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Our Week… In Pictures

I don’t know if it’s the rare British sunshine or the fact that it was leading up to a Friday pay day, but I seem to have taken a lot of pictures this week.

Here are just some of the favourites I thought I would share with you from the last few days.

 

The Walsh household has been on a health kick for a while now. When I say household I really just mean my husband. He’s been losing weight through a better diet and exercise since May and hasn’t done badly so far (this week weigh in marks a stone and a half in 8 weeks). He has just started an exercise class called Caveman Training( Google it, I dare you). I was planning to join him but with my recent health problems I wouldn’t be able to do most of the exercises at the moment.

There is one warm-up that they do there that sounded quite interesting – Sally Up.

Going along with the song ‘Flowers’ by Moby, every time it says up you go up. Every time it says down, you go down. It’s usually used for press-ups but I found an alternative squat version which I have been doing since Sunday.

It is nowhere near as easy as it looks. Sally is known as a bitch – and dammit is. After the first two days I devised a stretching routine which has saved my butt – literally. I’ve also been trying to eat healthy(er) than the constant amounts of chocolate I was eating before. Let’s hope I start feeling better soon.

You can catch constant moaning updates on my progress over on my Twitter and my husband has also started his own blog on his weight loss journey. More about that later though.

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After a few toddler tantrums over the last few days, it has been nice to have quite a few cuddles this week. This is probably the last selfie I’ll get out of him for another month so I’ll treasure it until the next one (even if he is pulling a funny face).

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Do you even have days like these?! Where you pop into the kitchen for a drink and come back to total devastation. How do they manage to do it all in under 30 seconds?!

Try to spot the toddler too!!

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We even managed a no drama mid-week shopping trip. Although it turned out to be one of these days where you spend a shocking amount of money but end up coming home with hardly anything, I did manage to get some Liquorice tablets to try. I’m still baffled as to why anybody would even think to put liquorice into tablet form but apparently it is going to be good for my blood pressure, as well as a ton of other health benefits so fingers crossed. I also treated myself to a new mascara. I don’t wear make-up very often so even I was surprised that my old one had run out rather than me losing it or it clogging from old age. Plus, a new notebook for all blog related matters never hurt anybody. I was quite proud of my decoration as I haven’t done funky writing since high school. Sadly, it doesn’t look like this now Jay has added his artistic stamp on the front.

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And the ‘Jakey’ shoes – because a toddler (or at least my toddler) can never have too many Jake and the Neverland Pirates related items. £9 – what a steal!!

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A missed Royal Mail parcel note left me very confused and excited on my way to the sorting office – only to find these smiling faces. Our free samples to take part in ’42 days of summer’ with BritMums and BN biscuits. Look out for the post soon. It’s so exciting to get blog related things. This thing might all be worthwhile in the end.

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Although this weather is way too hot for me (I am a lightweight), we did manage to spend a little bit of time in the garden.

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LOOK WHAT I FOUND!! LOOK WHAT I FOUND!!

I’m sorry but this just made me so excited when I first noticed it. The back of Jays hair now makes a love heart in curls. He’s never had a haircut – his hair really is that short, so now that it’s finally growing I just love it. The little cow lick curl at the back is getting bigger and curlier by the day. It may be down to his bum before I can bring myself to cut it.

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Last but not least, my friend Nikki from exclusivepumper.com has come up with pumping awards to celebrate the achievements that exclusive pumpers are making – ranging from ‘I tried’ right through to ’4 years’. This is my award at the moment and I couldn’t be prouder to use it. I must have the full set!!

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For more pictures find me on Instagram at JayJaySaurus.

Have a good weekend and enjoy the sunshine (if it stays). :) :D

What did you take pictures of this week?!


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The Great Clothing Cull

It comes around on a far too regular basis for most parents. It signals change and growth in both a wonderful and a terrifying way. Our babies feel like they are turning into teenagers.

The change in clothing size. The great clothing cull as I like to call it. It’s time for the cotton chop.

Don’t get me wrong, it gets a lot less frequent as they get older – but that brings its own problems. Your little one has worn those teeny t-shirts for a lot longer and you’ve had the time to make more memories in them. You’ll always remember what they were wearing when they took their first steps or their outfit from your favourite photograph. You have more time to grown attached to your favourite pieces, which usually turns out to be all of them. Including the socks.

Growing can be fun. Once they’ve grown out of those first few tiny outfits you took into the hospital, you can start to see their new personality now they’re in the outside world and can dress them accordingly. They may look super cute in pastels, or have a bold personality that can pull off bright colours.

It’s special to get those few new little outfits, some of which they can grow out of before they even get into them. To browse around Mothercare and perhaps pick something up in the sale that is only in the size above.

There is a warm fuzzy feeling when you have a giggle at putting those tiny feet in the new bigger outfit just to see how they look, and how gigantic it is. Soon though, those tiny toes are breaking free and it’s time for the shops again.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll have a little bit of denial when it comes to those favourite items – practically stuffing your little one into them until you are forced to admit defeat. You may hide them under the bed for a while and just enjoy photographing the fun days in the new outfits.

This stage can usually last for the first year when they are growing out of clothes in an average of 2-3 months and you can feel like you’re constantly buying new clothes.

Then begins my least favourite stage. The bigger clothes stage. Not only do they take up double the amount of space of the washing line (when I was pregnant I could get a whole load of teeny baby grows on one washing line) but you’re making those all important memories. Every compulsion you have to buy another cute pair of trousers goes straight into their already mounting pile of clothes rather than to replace outgrown ones.

Firstly, it’s time to sort out those smaller clothes that you’ve been hoarding to make way for your new stash. This involves baby clothes so small that they would make you go gooey no matter who they had belonged to. It can be hard to be harsh in deciding what doesn’t make the cut, but the more special the ‘keepers’ then the more nostalgic they will be when you look back in years to come. Thankfully, some of them you will have forgotten you had completely and lose most emotional connection. Cue sale, charity shop or your pregnant cousin.

It’s strange when you notice that it’s happening again – they’re growing and everything is becoming too short and tight again. The difference in size between different shops becomes more evident as the sizes get bigger so you start to hide the smallest sizes and continue with the denial. You can stay in this state for quite a while.

Then comes the day. There is not one thing you can dress them in that won’t get a tut from great-gran when she can see his socks under his trousers even while he’s standing up.

You just have to bite the bullet and do it.

All the selected size (it was 12-18 months for us this week, even though Jay is 2) must go. Be ruthless. Tell yourself they’ll just be sitting under the bed for a while until you are in a more ruthless emotional state to decide on keepers and throwers.

You’ll still linger over the bobbled and faded old t-shirt that those little ones would wear every single day if given the chance.

Be nice to yourself. Fold them up and put them away for a day, a week or if you’re like me – 3 months. If there is a lot that you want to keep, look into turning it into something else. Perhaps a patchwork cushion or a padded wall hanging. Something that may still get some use and be loved by your child but will be useful for them beyond the age and stage they are now.

Then you’ll look into their wardrobe and see lots of empty space.

The empty space of endless possibility. Who doesn’t love shopping? Well, maybe not mothers all the time now we have toddlers but still. They can pick their own clothes now. Use their personalities and have a toddler change in style. Go for the Disney characters instead of the baby teddy bears. Get more bright colours instead of white to hide some of the impending grass stains.

It is hard. It is emotional. It is an attachment to inanimate things that have protected your child as they have grown, and are a physical demonstration of just how far they have come.

It is necessary. It is exciting.

The great clothing cull.

Just try not to think about what comes next – the great toy cull.

 

Some of the outfits that we’ve decide to keep -

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Post Number 40

40  Ladies, Gentlemen and other beings with the ability to read the English language.

Today is time for a teeny celebration.

I’VE MADE IT TO MY 40TH POST!!

There is not much in my life that I am consistent with – the whole breastfeeding/pumping things, keeping my child fed and watered, loving my husband (although that’s not 100% consistent, you know what men are like) and watching the channel 4 documentaries that make other people feel sick. I’m not actually even consistent with spelling the word consistent correctly.

The fact that this is post number 40 within 4 months feels like a huge achievement. They say it takes 21 days (or posts) to form a habit – well let’s stick another 2 more in here and get ourselves a double habit!!

I may always wish I could produce more, produce better, write faster but that does not make it any less of an achievement so far. Even on the days that I doubt myself, that I don’t have enough views or followers or how I am even capturing an audience, it doesn’t really matter at this point in time. All that matters is that I am enjoying it. It is something to look back on and think ‘remember when that happened?’ Better than any diary. Mainly because I never even made it to day 3 of my diary.

The funniest thing I have found from this so far is when friends come up to me and say they have read my post. I forget that it is out there for the world to see – not just strangers. It still might take some getting used to but after years of being in the closet (about writing) it’s nice to have such lovely support and actually connect with what other people are doing day-to-day as well.

That does not mean I do not want to expand though. That I couldn’t try harder and have bigger dreams.

I achieved record views last month with my ‘The Worlds Secret Breastfeeding Community’ post and I can only hope I can do it again month on month.

This will be number 40 for the blog and, if I can behave myself and keep my fingers well-behaved, tweet number 200 as well. (What is it about Twitter that no matter how much you tweet, you’re number seems to only crawl upwards. I’m more of a Facebook girl myself. I’ve had years of practise in the rules of FB etiquette.)

I am hoping I can grow my Twitter followers by the extra 43 I need to get to 300 and search out another 45 likers for Facebook to bring it to a round 100.

If you want to help with these numbers, feel free. I promise colourful pictures (maybe not today with this UK storm though) and free cookies. Okay, not the cookies. Anything heavily carb and sugar based does not see the light of day again once it enters my house.

My plan is to also update all the pages and see if I can give everything a little revamp.

Plus, I now get little phrases from my husband such as “I’ll go and get Jay so you can go upstairs and write or something.” :) :D

I may not know quite where we’re going and how we’re going to get there but I’m enjoying it nonetheless.

Thanks for being here.

Mrs Gemma L Walsh <3<3

It’s like driving a car at night. You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.

E. L. Doctorow


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Health Visitor Checks – Just Ticking A Box

That time of year seems to come around so fast. Annual health visitor check-up time. I was actually excited for this one, to see how far he had come.

I had been expecting the appointment since Jay turned two and when it finally arrived in the post it came with a 4 page questionnaire to fill in on your child abilities.

Some of the things I could tick yes to without even thinking about it. Can your child climb the stairs – yes, if only I could stop him. Can your child recognise a stickman as a person – yes, every single drawing gets to be Nanna then Granddad then Jakey…..

Some of the things we had never tried but it was fun to see if we could get him to copy us drawing a straight line. Turns out, he can.

There were a few things he can’t do – he doesn’t recognise himself in a mirror. He sees it as a baby and that’s what he will say but he doesn’t say ‘me’. Personally, at this point I don’t see that as a big deal. I would be more suspicious if yes was ticked on every single box.

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The health visitor seemed nice, although I recognised her as one who had told me off regarding my breast milk pumping when Jay was 4 months old. Jay was wary at first but helped her look through a book and some picture cards she had brought. He didn’t want to be weighed or measured but she reassured us not to push him and we could pop down to the clinic at any time to get that done again.

I voiced my opinions on his behaviour not having quite reached the terrible twos yet and being proud in his confidence in sharing but did not mention our co-sleeping or pumping due to the reaction I imagined it would received.

I thought it had all gone as well as it could have, apart from not being weighed, until she left and I read her entry into his child health record. Very quiet. Uncooperative. Speech therapy referral. What?!

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My child is not introverted. He was praised on his very first nursery visit for having the confidence to go in to his nursery class, play nicely, ask when he wanted a drink and let us leave him for an hour without so much as noticing. He is not an extrovert, the child who runs in and knocks everybody over and wants to play with everything even if others are using it.

He is a child!! My child!! And he is perfect for the way we have raised him. He is the perfect puzzle piece to our family – no matter if he ticked that little box on the health visitor’s checklist.

I may be getting sensitive but when his record will now always show ‘uncooperative’ after he shared his toys with her, helped her put together and pack away her scales and waited so patiently when asked to, all because he did not want to be weighed on a scary machine brought into the house by someone he’d never met after being there for less than 5 minutes.

That is not uncooperative in my standards. That is a cautious, caring child who was watching his environment to figure out what was safe for himself or not rather than being forced into doing something that would make him uncomfortable. I have no doubt he would have gotten onto those scales willingly if he had been given more time.

Children are more than just a box to be ticked. I understand the need to check on them regularly, to ensure their safety, give time for parents to voice any concerns and check developmental milestones you may not have time to look at in just a 5 minute clinic visit.

That doesn’t mean they have to make the guidelines smaller. Although every parenting site, magazine and blog has different opinions, the average I could see for word development, for example, is 40 words at age 2. Jay has that, plus two word sentences. He is easily understood by us, understands instructions incredibly well and can mimic noises like a parrot. So why, because he was apparently quiet when the health visitor was there (which is understandable with a strange in the house and the fact that he had a quiet day in general which everyone has once in a while) he needs to be referred for speech therapy, I am not entirely sure.

There are brilliant parents who have brilliant children with genuine developmental delays who could be made to feel like they are doing a terrible job because their children do not tick this box.

It has just reinforced to me that some authorities do not take each child as an individual and do not give them the range of development and personalities that we allow for in adults. My husband and I are completely different learners – I could read and remember, he has to do things with his hands. Although at school age one may have been an advantage over the other, in the real adult world where we can find paths to meet our strengths, we are both as bright and well educated (even on paper) as each other. Just because we learn differently does not mean we both won’t get to the same amount of real world knowledge at the end of the day.

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I’m not going to brag or think that my child can do no wrong because there is enough of that about in the parenting world of trying to outdo each other. I just want him to be taken for who and what he is and left to develop at his own speed, because he learns new things every day, and not try to label him on his behaviour in an unusual half an hour time slot.

I am proud of the person my child is becoming. Of the things he has learnt and the way he learns them. I love watching his train of thought and the way it makes me think about the world – he sees something similar to a phone or a ball and tries to use it as one because that’s the closest thing he has as a reference, then how do I explain how that object actually works.

These checks are a good reference but they are not the be all and end all. As you get more comfortable in your parenting role (which takes years if not forever to achieve a full level of confidence) you will know when there is something wrong with your child. We can’t all be brilliant at everything all the time. I have trouble learning how to use the new version of Twitter, never mind how to run, talk, empathise and how to handle my emotions whilst still feeling controlled by these big giants around me who try to kiss and cuddle me at least once an hour.

I’m done ticking boxes. My child smiles when he’s happy and that’s enough for me.


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World Cup Widow

719px-WC-2014-Brasil.svg As the World Cup comes to its climax and the nations football craziness comes to an end (despite the hopes of the England team being dashed weeks ago, Facebook and Twitter has still been a mingle of excited bandwagon jumpers and annoyed World Cup widows) I have to say, I have quite enjoyed it.

I have been a WCW and I don’t mind.

I suppose I should be thankful really that because of my heart I have had quite a bit of time off work, whereas I’d usually be working in the evenings. So because I’ve had more time to spend with my other half once little one has gone to bed than normal, I’m quite happy to see the back of him for a few hours.

A few days in (when England’s hopes were still somewhat alive) and I spent a lovely evening upstairs in bed by myself, watching programmes on YouTube that he wouldn’t approve of and having a cuddle with the baby that he might usually tell me off for.

It was joyous. I was actually disappointed when he came to bed and I couldn’t squeeze in another online episode.

It’s nice to have time apart. Especially for me who feels guilty if I don’t make the most of every second I have with him. But if he wants to get on with his things, that’s the perfect opening for me to get on with my favourite things – guilt and nagging voice free.

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Apart from being woken up with his shouting during the Germany/Brazil game, I haven’t really watched a lot. IT’s not really my thing. I had enough football in my younger years and would rather watch it when all the ‘little boy’ attitudes of some of the players has gone. However, that semi-final was the highlight of the whole tournament and I’m glad I didn’t miss it – mainly because it’ll be fun in years to come when Jay is watching football documentaries to say ‘I remember that’.

So long world cup, I have minded you at all. You have made many men extremely unhappy, but kept them out of harm’s way all at the same time.

Plus I know I’ll get him back when it’s all over, and for that I am truly lucky – but I can’t promise he won’t become a Commonwealth Games widow.

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Avon Nail Art Design Strips – Review

I have never really been much of a make-up girl – but nail varnish?! That I am all over, mainly because it does not require completely fresh application everyday (unless you choose to of course). I’m not the most artistic or creative with them, but I enjoy bright colours nonetheless.

When my Mum announced that she was officially tying the knot with my step-dad after 13 years I knew I would have to bring out something extra special.

Cue, at the perfect moment, brand new designs for nail art design strips from Avon.

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That lead to even more of a dilemma – do I go with ‘Floral Fever’ or ‘Sun Worshipper’. Of course, I ordered both whilst trying to keep myself away from the toe nail strips as well.

After much debate amongst every female to enter our house on the week leading up to the wedding and practising with each design, I finally decided to go with ‘Floral Fever’.

They were so easy to apply, even using the old nail file I found in the bottom of my mum’s handbag. With some careful manoeuvring (and being able to take off and reposition if you’re really careful) and then shaping the end to remove any excess, they went on like a dream and I didn’t have to waste time waiting for them to dry as with a two-year-old this is where regular varnish always get smudged and ruined.

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That was 3 weeks ago, and I have been showing them off to whoever I think will appreciate them ever since.

Usually with the amount of dishes and chasing after toddlers I do, nail designs of any kind will last on average around two days before they need a desperate touch-up.

With these designs however I found that, even a week later, they were still as perfect as the wedding day. This included having my hands soaked in soapy dish suds on a daily basis and the major tidy and renovation that was going on in our house when we got back. They survived daily showers and toddler baths.

I have never been so pleasantly surprised and they are such a beautiful thing to look down at when you’re typing. They came out amazingly on the photos of me steadying my champagne glass too.

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I also had to remove one in order for the doctor to run some tests and I had no shame in sticking it straight back on afterwards. Despite being stuck to the table for half an hour before being re-applied the nail strip still lasted another 3 days before slipping off in the shower.

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Apart from that exception, 3 weeks later every design is still intact. They are a little tatty around the edges, but I put that down to the unusual amount of housework I have been doing. I have even trimmed my nails and filled away any excess pieces and they have still stayed strong.

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Sadly, I feel like a little bit of a change today so I will finally be saying goodbye to them, but they are so easy to remove – just peel!! Given how resilient the sticky back is, I would have expected a lot of residue or damage left behind on my nails, but it is very minimal. The remaining glue is small enough to just be taken away by a quick hand wash or nail polish remover and there is no damage left behind at all.

In fact, a few of my nails actually feel smoother and more hydrated than before after being protected from the summer heat and washing up liquid chemicals.

If there was any downside I would say I wish I’d had them for my wedding. The ‘sun worshipper’ design would have been perfect (but I least I have them now for another day).

At the moment they come in a pack of 18. I would prefer a pack of 20, just so you could get two events out of them if you were really careful not to ruin any.

Other than that, I have loved every minute of having girly nails for a change. They were definitely worth the price paid – well done Avon and I can’t wait for more designs in the future!!


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Cosmo Adventures – Crush of the Week – Joey Lawrence

 

In keeping with the Cosmopolitan adventures that I have previously written about here, another part of discovering a new you is accepting your life and sexuality as a woman, not just a mother.

It’s true that once you’ve had children, you start to see everything differently, including men. You become more attracted to men who you could see providing for you and your child rather than just the bad boys (although every woman has to mix it up a little so they’re are exceptions to the rule).

In keeping with this theme I thought what better way to celebrate the sexy and beautiful men of this world than by Crush of the Week.

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Name - Joseph Lawrence Mignogna Jr.

Date on Birth – April 20th, 1976

Marital Status – Married :( :(

How we found him – After catching the TV movie ‘My Fake Fiancé’ (also starring Melissa Joan Hart who we all know as Sabrina the Teenage Witch) we discovered to great delight that their on-screen chemistry had caught great attention and there are currently 3 seasons their own series – Melissa and Joey.

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Why we love him – In Melissa and Joey he plays Mel’s male nanny after he lost his job and money in a Ponzi scheme run by Mel’s brother-in-law. He’s feisty, caring, annoying but ultimately wins us over with that beautiful smile. Just like a realistic man – we know he won’t be perfect but he has enough loving qualities to make up for it. Plus, he sings the theme music and has also carved a whole separate career in music. Come on ladies, who doesn’t love a man who can sing. On top of that, he is a real life devoted father to two little girls and hosts the American version of Splash. Cherry on top of the cake in our book.

*EXCLUSIVE* Joey Lawrence showers his daughter with kisses

Interesting Facts – He’s been in the acting business from a very young age, so looking back over his previous work can provide eye candy for a variety of ages in any household. Also, his ever-changing hair styles are becoming infamous, but whether shaven or rocking the long 90’s waves, he always looks hot.

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Also, did I mention the body? Maybe just a picture or two will suffice.

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Happy Monday Ladies :) :D

 

We are in no way affiliated with Cosmopolitan Magazine. If you want to check out how it all started, please do so here. Our opinions are those of the blog writers and not Cosmopolitan, unless otherwise stated.

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