Tag Archives: uncensored life

So much to do, so little time

Hello! I am still here, promise! Everything just seems so chaotic at the moment. Do you sometimes feel like you have a million and one things to do to fit in to a small amount of time? Yea, that’s me currently. No excuse really to fall off the wagon, but I have every intention to step right back up. I do try and keep more updated with posting photos on Instagram so make sure you’re following us there for the time being. So, what exactly is it you’re doing that makes you so rubbish at doing blogs you ask? Well, Suppose now is a good time to tell you.

First off, Birthdays. Logan recently turned 7 and Taya turns 3 very soon. Plus other family and friends around that. I find searching for presents ideas etc a very time consuming task, mainly as I’m so, so indecisive. We like to stretch our celebrations out and make it extra special for the children. Logan turned 7 on the 7th of June (Did you know that’s a golden birthday?) which was a school day. He took sweets in to school, then had his friends round for dinner and cake. On the Friday we went to the park afterschool. On the Sunday we took him for his first cinema visit to see Jurassic World: The Fallen Kingdom. It was awesome by the way. So yea, now planning Tayas!

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Secondly, Photo editing. I am still majorly, incredibly behind in editing and sharing my photos. I’m still in January in fact, and are you aware of how many photos I actually take?! I love the taking the photos part, I love the sharing of photos, but my gosh editing them is just so tedious. I do apologize, there are a lot of people waiting on photos of themselves, their kids, pets etc. I will catch up eventually. Maybe if you lock me in a room for a week I may make a dent?

Next up, German lessons. I once again fell off the wagon with this one. Then last week I suddenly panicked a bit that all Mr Heberlings family would be coming from Germany and that I’ve forgotten everything I ever learnt. Alas, I haven’t it seems, and I know more than I like to think, but it’s always good to have a refresher, and hopefully it’ll make it all a little less awkward. This time I’m going to continue with the lessons. Promise.

Most importantly, I’m getting married in less than 5 weeks! Whereas to start with I was so relaxed with the planning, I got to the point of, oh, I better hurry up and sort this all out. I was a scene of calm while everyone questioned me as to why I hadn’t sorted things out. I think I have most major things either sorted now, or they’re currently in the hands of being sorted by someone. One thing I can tell you is that this is going to be one amazing party. I am so happy with how it’s all going, and although I am really not a party person and hate being the centre of attention, I am really looking forward to this. I do still have a lot of decorations to finish off. I’ve made what feels like a million origami wish stars, and am currently making pompoms. I can’t wait to share photos with you all, and I’m planning on doing a great big blog post thanking all the wonderful WAHM’s and small businesses that have helped towards making our big day special.

There are also many other little jobs and things that I have to fit in too, around the kids, around Mr Heberling, in between school runs and bedtimes, between household jobs and workout sessions, between play groups and play dates. Sometimes I do wonder if any of it actually counts as ‘me time’ but I’m happy with my somewhat chaotic life. I think I’d be really bored and fed up if I sat down and had absolutely nothing to do. Just a smaller to do list would be nice!

As a sorry I’ve abandoned you all, please forgive me attempt, I’ve got two photos to share from wedding preparations! Most of it is all being kept pretty top secret, but these will give you some clues to what the day may entail.

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Invites, RSVPs and song request cards. I KNOW there is a spelling mistake. It slipped past me and two proof readers, oops! I took all the photos myself using toys and items that we’ve got at home, all from Babipur and I absolutely love how they came out! In particular the actual invite. Bet you can’t guess what the theme is now, huh?

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I received the absolutely beautiful Gwawr rainbow for my birthday from Kiba (Again, from Babipur) and I just had to make myself a poster to match it. Seeing as we are going full on rainbow theme for the wedding I thought to myself, why not use it as a decorative piece? This quote was perfect and I love how the poster came out. I can’t wait to have this up on my wall, along with my alterative to a guest book. You shall have to wait a bit longer to see that one!

I better get back to photo editing now, maybe I can catch up before the wedding? Ha. That’ll be the day! Wish me luck…

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10 Things I have learnt after 2 and a half years of Breastfeeding

Today Taya turns 2 and a half, which means I have been breastfeeding for 30 months now! If you’ve heard of the breastfeeding Boobie awards then that means I’ve been awarded my ‘diamond boobs with jade crystals’ and I have to say I’m pretty darn proud of myself. I’ve spent many an hour thinking about everything I’ve learnt while on this successful breastfeeding journey, stuff I had wished I’d of known when I failed with Logan, and stuff that I’d probably of liked to have known before feeding Taya. Not that any negatives would of put me off, but sometimes a heads up is nice to get you prepared! So here are my 10 things I’d like to pass on to others:

  1. Breastfeeding is hard work, and takes a lot of determination, patienceIt’ and perseverance. It may well be natural, and babies instinctively search for the breast, but it is a huge learning curve for both mum and baby. I’d advise anyone considering breastfeeding to research it as much as possible. Positions, latching on, feeding cues, signs of successful feeding, everything you can think of. Despite all this, no matter how much knowledge you take with you in to parenthood it is purely down to the strength of your will. It is not easy, but nothing ever worth doing is simple, you have to put the work in to reap the rewards. This was the hurdle I never passed with Logan, and the hurdle I was so, so determined to leap over with Taya. I can say that it took a lot of blood, sweat and tears (many, many tears!) but I wouldn’t change those first few difficult weeks for anything. I think it took a good 6 weeks to really fully grasp it, enjoy it even, but after that it’s fairly plain sailing.
  2. Everyone has an opinion. As with all other aspects of parenthood, everyone (and anyone) will have their own opinion about breastfeeding. If it’s really best, when you should stop, where you should do it etc. Becoming a parent forces you to become quite thick-skinned. Most of the time you just have to smile and nod, even agree. If only for your own sanity. If ever you feel that someones ‘facts’ or opinions are making you doubt yourself go and do some research or ask for support from friends/support group.
  3. Nipple-twiddling is the worst. When Taya discovered her hands nipping, pinching and pulling became a firm favourite, and my breasts took a beating. They’d be covered in little scabs, and it really hurt. I’d hold her hand but then she’d get frustrated. A fiddle necklace became helpful, but she didn’t take that much notice of it as I’d of liked. Then she started the nipple twiddling. Oh my days, it’s horrible! It genuinely makes me feel a bit nauseous. And she is obsessed. She has to have her other hand down the other side if she’s feeding. She’ll also often stick her hand down for comfort. It drives me nuts, but nothing stops her. I’m constantly moving her hand, or covering up the other nipple. Sometimes she does give up, other times, like when she’s very tired or grumpy she gets frustrated and it makes her want to do it more. On more than one occasion I’ve just let her get on with it as it’s just not worth the hassle. I’m guessing she won’t outgrow this one, so I’ll just have to find ways to cope.
  4. Washable breast pads are so much nicer. I went through a lot of disposable breastpads in the early days, and to be honest I think they irritated my nipples more than I thought. I wish I had swapped to washables a lot sooner. They may not always seem cheap, but they are well worth it. They’re a lot comfier and just bung them in the wash when you’ve finished using them. You’ll end up saving yourself a lot of money if you are a big leaker like myself!
  5. There is quite often an alternative medication. I see this getting asked a lot in the breastfeeding support groups on facebook. Often Drs or whomever say you can’t have a particular drug, but they are often not very informed. If you are ever unsure ask. Ask in support groups, or research. The Breastfeeding Network – Drugs in Breastmilk is a great resource with lots of information and fact sheets. They cover all sorts of drugs but also procedures, which I checked when I needed a colonoscopy. Sometimes these are handy to print out and take with you to appointments where you think you may hit a problem. If you can’t find your answer or are still unsure you can drop them an e-mail or use their helpline which is run by a qualified pharmacist who is also a BfN Registered Breastfeeding Supporter. It is an invaluable resource, and I’ve often mentioned it to Drs when talking about medication.
  6. Breastfed baby poo isn’t actually unpleasant. Okay, so this may not be universal, but I actually miss exclusively breastfed baby poo. After baby has passed the meconium it turns to a yellow, runny poo. Sounds gross, but actually isn’t all that bad. It’s most often got a sweet kind of smell and is easy to clean up. The only 2 downsides I ever found where that it did stain white clothes well, and that you do not want to get caught out when the baby poos without a nappy on… Imagine water soaker pistol but with yellow poo…
  7. Night time feedings may cause you to want to kill your sleeping partner*. Okay, that may be overreacting, although I’ve seen a lot of posts on Facebook support groups which lead me to believe this. It seems some mums don’t get the help they want and/or need. Oviously I suppose you could express a bottle for partners to help with the night feeds, but ultimately you should be pumping that missed feed anyway, so you’d be up no matter what. There are other ways a Dad could help out at night, but still, when you’re up numerous times in the night feeding the baby, at some point you will probably look over at your sleeping partner and think I hate you.** It’s inevitable, and perfectly normal, you’re not alone on that, but heaven forbid said partner then makes a comment on how tired they are in the morning.
  8. It’s okay not to enjoy it all the time. It’s often believed that because you made the choice to do something that you have to enjoy it. All. The. Time. Well you chose to do it didn’t you? True. However, it is more than acceptable to not like it all the time. As a parent do you enjoy every aspect of parenting all the time? No. Kids can drive you crazy at times, and everyone has a breaking point. At some point you will more than likely say “I can’t do this anymore!” and the best advice I can ever give is to never give up on a bad day. Every stage shall pass. The witching hour? It shall pass. The teething causing biting? It shall pass. The endless sleepless nights? It shall pass. The baby stage? It shall pass. In years to come it’ll all be a fleeting memory. It’s okay to not be okay with it. (Unless you hate it all the time, then I’d seek advice)
  9. Nursing Aversion is a thing, it’s unpleasant, but not your fault and more common than you think. This ties in pretty well with number 8, and I’m pretty sure most breastfeeding mothers will experience this at some point. Breastfeeding/Nursing Aversion can often make you feel guilty for even feeling it, so I think it is something that is often not talked about as much as it should. You shouldn’t feel embarrassed about it. Sometimes I just want Taya to not feed, it makes my skin crawl and I just want to pull her off. At times I can distract myself and let her feed, other times I have to distract her, to try and get her mind off “Baba”. As said before, breastfeeding isn’t always easy. It’s like a roller coaster ride in fact, it has its highs and lows. If you’re struggling reach out, there is always someone to listen to you and offer some help.
  10.  Women are bloody amazing! The female body, it’s something that is quite often underappreciated. Women seem to have this obsession in picking out their flaws, in wishing that their body was ‘better’. From a young age it seems drummed in to you to obtain a seemingly unreachable ‘perfection’. But seriously, how amazing are woman’s bodies?! They grow small humans, and that in itself is no easy feat. Then, they birth them, and whatever way they do that I think is incredible. A mother sacrifices that ‘perfection’ that everyone has perceived to be the ultimate goal to bring life in to this world. Then on top of that a woman’s breasts are all you need to nurture and nourish your baby for the first 6 months of their life, your body knows exactly what they need and provide it for them. Now that seems pretty damn awesome to me.

I’m pretty sure I could have provided more points, but alas, my booby-monster wants her ‘Baba’ and who am I to deny her? I don’t know how much further we will get in to our journey before the dynamics change or we stop completely, but I am glad we were able to have this experience, and right now, I don’t want to stop. It kind of feels a very definitive end to the baby years, and I’m not quite ready to let that go at this time. So for now I am very glad I can continue to provide her nourishment, comfort and much more.
*Whereas the thought may occur to some, I admittedly have never wanted to kill my OH, and I’m sure no one actually ever does. 

** I don’t hate Kiba, maybe in the heat of the moment where my hormones have been all over the place and I’m incredibly sleep-deprived I may suddenly think it, but then instantly regret it. He means the world to me and does so, so much for me that I could never hate him. I love him more than anything. You know, just sometimes everything gets to you and you do wish your partner had milk producing boobs too! 

Keeping the tradition of St. Nikolaus

Long time no see, huh? Sorry about that, seems I had fallen off the wagon a bit. I’m hoping that I can hop back on and get right on track, but realistically that may not be fully until after Christmas, as I am sure you all know, Christmas can be a very hectic time! Actually, today’s post is Christmas related.

As most of you know, Kiba is German. Before meeting him I had never heard of St. Nikolaus Day, despite knowing of St Nicholas; his origins and becoming known as Father Christmas. If you look it up you find that over Europe there are a lot of variations of how people celebrate this one legendary man with a lot of names. Basically though, St Nikolaus or whomever you call him, comes to check on children to see if they have been good, and leaves treats if they have.

“Sankt Nikolaus is usually celebrated on a small scale. Many children put a boot called Nikolaus-Stiefel (Nikolaus boot) outside the front door on the night of 5 December. St. Nicholas fills the boot with gifts and sweets overnight, and at the same time checks up on the children to see if they were good, polite and helpful the last year. If they were not, they will have a stick (eine Rute) in their boots instead.”
– Wikipedia on Saint Nicholas Day in Northern Germany

I was introduced to this idea when I first spent time in Germany in December 2010, even though it is for children really, as I had never experienced it Kiba convinced him Mum that him and myself should get a little something. So we did. I got a cellophane bag filled with chocolate, and some money. Later when we picked up some of his siblings from Kindergarten I found out that even they celebrated, each child had a clementine. I thought this was a lovely thing to do, and knew I wanted to do it with my own children (I was pregnant with Logan at this point).

I don’t think we did it the year Logan was born, or even the year after, he’d of been too young to really understand, but after that Logan has chosen a pair of shoes or wellies to clean. He caught on quickly to chose the newest and/or cleanest pair to then pop somewhere for St. Nikolaus. We’ve never popped them outside as I’m sure with the weather here in the UK they’d of ended up soaked! Over the years he’s had a mixture of gifts, always a chocolate santa, some other chocolate like coins, and often a small present like a toy car.

This year both kids eagerly  cleaned some footwear and popped it out in the hallway. Once they were both fast asleep I split the chocolate coins, penguins and snowballs between them, and  both got a Lindt santa too. They were both up early and I heard many shouts of CHOCOLATE as they disappeared down the stairs with Kiba. Taya took no encouragement to dig right in, and Kiba had to confiscate her welly boot and bring them back upstairs to me! Unfortunately he left it within reach, so when I said they  could down while I got dressed (Kiba had left for work at this point) so as I came down the stairs I was greeted with a very happy toddler stuffing her face with a chocolate Santa!

When Logan was in Preschool I mentioned it to them, hoping maybe they’d look in to it and adopt the tradition themselves. They never did, but maybe I should have been more forthcoming and outright asked them? I’m too shy for that I think. However, that preschool closed, and is now run by a Montessori Preschool, which Taya will eventually go to when she turns 3. I think they’ll be quite happy to offer a clementine to each child, but we shall see. It’s actually kind of scary that that is only a year away.

I love having our St Nikolaus present as a family tradition, and it’s a perfect way to get the kids excited for Christmas, for the impending arrival of der Weihnachtsmann, Father Christmas, Santa, or whatever name you like to call him! I’m going to write another post all about some of our Christmas traditions, so look out for that, and in the mean time, tell me about the traditions you have in your family? Or between friends?

This is Halloween! (’16)

Boys and girls of every age, wouldn’t you like to see something strange? 

Come with us and you will see this, our town of Halloween

If you didn’t just sing that then please go and listen to that song, then come back and sing it. Okay? Good. This weeks #throwbackblog is going to be about last year’s Halloween celebrations for Team Heberling! 
I love Halloween. I’m not a fan of being scared, and I hate, hate, hate clowns, but generally I quite like all the celebrations. Kiba was the same, and when Logan was little he became a scare actor for a local attraction where he dressed up and scared the life out of people. I think he really enjoyed himself and I hope he can do it again one day. Logan likes the dressing up and the trick’or’treating which he has partaken in the past 2 years, but hates anything scary! A friend and I took him and a friend (plus siblings) to said attraction, the Dinosaur Park, albeit the daytime kid friendly version and he still got very spooked! Taya was scared of the dinosaurs but thought the Halloween decorations, including scarecrows, were great! 

Last year we had a go at pumpkin carving as a family for the first time. We didn’t go to a patch, just a supermarket (twice actually after Kiba and Logan loved the first two!) and then I got the job of emptying the guts, while the males gagged in the corner from the smell! I chose 2 easy designs, one was actually Logans choice of a scary face, and Taya had a cat. Kiba went for more intricate, scary designs, but they all came out really awesome! With battery tea lights they looked perfect so we took them out for a photoshoot:


On the first photoshoot we found a nice secluded spot as the sun set, sorted the tripod out and got shooting. Taking photos in low light is not particularly easy. We were next to the road in the growing darkness, the kids thought it was great, so we attempted to get them in some shots as well. Shooting small people who can’t sit still in very low light is very, very tricky. We did manage to get a couple shots we were happy with though.

By the time we packed up ready to go home we already knew we wanted to get some more photos done the next night. So fast-forward to dusk the next day and we headed to some local woods dressed up!

I felt a lot more comfortable doing this shoot, mainly as the kids could explore as we weren’t by the road, but also I had a better understanding of what settings I should be using! 



This year I’m hoping to visit a pumpkin patch to get our pumpkins, Logan is very excited and I hope he chooses an easy design! I may let him lose with a drill, as that has a pretty cool effect. For all hallows eves trick’or’treating Logan is dressing up as a ninja, and Kiba has DIYed a Genji mask and sword, I shall share them with you on Halloween! I won’t be dressing up as I think Taya would be a bit upset. I’m not sure on whether to take Taya out at all, as she’s quite sensitive and often tells me things are scary this time of year with all the decorations out. We may just hide out at home, we shall see. Hopefully though everyone will enjoy themselves, as that’s the point, to have fun, and fingers crossed we can get some more lovely photos. 

How do you celebrate Halloween, if at all? 

Becoming Wolverine 

Hey! *waves* I’m here, I’ve not gone anywhere. I apologize for not posting in a while but we’ve had to deal with some very difficult family matters that have required my mind and body to be focused on keeping my family going. It’s not been easy, but we are strong and we shall cope. Hopefully I can put my mind in to blogging again and sharing with you all. 

So remember I wanted to do a throwback Thursday blog? Well it’s Thursday! It’s been a long day with Harvest Festival this morning then parents evening and baby-sitting tonight so shall be a short one, but I hope you like it all the same.

Mr Heberling had his birthday on the 3rd, so I wanted to focus on him, which he probably won’t like, mainly as these are older photos I’m now about to share, from 2012! Mr Heberling likes to have his photo taken at times though, and often dresses up, or cosplay if you want to call it that. One time he wanted to be Wolverine. Obviously we do like Wolverine as we named our son Logan, yes, that’s why he has his name. Mr Heberling also likes to challenge himself in to making his own props/things, and on this occasion he wanted to make himself some Wolverine claws. He looked up tutorials and my Dad helped, and to be honest they came out pretty amazing! They are measured to fit his hands perfectly and to this day are kept proudly. 

Naturally we had our photoshoot, some inside and outside shots were taken, and he helped with editing them to his tastes. (Yup, our editing tastes can differ at times!) I really liked how they came out, the indoor ones particularly due to the lighting. Although one thing bugs me about them, see if you can spot it…


…Did you guess? Yes, it’s the wallpaper behind him! It was my Mums hallway, and realistically a flat backdrop would of been a lot better! Next, we headed out to the woods;

Even though it was only 5 years ago I think he looks rather young! He’d say the children have aged him, or me! I think they came out really well though, and we’ve since had a number of photoshoots including Spiderman which I’ll share with you another time. Logan also dressed up as Wolverine for a school event as well recently so I shall share a photo of him another time. For now that’s all. I hoped you enjoyed stepping back in time with me! 

The sleep thieves and I

Long time no see huh? I really do apologise and hope this post may explain, mainly to myself, why I’ve been utterly crap at doing anything the past couple weeks, and it also serves a huge, huge apology to everyone who has physically been with my grumpy arse, I’ve been in a foul and odd mood and I’m sorry if you got caught in it. I love you guys really. 

So, sleep thieves? I’m sure you all are aware of at least one in your life for some reason or another. I have 2 regulars, 3 if the kids each count as their own. The other is my Fibromyalgia, sometimes it causes insomnia, sometimes I’m just too damn uncomfortable to sleep, other times it’s the cause of medication. These past 2 weeks have been awful for sleep, and as you all know this has a great effect on yourself, and everyone around you. 

I’ve never understood “sleeping through” and the utterly ridiculous notion of expecting babies to sleep all night. It is not natural. They wake due to a biological design to prevent SIDS. Their stomachs are little and need filling up little and often, overfed babies “sleep through” due to their little bodies having to basically shut down so their stomach can catch up on digestion, it is not a sign of a good baby. It is normal for them to wake. I don’t know about you, but I still wake at least once a night, to pee, to drink or just because. So I’ve never expected the kids to sleep through, which they never have. I can count on both hands the number of times Logan has and a similar amount for Taya, although she did have a period of long sleep before the dreaded 4 month leap. These days Logan (6) goes to bed in his own room, and whenever he wakes, which can be anytime from 10pm through to 6am, he comes in to our bed for the remainder of the night. Taya (2) breastfeeds to sleep in the evening on the sofa with me. She’ll either stay in my arms or on a beanbag until we go up to bed. We co-sleep, we have her cotbed sidecarred to ours. There she’ll either sleep or sleep-feed all night. She’ll generally wake between 2 and 8 times. It can be tiring but it is so, so much easier co-sleeping, just roll over and pop a boob out, no need to fully wake up even. However the past couple weeks Taya has upped her waking to 10+ a night. It was so draining. I was exhausted, I was touched out, I didn’t want her touching me. But I kept reminding myself it is just a phase, it will pass. And it has, she’s slowly going longer again! I don’t see either of my kids ever sleeping through, but maybe they’ll get there one day, and if not it isn’t the end of the world. They’re only little for such a small amount of time, I’d rather cherish them, I’ll be able to sleep well in years to come. 

Old photo of our sleep setup. Taken at a ridiculously early time after Taya had a poonami. I still only get about the same amount of space.  

My second sleep thief, the one that causes the poor quality sleep is Fibromyalgia. I’ll go in to that in more detail another time, but just so you know now, I ache and hurt, a lot. I can cry from the painful aching at times, and getting comfortable at night is a never-ending struggle. 2 weeks ago I started to reduce my medication in preparation for changing to another, hopefully more helpful one. Whereas the actual aching and pain didn’t increase much (it hadn’t been working too well obviously!) the side effects, or withdrawal symptoms were horrendous. Despite the junior Dr telling me to just stop, I knew you had to reduce it slowly, although I could only do so 300mg at a time as she wouldn’t give me any lower, so I felt the effects. I’ve had a constant headache, I’ve felt sick, tired, grumpy, and I’m pretty sure I was a nightmare to live with. At night I was suddenly struck with more insomnia, I’d lie awake for hours, my anxiety would kick in and I’d worry myself to sleep. I’d wake up so sore from being in one spot for too long. I could go on, but I’m sure you get it, it was a horrible couple of weeks. I’m glad I’m finally off those tablets, and hoping that these new ones have a better effect. I can only hope. I still feel tired most of the time, a mix of my thieves all together and the general day to day aches take their toll, but I try and never let it slow me down. Sometimes I just have to, but mostly I smile and get on with it. 

So, here’s to some good nights ahead. I hope you all get some good sleep, even if you don’t get a full nights, make the most of the time you do get! Here’s some more photos of sleepy Taya, as I never tire of photos of her asleep 😍

Aren’t holidays supposed to be relaxing?

I don’t think we really did any relaxing, in our sleep perhaps, but most of the our holiday was packed with family visits and trips. We didn’t get to do everything we wanted to do really, and next time we know for definite that we will do 2 weeks rather than just the 1. It flew past so quick, and after not seeing most of Kiba’s family for 3 whole years, 1 week really didn’t seem enough time. Despite all the visits I suppose you could say we did have some downtime, mainly while we were waiting for certain things, like people, transport for others etc. but compared to the complete full on craziness that is visiting family/kids/pets I don’t think it counts as relaxing. Even at the outdoor pool I don’t think I truly relaxed, who does with small kids and water?! However, despite all this I can definitively say that you do not need to relax to have a good time*. So, I’m going to give you all an overview of what we did in our week away, to give you a bit of perspective of our holiday and why we never got to relax, and how I managed to take 2,214 photos.

Day 1, travel day, 282 photos. Drive, ferry, drive. Read this post if you’d like more detail.

Day 2, 78 photos. The kids needed time to settle in to their new environment, so we took it pretty easy in the morning. We spent time with Kibas Dad and half sister. We met all their animals, dogs, cats, ponies, goats, geese, chickens and rabbits. Obviously Taya thought they were the best thing ever. In the early afternoon we went and said Hello to Kibas Mum, (and her husband, 3 of Kibas sister, 1 of his brother, and 1 of his nieces!) where I didn’t take any photos as it was all very over-whelming. I spent a majority of the time asking the kids to put a crying Taya down as she did not want to be picked up by people she didn’t particularly know. Again we met their animals, a large number of dogs, cats (including 13 tiny kittens!) and rabbits. Again, Taya thought this was the best thing ever. Logan not so much, he isn’t the biggest fan of dogs, but he surprised me by how he jumped right into playing with the kids. The language barrier really didn’t bother him. He did later tell me that he enjoyed himself as they treated him like a King, he didn’t even have to take his own shoes off! We then headed off back to Kibas Dads for a BBQ, and a short stroll up the road.

Day 3, 317 photos. We had a late morning after spending some time with Kibas Dad, but then headed off to Kibas brothers. From his we walked the 20-30 minutes in to the city. We had a good look around, and got some postcards, and then ice creams, as it was a lovely hot day! We then walked back to near his brothers to grab a kebab and play in one of the local parks. I’m surprised but Logan walked the whole entire time, he did moan, but he still had loads of energy left. Early afternoon we headed off to Kibas Aunts, to see her, his uncle and his two cousins. Taya was again ecstatic that they had kittens (She is a breeder!) and we had cake in the garden. We then walked to the local school to use their play area, football and basketball facilities. Logan definitely got rid of all remaining energy there! He was pretty exhausted that night understandably.

Day 4, 263 photos. It was a bit more of a dreary morning, but we decided to head up to Burg Plesse, or Plesse Castle, as despite always looking at it as we drove past, we’d never visited. Taya quite rightly kept calling it ‘Tangled’ as it has one tall tower, and is pretty impressive as well as being pretty old,  and the views were absolutely stunning! I wish we’d have visited it sooner, and we’ll definitely go again. There is a restaurant inside now, so you can only really explore the outside, but that was cool enough on it’s own. It soon started raining and we left to go back to Kibas mums for the afternoon, with lots of playing outside with the kids and dogs.

Day 5, 381 photos. In the morning we had a bit of a wait for Kibas Dads transport to arrive, but then we moved our cases to his Mums house for the remainder of the stay. After a quick play outside we decided to go to one of the many outdoor pools in the area. We took one of Kibas sisters with us and had a great time. I honestly have no idea why I have never been to one before, and can only hope that we can go back soon! Kiba and his sister loved jumping off the diving boards so I got some photos of them, albeit from a good distance away. Mr Skinny Logan was having a blast (although I forgot his goggles, bad Mummy) but he got cold very, very quickly. He needs some fat on him bless him! May invest in a wetsuit/drysuit to help him enjoy water play longer, as he loves it! So I ended up on the blanket on the hill, feeding Taya who soon fell asleep, with a wrapped up cold Logan next to me, watching the rain clouds roll in. Later we headed back to our new “home” for more outside play, where all 3 of Logan & Tayas cousins joined us, along with Kibas Sister and BIL, it got very noisy then, but was also a lot of fun.

Day 6, 325 photos. In the morning we let Taya have a play in the kitten room. I never said no to this, they were so, so cute! Later on we went in search of another castle, the castle ruins at Hardenberg. It was pretty impressive from the road, and it did take us a while to find out where to park, we ended up asking for directions. Obviously this wasn’t the most visited castle ever as the path around it was a bit difficult to navigate and was up on a cliff! I was very glad that Taya stayed in her Connecta! After a walk round, looking at the ruins and watching the lizards running we soon concluded that you couldn’t actually get in to the castle, unless on a tour, or for the registry office. Which was a shame, but we had a good wander nonetheless. Afterwards we went and picked up Kibas brother and headed off to his sisters (the one with the kids cousins, am I confusing you yet with siblings?!) for a BBQ. The kids had the most fantastic time playing with each other, they have a huge garden, where Taya fell in love with the trampoline (but only when she was the sole occupier!) and the food was delicious, with yummy ice cream afterwards! It was a thoroughly lovely evening, and probably the most relaxed I ever got.

Day 7, 97 photos. We visited Kibas Dad in the morning for a bit. I think we may have then been to ToyRUs possibly, I am not sure, I haven’t got the best memory and am admittedly using the photos to work out what we did when! We went back to base for a bit, before heading off to Kibas Aunts for a big family get together & meal. A very yummy meal at that. We also met Kibas grandfather, his Opa, who I have to say is a bit of a character! He’s one of these very typical older generation, with a bit of craziness mixed in, and the ever intense being that I feel I’m particularly sensitive too due to anxiety. Plus you know, the language barrier and the fact that Kiba used every opportunity to not spend with him, even if it left me with him! However, he did give us some money. We also headed back to the local school for more football, before finding a new play area which was lovely, and Taya had a good old swing while the big kids played basketball.

Day 8, 310 photos. Mainly a day of goodbyes and mixed emotions. Firstly was Kibas Dad. I think this was the toughest one, with him being terminally ill it was never going to be easy. Then it was back to his Mums for more playing in the garden, and the final sister had turned up too. We took a trip to their local playing field for football with Kibas siblings, Logan took an impressive tumble on the way and ended up with a mighty cut to the knee, which did bleed a lot. If you’ve seen us in person since we’ve been home I’m sure you know all about this. He’s worn shorts to show it off and is often accompanied with some oohs and aahs. It didn’t stop him joining in with the football though! After a good runaround we headed back, where the cousins and co turned up for a play and then their Goodbyes. I made a faux pas by spoiling a surprise, Kiba told me they’d be hopefully visiting us at Christmas. What he didn’t say was that it was a surprise. So I mentioned it to the eldest child. Oops. I feel terrible that I ruined her surprise, but I was genuinely excited too! (It was so Kibas fault!) Despite the people living in the house saying they’d be getting up in the morning with us to say goodbye there was still a lot of pre-bedtime tears too, and last minute gift giving.

Day 9, 161 photos. Drive, ferry, drive. Again, if you want to read about it in more detail then read this post.

So, a grand total of 2,214 photos later, and 9 days, we are home, and I think just about recovered from our adventures. I can’t wait for our next grand adventure as a family!

* I should really point out that growing up, we have never been a sit by the pool kind of family. We go somewhere new to explore and visit places. So maybe I don’t know what it’s like to truly relax?

The long road home.

So, we’re home! To be precise we got home at 22:40 on Sunday night, and since then it’s been a tiring blur of washing, tidying, shopping and play group this morning. Figured I’d give you a run down of our journey home today, and then shall do a rough overview of our holiday in another post. So, Sunday…

We’d set our alarms for 4am, with the aim of leaving the house by 5. The ferry wasn’t due to leave till 2pm, with boarding from 12:30, but with a 5 hour drive ahead of us we wanted to give ourselves an extra 2 hours for stops or traffic, and in the end it was a good decision. The family we were currently staying with, Kibas mum, her husband, 3 of Kibas sisters and one of his brothers, had all decided to get up to say goodbye so we attempted an earlyish night, which probably did not end up as early as we’d have hoped. 

I was rudely awoken at around 2am by a breeze coming from the previously closed window above my head. As I awoke I realised Kiba was standing there and as I asked what was up he replied with the short answer “I need to pee.” Ah. At his Mums to go to the loo at night meant going downstairs and getting through a room full of dogs that didn’t particularly like our night wandering, as we’d previously found out with many growls and barking, so I could see his predicament. I heard him attempt to get down only to retreat with the growls following him. After a bit more muttering and pacing he decided to pee out of the window, much to my amusement. It still makes me want to giggle thinking about it. 

4am came, and the final preparations were sorted. The goodbyes were hard and came with a lot of tears from Kibas mum and sisters, the hugs were long, no one wanting to let go. But 5am soon turned up and we set off, not long before the sun began to rise. I’ll admit that this time on the 5hr leg of our journey my tiredness got the better of me and I drifted in and out of sleep in between admiring the views, hoping it wouldn’t be too long before we were back. We took two stops along the way, first so Kiba could pee, and I could give Taya some milk, and the second as Taya was crying as she wanted to breastfeed again, and was getting quite upset. Luckily we’d allowed for extra time. 

We got close to the Hook of Holland before Kiba needed the toilet again, and we decided to get some food, so used my Google maps to find the closest McDonald’s. Now, if you haven’t driven over in Holland let me tell you now, the roads can be quite confusing! On a roundabout in most places you can go round and exit, in your lane, but if really need be you can change when safe to do so. In Holland you have one chance at choosing the right lane, as they are all separate, so we did go wrong a couple of times admittedly. Eventually we got to McDonald’s for around 11am, so we decided on an early lunch and quick play in their play area for the kids. By 12 we decided to head to the ferry. 

After checking in we surprisingly were allowed on straight away, no waiting about whatsoever. We were right near the front and this time remembered to take a photo of deck and coloured stairs so we wouldn’t forget. The only bad thing of boarding early meant we had a fair wait until setting sail, although even that was slightly early. We settled on the sun deck at first, after Taya had walked in to a post on the way there, (she has a tendency to not look where she is going) and Logan was thrilled that there was a ball available to play in the basketball/football cage. Taya was thrilled that she could open and shut the door of said cage. Taya then fell off the bench getting down off my lap, so wasn’t in the happiest of moods. We set sail and she wanted to breastfeed, so I ended up missing one of times I think is most exciting to watch overboard, leaving the port. It soon got quite windy and chilly, so we decided to venture inside and made our way to the playroom. I’m pretty sure Kiba had a good nap on the floor in there, Logan either played on his DS or watched the Curious George cartoons that they had on. Taya happily played. I chatted briefly on messenger and played with Taya. We stayed a good while before going for another wander, only to head back shortly for the children’s entertainment. 

This time it was an older gentleman called Adrian. He did a mix of magic, Punch & Judy (and the Dutch equivalent) and balloon modelling. He was a very interesting character who spoke his mind, knew his facts, and was very engaging with his audience. Logan once again managed to get picked, and came away with a pretty awesome balloon t-rex hat! Taya slept through the whole thing, she only fell asleep as she was hiding from Adrian, so it was worth going to see for both kids! 

We spent the rest of the trip in a space next to the stairs, as there were yet again no inside seats available. The kids thought this was great though as they could crawl under the stairs! They had fun chasing each other, looking through their books/magazines and playing with the playdoh grab bag I had bought them, and I also finally got Logan to write his postcards, better late than never! As we started to come in to port I took the kids for a walk on the sundeck, and let Logan have a quick kick about before heading to the play area, while waiting near the top of our stairs. Soon we were allowed down and we packed up in the car. It took forever to get off the ferry, for being nearly the first on we were left nearly till last to get off. And that’s where we began our wait. 45 minutes. It took 45 minutes to get through UK border control. Taya was miserable for most of it, and Logan fell asleep in that time! We were within the last 10 vehicles to leave the port. It was slightly ridiculous. 

Finally we were on the final stretch, less than 2 hours till home. We did stop off to grab a baguette and drink for Kiba and I. The kids had eaten all our snacks On-board the ferry, and we weren’t going to pay €5 for a sandwich! So we’d waited, and even though they weren’t the best, it was food and it was good. It gave us the final energy boost for the drive, before then I’d been struggling to stay awake again, but now I could keep Kiba company in the drive in to recognisable known territory. The light quickly faded, and we arrived home in the dark, just as we had left it. We got everything inside and it really didn’t take long before we all collapsed in to bed, deep sleeps all round.

Two days later and I still feel tired, and unorganised, but we’re slowly getting there, hopefully regular posts will also be back to normal soon. If you’ve got this far in yet another long post then thank you. 

A quick snap, I took a lot of photos, shall share some another time, so keep an eye out!

Due Date Anniversary & Mum Emotions 

I’ve always been an emotional person, I’d say I was quite sensitive, but could handle or hide my emotions well, most of the time. Yet nothing quite prepares you for that initial rush of emotion when your child is born. Nothing hits you as strongly as the sudden emotional roller-coaster you’re thrown on to when you become a mother. Every mother will know what I’m talking about, you don’t know over-emotional until you become a mother. You never understand how mums can post such ‘soppy’ posts on Facebook, and I bet most people will promise themselves not to go mushy all over their own child. Nothing prepares you. 

Today is my due date anniversary. Again, if you’re not a mother you’re probably wondering why on earth do I care? But I do. I get over emotional about a lot of things to do with my kids, but around birthdays it definitely goes in to over drive. 

The emotional roller-coaster starts as soon as a baby is conceived, and you climb that hill until you peak at birth, and from then on it’s a crazy ride. Loop-the-loops and all. You can cry at anything, especially in pregnancy, any little thing can set you off, an advert, no ice cream in the freezer, a kind gesture. And you can forget about watching sad movies any time from now, unless you’re well prepared with tissues at hand. If you hear a baby/child cry, whether on screen or real life prepare for your heart strings to be well and truly tugged (and for those breastfeeding mummies, make sure you have breastpads on 😉). Yup, you truly did not know what emotional was before kids. 

So, two years ago I reached my due date for Taya to be born. My guess date if you wish, as no one truly knows when a baby shall be born, they come in their own time. Only 4% of babies come on their due date. So with that in mind, 2 years ago I decided that I’d still go with Logan on his preschool trip to Banham Zoo! What better way to encourage little miss to make her exit than walk round a zoo all day?! The hospital was a half hour drive away, which was the same distance as our house to there, so I didn’t see the problem. I took my hospital bag and my birthing partner, my sister, with me just in case. Lots of people asked when I was due, the look of surprise on their faces when I answered with a cheery “Today!” I’m guessing most people thought I was utter crazy. However Logan had an amazing day with one of his best friends, and I had a great day with my Mum, sister, one of my best friends and future best friend of Taya! And the exercise must of helped, two days later and Taya was here! But I think I’ll save that story for her birthday. 

Mums often get some slack for being over emotional, especially about our children, but why should we? We made them, we grew them, we birthed them, we have helped raise them, we are emotionally bound to them. I’ve heard a term before which I’ve always wanted to use. Wombfruit. They are our Wombfruit, our children, and quite often our everything. We should be proud! We should be emotional, it’s human nature. We don’t want our babies to grow up, but at the same time we want them to flourish in to a wonderful human being, with us every step of the way, guiding them, supporting them, loving them. 

I’ve found this emotional journey a lot more extreme the second time round, maybe as I think Taya may possibly be the last baby I carry. The second, and probably every child after that, goes so, so much faster than you can imagine. Cherish every moment has so much more meaning as you try and cram everything in to daily life, as you try and balance the children’s wants and needs, and your partners wants and needs. Those moments in family life when time seems to go slowly are ever so precious, but very few and far between. No wonder people need time to unwind, to gather their emotions and sort though them. Life with kids can be so chaotic, so emotional, but is also the most rewarding job anyone can have. So what if we’re proud, so what if we’re upset of the changes, so what if wish time would stand still? Can you tell I’m in that “oh my God, my baby is another year older” stage? It’s real. It hits you hard. However it’s a time to celebrate, and that’s exactly what we shall be doing this week, especially as one of Tayas best friends is also turning 2 this week, so celebrations all round! I’ll leave you with my due date bump photo!