Our First Family Holiday

So now we have a little one to take away with us holiday-ing is now a little different… it feels like Gabriel has gone back to the newborn phase now that we are away because each day consists of.. feeding the baby, taking him in the pool, letting him play in the shade and then feeding again so he can have a nap and then this repeats all day long.. it’s lovely but it also means our whole routine is thrown out of the window!

As for night times I would always rock Gabriel to sleep and then put him down but because the room isn’t what he’s used to he would just refuse to go in the travel cot that the hotel provided so we have been co-sleeping all week (it’s a good job we got a superior suit because our bed is massive) which has been so nice and we’ve had lots of cuddles but again I’m dreading that first night back at home when he has to go back in his own room 😬

Talking about clingy, I think the fact we are away in totally new surroundings, with lots of unfamiliar faces all Gabriel has wanted was to be cling to me… and I mean clung!!! He literally wraps his legs around me really tight if I try and put him down or give him to Ainslee ❤️ (it would be nice to have a little personal space now and again 😂)

Gabriel has LOVED being in the pool though whilst we’ve been away and also LOVED alllllllll the food 😂 which has been great because he’s had so much choice and now we know what he loves when we get home and he’s also had his first little taste of ice cream.. because life’s about balance hey!? 🤷🏼‍♀️.

We can’t wait to go away again and also take him to somewhere really different next time… we’re thinking LA and renting out a car so we can get about… but I 100% recommend a beach holiday for your first holiday with loads of facilities so you know what works and what doesn’t!

Now back to sunbathing for me 💋

9 Month Update

Okay so WHERE THE HELL HAVE THE LAST 9 MONTHS GONE!!?? I feel like I no longer have a baby sometimes and start to think about those newborn days and wish I could go back there.. but then in the same thought I’m sooo loving Gabriel at this age and love watching him change every day and excited to see the little boy that he is turning into.

What’s Gabriel up to:

-Gabriel can now say; Mama, Dada, Hi Dad, Yes, Papa and Nana and when I say ‘Lion’ Gabriel goes ‘rawww’ so I feel like he’s doing really really well with his talking.

-He still isn’t interested in crawling but he stands on his own now holding onto the sofa and he shuffles around on his bum.

-Eating.. Gabriel now eats EVERYTHING he has proper porridge for breakfast with mushed up fruit and almond milk, loads of different finger foods at lunch time and at tea time he will eat a proper meal with lots of breast milk in between!

In regards to my body 9 months on from birth I am feeling great and I’m certainly starting to feel like my old self again!! I am only 7lbs off from being my goal weight and feeling much more toned now that I’m making sure I exercise everyday. I truly think that you need a year to full recover from birth.. especially if you’ve had a c section.. I still get pains where my scar is if Gabriel stands on it or kicks me but I think in a few more months I’ll almost feel fully healed and back to my normal self (I hope).

Another baby?

Another baby? I keep being asked this question at the minute.. I feel more pressure from my family more than anything (my parents and Ainslee’s). I think our families think it would be nice for us to have babies close in age so that they can grow up together like we both did with our brothers and sisters… but I think for us because it was such a painful process to get Gabriel (our rainbow baby) that we just can’t face putting ourselves through all that stress again any time soon, also the fact that I was pretty much pregnant for 18 months I just want to be a little bit selfish for a while and enjoy having my body back and being able to feel like ME for a while longer before we even think about having another baby.. because let’s face it we all know how much weight I gain during pregnancies 😂.

I am still only 26 and feel like that is still quite a young age and if I wait even 3 more years I’ll still be in my 20’s which I think it’s still young in this day and age!

I just want to enjoy Gabriel with all my heart for the time being, I feel like he is EVERYTHING to me and I just want to make amazing memories with him and give him my undivided attention for as long as possible… there’s also loads of research done on children that have spent 1:1 time with their parents for the first few years of their lives and they benefit loads from it! I’m also terrible at being pregnant so want to be able to have Gabriel in nursery a few days a week before we have another so that I have time to rest before another bundle of joy comes along… and I’m definitely not ready to send him to nursery any time soon.

I totally understand why people get all their babies out of the way very quickly and have them close in age, especially if they are a working mum and have to get back to work ASAP but for us we just want to take our time and enjoy every minute.

Nanny VS Mother

Most of you won’t know this but I was actually an Ofsted registered nanny before I became ‘Cheshire Gossip Girl’ full time, this meant that I studied childcare and early years child development to be able to be a trusted Nanny with various families… I have worked with children from 6 months to 7 years old and this certainly made me feel much more confident about becoming a Mother because I felt like I had so much experience with children and knew how to deal with most situations.

Well I’ll tell you what, looking after someone else’s children compared to looking after your own is completely different. I had no idea how different it would be until I had Gabriel, I mean it meant I had a lot of knowledge about children and knew all about how to stimulate them, get them down for naps and night time, make them learn things in all sorts of different ways (every family does things differently) and I was very lucky to work with some exceptionally bright children with very academic parents so I was able to learn from them all the amazing things that children can do to learn out of nursery and school which I found fascinating.

But when it comes to day to day life I have so many other things I need to do other than ‘baby’ such as cleaning, cooking, shopping, running errands and work so this means all my attention can’t be on Gabriel 100% of the time unlike it was when I was a nanny (because I was there to just be a nanny) – I am so lucky that I get to spend every day with Gabriel at home so I make a conscious effort every day to spend a couple of hours with him doing different activities such as:

Water play (outside or in the bath)

Learning animals (reading books and then going to the farm or looking on the iPad)

Listening to music (all different kinds)

Reading lots of books

Socialising with other babies

Baby sensory type play (textures, lights, sounds etc)

Gross motors skills (walking, tummy time, standing etc)

I think finding the perfect balance is what works for us as I want to spend as much time with Gabriel as possible before he grows up too quickly so want to enjoy every moment… I also LOVE dancing and musical theatre (I was once a professional dancer too) so love dancing and singing around him… I probably enjoy that more than him though 😂

But when it comes to sleep time this is what I find the hardest, I used to look after 6 month twins until they were 16 months old and I would have to put them down for naps at the same time so that I could get a moments break and also because that was their routine and I could easily let them cry themselves to sleep but with Gabriel I just can’t stand to hear him cry even for a minute… I thought I would be a BOSS as getting him down… but my hormones got he better of me. So every night I nurse Gabriel to sleep and then put him down in his room. He usually ends up coming into bed with us around 6am each morning but that’s our routine now 👌🏼

Mum life and Nanny life is so so different but being a Nanny has taught me so many things and also so many techniques (due to working with different families) that I will keep with me for life!

Gabriel’s Diet

I’ve had all sorts of questions on Gabriel’s diet, what I give him, what I won’t be giving him and how it’s going etc, so I thought I’d get writing and pop it all in a blog post for you guys to have a read if you’re interested.

It’s so interesting listening to how every mum feeds their child, their view of a ‘healthy diet’ and also what they do for an easy life on the odd occasion that they give their baby a treat!

So here goes.. up until Gabriel was 5 months old his diet consisted of 100% breast milk, I have eaten a diet full of nourishing foods throughout this whole journey, ensuring that Gabriel gets all the nutrients he needs and I’ve also been enjoying the odd slice of cake and bit of chocolate along the way.. because sometimes a mama has got to get her sugar fix. I’m not a vegan, or vegetarian so I’ve been eating meats, dairy, carbs and plenty of veg to keep my energy up and also make sure I’m producing plenty of milk for my little one… (if you think your milk supply may be low make sure you’re eating enough calories and plenty of water)

After the 5 month mark (I started weening at 5 months because I felt he was ready) I have introduced lots of veggies and fruit into Gabriel’s diet, mashed, purred and finger foods. I believe that giving him as many textures as possible will be great to prevent a fussy eater in the further.. he mushes up things like raspberries and broccoli in his fingers then after a while will eat them (I love watching him do funny things with his food) I always spoon feed him part of his meal and then he will feed himself some finger food. Otherwise I feel like it will just all end up on the floor 😂

Going forward I want Gabriel to have all the nutritious food and only organic.. I feel like there are so many causes of cancers and other illnesses these days and we just can’t be sure how they happen so I want to prevent any nasty stuff going into his little body whilst I have ALL the control.. until he goes to a friends house and has something I have no control of anyway.

When it comes to treats when he’s older I don’t want to deprive him of all the sweet stuff but I think I’ll let him have a treat once a week so that he doesn’t get too used to having sugars.. Junk food has become so accessible these days and it seems like everywhere we look we see a child with chocolate, sweets or crisps in their hands and I just want Gabriel to have more knowledge in what he puts in his mouth and know that those types of things are only as a treat or special occasion.

I have said to Ainslee he can have cake for his 1st birthday and a little bit of chocolate at Easter but day to day whilst he’s so little he doesn’t need anything with added sugars or salts in.. and that even goes for cereals (even Weetabix has added sugar) or some of these veggie puffs that come with added salt, you just have to read everything on the back of the packet before buying.

Thanks for reading lovelies, let me know if you have any questions on anything more specific xx

Traveling with a baby

So it’s summer time and I’m sure a lot of you are going on day trips, weekends away and longer trips abroad.. so I thought I’d give you a little insight into my experience with travelling with a baby and if you’re travelling alone you have nothing to fear!!

I’m going abroad to Portugal in July with Ainslee and Gabriel and also away on my own, down south in a few weeks for my brothers wedding (Ainslee can’t make it due to the Ironman European Championships) but after a trip to London and having to worry about the underground and the long (ish) train ride I have learnt to travel as lightly as possible! Let’s face it who wants to be carrying big heavy bags with them as well as a pram and a baby?? You can buy everything in your local shop these days.. nappies, food, formula (if not breastfeeding) so what’s the point in taking up so much unnecessary space in a bag when you can buy most of it when you get there.

Worrying about transport.. do not worry! If most people see a woman with a baby they are more than likely willing to offer a helping hand, getting off trains, getting up stairs if lifts are out of order and helping you get through doors. If you find yourself at your stop on a train and no one else is getting off just ask someone in the nearest carriage before you get to your stop to give you a hand.. you will never find yourself struggling!

If you are visiting family ask them if they can get nappies, food, wipes etc in so that you only have to take the usually changing bag and babies essentials like clothes, skincare and feeding equipment (bowls, spoons and bibs), bath times you can manage holding the baby.. they didn’t have fancy bath seats in the olden days. And if you’re staying in a hotel pop down to the local supermarket and you’ll be able to pick up most bits.. apart from if you are flying I hear it’s cheapest to pick up milk from your airport once you’ve checked in!

The biggest advice I give to you is to not stress! A lot of people over pack, take everything and more and they end up not using half of it… what’s the worst that can happen hey? Go out and travel the world with you babies Mamas!!!

What I eat in a week

Okay so I have had so many requests for this blog post… I’m not sure why?.. I’m not in great shape or anything post baby.. but I am trying my best to loose the 5 stone I gained through my 2 pregnancies by exercising daily and eating the best I can whilst also fuelling my body with the right things for breastfeeding and also enjoying life… because everyone deserves a treat every once in a while!

I have to say for the first few months post pregnancy I wasn’t eating very well at all, I would skip breakfast because I was busy with the baby and then I’d want sugar by lunch time (chocolate) but then I would always have a healthy filling tea such as rice, veggies and protein etc. I know this was probably the worst way to eat but because I wasn’t eating much I was still loosing weight!

Now that summer is approaching and I have my brothers wedding and holiday to look forward to I have had to change my eating habits and start loosing the weight and exercising more so that I feel confident in a bikini.

This is where Protein World Slender Blend comes in… when I was in AMAZING shape pre baby I used to have 2 shakes a day and eat a healthy lunch, so this is what I am currently doing for the next month. I can’t do the same amount of exercise that I used to but I can eat better, so no more naughty lunch time chocolate fixes for me, I now have a treat every Friday so I can look forward to it and the rest of the week I eat the best I can.

Whilst being away though I have enjoyed myself buy just chosen the healthier options and only had 1 treat the entire trip.. so it’s all in moderation and I’d say it’s all about control. I still have a way to go but loosing weight slowly is definitely more maintainable once you’ve lost the weight rather than going on a crash diet.

Message me if you have any questions as I will be asking my boyfriend Ainslee (who is a qualified nutritionist) to answer all your questions. Also the Slender Blend is safe to use whilst breastfeeding but listen to your body.. if you don’t get enough cals in your diet your milk supply can decrease.

Lots of love guys 💋

7 Month Baby Update

Wow well what a month it’s been.. with weaning, the lovely sunny weather and Gabriel’s mega growth spurt! I think it’s been the best month yet!!!

With this hot weather we’ve had for the whole of May we have been able to get outdoors, go to the park, play in the garden and go for lovely days out to places we wouldn’t normally go to, such as the farm and exploring outdoors.. as a family we have loved it and it’s been amazing for tiring Gabriel out and getting his sleep much better at night.

Sleeping

Talking about sleeping, Gabriel is now in his own bed and sleeps there all night from 8pm till around 5am and then I get him and bring him into our room for a couple of hours before we get up.. Ainslee normally gets up for work at 5am so it works well for us so we can spread out in bed and have a little feed and snooze before getting up.. Gabriel has good nights and bad nights still, sometimes he’ll wake every 2 hours or sometimes he’ll go 4-5 hours before waking… I think I’m used to it now but it’s definitely down to him not being able to settle himself…. (he uses the boob like his dummy)I refuse to do the whole ‘controlled crying’ thing (we have tried it a couple of times and he literally cries for over an hour.. he has some serious will-power 😂) I love having him in his own room though as before he would just want to sleep as close to me as possible so I felt it was the right time with the hot weather and everything else!

Weaning

Gabriel now has 3 meals a day and will also have some finger food with each meal so that he can explore and also so it gives me time to make my food or prepare our evening meal. He absolutely loves it and since eating food he has jumped up on the percentile chart from the 25th – 75th which is MEGA!! I always worried about his weight because even though he was always following a steady line I didn’t believe that he would be so small with mine and Ainslee’s height etc… even though he was 4 weeks early I always believed he would catch up at some point.. so I’m over the moon 👌🏼

Development

Gabriel is now copying sounds that I make, he says ‘yes’ and ‘da’ a lot so I’m just trying to talk to him as much as possible as I think he’s going to be a little chatter box like I was when I was little. He laughs all the time… sometimes a little too much and try’s to give me a complex haha!

He’s very almost crawling.. he’s not too bothered about rolling around but if I put him on his tummy his arms and legs really get going… maybe on my 8 month update he may just be crawling 😃

He can now sit fully on his own.. I think again this was slightly delayed as he was premature.. so he strength is probably the same as an average 6 month old, but when it comes to standing he loves to stand, he’s tried pulling himself up a few times and failed 😂 He goes in his jumperoo all the time though and loves it.. that’s also great for building strength in his legs.

Each month just gets better and better and I’m obsessed with him and his little personality, he’s such a cheeky little boy, his favourite person is still me but he’s getting better at being with other people now!

I cant wait to read these back when he’s bigger as a little diary of his development! Let me know what you’re up to with your 7 month olds and how they are getting on!

Maria and Gabriel x

6 Month Baby Update

Oh my gosh…. can you believe Gabriel has been here for half a year already!!!??? I was actually a bit emotional yesterday because time is just going too quickly and I just want time to stop so that I can enjoy my baby at this age for a little longer, it’s safe to say I am loving motherhood more than I ever thought was possible, so I thought I’d update you all on what we are going through at the minute and how everything is going..

Breastfeeding:

We are still exclusively breastfeeding which I love but it does mean we haven’t had a break from each other in the last 6 months… I have expressed only a couple of times so know he will take a bottle if I plan ahead… Ainslee’s been asking if we could go on a date night (or just a date in the day time) soon and have my mum and dad look after him for a few hours if I pump a couple of bottles… I’m not sure if I’m quite ready to be without Gabriel yet… when did you guys go on your first date post baby?

Sleeping:

So sleeping we are just going with what Gabriel wants… some nights he sleeps in his Next2Me all night and some nights he ends up sleeping in our bed waking every couple of hours, I truly believe that in time he will want his own space and will sleep through on his own. When breastfeeding it is much more demanding because they want you for comfort in the night rather than a dummy.. and they also wake for food because they aren’t getting knocked out by a big bottle of milk like a formula fed baby. I’m happy to go by Gabriel’s lead with our night routine (I’m lucky I get to work from home) but I just think people should do what works for them and don’t feel pressured that you aren’t doing what all your friends are doing. I’ll be putting him in his own room once he starts sleeping through for longer periods.. hopefully once he starts eating more now we are weaning.

Weaning:

Weaning is going really well, I started giving him bits of blended veggies when he hit 5 months old and since last week I started to give him some porridge in the mornings as well to fill him up a little more, when we have our evening meal I will also give him some finger food that he just chews on to get some flavours (chopped veggies) and it also keeps him quiet whilst we have our tea. He loves food and seems to have enjoyed everything we’ve given him so far… everything I give him is natural and homemade or I have some of the Piccolo pouches that you can buy in Waitrose if we are out and about.

Activities:

So Gabriel now goes swimming every week, we do lots of playing and baby sensory at home, lots of long walks in the pram and we meet up with other babies a few times a week so that he gets lots of interaction with other children which is great for speech and confidence. He loves being around other babies (generally I find him chatting away to his baby friends!! So cute!) We tried a few classes out and I just found the mums were too ‘old’… it sounds awful but I want us both to gain something from the classes and I find we have lots of sensory type things to do at home and we love singing and dancing to music (I think I prefer it more haha) and I’d rather meet up with my friends that I have something in common with.

What we are looking forward to over the next few months:

We can’t wait for summer so that we can do lots of outdoor playing and water play which I know he will LOVE! It’s my brothers wedding in July so we will have lots going on over the next few months and will be going on a few trips down to London which I am so excited for!

Please let me know if you’d like to know anything else and let me know how you and your baby are getting on if you’re at a similar again!

Lots of love,

Maria & Gabriel

Breastfeeding Friendly Fashion

Hi lovelies… You’re probably reading this post if you’re breastfeeding yourself so I just wanted to give you a few tips on what I lookout for when shopping so that I can breastfeed easily and not worry too much about being too exposed.

Here’s what I look out for:

  1. If I’m buying a dress it must be a wrap dress or a button down shirt dress.
  2. My favourite tops are the nursing ones from ASOS for everyday comfort.
  3. High wasted jeans/leggings are a must if you’re having to lift your top up so you aren’t flashing too much flesh.
  4. Looser fitting tops are comfier to feed with if you’re having to lift your top up.
  5. If I wear a dress and have to button down dresses/tops in public I always cover up with a muslin so that I don’t have my entire boob out.

Some of my favourite styles:

(Click on the photos to link you to their website)