Merry ♡ Christmas 

Wow. What a year it’s been.

I just want to say a very quick Merry Christmas.

I’m signing off for the festive period now.

When I return it will be in the New Year.

And 2017 is looking crazy already. Crazy in a good way.

New job. New house (fingers crossed).

And the blog?

Well, we’ll just have to wait and see 😉

Enjoy this time to relax and unwind with your loved ones.

Missuswolf Merry Christmas Rocking Horse Tree decoration Unsplash
I’m going to deviate from character here and coo ‘oh wow it’s Baby’s First Christmas for us’.

Haha. It certainly is Baby’s First Christmas and I’ve been the most unprepared I’ve ever been for Christmas in my life. Ooooops.

Obvs I am excited but it’s taken me twice aslong to do anything. Thank god for online shopping as I get pram rage.

Thank god for the nursery trials this week too (which were successful yeay). It meant I could run around the shops shackle-free and buy cards and presents.

And Thank You for sticking with my ramblings these past few months. Possibly the hardest months I’ve experienced. Ever.

So I’m off to pump Prosecco through my veins for the next week.

Cheers – here’s to 2017.

Bring it on.

Love Missuswolf xxx

Images from Unsplash and Pexel 

Story Corner: Baby and Lion Dog 

As I’m an avid reader, there was no doubt that the pushy mother side of me would inflict books upon the little lady.

So welcome to my new feature – Story Corner.

And the first book in this series is a fabulous new book called ‘Baby and Lion Dog: The Search for the Missing Nose’.

Missuswolf Story Corner Baby and Lion Dog Book

It’s written by a lady called Elizabeth Forbes, a deputy headteacher, whose dream of writing and publishing a children’s book has come true.

The book is a first in a series aimed at 3-7 year olds.

You can try to sit and read it to your babies, although mine won’t sit through longer stories at the moment (she’s a bit too young – only nine months).

However, I’m starting to build up her collection and I love supporting new writer’s.

Baby and Lion Dog will be added to her bookcase for when she’s a bit older.

Sooo – what’s it abooooot??

Baby and his pet Lion Dog have a special relationship. Each story takes them on a different adventure; searching for clues, helping people and solving mysteries.

What will happen on their special adventure this time?

Baby and Lion Dog attend the local circus whereby they come across a clown who can’t find his red nose (sob!) They must both help him find his red nose in order to save the clown’s performance!

I love the part of the book where they start their hunt for the nose.

The dialogue changes into short, snappy rhyming paragraphs. This picks up the pace of the story and I can imagine when Ella is older that she would love this – it emphasises the little mission that they are on.

Very well written and the illustrations are just superb.

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This book is fab if you’re looking for a last-minute Christmas gift, Christmas Eve Box or stocking filling for your little one.

Grab yours here:

 

Read more about Baby and Lion Dog on their website.

Love Missuswolf xxx

Please note this post contains affiliate links

Missuswolf Typewriter Compliments Disclosure

 

Not Losing Yourself To Motherhood

Image from Unsplash

I’ve been married nearly ten years and part of the reason I didn’t have a baby straight away is that I was scared to lose myself to Motherhood.

I didn’t want to become a ‘modern mum’ who had ‘lost the plot’.

I’ve written this post on the back of reading Why Mum Must Come First (Sometimes) – a very interesting and honest post by Gemma Capocci.

I found myself reading about a person that – if I’d have had a baby at aged twenty-three – I know I would’ve become.

I’m not saying anyone has to be an older parent to be a better parent. That’s not my point at all.

But I just did.  I needed a few years under my belt to let off steam. To go on holidays and grow in my career.

I feel stronger and more secure in myself than I did ten years ago.

All that combined gave me the strength to recognise my faults and weaknesses as a person and gauge how I’d react to Motherhood.

I knew breastfeeding wasn’t for me. And I felt strong enough to vocalise this.

Thankfully, the battle I envisaged with a matron health visitor turned out quite the opposite. The most unmatronly HV simply said that as long as the child was fed, she would be happy.

How I chose to do it was up to me.

How liberating!

I feel like there’s a shift coming up in Motherhood. Thanks to the internet and blogging world, information and experience is readily available.

Yet so are opinions.

I don’t give advice. I just say what has worked for me.

You can listen to advice and scaremongering until the cows come home. But one thing I will say is that old cliché of trusting your instincts. Be strong in your mind, your thoughts and intuition.

What I’ve learnt about myself over all these years is that I knew if I didn’t keep busy and look after me too, I would get depressed. There’s been days where I’ve felt down and pissed off that this had become my life.

Frustrating seems to be the word that’s summed my maternity leave up.

And I’m glad it’s nearly over.

There. I said it.

But I don’t care. Because I’ve fought for nine months to make sure that I’ve made time for me.

The Perfect Parent brigade can throw stones at me all they want.

Even they’ll break eventually.

No one can keep up that perfect act.

So I’ve gone to the gym. I went on my first night out six weeks postnatal. I’ve sat and wrote blog posts. I’ve had my hair and nails done.

And do you know what?

I’ve got a very healthy happy nine month old whose got a very happy, healthy mamma bear.

She’s going for her first hour at nursery tomorrow and I couldn’t be more excited.

One whole hour to myself. One whole hour for her to explore and play.

Balance.

I can’t wait.

To restore that balance.

And don’t feel guilty that you’re sending them to nursery. That post above discusses the need to feel we have to stay at home to give them the best in life.

It had the opposite effect for that person. They experienced anxiety and depression. Which didn’t benefit mother or baby.

Childcare is costly but it’s only temporary. And they develop unbelievable amounts mentally and socially.

And so will you. As you have a break. A chance to go to work and get your identity. Feel like you have a purpose in life other than being a parent.

I knew before I had a baby that I wasn’t going to be forced into anything I didn’t want to do. My main priority was that she took her milk, we all got some sleep and that we both got fresh air once a day.

And gasp – I wasn’t always thinking what was in her best interest. Some days I was like ‘What can I do today to stop me losing the plot in this mundane cycle of Motherhood?’

I’ve written about it before and I’ll bleat on about it again: Looking after yourself benefits both of you.

We’re not going to be joined at the hip forever and one day she’ll have a mind and voice of her own. She will want to do what she wants and thinks is best.

Then what’s left of me if I’ve neglected myself?

So please please please look after yourselves!

Get involved in buggy bootcamps/swimming/pregnancy and postnatal yoga. Treat yourself! Buy that damn top for you instead of another baby outfit. Don’t forget yourself!

Join a gym and get your mam/dad/gran to push the buggy round the local shops while you do a class. I did bodypump at exercse4less while my Mam pushed E round the Range.

It was good all round. I got to a class, my Mam got to see Ella and she did a bit of shopping too.

Of course you want what’s best for your baby.

But you also want what’s best for yourself.

Love Missuswolf xxx

 

Nine Months In. Nine Months Out.

Sunday 4th December 2016

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As we approach your ninth month, I’m having a weird sort of reflection.

On the 11th of December, you will be nine months old.

We’ve passed the six month stage and it’s not as if it’s even your first birthday. Those are much more mega milestones.

Nope.

For some reason I’m very nostalgic that you’ve been alive nine whole months.

Because that’s the amount of time you were inside my body.

Nine whole months – from egg to cell to foetus.

That’s the amount of time

your body

developed in

my body.

And in that same amount of time out of my body, you’ve learnt how to feed.

How to differentiate night from day.

You’ve established a sleeping pattern.

You rolled over.

You’ve learnt to feed yourself finger food.

You’ve turned that roll into a crawl.

You sit up unaided.

You can even pull yourself up into a seating position.

You’ve even made attempts at scaling the furniture in prep to pull yourself up.

Missuswolf vintage baby touching wall

 

And just about the cutest – you chatter away in your little voice when you wake in a morning.

I love how you now play and interact with other children.

I love how you sit and entertain yourself with toys – and even watch TV. (Thanks – these latter skills are extremely helpful to your old mam – so she can fanny about on Facebook or you know – write posts like this.)

As we both laze about in our dressing gowns on this Sunday morning, you look so cute that I could die.

I’ve never considered myself maternal. I’ve admired babies from afar. The old give them a little cuddle. And then hand them back.

Like I’ve said previously, I’d been in no hurry to have a baby of my own.

Even despite a good pregnancy and birth, I’m in no hurry to have any more.

I openly admit I dislike the newborn stage. I selfishly hate the fact I put in so much (sleep-deprived) time and didn’t even get a smile in return.

I know.

Selfish.

It’s only human nature to want interaction – a smile, a cuddle.

Plus everyone tells you as a new mother to slow down. Enjoy it. Make the most of it. As time really does fly.

That’s not what my sleep-deprived self wanted to hear. In the fog of surviving on bouts of two-hour – sometimes even ninety-minutes – naps (as that can not logically be counted as sleep bah!)  I thought this was my life.

Forever.

No sleep and a tiny (and I mean tiny – the whole of five pounds) living, breathing, heart-beating human that relied so heavily on me.

Looking back, of course it went quick, and in nine whole months, it’s ridiculous how far we’ve all come.

And how much you’ve changed.

Missuswolf Rocking horse christmas decoration

I type this while shouting ‘no’ for the umpteenth time as you crawl under the Christmas tree to pull the baubles off. Or crawl towards the TV cabinet. Or the stairs.

But most of all, you’ve become your own little person.

So content and happy.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since I was constantly moaning at being the designated driver during the festive season.

If truth be told, I thought you’d ruin my life (sorry) and my body.

You haven’t.

For fear of sounding corny or cliché, my life has more fulfilment. My former self would have slapped this self at writing such drivel. I’d read it all before and just thought blah another boring mam post.

Haha! I’ve become that boring mam!

A boring mam who now bleats on about her new-found sense of purpose. I love that I can be your role model. That you (annoyingly) touch (pull) my hair and my necklace. But I can’t wait til those are the things you want to talk about and play with.

And you’ve awoken a drive and determination in me that I never knew I had.

I’m actually healthier now than I was before I had you. Pregnancy taught me to eat well (aside from the slippery slope of Cadbury’s Easter Eggs towards the end). I ate a lot of green beans and boiled eggs – so much so that the midwives were in disbelief of my iron levels after I gave birth.

I don’t drink as much as I did beforehand. Obviously I still reward myself for keeping you alive with a glass of wine or two here and there. And on the rough days it’s a given.

But I don’t go out on benders every weekend

If I’m honest, I actually feel fitter and stronger since having you. And that’s something I never thought I would hear myself say.

I’ve not hidden the fact I’ve struggled being off work and looking after you constantly. But each passing week you’re getting more independent. Obviously we’re a long way off from the mainstream stuff like driving and moving out, but we’ve conquered a fair few stages already.

In just nine months.

But I’m finally taking the slow down advice this month. December is the perfect, snuggly time of year to wind-down anyway for Christmas. So we’re winding down together. Enjoying each other’s company in our dressing gowns a few days more than we really should.

In the beginning, I was forcing myself to be showered, dressed and made-up. Pressure I know. But I was worried that if I didn’t, I’d fall into a trap of never getting changed or leaving the house. I had to do that to save myself.

And because I did that, I’m happy in the fact that in less than a month now, I return to work. Where we’ll be up super early for nursery and family drop-offs. Life will be back to a million miles an hour that I’m used to.

We’ve gotten out of the last nine months exactly what we wanted from each other; you learning how to feed and entertain yourself, me learning more about myself than I have in my whole lifetime.

Now we’re both ready to face the big wide world. You have the excitement of nursery; learning more new things and making new friends. I get to go back to work to a new role where I too will have to learn new things and make new friends.

But we’re both well equipped. We’re happy, strong, determined ladies.

So we’ll spend a little longer lazing around this Sunday. As that’s what our Sunday’s will become. Our day of rest after our chaotic week back in the real world.

Your small life in this big wide world.

But that’s just it.

You are my big wide world.

In this small life.

Love Missuswolf xxx

Images from Unsplash and Pexel

Baby’s First Christmas with Crinkles the Elf

Friday 2nd December 2016

For the past couple of Christmases now, I’ve watched the craze of ‘House Under Elf Surveillance’ take over every child-filled abode.

And this year, we are no exception.

Missuswolf Elf sitting in a Tidy Tot holding letter eating mince pie and drinking baileys

My kind of Elf – Baileys and Mince Pie lover

 

I may have vaguely hinted that I became a parent this year and with this comes milestones; baby is so many months old, baby slept through the night, baby ate some food, baby crawled and inevitably, Baby’s First Christmas.

Which leads to Baby’s First Elf.

I’ve watched the hilarious antics over the past couple of years with these mischievous Elves. And I do think it’s an awesome idea. They (ideally) get the kids to behave while the adult’s (I mean Elves) get up to mischief.

This year is exciting as it’s the beginning of us starting our own family Christmas traditions. So – as a warped organised plannery type of person, this kind of project has me whooping with delight.

With Ella only being, well, a baby, she’s obviously not going to get the whole concept just yet. But I want to get her familiar with seeing an Elf like figure and giving the whole process a trial run.

So when I saw the soft toy Elf packs, I thought they were perfect.

Missuswolf Crinkles The Elf pack

Perfect as they’re big enough to catch her attention and soft enough for her to snuggle.

Within the Elf Pack you get:

An Elf Soft Toy

A personalised letter to your child

A mini sack of chocolate coins

An elf passport

A behaviour chart for your child

A behaviour warning card

A personalised child behaviour report

A personalised elf behaviour report

A personalised goodbye letter

An elf sign

So thanks to Making Memories Magical (you can find them on Facebook here for £21.50 plus p&p) my baba has an Elf Buddy.

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Winning at Elfing and Parenting

And mama has a drinking buddy.

Love Missuswolf xxx

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