Saturday, 31 December 2011

Davina For NEXT


With New Years Resolutions coming into play tonight at midnight, it has got me thinking what my resolution will be for the coming year. Obviously I recently had Leo and I have also over indulged in the festive season. So I am taking all of this into consideration, and I am setting myself the resolution of toning up my Mummy Tummy.


Davina McCall has teamed up with Next, thus launching Davina for Next and will be live online and in selected shops in time for Spring 2012. This new range offers the best possible attire for working out and the post work out, offering a truly versatile selection.


Not only is the range primarily for just the obvious work out, Davina has covered every base and will be offering a range of everyday shoes featuring F.I.T technology to reduce load-bearing stress on joints and also providing additional support.

Davina has brought these shoes to you in cute, round-toe ballerinas, available in red and neon pink patent or animal print, which all provide reduction in stress on load bearing joints thanks to NEXT’s dual density mid-sole technology, which for me is very welcome.

I feel that what we wear while we are trying to get fit is very important. You need to feel comfortable and secure in everything you do. A good attire always puts your mind at ease, whether you are at the gym or taking on aerobics, running, power-lifting or even pilates, the range offers great modern shapes, fabulous colours and outstanding fabrics.


Davina says:
“My approach was to concentrate on what I would wear. I’ve thought very carefully about the details that matter to me, like a place for an MP3 player, or reflective strips on the bottoms – essential when you’re jogging in the early morning or at dusk. And I’ve ensured the workout tops are extremely solid and secure so your boobs won’t be bobbing around while you’re working out!”

I have been having a look at what items in particular the Davina for Next range will include and here are a couple of my favourites...

Personally this top for me, would be perfect. I like lose fitting clothes when I go to the gym and this looks like it is just right.

These shoes also have the "F.I.T" technology! Yes, believe it or not! These pretty ballet shoes...provide a reduction in stress on load bearing joints.


These running shoes also have the fabulous "F.I.T" technology, so by just wearing them I can unkowingly excersise!


I like these joggers and I could really see myself taking up my New Years resolution in these at the gym!


Over the next few months I am going to be taking a concious effort to enforce my New Years Resolution, I aim to enrol back at the gym and go at least once a week! Or failing that...excersing at home. My main aim is to tone my tummy muscles back up to their former glory and I plan to do this in the comfort of the Davina range, and maybe even some hard core dancing on the wii!


Happy New Year all,

Laura xx

Friday, 30 December 2011

Here's to 2012


Technically The Life and Times of The Working Mum turns one in January, although that could be argued as I posted once, and then I disappeared off the face of the earth...well... so to speak. I thought I would share some of my favourite posts of the year, as a way to finish off 2011 and kick start 2012.

It really has been a whirl wind year, but it has been truly eye opening and amazing. I would not change a thing, but part of me wonders if I am ready to let go of 2011, as so much has happened and I am now a completely new person. I am a Mummy.

I do look forward to 2012 and all of the excitement that comes with it, as so many firsts are still to happen.

My very first post the Life & Trials - Debut  talks all about the reservations I had in regards to my pregnancy, and the questions building up about financial matters. Looking back I needn't have worried as much as I did. If only I could have foreseen all the amazing things that were going to happen in 2011.

The next post I wish to re-visit with you is my walk through pregnancy and all that comes with it. I wish I had appreciated my new found curves while they were there, as I was one of those women who was constantly thinking how I resembled some sort of blubbering whale...but looking back I have very fond memories of my Leo bump.

After a pregnancy there is always a birth, here is my Birth Story, I have to put my hands up and admit that I did have a very straight forward labour. I like to think that is why Leo is such a good baby. I had a water birth and wouldn't change it. Leo is my little water baby.
Back in October I came across Milas Day Dreams, Leo and I teamed up and produced our own attempts of the fantastic originals! Coincidentally we named them Leo's Day Dreams.
Keeping in with the creative streak, for Halloween we even attempted to carve our own pumpkins! By we...I do mean I.
Back In November, all I could think about were Christmas Time Traditions and how I could make Leo's first Christmas one to remember. I loved all the feedback given by readers and I am happy to share that I will be implementing a few into future Christmas's.
I like to think that readers see Leo growing up through my posts, and I have shared many of Leo's firsts with you all, he first rolled over back in November and when he laughed his first hearty chuckle earlier this month.

So there we have it, a re-cap of some of my fondest memories of 2011, I hope you enjoy having a flick through.
I wish you all a Happy New Year, and I will be back in 2012 with many more adventures that Leo and I stumble upon.

Technically on the 20th January 2012, The Life and Times of The Working Mum turns one!

How will we mark the occasion?

Happy New Year all!

Love Laura & Leo xx

Leo and his Slugs & Snails


Not so long ago I told you all about my amazing new discovery, Boy's Tights! by Slugs & Snails. If like me, you have scoured the high street and maybe even the Internet, for tights for your little blue bundles...you will have come up short. Just like I did...

I love shopping for clothes for Leo, but I am often left dis-heartened when I realise again and again, just how little choice there is out there for Mummy's and there little boys. So when I came across Kat and her new business venture, I just had to get Leo some boy's tights of his very own!

As soon as I pressed confirm and ordered Leo's Slugs & Snails, I was excited. I found myself staking out the post man each morning until they arrived, and as soon as they did...I instantly placed Leo in them.

Not only did Leo look amazingly cute, he was also dressed perfectly for the winter months. The tights can be worn under jeans, which for me is brilliant...as this eliminates the need for socks, we always seem to lose socks when we are out and about. However, it seems ashame to cover up the charming designs. These tights should be worn loud and proud. They should be on show and not hidden under other clothes!

The sizes are very giving and we opted for the 6 to 12 months. The fact that Leo will get at-least 6 months wear out of them, put a real grin on my face.

Everywhere I go, we are getting compliments on Leo's tights, and everyone wants to know where we managed to obtain such tights...for BOYS! Of course I happily pass on the Slugs and Snails website address, and don't think it will be long before Leo is no longer the only baby boy in Worcestershire with the trademark tights.

I want Kat to know that she is doing an amazing job bringing boys tights to the market, and I wish her all the luck for the future. I look forward to continue dressing Leo in Slugs and Snails for many years to come.

Those of you who have not yet checked out Kat's website, head over there now and check out Slugs & Snails.


Thursday, 29 December 2011

Leo's First Christmas

Dear Leo,

This Christmas was your very first, the tree was ready and your stocking was hung, awaiting the many presents that Santa was bringing in on his sleigh. My excitement must have rubbed off on you, as there was no way you were going to sleep. Despite my greatest efforts you were awake until gone 10pm on Christmas Eve.

I tried explaining how Santa just would not come until you rested your head and closed those brilliant blue eyes of yours, but still....you just would not sleep. I have to admit, you were lovely company and the giggles you provided were a real treat on every ones expectant ears.
When you finally went down, Daddy and I ensured that Santa would have a glass of milk and a well deserved mince pie. After everything was in place we all made our way to bed.

Even I couldn't sleep on Christmas Eve. It was like being a child again and the excitement was alive in all of us...and I swear that in the early hours of the morning....just after you had awoken for a bottle...I heard the sleigh land with a thump on the roof and a clutter of hooves dancing along the roof slats, a few moments later I heard a thud down stairs! I can only imagine that Santa had just clambered down the chimney and was now delivering your many presents!

I settled you back down and again retired to bed, only to be awoken early on Christmas day, 7am in fact and it wasn't long before the rest of the family made their way downstairs to the masses and masses of presents that had appeared under the tree!

Santa had indeed been in the night and it looked as though his work shop had exploded in the front room! There had never been more presents than their had been this year. We all sat and helped you open your stocking.....before you proceeded to fall asleep on Daddy's new gaming bean bag for what felt like forever...

Leo you had woken up so early that you were still too sleepy to even consider staying awake, when you did finally wake up...your Aunt and Uncle had done a Taz Manian Devil type of hurricane around the Christmas tree, and the living room was now covered in wrapping paper. I looked over at the tree and realised that the majority of what was left...was all yours. Santa must have seen what a well behaved baby boy I have, and rewarded accordingly.

We helped you open all your presents....you were a pro at getting into your gifts. Although it has to be said...you would have just been happy with the wrapping paper. Although I expect next year when you are running around...this will all change.

Leo, you were supposed to have your first taste of Turkey and Christmas dinner, but just as dinner was served up, you let me know that you were ready for yet another...nap! So I took you up to bed and tucked you in, there was no fight put up from you and you fell asleep...instantly. Missing the entire lunch festivities.
Christmas dinner was Turkey with all the trimmings...and we all tucked in, while you were busy dreaming little dreams in the land of nod.
With the day drawing to an end, you still had many presents under the tree and when we had finally opened all of them. I had to wonder where we were going to house them!?
  • A Winnie the Pooh Walker...
  • A Fisher-Price Amazing Animals Choo-Choo Train...
  • A big Mickey Mouse...
  • A plush Winnie the Pooh..
  • A ball pitt..
  • A giggling ball..
  • A Fisher-Price Kick n Play Piano...
Just to name a few! There were more than we could ever play with in a day alone, well more than you could. I have to be honest and tell you...I played with all of your presents before you ever did. Of course I tried to involve you to the best of my ability...but the child in me called me on.
We popped over to your Grand Pops in the evening, so he too could see you opening your presents and marveling at the wrapping paper. Soon after getting you back home and settled for bed, down you went and off to sleep you went...

Your first Christmas was a lovely day, having you around brought so much excitement into the whole of Christmas. You were just turning 6 months old, but you knew something was going on.
My Christmas present from you was amazing...In the week running up to Christmas day, you were becoming so strong. Your back was getting straighter and whenever we sat you up...you sat for longer and longer! You are still a little shaky...but you are almost there! My little baby can sit up!

I remember last year (Christmas 2010) sitting and thinking what my life would be like next year....Last Christmas I was around 12 weeks pregnant with you and now you are 6 months old. Time has flown by. Not for one minute did I know just how amazing this year would be. I feel like we have both grown so much and I am so proud!

Merry Christmas bubba!

Much Love, Mummy xxx

P.S....
How were all of your Christmas's? Did you all get everything you dreamed of? Were your little rays of sunshine spoilt? I would love to hear all about it!

I was spoilt rotten, Luke presented me with the most amazing camera...so I guess it is just more of an excuse to take even more photos!

Merry Christmas all!!


P.P.S....I just wanted to share some more of my favourite photos from this Christmas.....








Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Wise Christmas Tips From a Women on a Budget

So how is every ones Christmas shopping coming along?
If you are anything like me...I find myself getting my head in a real spin on what I should buy for people...and how much I should spend. There is just so much to take into consideration when it comes to buying presents for friends and family...and when it comes down to it, is thought really sufficient?

I have been sent some excellent Christmas shopping tips from the lovely people at Save.co.uk, on how to find and bag some real bargains this holiday season. Some of the tips I have unknowingly applied to my own shopping.....so here we go!
  • Shopping on random days - I myself seem to get a real buzz at the thought of going out shopping, and more often than not...when I get the 'I must go shopping' feeling...9 times out of 10 I go. If you strategically plan your shopping trips in advance this can really help you save the £££. During December retailers tend to struggle to sell the masses of stock they have ordered in and then...struggled to sell, so sometimes it can really benefit you to wait for those shops to put up the 'SALE' signs!
  • Shopping Online - The last couple of years I seem to do all my Christmas shopping online, my reasons behind this are primarily skipping all the hustling, bustling shops and just being able to drop everything I want into the basket, in the comfort of my own home, the only downfall of this new form of shopping, is you miss out on the excitment of running up and down the high street in a frenzy! I also find that I save money shopping online, thanks to price comparison sites and my own personal research of each item on my list. The web really does for me, offer one of the best ways to shop this year!
  • Secret Santa - If you are like the majority of us this year and on a strict budget, then a Secret Santa can be a fun and realistic way to sort friends and family, a grab bag means that you should end up buying only one present! In my experience of Secret Santa's, it is a real giggle figuring out what to buy someone and remaining anonymous...hehe....

  • Get Social - The world is now social, and by social I mean...we are all on Facebook and Twitter, even if we are not very proud of that fact! Realistically speaking, apart from the obvious benefits of being in touch with everyone and anyone that we know, more and more retailers are now branching out and communing with us, this is a great way to stumble across special discounts and deals that they provide to their 'social friends'. If you are not already benefiting from these special codes...sell your soul today and get on Facebook & Twitter!
  • Scour the world wide web for vouchers -The web is alive with hundreds of vouchers that can benefit us all, from our big Christmas shop at Tesco, or on gifts we want to purchase online. Another favourite of mine is cash back sites, if you have children and have not already...head over to KidStart and shop through them, to gain back money for your babies! Save.co.uk offer extensive money saving vouchers...so make sure you check them out prior to spending a small fortune!!
Thank you very much to everyone at Save.co.uk for providing us all with these very wise tips this Christmas, make sure you all head over to their Facebook Page and check out their '12 Days of Christmas' where they are featuring special deals in a different category each day, from now until Christmas Day!

Laura xx

Leo and the letter from Santa

Late last week while Leo and I were going about our day to day business, the most unexpected and most wonderful thing occurred. A bright and exciting letter fell through the letter box and landed perfectly on the rug below.

I soon realised that this rather exciting envelope wasn't for me....it was for my little Leo. The entire envelope gave me so many clues to who the letter was from. Santa had written Leo a letter and sent it in the post just for him!



I quickly opened up the letter and began to read the letter to Leo, there was excitement in my voice while I studied each word with amazement....and the letter read.....

Dear Leo,

It's your first ever Christmas, the most special yet,
I'm Santa, Father Christmas, I'm so glad we've met,
Bringing you tidings of joy and good cheer,
And a sprinkling of magic at this time of year.

Handing out gifts to girls and to boys,
Who are hoping for presents like books and nice toys,
I'll be riding my sleigh accross the world in one night,
With Rudolph's red nose as my guiding light.

I'll squeeze down the chimney, fill stockings with care,
Trying so hard to keep soot from my hair,
And when I've laid out all the gifts just for you,
I'll relax with a mince pie (maybe even a few)

So your first ever Christmas with toys of your own,
I'll be back next year to see how you've grown,
With more special presents from my sleigh up above,
From your family and friends, and from me with love.

Merry Christmas Leo,

Love from,
Santa



It was such a lovely letter, and gesture from a very busy man at a very busy time of year. Leo is quite obviously a bit young this year...but next...if he is on Santa's 'Nice' List...he may get another....and I am sure he will love recieving his very own post, from the man in the red suit.

I am keeping this letter safe, so when he is a bit older he can read all about what Santa said in a letter talking all about his very first Christmas.

Merry Christmas to you all, and I hope you are all enjoying the magic that comes with this time of year!

Monday, 19 December 2011

Leo and The Santa Express

Dear my lovely Leo,

On Saturday 17th December 2011, your Daddy and I took you on a very special journey. A journey to visit Father Christmas for the very first time! You were coming up to 6 months old and not quite sitting up by yourself, but you seemed to enjoy the magical experience all the same, Even your Daddy seemed to succumb and enjoy every moment.

We started our journey to Santa's Grotto, at Cheltenham Race Course and amongst all the other families off to visit Santa, we all climbed on to the very distinguished steam train and went to find ourselves some seats. We managed to secure ourselves a private booth on the train for just us 3! Many other families on the Santa Express did not get this luxury, and for us it really did make the whole experience even more spectacular.

Our private booth was kitted out with tinsel, and our window seats let us look out into the cold station, where we could see all the people hustling about and the conductors pointing everyone in the right direction. There was steam coming up from under the train like a thick fog which really did put a magic spin on a our imminent departure.

Leo you were so well behaved and I like to think that you knew that the whole day was about you, and introducing you to the magic of Christmas.
The train slowly started tugging along, and before long we had picked up speed and were jetting across country to go and meet Father Christmas. The whole train was alive with Christmas Cheer and we could hear families with young children singing carols and talking about how excited they all were.

We passed so many different scenes of winter wonderland, and by train was really the very best way to see it all. You could tell how cold it was outside but we were lucky enough to be inside a warm carriage, looking out of the frosted windows into picturesque settings fit for the North Pole.
It seemed to take us forever to reach Santa's Grotto, but we made it and after a very festive train journey, we were one of the first carriages to be invited off the train and go into meet Santa Clause.

We gathered up all our belongings and made our way off the train, we only had a little wait before we were called forward and onto another train. This new train was decked out in Christmas decorations, from it's roof down to it's wheels, and it was apparent to me....that this was where Santa was hiding.

We walked into a carriage and round a corner, then... there he was....Santa was sat at the other end waiting... waiting just for you Leo.

Your Daddy was the one to place you down on Santa's knee, he talked to you about Christmas fun and festivities, he explained that on Christmas Eve after himself and the Elves complete a years long job of making presents for children across the world, he gathers his 9 Reindeer Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid,  Donner, Blitzen and of course Rudolph, to travel all around the world in 1 night. He explained how he stops at every boy and every girl's house bringing them presents...if they have behaved well throughout the year. Santa told us all how he parks on the roof and slides down the chimney with a sack of presents for each family. If the family have been kind enough to leave out a snack he will take 5 minutes out....sit down and enjoy the goodies, before making his way back up the chimney and off into the night to finish his rounds, before everyone starts waking up and seeing that Santa has indeed been in the night.

Santa then presented you with a present, you were none the wiser but it was a special moment for all of us. It was then that I vowed I would take you on the Santa Express train each year as part of our Christmas Time Traditions.

Our time with Santa was magical but had to be cut short to allow the other boys and girls to come in and meet the man himself. We left Santa to continue his work and made our way off of the train and along to get a hot drink and mince pie from the canteen that was provided, next year Leo you can too indulge in your own mince pie.

Then Leo, it was time to make our way back onto the steam train, and leave Santa and his many helpers behind, it was time to go home as there was so much more work that Santa and his elves needed to get done for the big night, which was now a week away!
You proceeded to fall asleep in my arms for the duration of the journey home, but you seemed to have enjoyed your afternoon, with all magic and wonder that came with it. Your Daddy and I really loved taking you and even though you don't remember your first visit. We do. We will always remind you and show you the photos. We will tell you the story of your first visit with the man in red for many years to come and we hope you enjoy it as much then as we did when we took you.


We love you Leo, Merry First Christmas and may it be filled with magic and happiness, now and for many, many years to come.

Lots of Love,
Mummy & Daddy xxx




Wednesday, 14 December 2011

NHS Care Post Pregnancy

Okay, so I don't really know where I stand on this one and I was hoping for a few opinions and thoughts to know how you all feel about this.

I am currently on maternity leave and as most of you Mummy's know, when you are pregnant you qualify for free NHS Health care for the duration of your pregnancy up to a year after. For me this ends in June 2012, as detailed on my NHS Health card.

I visited the dentist back in June and to my utter disappointment I needed a filling replaced, he performed the work that needed to be done and advised me that when I visited again in November he would need to check everything was ok by carrying out an X-ray. He couldn't do this back at my June appointment as I was still pregnant.

So I sit my November appointment, and I feel like I have been completely by-passed. The dentist did a very basic check of my teeth and I was in and out in under 5 minutes. There was no mention of the X-ray I was supposed to have done....and then he told me that he would see me in 9 months instead of the usual 6! This will take me until August....

I can't help feeling like this is deliberate, when I go back in August I am out of free care and I will be liable for any work that needs doing. I feel that he knows this and he will do a more thorougher job then, when he knows I will be forking out the £££.

This is the first and only time I have been asked to come back in 9 months compared to the standard 6 months, has anyone else found this while receiving their free NHS treatment?

What would you do in my situation? Would you call the surgery back and get an earlier appointment, as I feel I should have the X-ray to make sure everything is as it should be. It was after all his recommendation for my next appointment, but I don't feel I should wait until August when I could have it now, and as it is my right to this free care, why shouldn't I take it??

Our Christmas Tree

Leo and I have been very busy recently as you would have gathered from our previous posts, but over the 12 days of Christmas we have been trying the Christmas spirit on for size! I am pleased to say....it fits us both very well!

On the first day of Christmas we scurried around the attic and found out the Christmas Tree and all of our vast decorations we own! We set ourselves busily to work and soon had the tree up and looking as a sparkly as any Christmas Tree should! We don't use real Christmas Tree's in our house, but I don't feel that this makes a huge difference, in fact it is rather nice not to have to go on the hunt for spindles that fall off everyday!

So here is our Christmas Tree for 2011, what do you all think??


Leo is enjoying having a bright sparkly object embracing the room, he loves to stare in wonder at the fairy lights twinkling and swiping at the bottom of the tree, working out what he can grab and pull towards him. It is all a mystery and no amount of understanding will clarify anything for him, but that is all part of the magic. He will enjoy himself all the same, understanding or not.


So lets see all of your Christmas Tree's!!

As I mentioned back in my post about Cristmas Time Traditions, we have got some extra special tree decorations this year...just for Leo. A special one personalised with Leo's name and another that will eventually have a picture of Leo pride of place, taken on his first Christmas!



Do any of you have any special baby tree decorations?

I think we are about ready for the big day now and it is fastly approaching! I have finished off the rest of my Christmas shopping and I am currently sat writing this post by the Christmas Tree, while the lights sparkle and Leo is playing happily under his play gym. Are you all ready for the big day?

This year I treated myself and Luke to Thorntons Advent Calenders, there was a 3 for 2 deal running at the time and I thought it would be nice to put Leo's name on the third calender....and eat it myself! So yes dear readers....I am eating two calenders! Only for this year I hasten to add...as next year...Leo will be able to eat his own!


This Saturday we have booked tickets to go on the Santa Express from Toddington to Cheltenham Race Course, I cannot wait to get a snap of Leo with the man in red himself! For now though I must get on with wrapping all of Leo's presents and getting them hidden out of sight, ready to sneak under the tree on Christmas Eve, ready for Leo to attempt to open (with alot of help from me!)

Laura & Leo xx

Monday, 12 December 2011

Our visit to Walcot Hall



This weekend has been a busy but peaceful one, we travelled the hour and a half drive to Lydbury North, to stay in Walcot Hall on a extended family break.

Leo met his Great, Great Aunt yesterday who is almost 85 years old! We were staying on the very top floor, up 3 rather daunting flights of stairs...however this did not phase Leo's Great, Great Auntie Caroline and she proceeded to climb all the stairs on her own, accepting no help from anyone around her!

Leo was in his element, getting attention from so many different family members, and with great humour the majority of the time, smiling and cooing in all the right places.

The weekend was to celebrate my Grans 83rd birthday, and just an excuse to gather the family together. When these weekends take place is usually results in my Dad's sister's enjoying the free flowing drink...and then singing or dancing precariously on tables! Luckily...this weekend was rather tame compared to previous ones!

The only problem with staying in a old house in the middle of winter with a young baby is the cold. I had looked ahead and for-seen this problem and took many blankets, but Leo never keeps his hands under the covers, resulting in cold hands and more wakes in the night than usual! In this instance we improvised with scratch mits! Leo awoke in the morning with toasty warm hands and a well rested Mummy.

The other problem with staying in a old house...is absolutely everything goes bump in the night! The creaking pipes that at the time sound like someone slowly creeping across the floor towards your bed and the general atmosphere in a cold house can really cause a ambiance worthy of a haunted old manor house.

None of this bothered Leo of course, and we got through the weekend, only to return last night to find that Little Mix won the X Factor! I  have to admit that I had pinned everything on Amelia Lilly winning....and was very suprised and slightly dis-heartned to learn that she had been voted out on Saturday night!

How were all of your weekends?

Love,
Laura & Leo xx

Friday, 9 December 2011

A December Weekend Away

It is all go this month for my little family, and actually my entire family! You see it is a yearly occurrence for the whole extended family consisting of aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents, to go away for a long weekend, usually in the instance of a birthday.

So this weekend we are heading towards Ludlow and staying in a stately home for a few nights! I am barely un-packed from the last holiday, only to be off away again, after only getting home a week ago today.

I have to admit, the house does look very inviting and festive. We are packing a very warm attire in case the house is a bit cold, we are taking the steriliser again and of course all of Leo's essentials.

This doesn't even seem remotely daunting now after travelling abroad with Leo, I know he will do well in the car and most likely sleep the whole duration. I know Leo will enjoy all the attention that comes with going away with so many family members.

It has been manic getting everything ready to go though, there has been so much going on. My car got rushed into the MOT men yesterday for a speedy MOT....as it actually ran out at the end of November. Luckily Halfords have a half price MOT available at £27.00! The cheapest MOT I have ever had! It passed thankfully, otherwise we would be stuck today!

We have been rushing around getting every ones Christmas presents sorted and then on top of that I have had all the usual bits and pieces to complete with Leo, along with all the washing from Tenerife.

We were preparing a few bits and pieces last night, so while I was running around Leo had some Daddy time. I came in with Leo's bottle and as soon as Leo saw me he started crying. I picked him up off Luke and as soon as he was in my arms....silence! Luke noticed that he had been crying for me, so I passed Leo back to Luke to see what happend....and the crying started again.

I think Leo associates me with food, I am usually the one to do most of the feeding and implementing the bed time routine. It was nice to know that I am known to him and coveted, but I couldn't help feeling for Luke a little bit...as he did look a little disappointed. How do I prevent Leo making this into a habit?

So now I must continue getting everything together so we can all make a swift exit this evening after Luke finishes work, for the hour and a half drive over towards Ludlow. This afternoon Leo and I are squeezing in some baby yoga!

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Much love,
Laura & Leo xx


Thursday, 8 December 2011

Leo's First Belly Laugh

We have been having giggles off Leo for many weeks now, but just the other night he let out his first belly laugh. I am so happy that I managed to get footage of this as it is just a joy to watch over and over again.

Leo is obviously getting into the Christmas spirit and making his tummy shake like a bowl full of jelly!

When did you're baby laugh their first belly laugh? Did you manage to record it? What was so funny to them?

Leo was laughing at his Auntie, nothing in particular...just pure silliness! I guess at 5 months old that anything and everything has the potential to be historically funny!


video

Laura & Leo xx

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Travelling abroad with a 5 month old


This past week Leo and I have been in Tenerife - Cosa Adeje in Salvaje, and so many firsts have taken place for Leo over this short time period, he has flown for the first time to go on his very first holiday, and while on holiday he has experienced the beach and sea for the very FIRST time!


Over all, the holiday was very enjoyable and when it came down to the airport it was not as complicated as I expected it to be! I had worked myself up about it for no real reason at all….In the end I decided to just take boiled water, as I had been pre-warned that if I took the ready mixed milk cartons then I would have to open and sample each individual carton. Not only is the milk very unpleasant but even Leo as a complete milk gannet, would never drink 3 cartons of milk in the 2 hours you have once they are open!

So the advice I can offer a first time parent embarking on a first time holiday, is don't stress yourself out with worry, it will all slot into place when the time comes. Take as much boiled water/milk for the flight and the day/night ahead, as I found Leo got through so much more than he usually does and it was nice not to have the added pressure of sterilising as soon as we arrived. Muslins are a absolute necessity and toys for baby are a lovely touch to keep them occupied, Leo had his Alfie bear...much to the disappointment of everyone around him!

Leo's first flight was easy sailing from the word go, although as soon as take off came around...Leo decided to pick that moment in time to forget his bottle and fill his nappy! I am sure my lovely boy knows to do this each and every time it is utterly impossible for me to change him! This became apparent when he did it 3 times on the outward flight and 4 times on the home bound flight!



Upon finally getting our bags and pushchair back in the luggage claim, it was off to face my next greatest fear…Luke driving abroad in a European rental car! This was something I had never known him do before and I was absolutely terrified something would happen with Leo in the car.

The hire company were not based at the airport and to get there we had to take a shuttle service, when we got on the small bus there were no seats left for me to sit with Leo safely, and to my horror no one at all offered to give up their seat so I could sit Leo and myself together! I was absolutely disgusted and I sat there silently stewing while Luke sat with Leo on his lap in his car seat. How could everyone just sit there when there were no seat belts for me to get Leo strapped in safely!?

I was in two minds whether or not to voice my opinion but for the sake of everyone I sat quietly cutting daggers, and when the couple opposite me commented on how gorgeous Leo was, I was even more angry! If they had noticed him and I, why oh why not offer to help us!?

The hire company Orlando Hire, were based in a garage at the bottom of the steepest slope I have ever seen! We spent the best part of an hour trying to finalise all the details, and I found that they were not very helpful at all! Once it was all sorted I was growing increasingly aware that we were going to have to drive back out of the garage….up the steep slope and on to the opposite side of the road!

It is safe to say that driving on the opposite side of the road, lost in a foreign country and with a un-confident driver was absolutely terrifying! We were travelling with Luke’s family….but once they had disappeared and we were left alone with no idea where we were headed, I just wanted to tell Luke to pull over….

We finally managed to get to the villa, and all the stress of the car company and the rollercoaster car journey faded away. As the holiday progressed Luke became more confident in driving around and I became more at ease.

The villa was lovely and had everything I needed to cater for Leo, the company Villa’s Plus had been made aware that their was a baby coming and they had provided us with a travel cot, high chair and baby walker. The baby walker was a lovely find for us as it allowed Leo to expand some energy and have a kick around, it was also the perfect place to sit him and feed him…once he was placed in a corner so he couldn’t run backwards away from me, mid feed! Leo is still a bit small for a high chair in my eyes.


The week was spent looking in the local shops and towns, heading to some of the beaches, swimming in the pool at the villa and heading out for meals in the evening. We even went to the other end of the Island - Puerto de la Cruz and visited Loro Parque. This is an amazing animal park with Dolphins, Killer Wales and everything aquatic you can imagine.

They put on the most exquisite Dolphin show I have ever seen in my entire life and words cannot describe just how spectacular it actually was. The dolphins catapulted the trainer into the air and then some!


Although Leo couldn’t marvel at the animals in general, he still enjoyed looking at the lights in the tanks and seemed to enjoy the day in general.

When it came to Leo’s first time on the beach, I wanted to make the most of it and expose him to the sea and sand, collect some small shells to put in his scrap book and just make it a memorable experience for us all.

Leo enjoyed being held upright in the surf and kicked his little legs when the waves came and wrapped his feet, he began to anticipate the waves and kept getting excited. We dipped his feet in the sand so he could feel the different textures and then quickly had to wash him down as it was only a matter of time before he decided to eat his feet again…


 



 
We got Leo back, fed, bathed and ready for bed before heading out for dinner each night. He was brilliant and would take some of his bedtime bottle before proceeding to sleep through dinner and would wake up on the walk home. I then took him straight to his room, fed him and put him down. He then slept all night long! Which as many of you know…has not been a regular occurrence since he was 16 weeks old!

One of our other days was spent out at the Go Carting track, I was coaxed into giving it a go against my better judgment, so Leo spent half an hour with his Nanny.

I am pleased to announce that I won the race between Luke and his Step-Dad which was very un-expected…but also a real accomplishment for me!


Of course there was swimming in the pool at the villa, which Leo throughly enjoyed! It was lovely to be able to take photos of Leo enjoying his time in the pool. He has only swam once prior to going on holiday but obviously in public pools it is impossible to photograph these days because of all the worrys that come with it. So I am pleased to have got the footage that I did :-)


Luke, Leo and I witnessed a sunset and sunrise on our holiday, and I had never realised quite how quickly both events occur. I have never seen this happen before and it was lovely to watch with both of my boys.



This closed our week away and the next morning we were putting the finishing touches on packing our bags for the flight home. It is always nice to get home after being away, but it was even nicer getting home to the crisp December weather, it didn’t feel like Christmas in Tenerife and seemed so odd seeing all the decorations mixed in with the summer weather and climate.

While we were away Leo managed to roll back over from his tummy to his back! He is changing so quickly and just growing up! Why don't they stay small for long? It seems the baby days are numbered...I just want to freeze time and keep him small.

We are now in the process of putting our tree up and getting into the festive spirit. How have all of your weeks been?

Laura & Leo xx