I'm back after a little break

We recently went on our first little family holiday - to Center Parcs. It's why there's been a bit of a radio silence from me. It was so lovely to take some time out from everything and it just be the three of us for some quality time.

I'd never been and it was always somewhere I'd wanted to go. So when it fell to me to plan somewhere for us to go for our first break, I opted for there straight away.

And, oh my, am I glad we did. We had the best week.

Tom was worried there wouldn't be enough to keep Peyton entertained but she had the time of her (short, little, three month) life. She was the happiest, most content, she has ever been. She barely cried and barely whined or kicked up any fuss. She didn't sleep too great, but I think that was due to the change in routine/noisy bedding (you know what them sheets in hotels can be like!)/me not being close enough to squeeze Ewan's little foot when she started to stir.

Bad sleeping aside, though, the week was a dream.

We swam everyday - which Peyton loved. We've recently started swimming lessons with her on a Sunday afternoon and she loves being in the water, so swimming everyday was like her dream come true. 

We did a lesson while there, too, and she got her first certificate and badge, I felt so proud.

We also walked. A lot. I was doing almost 20,000 steps every single day. It was crazy. The walks were just so beautiful, though. 

Peyton loves trees so she was mesmerised as we were pushing her round in her pram. Before we went, we decided to upgrade her to the pram fixture, as opposed to the carrycot. 

The last couple of times we'd been out in the carrycot she just screamed blue murder. I'd take her out and she was fine - because she could see everything. I realised she hated being in the carrycot because she couldn't see what was going on. She's a nosey little soul!

We also wanted to leave the carrycot behind because it takes up so much room in the car and, with all the stuff we had to take with us to Center Parcs, I knew we wouldn't have the space for that too.

Our pram has various levels of incline and, apparently, is one of the only ones where it can go completely flat on the pram seat function (that's what the lady who sold it to us told us, anyway!) It also has a little more upright, but less upright than the car seat, setting and a compete upright one. 

We had Peyton on the middle one, so she was still relaxed and chilled, but could still see everything. And she loved it. She barely made a peep from her pram. I've kept using that since we've been back and it's got the same success rate. So it's bye-bye carrycot, see you next time..!

Another thing I loved about Center Parcs - and bear with me with this one, please - was all the women breastfeeding.

I'm not bothered about breastfeeding in public now. I just whack it out wherever is needed, often without covering up, too (although I've found the 'one up, one down' method works best for me as it means I can still be discrete - if you know, you know!) But when at Center Parcs, seeing all the other woman breastfeeding made me feel so empowered. I sometimes almost willed Peyton to be hungry so I could join in.

I'm aware I probably sound like some crazy breastfeeding lady, I'm sorry.

It was so fabulous to see, though. Mums feeding by the pool (this was me a couple of times - even popping out to feed her mid-swimming lesson on a sun lounger by the pool!), at restaurants, at the bowling alley... There was even one mum feeding while playing crazy golf.

Side note: that was me!

Yep, we almost made it round all the nine holes without her making a peep but just as we got to the eighth, I knew she wanted feeding. I finished off the game while feeding her and still managed to beat Tom. It was, quite literally, win-win. He took some photos of me feeding and, while I have so many gorgeous photos of me feeding Peyton, I'm not quite there yet to post the photos. 

I love them, but I just don't want people to 'judge'. I know what people can be like, I've seen it when celebrities have posted their breastfeeding selfies. And, while I don't care what people say or think when I'm feeding in public - because my baby needs feeding and I have a right to do it where I/she need(s) - people don't need it ramming down their throats on social media. Obviously that would never be my intention, but I know that's how some would see it. So I'll save all our lovely breastfeeding photos just for me (and maybe a sad post about missing it when I do stop!)

After our rocky start to breastfeeding, I am so happy with how far we have come. My initial hesitations about feeding in public, our lack of knowledge about it all, our 'struggles'... I don't really like to say struggles as I'm a firm believer in never sticking with breastfeeding if you are struggling, and not forcing yourself to do it if it isn't working for you or your baby. We weren't so much struggling as uneducated about what to expect, how it would work, and what to do.

My goal was always to get to six months. I think I just thought then that the boob would stop the day after she turned six months, I didn't realise I would have to wean her off it gradually. I also didn't realise that I might not want to stop at six months. Obviously I will start introducing solids at six months and weaning her that way - and, boy, I can't wait for that - but I am not sure I want to just switch her to formula, like I originally thought I would.

I absolutely love feeding her. It's such a calming, special time for us both. When she gazes up at me when she's finished and flashes me her big smile, it's the best thing in the world. Right now, I can't imagine that stopping. Although, I know it will. I'm not going to be one of those ladies who could be a on the tv still feeding their toddler!

We are halfway towards our six-month goal now. I guess I will just see how we feel when we get to six months. By the time I go back to work, when she's almost nine months, I ideally only want to be feeding her myself on a morning and a night time. The rest of the time, she will need bottles - whether that be expressed milk or formula. By then, though, she'll hopefully be on three meals a day so will only take a couple of bottles around nap time (living the dream that by the time she goes to nursery she'll have structured nap times and not just catnaps here and there...HA!)

We are in a really, really good place at the moment and I am relishing in that. We are just around the corner from her next lot of jabs, just entering into her next developmental leap, and the dreaded four month sleep regression - all of which, coincidentally, hit at the same time. Peyton has always been a fabulous little sleeper, we really can't complain, so if this regression is as bad as I've heard, it's going to be hell.

For now, though, I'm enjoying the happy, smiley, gorgeous little girl who is an absolute joy from the moment she wakes up until the second she goes to sleep. While we were in Center Parcs she nailed the rolling (she'd already done it twice, but they were flukes I am sure) and now confidently does it every time she is on the floor. She's not quite there with the graceful roll just yet, she looks more like a burger being flipped on a barbecue, but she's getting there with each go.

She's also found her voice and makes the funniest, cutest, often annoying, noises. Watching her grow and change every day is a dream, she seems to have grown up so much the last couple of days. I am so, so excited to see how much she'll change in the coming weeks and months, too. Especially as we start the countdown to her first Christmas now!

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