Baby girl, you're getting so big

Peyton is almost 14 months old now.

Next month, we are going on our first family holiday abroad - to Dubai!

I am so unbelievably excited for a week of fun in the sun with my little team. I am slightly apprehensive about the seven hour flight that will get us there, but I'm thinking positive about it (and arming myself with as many Quavers as I can pack...!)

We went to Dubai on our honeymoon but it was a flying visit, just three nights (and only two days), so we always said we would love to go back. When we were looking for a holiday back in January we found an absolutely amazing deal to go for a week in September, which was too good to turn down, so we booked it. We thought we may as well while Peyton is still free, because who knows when we'll next be able to afford to go abroad.

She's growing up and changing so much every single day, I'm so excited to see what she's like when we're there. She will love the beach; she always has loads of fun playing in the sand at nursery. And I know she'll love the sea and the pool, too, because water is her favourite.

While her personality is coming out more and more everyday, she's also starting to chill out a bit more. Now, she sits happily watching something on TV (Bing is currently the most hypnotising which is great when I want to get something done, but rubbish because he's the whiniest bunny known to man!) and it quite content cuddling into me on the sofa. She's not been all that cuddly since I stopped breastfeeding her. Then, she loved nothing more than a cuddle (and some boob).

Don't get me wrong, she's still a live wire. She will race around the house like a mad woman: screaming, clapping, laughing, shrieking, squealing and just causing general mayhem. However, those moments are balanced out now with some calm, something I felt was lacking for quite a while!

She's getting more and more adventurous with each passing day, which is so lovely to see. She loves exploring the world around her; whether it be an animal or a stone. She loves dogs and cats, and is partial to the cows that are in the field next to her nursery. 

What's probably most exciting at the moment, is she has started saying proper words. We've had "iya" for a week or so now. I absolutely love going into her bedroom on a morning. I open her door and say good morning everyday, and now she's started replying with "iya" with a massive cheeky grin on her face.

This weekend, she's learnt "no", accompanied with the shaking of her head. Now, when she doesn't want a drink, or won't have the Calpol, I get "no" with a firm shake of the head. It's hard not to laugh, because it's so bloody cute, but also really annoying. To be fair, the amount of times I tell her no, I'm not surprised she's picked it up quick.

She also says "oh noooo" whenever she drops anything, which is my favourite so far. She sounds so Yorkshire when she says it, I just love it. I'm also taking a small mum win from the fact it's "oh no" and not "oh shit". It's honestly a miracle, because I swear I say shit more than no.

Everyday I feel like she learns something else at the moment, and I love it. Even stupid things like learning to use cutlery make me wanna burst with pride.

I always thought the baby stage would be my favourite, and never thought too much about having a toddler. However, I must say, that so far I am loving this so much more than I ever thought.

Don't get me wrong, nothing beats the newborn weeks and when they're a baby. There's something so magical and special about that. But, while so, it was a shock to my system. I wasn't sure what to expect, was winging everything from the second I opened my eyes each morning, and I struggled to adapt to this new life. 

Now, she's like a proper little person. She interacts with me, understands what I am saying, and is just so, so loving. She'll come up to me and give me kisses and cuddles (albeit kisses with her mouth open, but we're working on that), she'll hold my hand and walk me around the garden, and she is absolutely hilarious. I feel, dare I say it, like I have my shit together now. My ducks are in something that resembles a row, life feels like it's in order, and everything just feels really, really good.

I loved her being a baby; nothing will ever, ever beat that newborn phase. I'm honestly starting to fill up just thinking about it. But, my God, I'm enjoying her being a toddler way more than I ever thought I would.

I'll come back to you in a few months when the inevitable tantrums start and I am tearing my hair out. But, for now, I am absolutely loving this stage we're at. 


Sorry for the radio silence


Sorry for the radio silence from me, life has run away from me a little bit recently.

I've been back at work full-time since July and it's been a real juggling act. It's so hard finding the time to fit everything - and everyone - in now that I spend five days a week at work all day. However, it's got to be done and, for the moment, we're making it work.

I'm still at Slimming World - just 3lbs away from my target now. Although, after the last few days, probably a few more than that!

I'm feeling so, so, so much better about myself. I would almost go as far to say as I feel back to my old self. I'm feeling confident, happy and so comfortable in my own skin again.

Last week I wore a dress that I bought the summer I finished uni and got my first "proper" job; a whole six years ago.

I used to wear it a lot to work, but worried I'd never fit into it again.

Yet, here we are, wearing it on Thursday!!

I'm back in all my pre-pregnancy clothes now and have bought some lovely new things for our holiday (one month today, wahoo!) including bikinis!!!!

Yes, I know I said a few months ago you wouldn't ever see me in a bikini again, but that's how much better I feel. Granted, they are high-waisted bottoms, because I'm not feeling that confident, but it's a huge step that I didn't think I would be taking any time soon.

I really hope I feel as good once we get there, and I step onto the beach. If not, I've got some lovely beach trousers I can wear to cover up!

So, what else have we been doing?

I feel like our feet haven't touched the ground. 

You know, I don't even think I've written about Peyton's first birthday until tonight. So, I've written a separate little something about that, which you can read by clicking on these words here.

It's not the most riveting read. However, I feel like I've started a bit of a tradition here with blogging milestones etc, so couldn't miss her first birthday. 

We've also been to CBeebies Land which was a great day out for Tom and I, as well as P. Again, if you want to read all about that then just follow this link here.

And, finally, we've been to In the Night Garden: Live at the theatre. Another fun-filled, family day out which I've written a few words about, incase anyone is interested, here.

Those are probably some of the bigger, more exciting things. However, we've also done loads of other stuff. We had a heatwave, which warmed us up nicely for Dubai's temperatures; Peyton's started having sleepovers at my mum and dad's; and she's had her first, proper haircut.

Yep, at 13 months old the girl has finally had a much-needed chop.

Granted, it was so much shorter than I was anticipating...

However, it was needed. The top was unruly and the back and sides were just not in the same league.

Now, it's all the same length and is much more tidy.

She had it cut last weekend and, already, it's grown loads. I'm hoping, by the time we go away, we'll be able to put it back in her signature top knot. As much as it's nice her having her hair down, I do love her with it in a pony/top knot!

We've found a love of hoovering...

...eating at the big table...

...visiting the pub...

...being pushed around on my trike...

...eating cucumber whole...

...and a love for animals.

I've really missed writing my blog. I sometimes will be laid in bed, ready to go to sleep, and suddenly will think of loads of things I want to write about. However, finding the time to actually write them is another matter!

The only reason I've managed to churn out so much tonight is because Tom is at work so I've sat here writing since Peyton went to bed at 7pm, and haven't had any tea...! It's gone 9pm now so probably better sign off soon and feed my face.

While I've missed writing, it's also been quite nice.

I've only ever written my blog for me. I started writing it while I was at uni as a place to share my thoughts on current events, issues and topics that I was passionate about. It was a place to show off my writing style and practice writing things that weren't academic essays. I could write about things I was interested in, and that I had an opinion on.

I've shared almost every single milestone moment since then on my blog. Meeting Tom, getting engaged, wedding planning, pregnancy, becoming a mum, dealing with the hard times that brings... 

It's been a place to offload, make sense of how I feel and what I think, and document how my life is changing. It makes me happy to think I've all these periods in my life to look back on one day, like an electronic diary I'm sharing with everyone else.

Whilst that's always been my intention for my blog, I've found myself spending more time looking at the views each post gets. Previously, I'd post it and think nothing of it. However, my last few blogs I've been checking the views; the likes it's got on Facebook; how many people have commented. 

It bothered me that I was starting to care about that, because I've never written this for anyone else; only for me. It's so easy to get tangled up in this social media web, and I didn't want that.

I wanted to keep doing this for me; and for P.

So many things I think about writing but don't, because I don't think people will want to read them. But, from now, I'm going to write it all. The good, the bad and the ugly. The highs, the low and the in betweens. 

I can't promise I'll write as regularly as I used to, but I will do my best.

In the Night Garden: Live

I don't even know where to begin with this. Like my wish to bring Teletubbies on our flight to Dubai, I would also like to bring the cast of this live show.

Peyton's not one for sitting still for prolonged periods of time, but she sat for 30 minutes without moving during this show.

Even the last 15 minutes, she just hopped from my knee, to Tom's, to her own seat; but still sat nicely and watched.

Of course, snacks helped the cause too, but even so she was enthralled.

For those who have never seen In the Night Garden, I don't really know how to explain it to you. I don't fully understand it myself.

There are various characters, all brightly coloured, who explore the night garden and, according to Google, differentiate between awake and asleep.

It's on CBeebies right at the end of each day, during bedtime hour. It's been a part of our bedtime routine for quite some months now. Peyton has her bath and then comes downstairs, watches In the Night Garden while having her milk, then goes off to bed.

As soon as the music starts, it has this calming effect on her. She kicks back and relaxes. Until her bottle is finished, that is, then she's off the sofa and stood as close to the TV as she can get!

So, when we found out the live show was going to be at the theatre at Hull, we couldn't wait to go.

I was a bit worried that Peyton would be too young. However, I was aware we were taking her to something was aimed at toddlers and young children, and not an adult show where her roaming the aisles would piss a load of people off.

In reality, there were loads of kids racing around, crying, screaming, kicking off..

As soon as the lights dipped and the music started, she was gone. Enthralled.

Her little face when the characters came out was priceless. We went to watch this just a few days after we'd been to CBeebies Land. I feel like my Iggle Piggle quota was met for the year then.

But P loved it. Even though she loves watching it on TV, it doesn't hold her attention for that long. She'll watch the start, and when they're singing/dancing, but apart from that she goes about her usual business; playing with toys/books, and drinking her milk.

I was so surprised she sat and watched it all.

A few people have asked me if I'd recommend it, and I so would. If Peyton, the fidgety, ants in her pants little girl can sit still through it, anyone can.

The show was 45 minutes in total; just slightly longer than a normal episode. I honestly couldn't tell you what happened in it, I was too busy watching Peyton's face.

However, the best bit was when the pinky ponk came out and flew over the audience.

Parents of In the Night Garden fans will appreciate how special this moment was.

I'm not sure where else the tour is going this year, but if you've a small fan of In the Night Garden (or are even partial to it yourself) I would definitely recommend you go.

We had the best afternoon. There really is no greater feeling as a parent than watching your little one enjoy the things you are doing.