite exciting but it’s not quite what I thought it would be. For starters Mummy and Daddy told me that I was going to have a baby brother or sister months and months ago and they kept taking me to see this greenish blob thing on a screen and trying to tell me this was the baby. Then there were all those times Mummy said she was tired and then she got too fat to help me put my shoes on or chase me round the soft play, she also got quite poorly and I was scared to leave her alone. Daddy said that my baby sister would be here just before Christmas, I thought maybe Father Christmas would bring her, but she arrived a few days early. Mummy said Pudding came out of the little red line on her tummy, and that the red line would be sore for a little while and that she wouldn’t be able to pick me up and that we would have to have low down cuddles. This made me quite sad as I love to play rough and tumble with Mummy and Daddy. I got to be the first person to see Pudding at the hospital, Daddy took me in to see her and Mummy. She wasn’t very interesting she was asleep, I was a bit disappointed as I wanted to play with her, luckily Mummy had saved me some biscuits!

The first few weeks home with Pudding was really hard for me, I love her lots and like to give her cuddles, but she takes up lots of Mummy’s time and sometimes I feel a bit sad when Mummy can’t respond immediately to my demands. Daddy and I have done loads of things together since Pudding arrived, we have made an awesome den in the park and we have been doing lots of soft play together. Its been really cool to have him at home to keep me entertained and to play with me when Mummy is sorting out Pudding or trying to get some sleep. I think Mummy has been a bit sad and has been crying quite a lot since Pudding was born, Daddy says its not my fault but that I just need to be as nice to Mummy as I can be. This is quite hard because I feel very cross at the moment and little things get me so mad, sometimes I find myself raging for no reason at all and it takes Mummy a long time to calm me down. I didn’t really like Mummy feeding Pudding either, she used to try and read to me  when she was feeding but Pudding kept messing about and ruining story time. Its much better now that I can help to give Pudding her bottle. I love picking out little outfits to dress Pudding in and I am great at finding all the things Mummy needs when she is changing Puddings’ bum. I had few problems with my talking and my toileting when Pudding was born, I really struggled to get my words out for a few weeks. It was very frustrating for me but its starting to get better now. I am still having a few accidents in my pants but I am getting lots better and Mummy is trying very hard to help me.

Life with Pudding is getting easier now, she smiles at me all the time and has started making funny noises at me. I am enjoying having Mummy home and not at work, we get to do lots of exciting things with my friends and I love going to preschool. Can’t wait for our holiday in a few weeks!

Love Pie xx

Mami 2 Five
 

Have you taken a Parenting Win Today?

I should be feeling amazing today, channeling my inner Mummy Pig should be a doddle. Because last night was the first night in months that I had 8 hours uninterrupted sleep. Pudding slept a massive 10.30-7.30! No night feeds and no flappy bird moments where she had escaped her swaddle. So why then do I feel more tired today than those nights where I get up 2 or 3 times??

I think we are conditioned to have to moan about something. Usually it’s pretty easy to find a subject to complain about but on occasion we have to pick something ridiculous. Today that is ‘I have had too much sleep’.

TawnyNina / Pixabay

Of course most fellow Mum’s don’t have this complaint. I do feel lucky but then again I have now lost my main group of sympathisers. Let’s face it no one likes that smug mum at the baby group who announces that their child is now sleeping through the night. Being able to have a good moan is what bonds us all together. Whether it is lack of sleep, teething or our partners, a moan is good. It makes us realise we are not going through all this stuff on our own. Our mum friends can help give us some perspective when we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes though I worry that all I do is moan about the kids. Think about it when was the last time you actually boasted to another mum about a real parenting win?

We are conditioned to continually denigrate ourselves. We all know that raising children can be a thankless task some days. That doesn’t mean we should only focus on our failures. Lets face it the media focuses on our ‘terrible’ mothering quite enough. We should be bolstering each other up. Celebrating those moments where it all goes brilliantly well as opposed to the normal every day battles. Especially as those moments are usually small things that no one else would give a crap about. If you can’t celebrate the fact that your child put his own shoes on without being asked 15 times with another Mum then who can you celebrate with?

I know there will be some mums out there who probably want to shove my positivity up my knows. Possibly they are shaking their fists at the screen even now. Rolling their eyes thinking ‘oooh you smug cow’ I haven’t had a decent nights sleep in 18 months. I am sorry if that is you. I know its tough and I do feel for you. But this isn’t about you. It is about me, finding something positive to celebrate in my parenting journey.

Today I am standing up and saying that my baby slept through the night at 3 months. I am going to pat myself on the back and say well done for getting her into a good bedtime routine. Does it mean she will do it again tonight? Maybe she will, maybe she won’t. But right now I am taking the win!


Why Babies Love Sophie La Girafe – A Mum’s Review

 Ah the infamous Sophie la Girafe. We will soon be on our second one due to a slight incident with the family dog! I guess the fact that we are going to buy a second one demonstrates how much we value this toy. Personally before I brought this for Pudding I was very sceptical, why on earth was this one of the best-selling baby products?

Sophie La Giraffe Teether

Well now I get it. Pudding loves this, even at 3 months she can hold it in her hand either by the leg or the neck. She loves to chew its face while she goes through this pre-teething stage. Sophie’s squeaker makes her smile and she turns to see where it is. This is brilliant for Pie, as he gets to play with her and see her react to what he is doing. Certainly strengthening that sibling bond. Unfortunately the squeaker does send the dogs into fits…

On a safety note, Sophie is great, she is made of 100% natural rubber and painted with non toxic paint. Perfectly safe for your little one to chomp on when those nasty teeth are working their way through. I was amazed when I looked into the Sophie La Girafe website and read about how this simplistic toy helps to stimulate all of Pudding’s senses. She is easy to keep clean too. Just don’t submerge Sophie La Girafe in water!

The downsides? Well apart from her obvious attraction for dogs! Sophie is quite expensive for a baby toy. But when you consider what goes into making her and how much babies seem to love them I guess it’s not too bad. (So long as she doesn’t get used as a dog toy, or would a cheap dog toy be as effective for the baby?)

All in all we think Sophie La Girafe is a worthwhile buy for your baby!

Pudding Rating: 🍰🍰🍰🍰 4/5