Happy 1st Birthday Erin

happy birthday erin!

A whole year since my baby girl was born. Okay, I may have moaned about it the other day when I posted ‘This time last year…’ but when I look at Erin, I forget about everything that was bad. I thought I’d do a year in photos to celebrate her birthday today as there will be more posts to come over the next couple of days! I am just going to pick one photo for each month because otherwise this post will be huge!

january

birthday

february

march

april

may

june

july

august

september

october

november

december

Considering I’m always the one with the camera, I’m in a lot more of these photos than I thought.

Happy Birthday Erin!! I can’t wait to see what we get up to next year. 

This time last year…

Sometimes it seems like 2 minutes ago that I went into hospital to have Erin. It actually all started this time last year, sort of.

On 29th December last year I had a final hospital appointment to see how Erin was developing and to decide on what was going to happen. During that appointment I got told to go to the delivery suite to be induced. I actually refused and told them I’d go back in the morning, a year ago today. I wanted to go home and get myself sorted out before being induced!

So, this time last year I headed to hospital at 8am, ready to be induced. We got there on time but had to wait about 4 hours for anything to even be done. I remember being so annoyed because I had to wait around for nothing. The first day is a bit of a haze to be honest. I remember nothing happening a lot. After finally being induced there was lots of checks being done and lots of walking around to bring on labour. That did not happen.

Day 2 came and still nothing was happening. 24 hours after induction and we tried again. More waiting around for something to happen. I walked. I ate. I got bored. I slept. Then, after being hooked up to machines for 4 hours solid I begged and begged to go for a cigarette. My midwife was not very happy but I threatened to cry and have a melt down so she let me and warned me to come back immediately if anything changed. This was about 8pm if I remember right. When we got back I had a ‘show’. She was not pleased. Ooops.

From here I don’t remember an awful lot. I remember having my waters broken for me. I remember the anesthetist being mad at me for not staying still when she put in my epidural ready for the emergency section they thought I’d end up having. I was in the middle of a goddamn contraction. Cow! I remember being put on a hormonal drip and Erin getting herself all wound up and stressed because of it.

Then, I remember being rushed of for that emergency c-section at some time in the morning. I don’t remember when. I remember being prepped for it and sort of remember what it felt like to have someone rummage around in my stomach. That was not fun, especially as Erin got her head stuck and they had to pull everything out to get her out! Then, my gorgeous girl was with us and John sort of didn’t realise. I had to tell him that he could hold her.

this time last year

Then it all kind of went wrong. The local newspaper wanted to speak with us not long after being back on delivery suite as we had Erin on New Year’s Day. I don’t remember one thing I said to them, only that I looked like shit in the pictures. I don’t remember anything from my first day with Erin. I don’t remember holding her or trying to feed her.

I think it was the next day that the infection set in. The c-section hadn’t gone as well as it should have. I was super ill. I kept trying and trying to breastfeed and couldn’t. I can’t remember much apart from getting so upset. A few days later and apparently I was getting better. I should have been going home. Nope, the day that the doctor cancelled all of my tests things got a lot worse. The next day I was having surgery again after having tubes down my throat and a drain in my stomach.

It took 2 weeks of being in hospital before I was allowed to come home with Erin. John was there with us the whole time and looked after Erin for all of this time, because I couldn’t. So, this time last year was the start of a absolutely horrendous experience and not something I ever want to repeat.

People ask all the time when we’ll be having another baby. The answer is never. John thought I was going to die. I think I gave up on everything while I was in hospital. I still have infections every single month because of that hellish c-section. My little girl is absolutely perfect and I would do it all again in a heartbeat to make sure we had her but god, I never want to do it again!

Ella’s Kitchen Jingle Belly Christmas Dinner

Although Erin has been eating since she was 4 months old, it has only been a couple of months since she started having finger foods. Erin loves food but it really does depend on her mood as to what she’ll eat. If she doesn’t fancy eating with her hands, she won’t eat.

As John and I were eating a proper Christmas dinner, the plan was to get Erin to have this too.

Apart from the parsnips, which were apparently amazing, Erin was not into eating Christmas dinner. She all all sorts and didn’t want any of it.

Thank goodness for Ella’s Kitchen and their Jingle Belly Christmas Dinner.

Jingle Belly Christmas Dinner

What is so great about the Jingle Belly Christmas Dinner is that it really is a full Christmas dinner. The pouch, which is suitable for babies 7months+, includes turkey, cranberry sauce and even sprouts, just to name a few ingredients.

Unfortunately, once out of the pouch, the food looks pretty awful. Luckily, Erin doesn’t care what colour her food is at the moment.

Erin was much happier with this as her Christmas dinner. She at the whole pouch really quickly and I think she could have eaten a bit more. I was so glad we had this to hand as it really saved our dinner!

Another great thing about the The Jingle Belly Christmas Dinner is that at least 30p from the sale of each pouch will be donated to Save the Children’s award winning Families and Schools Together programme. I love that Ella’s Kitchen have come up with such a great product to help out families in very different ways this year.

The Jingle Belly Christmas Dinner is a limited edition pouch so if you want one, you need to be quick!

 Disclaimer: We were sent this product for the purpose of this post. All opinions are our own. 

A very spoiled little girl!

Well, Christmas is over and I hope everyone had a wonderful day! This year was Erin’s first Christmas and ours as a family in our own home. It was absolutely perfect! Erin was a very spoiled little girl and got some amazing presents.

spoiled

Erin treat us to a lay in, getting up at 7:30! The one day we wouldn’t have minded her getting up really early and she decides not to. Oh well! We all headed downstairs together and got Erin some breakfast before John took her and the dog to the park. I managed to get myself washed and dressed during this time and ready for the day.

Unfortunately, Erin wasn’t really too bothered by presents. Our living room looked insane with how many presents there were but we got through them in the end. It took us ALL day to opened everything and even then, we did quite a few of them at the end. Erin loved trying to eat the wrapping paper more than anything I think.

Christmas wore us all out a few times. Erin and John went for a nap for a couple of hours before lunch while I cooked. We did attempt to give Erin a proper Christmas dinner but she wasn’t too bothered. She ate quite a few parsnips but not much else. Luckily I had the Ella’s Kitchen Jingle Belly pouch as a back up so she had that instead. Erin tend to flit between wanting finger food and pouches. I love Christmas dinner so I’m glad I decided to stick to tradition and cook!

We all then had a nap in the afternoon from about 3:30 to 5:30. I REALLY needed it. We then carried on with more presents but Erin really just wanted to play with her new table from Uncle Gary and Auntie Erika or her blocks from Grandma! Even though Erin wasn’t bothered about the actual presents she does have clear favourites already. For now anyway.

Erin went to bed super late and even then, I don’t really think she wanted to sleep. She may not have really known what had been going on but she knew it was fun! She was well and truly spoiled with some fantastic presents. I have actually managed to get most of it put away already apart from the Toot Toot sets which are in her bedroom still in the packaging. They can be sorted out another day.

As Christmases go, this has been my favourite. We all go to do what we wanted, when we wanted and there was no pressure to do anything at all. Even me, who normally stresses about times etc., was so chilled out the whole day. This is what Christmas should be like.

Erin’s Christmas Eve Box

I knew before Erin was even born that I wanted her to have a Christmas Eve Box every year. I don’t really know why though. I never had one. I guess I just like the idea of them.

I ordered Erin’s box months and months ago, back in August I think it was. I saw them advertised on Facebook from loads of different companies but I eventually went with one from Chickitty Bridge.

Christmas Eve Box

The box is absolutely beautiful and is so well made and finished. Although I haven’t seen any others, I am so happy that this is the one I finally picked. It will last Erin for so many years and it’s perfect because it has her name on it.

I honestly think I went a bit mad with what I put in the box. It was my first year though so we’ll call it a learning curve.

I have no idea how I have managed to to squeeze all of this into the box, even though its size is very generous. I have to admit, I did have to really push down the lid to make it close properly. Erin is so small still this year so when her pajamas and dressing gown get bigger there’s no way I can put this much in.

Do you do a Christmas Eve Box in your house? I’d love to know what you put in it!

Teaching Erin about Santa

This is Erin’s first Christmas and John and I have been trying to figure out what we want to tell Erin about Santa. It’s really hard because there are so many things we don’t agree with but we still want her to know the magic of believing in Santa.

Santa

naughty or nice?

Something both John and I are very adamant about is not telling Erin about the ‘naughty or nice’/ ‘good or bad’ list. I don’t agree with ‘threatening’ a child with something along the lines of ‘if you do (insert here) Santa won’t bring you gifts’. Obviously these are always empty threats. I don’t know anyone who has followed through with this. Santa shouldn’t be something or someone to be afraid of.

Another reason is because neither of us are in any way religious. The Bible says that good people go to heaven and bad people go to hell and we don’t want Erin to think anything along these lines. The idea of the good/ bad list makes you think that anyone who is good will be rewarded and that is, unfortunately, not how life really works.

This also means that we won’t be doing Elf on the Shelf. I actually wanted to do this but John said it was creepy and it doesn’t actually go with what we want to teach Erin. If Santa climbing down a chimney and into your room to fill a stocking wasn’t creepy enough then a bloody elf watching your every move is!

do presents come from santa?

This one has been a bit difficult. John thinks part of the magic is thinking that Santa brings all of your presents. I disagree because not all children get the same. How do you explain to a child why Santa got you a tablet for example, but your best friend whose family don’t have quite as much money didn’t get one as well. What would the reason be? I just don’t think I can bring myself to lie to her in that way.

So, we have come up with this. Erin will be told that Santa exists and brings everyone 1 present; mum, dad, children, dogs… everyone. Any other presents are bought by family and friends. I also don’t think that Santa, a bloody fictional man, should get all of the credit for shopping in crazy, hectic shops and wrapping all of those presents. That just isn’t fair!

the truth

I feel like the way we want to bring Erin up to believe in Christmas is best for all of us. While it’s not realistic to tell Erin the complete truth, there are less complicated lies to tell her. When she does finally find out that Santa isn’t real at all, it won’t be as big of a deal as he’ll have only been bringing her one present for years and years.

What do you tell your children about Santa? 

Personalised letters from Santa

With it being Erin’s first Christmas I wanted to go about creating a whole new set of traditions, not only for her but as a family. Something I don’t remember getting as a child was a letter from Santa. Maybe I was on the naughty list though!

There are so many companies offering letters from Santa, even Royal Mail are able to sort one out. However, ours came from Lapland Mailroom and I couldn’t be happier with it.

It has been possible to order these letters for months now but Lapland Mailroom wait to send them out but make sure they arrive before Christmas. As ours was ordered before 27th November it was dispatched on 2nd December. The reason why I like this way of doing things is because if it came much earlier, I’d probably lose the letter!

Another great thing about the letters from Lapland Mailroom is the personalisation options. There are 3 different letters on offer as well as a baby’s first Christmas letter. Then, you can choose from only getting the letter (£7.95) or getting the letter, nice child certificate and an activity pack (£8.95). For the addition cost, it’s well worth getting the extras!

You can, of course, add your child’s name to the letter as well as choosing from Santa Claus or Father Christmas. You can also add in which town or city you’ll be in on Christmas Eve and any little extras to add to the bottom of the letter.

I am so impressed with the quality and detail of the Lapland Mailroom letter from Santa. Erin may not understand who the letter was from or what it is all about this year but this is such a wonderful keepsake from her first Christmas. I would definitely order from here again for next Christmas.

Disclaimer: We were sent these products for the purpose of this review. All opinions are our own. 

Meeting Santa and a Christmas party!

Last Sunday John and I had our one and only day off a week together. We decided, as it was quite early in the month, to take Erin to see Santa for the first time. I chose to go to our local garden centre because it was the easiest place to go seeing as we don’t drive. I’d heard good things about Santa there anyway though.

We arrived really early, about 10:15 because I couldn’t be doing with long waits. There was actually no one there and we were the first people to see Santa! I had seen pictures of my friend’s children crying for their first visit so I fully expected this from Erin. However, we went into the Grotto and she was a bit weary at first, not really knowing what was going on. After a couple of minutes though she was loving it!

I wasn’t overly optimistic about how good Santa was going to be to be honest. We live in a small town and the visit cost us £3.50. It could have been awful. Santa was fantastic though. He was so good with Erin and played with her which is probably why she was okay. There are some much bigger places around here to see Santa but I’ll be happy going here again next year.

Santa

Santa

mde

mde

Not only did Erin meet Santa last Sunday but we also went to the children’s Christmas party at work. I’ve only worked there a few months so I didn’t even really know much about it. This was also super cheap at £2.50 per child. A whole buffet was laid out and Erin pigged out on food that she wouldn’t normally get. She bloody loved it! There was also games but Erin was too young to play.

Erin also got to meet Santa again and get another present, as well as a certificate saying she’d been good. My work really go all out it seems because Erin also got some magic reindeer food and some gingerbread. We nearly didn’t go because I didn’t know about it but I’m so glad we did.

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cof

cof

cof

We had a really busy but festive weekend and now I really feel Christmassy.

Erin’s Christmas Wardrobe

I love a Christmas jumper as much as the next person. I am a bit annoyed as I write this post though because I seem to have lost, yes lost, all of my Christmas jumpers. Although I have nothing new myself this year, I did get to sort of a whole wardrobe of Christmas clothes for Erin.

My sister actually started this off a few months back when she got Erin a Christmas dress from The Handmade Fair.

wardrobe

Something I had never really thought of before was the need for Christmas t-shirts. Erin doesn’t particularly like cardigans or jumpers but she’s more than happy in long sleeved t-shirts. This pack of three cost about £12 and are from Ladybird.

Even though Erin doesn’t really like jumpers she does have 2 Christmas jumpers. The beige jumper was a gift and it was bought before Erin was even born. The red reindeer jumper comes from Boots.

Another gift was this amazing reindeer outfit from Erin’s great aunt and uncle. I cannot wait to put her in this and post so many photos on Instagram!

The last couple of items in Erin’s Christmas wardrobe is a couple of pairs of pajamas. She does actually have a third pair but they’re in her Christmas Eve box which is a whole other post!

I feel like I could have bought a whole lot more and that I was quite restrained this year. Next year might be completely different though.

Erin’s First Toy: The Fox

It wasn’t long after I found out I was pregnant that I bought Erin’s first toy. I know you’re not really supposed to buy anything until you have your 12 week scan just to be safe but I couldn’t help myself. As my mum’s surname is Fox I have a bit of a thing about them. I decorated Erin’s nursery in a woodland theme so I could have foxes in there.

As you have probably guessed, Erin’s first toy was a fox!

toy

I bought this particular fox in my favourite shop in Cromer, Upstairs, Downstairs. I actually can’t go in this shop without buying something now.

Erin actually isn’t really into soft toys and never has been yet. However, she’s showing a bit more interest day by day now. This does mean though that she hasn’t shown a whole lot of interest in her first toy. We had the fox at the bottom of her cot for the longest time. Erin was in her moses basket until she was about 7 months old (she was very small) so we only took the fox out when she started sleeping in the cot.

I keep trying to get Erin to play with the fox. When I’m getting ready in the morning or drying my hair, Erin sits on my bed. I always put some toys on there for her and one of them is always the fox! She does seem to like how soft he is and pokes his eyes a little bit now. Isn’t she nice?!

What was your child or children’s first toys?