Saturday was Thomas's 1st birthday party we decided to have a little party to celebrate his special day. It was a lovely afternoon where Thomas got fussed over by his family and got to play with some of his little friends and he had lots of fun. I'm afraid I only have a few photos as lots were of other children and I obviously don't want to post without permission.

"Urgh so much food....must eat more"

"Blow more bubbles"

Cheeky monkey cake for a cheeky monkey

Too much sugar

Making a wish for an amazing 2nd year.

A couple of my friends who have children around Thomas's age came and also a little boy who he plays with a lot from nursery came and it was so lovely to see him playing with them and seeing what he is like around other children. Unfortunately it has put me off having any more babies for a while as I was having a little cuddle with my friends beautiful new born baby girl and he started crying because mummy was holding another baby and for a while later I couldn't leave his site.
I got to around 37 weeks pregnant before I noticed my first stretch mark, I thought I had been lucky enough to escape them as I had been using various stretch mark creams, lotions and potions and yet they still started popping up so I gave up and embraced them. Maybe it's because my bump had a growth spurt towards the end and it just stretched the skin on my belly too quickly or it's just in my genetics. My mum had stretch marks and her mum probably did too so it's highly likely that I would get them.

I've never had a toned stomach it's always been a bit podgy maybe its a bit more wobbly than before I had Thomas but who cares? I sure don't. I'm not saying I don't look after myself, I lost my baby weight but pregnancy has changed my body like it changes every woman's body and I don't mind the changes. I fit back in my pre-pregnancy size clothes and that was the only think I was worried about.

I was never one for wearing crop tops and I have never felt comfortable wearing a bikini so for me nothing has changed but having stretch marks would never stop me doing anything. I still go swimming still wear tankinis which show bits of my stomach and hips. My stretch marks are now part of me, part of my life, part of my story. I have stretch marks because I carried my beautiful, healthy, amazing little boy for 9 months. I have my 16cm long c-section scar to show how my beautiful son was born and I don't care what it looks like. I'm proud of my funny lines and marks in fact I'm incredibly lucky to have them.

 It makes me sad when I hear people say they hate their stretch marks or they hate their post postpartum bodies  or they are embarrassed by them, why? Your body has changed because you gave birth the most amazing thing you could do. Embrace them and remember somebody out there would give anything to have stretch marks and a post pregnancy body.
I sometimes get a bit puzzled when I hear women say they don't like their partners seeing their post pregnancy bodies, again why? It's half down to him your body is like this now and you gave him a beautiful child he will be thankful to you and your body that you were able to carry his baby.
I can't believe my beautiful boy is now 1! We had a lovely family day which was filled with lots of smiles and laughter from Thomas

Trying to decide which present to start with.

To begin with all Thomas was interested in was playing with balloons so we had to try and coax him in to opening presents. I'm thinking until Thomas is around 3 I might leave any toys we have for him open and set them up so they are ready to play with instead of wrapping them up because he doesn't open them properly and gets bored.

"Look mummy this is big boys size"

Playing with his Toot toot garage

Having fun in his new play tent

We decided to take Thomas out for a little birthday trip as we didn't want to spend the day inside like any other boring day so we decided to take him to Amerton Farm to see some animals for the first time.
Thomas has such a serious face on him as we were walking around because he was taking in all the different animals and the sounds they were making.

A little goat came to say hello

Having a walk with Daddy

We had a lovely couple of hours walking round the farm, we will definitely go back in the future when Thomas is a bit bigger because there is a play area there too which Thomas will enjoy when he's bigger.
Dear Thomas,

A year ago the minute this post goes live I gave birth to you, my son - the most beautiful little person I have ever seen and in that amazing moment my life changed forever, I became your mum. Remembering that very first time you were placed in my arms makes my stomach flip and brings tears to my eyes. Looking in to your eyes, kissing your head, smelling that new born baby smell I just can't put in to words how special that moment was, I will treasure that memory for the rest of my life.

I can remember that night when I was taken back to the ward and daddy had to leave us and go home. After I had been given tea and toast I held you again and we started to get to know each other. I barely slept that night I just couldn't take my eyes off you even though you slept soundly all night I woke so many times just to have a little look at my beautiful baby and just to listen out to you breathing. It makes me feel so full of love just thinking back to that time.

This past year has been completely amazing watching you grow from a baby to a little boy, seeing you learn new things and being with you to witness all of your firsts so far has been amazing and I'm so looking forward to watching you continue to grow and learn new things as you get older.

I apologise now if I cry a little tomorrow but part of me is sad that your baby year is over, I just feel so sad that time is going so fast I just wish that I could just slow time down a bit. I am also excited to see what your second year brings to see your cheeky personality flourish.

Happy Birthday darling I hope your day is filled with happiness, fun, cuddles and love you are our special little boy daddy and I love and adore you with all of our hearts.

All my love
Mummy xx
The 27th May 2013 at 00:23 you were born by cesarean section 
Your daddy and I instantly fell completely and utterly in love with you

By the time you were a month old you were already developing your own cheeky personality 
and always had a beautiful smile on your face.

Month  2 and you were giggling and being a happy little chappy

Month 3 and you were rolling around trying to get about

Month 4 was the month we started to wean you 
you have been a big food monster ever since

Month 5 was your first ever halloween
my little pumpkin

Month 6 and you started to do your funny froggy hop crawl

Month 7 and we celebrated your first Christmas

Month 8 You experienced snow properly
This month you also started to crawl properly

Month 9 and you were pulling yourself up

Month 10 and you aren't like my baby anymore your my little boy, my bestest friend
and we do lunch together 

And just recently you have started to take your first steps it is so, so exciting you have been wanting to go for ages but you have finally plucked up the confidence and mummy and daddy couldn't be more proud of you, you clever little boy.

Wow what a year I so wish I could turn back the clock and live it all again but we have so much more to look forward to in your future.

From the very first time I saw you I fell in love
A feeling like no other
The very first time I looked in your eyes a moment I will treasure forever
And then you were placed in my arms my world was complete

How could something so small bring such overwhelming happiness?

Every single cuddle fills my heart with so much love
Every little giggle makes me melt
And every little smile makes my life worth while 

Watching you grow from a baby to a beautiful little boy is magical
Seeing you learn new things amazes me 
You teach me how to be a mummy and I can't thank you enough

You brighten every day with your beautiful smile 
I treasure every single second with you
I  hope you know how truly loved you are my beautiful boy.
After seeing lots of other people including Nicola do a cake smash for their child's birthday I decided to give it a go with Thomas as he normally likes to get stuck in and messy. Unfortunately it was a little rushed as I was unwell when I originally wanted to try the smash and we had to squeeze it in one night after work. It was also my first time testing my new camera out so here goes...

"Erm mummy why you put this messy cake in front of me?"

"Mmm I'll have a little taste"

"Yes this is nice and messy mummy"

"This is very yummy and fun mummy"

 "bored now look shiny thing..."

Next year will definitely be bigger better and messier!!
A couple of weeks ago Thomas settled himself for the first time at night for me this has been a massive achievement as bedtime was the time of day that I actually hated. Every night was a a fight which could last for an hour or more. It was really begining to get me down as I was fighting this battle on my own every night and I knew it was time to get it sorted once and for all.

A couple of months ago I watched a program called "Bedtime Live" and normally I don't take much notice of these types of programs but I remebered something that I saw on there about using the gradual retreat method and I thought this may work well for Thomas as I think he thought I was abandoning him if I just placed him in his cot and left the room as that is when the screaming would start.

I started the new bedtime routine on a night when Thomas was already in a good mood and he wasn't over tired. I placed him in his cot where he started to cry almost imediately but I didn't go to pick him up or try to lay him down again. Instead I spoke to him in a calm and soothing voice and told him that it was bedtime now and that he needed to lay down ready to go to sleep. I then started to read him a bedtime story whilst he was still crying and before long he stopped crying and started listening to me read his book.

Once I had finished reading his book Thomas was nice and calm and moving around in his cot trying to get comfy so then I turned my back on him and every 5 minutes or so I shuffled closer to the door and by the time I was in the door way Thomas was pretty much asleep and he didn't notice I had gone.

Over the next few days I repeated this and started to make my way to the door faster until I was finishing his story and going straight to the door and Thomas wouldn't even bother. Bedtimes are so much easier now for both of us it's no longer a time of day I dread but I actually look forward to a nice calm time together before he drifts off to sleep.

This way of soothing may not work for everybody it completely depends on what your child is like but hopefully this may give you some new ideas to try if you are struggling with bedtime too.

I thought I would share with you some of the outtakes from a post that will be coming soon. This is what normally happens when I try to take photos when Thomas is around.

Yes Thomas is wearing rudolph socks

"Ok now I sit on them mummy"

Thomas smiles when we play clap hands daddy comes 

Thomas smiles when the tickle monster comes to play

Thomas smiles when he does something new

Thomas smiles when we have big snugs

Thomas smiles when we sing songs

Thomas smiles when I bring him food

Thomas smiles when he goes to nursery

Thomas smiles when he sees his family

Thomas smiles when you first go in to his room every morning

Thomas smiles when he knows the camera is about

Thomas smiles when he is being silly with his daddy
Recently my cousin has been very unwell with Meningitis so I thought I would do a quick blog post just pointing out symptoms and what to do if you think your child has any of them just to refresh your mind.

Babies & Toddlers
  • Fever, cold hands and feet
  • Pale and blotchy skin, spots and rash
  • Refusing food and vomiting 
  • Unusual cry or moaning
  • Dislike being held
  • Tense Bulging fontanella
  • Drowsy, floppy, unresponsive
  • Stiffness in the neck, dislike of lights
  • Rapid breathing or grunting
  • Convulsions or seizures
Children, Teenagers and Adults
  • Fever, cold hands & feed
  • Pale blotchy skin, spots and rash
  • Vomiting
  • Stiff neck
  • Severe headache
  • Drowsy, unable to wake
  • Confusion and irritable
  • Dislike bright lights
  • Severe muscle pain
  • Convulsions or seizures

The Glass Test

If you are worried about a rash and you want to check if it could be a sign of Meningitis you will need to do the glass test.
  • Take an ordinary clear glas

  • Place it on the skin next to the spots/rash

  • Roll it onto the spots/rash, applying firm pressure. Note that the normal skin under the glass goes white as the blood is pushed out of the tiny surface blood vessels

  • If the spots fade when the glass is rolled over them, the rash may not be serious, but keep checking, it can develop into a rash that does not fade

  • If spots/rash doesn’t fade, it needs urgent medical attention

If the person has any of the other symptoms and you think it maybe Meningitis don't wait for the rash as it may not always appear.

If you suspect Meningitis act fast
  • Call NHS Direct or your GP.
  • Go to your nearest A&E.
  • Dial 999 for an ambulance.
  • Describe the symptoms carefully and say that you think it could be meningitis or septicaemia.
  • Early diagnosis can be difficult. If you have had advice and are still worried, get medical help again.
  • Trust your instincts
Thomas was lucky enough to have a sand and water table for Easter so we have recently been playing sand and practising building sand castles before we go on holiday. Unfortunately we don't have a garden so we have been playing with the sand inside but it doesn't make much mess really and nothing a quick vacuum can't sort out.

Thomas loved raking through the sand and using his shovel he also loved when I made sand castles so he could knock them down again.

We will definitely be taking this to grandads house in the summer so we can play in the garden with it when the weather is nice but it's also a great size for playing with inside as it takes up no space at all.