Friday, 26 May 2017

5 Things You Can't Do With A Poorly Baby

We've been struck by illness this week, as Robin seems to have picked up some sort of bug that has completely unsettled him and knocked us all for six. Now, I don't know if it's because he's a baby or because he's a boy, but man - this kiddo is really putting on a show of being ill. I keep saying he has TinyManFlu, which doesn't go down well with Joe! Of course, it's always worse when your child is ill, and like any parent I wish I could be ill for him instead. Instead of feeling all sorts of woe for him, I thought I'd make this somewhat tongue-in-cheek post about all those things that get pushed to the back burner when you have a poorly babe. 


  • Tidying up. I'm sorry, dear family and potential house guests, but I have a clingy baby who hasn't let me do anything by myself for the entire day so those precious and very occasional five minutes of peace I get to myself are not being spent hoovering.
  • Dressing appropriately. I struggle to do this at the best of times when I'm not required to leave the house, but thanks to the aforementioned clingy baby also acting like my own personal hot water bottle, then a vest top is about the height of sophistication to me right now.
  • Leaving the house for leisure reasons. If I didn't have to pick Dylan up from school, I doubt I would leave the house at all when Robin is unwell. Everything just seems to be more of a slog when the little one is hot and bothered and actually doesn't want to be strapped into a pushchair for more than ten minutes.
  • Eating anything at the right temperature. When Robin's ill, he seems to set his little body clock to wake from any fleeting nap at the exact time I get comfy and can't wait to tuck into my lunch. Maybe he's really trying to teach me the skill of being able to work my way through a lasagne with only one free hand and a baby on my hip, but I can't say it's one I've ever dreamed of mastering.
  • Dedicate enough time to other family members. Poor Dylan has often been left to keep himself happy as I've slinked off upstairs to try and get Robin to nap in the quiet, and slightly cooler, bedroom. Joe's also been neglected when he gets home from work, as I'm often too exhausted from keeping everyone else happy that I'm asleep by 8:30pm. Heck, even Monty keeps giving me a side-eye when I don't offer him a hand to lick when I finally get to sit down with a quick cuppa. I'm sorry guys, try again next week!
That's the five things I promised, but I can definitely think of other tasks I've been avoiding unable to complete recently. Maybe all households get like this when there's an illness in the house, or maybe you're all somehow managing to get your stuff together and get on with it. If you fall into the latter then please share your tips! 


You Baby Me Mummy

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

It's So Easy To Hate

It can seem trivial to blog about everyday life occurrences after the Manchester attack. My usual posts tend to have some degree of pessimism to them, being that I'm a 'glass half empty' kind of gal, and it just doesn't feel right to write about something so insignificant in the wake of something so horrific. Of course, whenever that has been a tragedy like this, people come together and carry on. We cannot let the terrorists win, and we cannot stop living our lives. 

My good friend Michelle, as always, has found a way to say the things I can't put into words, and so I would like you all to read her post - Wonderful Wednesday in the Wake of Something Awful.


I don't have much more to add today. Phone those far away family members and hold your loved ones if you can. Live your life full of love, not hate.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Encouraging Outdoor Play and Turning #TearsIntoSmiles

You would think that it wouldn't be any trouble at all getting Dylan out and about to play outside. He's a really active kid and always full of energy. Sometimes though, he's more inclined to play inside with his DS or with his toys. As we creep further into British Summertime, I thought it would be time to start getting this wild child outside. 



We're very lucky to live in Somerset, as we're completely surrounded by plenty of beautiful places to go and roam. Whether it's a local woodland - my favourite is the aptly named Great Wood - or a national trust property like Dunster Castle, we're only a short drive away. However, Joe needs the car to get to work, so for five days a week these places are just out of reach. On these days, we try and make use of our garden, or the local play park facilities in our neighbourhood. 

Although Dylan would much rather play football, I'm more of a 'throw things at a stick' kind of girl, so I managed to get Dylan outside for quite a while playing this toss 'n' throw style game in the garden. In fact, he actually managed to beat my score by over 100 points, so maybe I need to learn how football works in order to actually win a game! 

Of course, being a nipper, most ventures outside - or inside for that matter - can result in a bump or a scrape. I used to hate getting plasters on as a child, and have vivid memories of my mam putting some sort of yellow disinfectant spray on any potential wounds , so when I saw that Elastoplast made Star Wars plasters, I knew I wouldn't have the same trouble with Dylan. They have a few different styles, so whether you're on the Dark Side or a Disney Princess kinda kid, there's a style to match. 




I think with kids, sometimes you need to calm yourself down first when you see them have a minor injury. The amount of times I've cooly asked Dylan if he's okay, for him to be fine, compared to the times I've panicked and rushed over with him then setting off the waterworks is astounding. These days, I know to walk over, give the scrape a quick look and go from there. Nine times out of ten, he'll be ready to play again within a few minutes. I always try and encourage Dylan to do the same activity again, too. So, if he fell of a swing, I'd try and get him back on it before we leave the park. Falling down is a part of childhood, and I think it's great to encourage curiosity and excitement while he's still young and pushing his limits. 


This post is an entry for the BritMums #TearsintoSmiles Challenge, sponsored by Elastoplasthttp://campaigns.elastoplast.net/plastermoments/uk

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Life Update: May '17

Okay, so its safe to say that I couldn't think of a snappy title but I've made a few life changes and thought I should update y'all on it. I've mentioned a few times before that I've been feeling like I'm in a bit of a limbo with life recently, what with my maternity leave ending but then not actually having anything to return to. It was tricky. As much as I would love to be a stay-at-home-mam to the boys and give them my undivided attention, it's just not possible financially for us and also I would miss regular interaction with adults. In my post regarding my plans for this year, I talked about wanting to find my calling in life and I actually stumbled headfirst into a political career. 


Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Your Vote Matters

When a snap election was called earlier in April, I couldn't quite believe what I was hearing. It seems like elections are now a yearly thing here in the UK, and some places are even having two elections within a month of each other, due to local elections being held in this month. Politics is a tricky subject, and it's even trickier to get people interested in it. Sure, you might read a passing comment in the paper or see something retweeted into your timeline, but fewer and fewer people actually hold a proper interest in politics these days. 

It's understandable, too. We aren't taught politics at school - you only really get an option once you reach A Levels, and personally I think that's too late for many. Another reason for disinterest is that most politicians are just a carbon copy of the one before. You get promise after promise - anyone seen an election bus recently? - and they're broken before their term even begins. When the general election was announced, newscasters flocked the politics-savvy Bristol, and the first person they could interview gasped, 'no, not another one?' when told the news. 

If you couldn't tell, I am interested in politics - I've even put myself forward to become a District Councillor in the local elections. I strongly believe that if you want to see a change, you have to start with yourself. Of course, you don't have to nominate yourself to become a councillor, but if you do want to help your party then I'm sure they'd love an extra pair of hands. Delivering leaflets or putting a poster up in your window might not seem like a big thing, but it can really make a difference. 

Now, I'm not here to tell you who to vote for. You have your own personal reasons for voting and I doubt this single post could convince you who to vote for if you've never considered it before. I'm calling out to the person who doesn't vote, the reader who doesn't think their vote will make a difference. Without a shadow of a doubt, the number of people who don't place their vote will be of greater value or equal to than the winning party. These people could have made a huge difference, but unfortunately a vote not cast stands for nothing in the long run. You can check that you're registered to vote here, or apply for a postal vote if you think you might be busy as the election falls during exam season. 

If you're unsure who to vote for, it could be worth completing this quiz on the I Side With website. I tried it and my result was 87% aligned to my party of choice, so I'd say it's pretty accurate. Obviously if you get matched with SNP and you live in Wales, then you should maybe go for the next choice you feel fits you. It might open your eyes if you think you were definitely one party but only matched 12% of their policies. 

I've tried to keep this post as to the point as possible, so I do apologise that it's slightly on the longer side. I really hope it has helped you if you were on the fence about voting, and wish you all the best on June 8th! 



Thursday, 27 April 2017

"Stay Safe, Watch Them Roads"



Without a shadow of a doubt, if you're ending a phone call with my mam, you can guarantee she'll say, 'stay safe, watch them roads'. Even at 10pm when you're saying you can't wait to go to bed and finish your book, even if you've not been in the car all day. It's just a habit I guess, but because I've heard this phrase pretty much every day of my life, I've always been really aware of road safety. 

When Slater Gordon got in touch to talk about road safety, I didn't really need to think about it too much as we've just come back from a gorgeous family holiday to Italy, and immediately the first thing I really noticed was how different it was to drive over there. Sure you're on the wrong side of the road, but the cars going in the opposite direction would cruise onto our side of the road when turning a corner, or try to overtake when someone more cautious would know to wait until the gap is big enough. This seems like madness to me, and the potential for an accident just isn't worth it!

A few years ago, my dad was involved in a pretty bad road accident, which damaged his leg. He was driving a motorcycle and unfortunately the car driver didn't 'look twice' and failed to notice my dad, hitting him in the side. This is something that could be so easily fixed if you concentrate properly when driving. Things like making sure your mirrors are correctly positioned, or that your back shelf is clear of obstacles blocking your view can make a world of difference to someone. My dad is still affected by that accident every day, and to think that the driver could have spotted him if they'd just looked again is really disheartening. We're just lucky that nothing more serious happened. 

Of course, it isn't just other drivers that you need to think about when you consider car safety. Your own personal health or even the condition of your car should be a top priority too. How many times have you picked up a new prescription and in the small print it says to speak to your doctor before driving? Does anyone ever do this? Have you had a long car journey ahead and halfway through felt a bit sleepy? Do you pull over at the safest place and rest? Because you should! In a recent survey, it was found that only 39% of respondents put the personal health of the driver as the most important safety element, but it should really be higher. Your car can't go if you can't! 

What do you think about when you think about road safety? 


*Disclaimer: This post is a collaboration with Slater Gordon. Content written by myself.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

A Room Redesign

Sofa from DFS - Vase from Zara - TV Stand from IKEA
Rug from Anthropologie - Chair from Maison Du Monde
Do you ever get stuck in a rut and just hate your surroundings? Perhaps hate is a bit strong, but lately I've just wanted to get rid of everything we own and start again. I've even been looking at hiring a skip, but it was a bit daunting so I quickly clicked off the various builder websites I'd found myself on. We live in rented accommodation so we can't really make any big changes to our space, but I've been dreaming of a few new bits and bobs to transform our living room. Ideally, I'd rip up our carpet and put down some lovely wood flooring, but for now I'll have to just keep that in the back of my mind. 

I really love mustard and grey together, I think it looks incredible stylish - even if it is a bit cliche now. I thought we could possibly get away with a three-seater couch and then two single mismatched chairs. We currently have a two-seater and a three-seater, and it feels a bit much when you're all sat on top of each other. I'd love a sort of snuggle seat that I could cuddle into and get lost in a good book, but I'm still searching for the perfect one!

The rug really pulls the sofa and the chair together, but my goodness it's expensive. I've never bought a rug before, so to be honest I don't really know how much they should be, but this still seems expensive. So pretty though. 

I can't really say too much about the TV stand and the vase to be honest. They just need to be practical, and now that Robin's getting to be a bit more mobile, we definitely need a TV stand with drawers. With kids and gadgets 'out of sight, out of mind' is definitely a mantra I live by. I can't tell you how many hours a week I must spend putting all of Joe's various chargers or xbox game cases away after Robin has been left alone with them for five seconds!


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