Sunday, 27 November 2016

Entertaining Babies on a Budget #1

When my maternity leave ended, I decided not to go back to my old job. I loved it there, but J would have had to go into childcare full time and I just didn't earn enough of a wage to justify paying £38 a day for the nearest day nursery. I wouldn't have been bringing any money home at the end of the month!

It worked out better to leave, look after him myself all week and then get a part time job where I now work in retail on Sundays and a couple of evenings a week.

Money is definitely tight as my husbands full time wage covers all the bills etc, but with Christmas coming we have been running a bit low on cash.

It has been quite tricky to adjust to this as we had never struggled before when we were both working full time... going out for food was totally normal and we didn't really have to think about money - we were lucky!

It's definitely tricky to keep a baby happy all week on a limited budget - when he was smaller I would wander around the shops but now that he can walk he doesn't want to be stuck in the pram for too long! Days out can be expensive and it is so easy to call into Costa or buy a sandwich at a café... it's fun but the costs all add up!

I've been trying out some cheaper alternatives and luckily we have had some nice dry weather recently to get out and go on some walks. Today we went to a local park where there is plenty of room to stroll around and a huge duck pond.

J was not too interested in the ducks today as he was tired, but ten minutes later when we let him out of the pram to have a little walk in his first shoes he had a sudden burst of energy!

He just loved toddling along and was drawn to all the mud and crunchy leaves. I should definitely get him some wellies soon :)

We took snacks and drinks in the bag so that we wouldn't need to spend money. It was a lovely couple of hours out of the house!

I also have recently been to a soft play with a toddler area which he also enjoys. It's only £1 for a one year old to enter so a great place to keep him happy for a few hours with the costs staying nice and low. But while we have this last bit of nice weather I'm hoping to make the most of him being outdoors - more soft play when they nastier weather starts!

I'm also looking into a well priced baby gymnastics group - it's some little exercises and some free time to explore the gymnastic centre. They have trampolines too - I don't know what he would make of that but I'm interested to try!

The thought of showing up to a new group on your own can be a bit daunting but now that J has such a personality (age 13 months) I feel I could happily take him to something like that on my own - he's plenty of company!

I will keep you updated with another entertaining Baby J on a budget post soon as I try out more options :)

What is your favourite thing to do with your little ones?

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Living Room Toy Storage


Now that baby J has had his first birthday he's been slowly building up a nice collection of toys and books. Last week I noticed that they were starting to take over the living room!

I wanted to find some storage that wouldn't take up too much room but that would hold a lot of Baby J's favourite things, keeping the room tidy.

Lots of his toys are in his bedroom, but I like to keep some things downstairs to entertain him.

I went online to have a look for something suitable. I wanted a shelving unit with boxes or baskets to put the toys in so that they wouldn't look messy once they had been put away.
I found a 4 cube shelf unit on the Argos website that I thought would be perfect. We reserved one at our local store and picked it up that day. It was easy to put together and is great for Baby J's toys.

The unit fits nicely in the corner of our room and I bought a set of three canvas boxes to put on the shelves at the same time. They are currently on an offer which meant the whole unit and three boxes came to less than £29!

I chose blue boxes for J but there are other colours available. You can also get different coloured cube shelf units. We went for white. Find them here.

There are bigger units with 6 cubes, or smaller with 2 - lots of choice making it easier to find one that suits your room!

I'm happy with my latest buy :-) How do you store your little one's toys?

Monday, 24 October 2016

Me & My Baby J


A bit about me and my mummy life... I had my gorgeous little Baby J on October 2nd 2015. He was due on September 21st and showed up 11 days late.

We had beautiful weather that day! I went into hospital at 4am to be checked as my waters had been slowly leaking. It turned out I was 2cm dilated and with some of my contractions Baby J's heart rate was dipping quite low.

I was told he was getting unhappy with being in there so long and so off I went to be induced on the drip in attempt to speed things up. It was a pretty calm day but all ended a little scarily with complications that lead to a forceps delivery.

My recovery was slow and a complete shock - I expected to bounce straight back but unfortunately it took a long time for my stitches to heal.

Fast forward a year and three weeks and here I am! Writing a little blog post.

I've blogged in the past but feel that I would like somewhere to chat with other parents, share some support and document some of the lovely (and sometimes difficult) experiences I've been having as a mummy to Baby J. I hope that it will just be like a diary for me to keep and look back on.

I've come a long way in the first year and I feel that now I'm really starting to get back to my old self. I felt like I got a little lost along the way as I'm sure many of us do, but now I feel like I'm finally becoming me again. Just a mummy version!

Thanks for reading, please leave me your blog links :) xx