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Cuppa tea?

I really should be doing accounts but I am easily distracted!

I never started drinking tea until about 4 years ago when I met my partner who was a painter and decorator at the time and drank tea and coffee all day long. I was 21 at the time and always drank lemonade or water - I chose not to drink tea and I detested coffee. I was young and in love and trained myself to like it!

Now previous to meeting my decorator in dirty overalls (not quite the knight in shining armour is it but i wouldn't change him for the world) I had worked in a number of places where I was 'tea girl'.

I always thought that you chucked a tea bag in a cup poured water in added a bit of milk and sugar and that was all there was to it....oh how wrong was i. I didn't know there was a certain technique to it until I met Nick who informed me that I made a rubbish cuppa and it has only taken me 4 years to perfect it!

I had been making tea for other people since I was about 16. I started at the Theatre …

How did you cope?

A sensitive issue that not many people like to talk about but I hope that this post might help some people or help me to understand as I had never even thought about this until it unfortunately happened to a number of my friends when they were a few days away from their due date or just after they given birth - they lost a close relative.

Since writing this post @AlliMarshall contacted me and said that since reading this post she was now ready to write a post about sadly losing her mum when she was 7 months pregnant. I have just read her incredible post and I am so grateful that she is happy for me to share it with you too.
http://www.mum2four.co.uk/losing-my-mum-how-i-coped

I just wondered how you cope with all the emotions as you must be on an emotional rollercoaster, so sad about the loss but excited and happy about the birth of your baby. Would you feel guilty for feeling happy when you are sad? Are you angry? Do you find time to grieve? Did it affect the bond you had with your bab…

Do you have enough time for your partner?

Has having a baby affected your relationship?

I remember just being desperate to see Nick holding our baby for the first time. Nick and I have been inseparable since the day we met, I was very clingy and always needed cuddles, I remember sobbing nonstop when he was going away for one night (how sad is that!) I was terrified of something bad happening to him and knew I would not be able to have my afternoon nap because I always slept on him! (This was way before we had Tillie). We prefer to go out together than we do separately we just enjoy each other’s company. We do bicker too but nothing that a hug won't sort out.

When Tillie arrived I went from being a really needy girlfriend who had to have cuddles all of the time, to not having time for cuddles and not even realising! When we were alone all I wanted to do was sleep as Tillie has never slept well bless her but I never really gave much consideration to Nick who was busy working all hours in the pub and I was enjoying every sec…

Sleepless nights

Ok so we have all been there, some more than others but how has it affected you?

I remember people saying "oooh you just wait, make the most of your sleep as you won't be sleeping for a while" which is true and I can honestly say I have not had more than 4 hours solid sleep since Tillie was born and she is now 18 months old. You might not believe me but it really does not bother me.

I have listened to a number of mums moaning that their child kept them awake or they are annoyed at the fact that their baby who has slept through from being a few weeks old has suddenly started waking up in the night, they seem genuinely angry about this. (Probably through tiredness and it can make people say silly things but some people become almost obsessed about it and seem really angry)

I use social networking sites and have been really shocked by some status updates that I have seen, not once ever have I put that I was cross because Tillie wasn't sleeping through. I might have put …

Where do I know you from?

We have all been there when we see someone but cannot put a face to the name or even work out how we know them.

I remember being stood near the front of a Robbie William's concert and a guy walked in front of me and I said "oh hello are you ok fancy seeing you here?" I turned and told my friend that it was a guy from our village, I thought she looked a little bit shocked as it was in fact David Seaman! I was slightly embarrassed.

Anyway me and my friend went on a girly holiday to Paris, It was the end of January it was freezing we were completely wrapped up in big coats, no flesh on show as that isn't our style. As soon as we arrived men were approaching me on the street and trying to talk to me, I had no idea what they were saying but "bisous" kept coming up. One gentleman was extrememly shocked when he realised we were English and he said to me "you very beautiful girl please let me take you for drink I think you great" Obviously being 20 we tho…

From an outsiders point of view

We were in our local town centre; there is a new retail park where there are a few water features. The parking is reasonable and you can buy pretty much get everything you need which makes life so much easier! There is even a couple of coffee bars which serve yummy cakes so we often sneak in there when tots is asleep (due to her being allergic to egg, we can only eat cake when she is asleep otherwise she cannot understand why she isn't allowed any and I would never let her watch me eating it bless her)

Tillie had been asleep and we managed to sneak a coffee and cake in before she woke up, the coffee bar we were in was right opposite the water feature, there is a wall around for people to sit on and the feature is like a few water sprinklers which go on and off. When tots woke up I got her out of the pushchair ad let her have a run around, she was giggling and I was swinging her as I normally do, I then let her walk along the wall and she sat herself down and I was singing a song t…

I love how Tillie's mind works

Just a quick post as I am meant to be doing accounts but I find it incredibly boring and this seems to be much more appealing!

I have tried my best to make learning as fun as possible without her even knowing that she is learning, we make actions up to songs, we make the animal noises whenever we see or mention an animal. I have always told her exactly what I am about to do.... "Mummy is going into the kitchen and I need Tillie to help me find a bowl, can we have a look in the cupboard, that’s it lets open the door" etc..... Nick used to tell me off for talking all of the time; we do have a little chatterbox now and love it!

However, I was about to tuck into my dinner yesterday and was talking Tillie through everything as normal- "ooh mummy and Tillie are going to have some yummy chicken" - Tillie's response was "brawk brawk brawk" and started running round flapping her arms! I must say it made me smile but did put me off the chicken.

We went to the f…

Can you give your child too much attention?

I have had fantastic feedback from lots of mummies and daddies who have tried the reward bottle that I mentioned in an earlier post http://thewonderfulworldoftillie.blogspot.com/2011/03/bye-bye-tantrums.html

I just thought I would update you. I cannot believe the difference a few little changes have made.

I realised that perhaps I was giving Tillie too much attention and she was becoming increasingly demanding and it was beginning to get a little bit too much as she wouldn't even go to her daddy as she knew that Mummy would do as she wanted.

I decided to try and give her a little bit more space, in a morning instead of getting up as soon as I hear her, I now stay in bed and listen to her for a while, she is quite happy to talk to her bunny and sing and dance.

I am encouraging her to play by herself instead of dragging me and sitting me on the floor, I show her some toys and start a game off but then slowly back away and leave her, a few minutes later you can hear her playing beau…

"Your baby can read" - Update

You will see below that I am now following the instructions. Any questions please do not hesitate to ask! Please follow for regular updates.

My initial reaction!
I bought Tillie the Early Language Development System 'Your Baby Can Read' DVD and Books by Dr Robert C Titzer
Ours came with 5 Dvd's, flash cards and books
the idea of the programme is to help your baby learn to read from as young as 3 months old - it says that it is much easier for them to learn to read before they are 5.
I bought them more out of curiosity when she was 7 months old as I had seen them advertised at about 3am one morning it had videos of two year old reading a book, picking the correct flash card when shown etc.....
It encourages you to show the starter Dvd twice a day for about a month before moving on to the next one and so on.
The Dvd's look slightly dated and the people in the Dvd do have strong American accents but I have an open mind and wanted to give it a go.
It works like this - the …

I will never wear big pants ever again!

So let me give you the scenario - I read that a lot of women swear by tummy control pants and wondered what all of the fuss was about so I ordered a pair from a well-known high street online shop. I ordered size 8 to be completely honest I really didn't need them I have always been petite but I got it into my head that i needed some! I wanted to wear a dress to my partners football presentation evening (sounds glam doesn't it but it was just in the pub which we run, people sometimes expect you to make an effort and with being a village WAG it would be rude not to!)

I haven't got the greatest self-confidence and people are always lovely to me and tell me I look nice but I never believe them and I always buy clothes but never think I can wear them so chicken out!

I thought maybe these miracle pants would boost my confidence, the only time I have ever had boobs was when I was pregnant and breastfeeding, without the good old gel bras I would be lost! So I didn't want any…

Staying together for the sake of the children

I saw this was the topic on This Morning, new research shows that if your child suffers from some sort of psychological problem they 'grow up to earn as much as 30 per cent less in their lifetime than those who hadn't suffered any problems' such as parents’ divorce.

I always find this interesting as I have met a few people in the past whose family had an amicable break up yet they still seem to use their parents break up as an excuse not to work or succeed in life, when in fact they use it for attention and to cover up the fact they are just a little bit lazy. I was a recruitment consultant and believe it or not a number of candidates used their parents break ups as the reason they didn't work!

Please note that I did say amicable break up, I understand that if a child has had a particularly hard upbringing then it could affect them in the future.

I was bought up just by my mum and I wouldn't have changed it for the world, I really can honestly say I had a very happ…

Do other people's opinions bother you?

I guess I am in the unique position of being surrounded by people in the pub all of the time and people tend to comment probably more than in a normal every day situation some good, some bad. Do I care what other people think? As much as I would like to say no, I really do!

I have mentioned in the past, Tillie tots really isn't very people friendly, I was getting stared at today because we were in a card shop and she was pointing out and telling me the names of all of the characters that she recognised. I could hear people commenting on how well she was doing for her age, but then a lady walked by and touched her hand and said "what a clever girl", Tillie is really scared especially of strangers, I still do not know why as she sees them ALL the time! Maybe she sees too many people that she cannot work out who is who, but this lady felt awful and apologised profusely, I really wasn't cross as she was only being friendly and most other children would love the attention…

How do mums know everything?

I always said I never wanted children, this was mainly due to the fact that we didn't think we could have any so it was easier to tell people I didn't want them just so that I didn't have to explain problems and I certainly didn't want people to feel sorry for me!

I always thought that I was too selfish to have children, how could I look after someone that needed my undivided attention and more importantly how would I know what to do? My mum knew everything, she had all the answers! I knew nothing! I even started to think that it must just be programmed into you that when you became a mum all of the answers would just be there, well as I found out, I don't know everything but I can certainly make a lot of it up as i go along!

How do we just magically know what to say to children to make them feel better, where does the 'magic fairy dust' come from to make that naughty pain go away? We know just the right songs to make those tears dry up and see their faces …

Finding a bib suitable for a baby with bad reflux!

Tillie suffered very badly from reflux due to her laryngomalacia, none of the bibs I bought were suitable, they soaked straight through on to her clothes and when she started on solids it got even worse and stained them all too!

I tried one's from off the high street, supermarkets, specialist ones suitable for reflux, I even spent up to £10 on them in the hope that I would find one that would stop her from getting wet and smelly round her neck and also save her clothes (and mine!)
We tried:

MAM uk Bibetta


Very pretty and I was very excited to try this one as I had read some very positive reviews it claims it is
"Neoprene bib--waterproof, absorbent, flexible, stain-resistant and wipes clean". I found that as attractive as it was, when you do have a baby with severe reflux who had started on solid foods it definitely caught the sick in its little fold up catch flap, but it didnt absorb it, it just stayed there smelling very unpleasant and was challenging to get rid of as y…

Finally a non spill cup that really works!

If you are like me and have tried to find a toddler cup that doesn't leak when dragged along, tipped upside down, dropped from a height - then I have the solution for you!

I bought the Anywayup cup RRP: £2.59 - £4.50 and have not been disappointed! Created by Mandy Haberman - successful British inventor and entrepreneur and a mum who had an idea who made it happen!




The lid is slightly challenging to get off but once you get used to it, it is not a problem, at least this means that our little ones cannot undo it! It is a pull off lid rather than a screw top like the others I have tried.

It is very easy to clean as there are only two parts and no fiddly bits either! Also dishwasher safe.

Tillie loves the bright pink colour and it is easy for her to hold, it is a nice sturdy plastic and she drinks from it absolutely fine, whereas other ones she has struggled to get the hang of.

Definitely recommended if you are suffering from juice stains and milk on your carpet!

Fake Tan and an old Lady stuck on a roof, holiday memories!

What a lovely few days of sunshine we have had and even better the fact that my solar urticaria has stayed away! I can never do anything normal! I don't just get urticaria I have to have the one where it looks like im a dinosaur and then feel really poorly with it! (Going abroad is a big no no!)

I was about to write a review of a farm we took Tillie to on Tuesday, but writing about the sun reminded me of the first holiday away with Nick, we went to Majorca.

I researched online (like I do with everything! I HAVE to find the best bargain!) any way I eventually contacted a local travel company and after them sending me lots of hotels to look at, I decided to pick the only 4* hotel which looked beautiful and ticked all the boxes, it was by the beach, had a pool, was a few minutes’ walk from the town (which turned out to be magaluf! ARGHH but we hadn't got Tillie then so it wasn't a problem), all inclusive, English speaking, sea view room - sorted!

I am a redhead so naturally …

Did you really know how to breastfeed - did you get support?

You buy the books, I thought I could give Supernanny a run for her money, bring that baby on! I thought I knew it all! Yeah right!

I was convinced for the first half of my pregnancy that I was going to bottle feed baby bean, my mum never breastfed us, only one of my sister's tried breastfeeding but I don't think her experience was good, but the fact my mum has been so poorly through life and me and my sisters have had a number of illnesses and such a weak immune system I started to seriously think about this and decided that maybe it would give Bean the best start in life plus I did feel pressured by everyone else to do it, media, nurses midwifes, leaflets!

I really did have a terrible childbirth it was quite traumatic and I was semi unconscious I don't really remember much about the first night with Tillie, I was too poorly to watch her all night, I was in desperate need for a blood transfusion and was told on the labour ward that I was not to be left on my own or attempt…

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Say Please Tea Set

I saw this and thought WOW how cute! I really wanted to get this for Tillie (ok well for me too).
RRP: £15.99
As soon as I took it out of the box I thought it was great, I loved the girlie pink and purple colours.
The pack comes with a singing teapot which teaches numbers, opposites, manners, greetings and sings really cute little songs which Tillie loves dancing to.
The three shape cakes fit on the plate to teach shapes without really knowing that you are learning at the same time, however Tillie soon picked this up and now tells me that she can see a triangle!
It has three modes - learning, music and imagination - you can press the teabag button to play a song, and lift the lid to hear opposites, it has realistic pouring sounds and I love the way it teaches manners too.
"More please" "why thank you".
The two cups are a nice size for little hands and have a happy face on them.

We have spent hours playing picnics with this set it really is a lovely way to spe…

We are engaged....sorted!

Well I have been with the lovely Nick for nearly four years. I have always known of him, he was the baby faced one who I always looked up to as he was a couple of years older than me at youth club; if he smiled i blushed etc...

Anyway we fell in love in our village pub, the same village pub that we now run!....Ahhhh sounds like a true love story. We have been inseparable since the first day, in the nearly four years there has only been one day where we haven't seen each other and that was in the first week of meeting.

We moved in to the pub and took over the running of it after being together for nine months, a year later I found out I was pregnant and in October 2009 our baby girl was born and we haven't looked back!

He really is the most laid back guy you could meet, he's really funny, really lovely, very caring, SO UNROMANTIC it is unreal but that is just him and I am not one of those girls who likes flowers and soppy things so this suits me just fine. The thought of hi…

I'm happy with how I look - so what is your problem?

Nick said to me "I love you because you are unique that's why you have always caught my eye"
I’m 5ft 4 (and a quarter!) with curly red hair (I’m not ginger I’m titian he he) I have always been slim, I honestly just cannot put on weight, I've even been to the doctors to try and see what was wrong with me as I had so many comments in the past..... I’m a size 8 and just under 8 stone I’m not 'uber' skinny and the only problem I have is that I eat too much!
I have never been any different, I have never had to watch what I eat and I feel very fortunate to never have had to worry about a diet.....

However I have always been made to feel that there was something wrong with me by other people! People I have worked with have always commented on my 'unhealthy diet' and the fact that I can eat what I like - "why aren't you huge?”..... I always end up apologising and telling them that my family are the same which is true.

There was one girl who used to g…

Why my little girl is so clingy

With running a pub I knew that it would be a bit of a juggle, but I have always had such a weak immune system I was determined to try and breastfeed Tillie to give her the 'best start in life' plus I did feel slightly pressured into it at hospital - after the awful childbirth she was almost 'plonked' on me whilst I was semi unconscious and I literally was drifting in and out due to a big blood loss, I had no idea where I was or what I was doing and didn't have any other option. I thought that if I did breastfeed then she would be more 'mine' as running the pub I had a feeling that I would have to pass her around more if she was bottle fed as 'anyone can do it' I just wanted everything to be perfect and to spend as much time with her as possible and share those special moments.

As you might have read in my previous posts Tillie was born with laryngomalacia, from about 6 weeks old she got very distressed if she was passed to anyone other than her dadd…

Bye Bye Tantrums!

How does your little baby turn into a tantrum throwing toddler? More importantly how can you stop this before the tantrums take over!?

Tillie is just so adorable but without warning would throw herself on the floor; she was increasingly banging her head when she was cross and just whining and crying and seemed very frustrated and increasingly agitated. This obviously unsettled me too as I spend all my day playing and reading to her, perhaps giving her a little too much attention! She was seeing me more as a playmate rather than her Mummy and I was at risk of losing my happy little girl and letting these tantrums take over!

I had to put a stop to it before she hurt herself banging her head to as every day the tantrums were increasing and I was failing miserably at trying to stop them!
This is what I tried to begin with:

1) Telling her to stop banging her head
2) Distracting her
3) Holding her on my knee and talking to her calmly until she calmed down (and hoped that I didn't have…

Worst present you ever received?

I remember mine!
I was 18 years old, I had been with my first what I classed as serious boyfriend for a few months, and Christmas was coming up! I was working as a wardrobe assistant for the local Theatre and had the pleasure of being Su Pollard's dresser.
My boyfriend (please note that I am thankfully no longer with him!) informed me that he was so excited about the present he had bought me, he said that he had never bought such an amazing present for anyone before (he was a few years older than me!)He said he couldn't wait to see my face when I opened it.

I was so excited I told everyone who I worked with, I couldn't wait for Christmas day! I went out and spent a lot of my wages on him in the hope that it would match up to this amazing present!

Oh I was thinking it was some jewellery, a holiday, a weekend away. Oh I told everyone I kept going on and on and on! It got to the stage where everyone was as desperate as I was to find out! Especially Su, I remember trying to …

Boy or girl?

When the customers found out that I was pregnant and my bump started to grow, I noticed that especially the older generation informed me of what sex Bean would be.

"You are definitely having a boy.....I am never wrong"

"Oh yes look you are carrying all out the front, it is without doubt a boy...I am always right"

I even had them laying me down doing the ring test......"look at that, you are having a boy!"

My sister went to for a psychic reading, she was told that one of her sister's was pregnant (that was me!) and that the baby was due in October (correct) and that she would be having a boy!

One lady who claims that she can 'predict' the sex of a baby, gave me a necklace and kept dipping it in and out of my hand to see which way it spun round.....According to her I was having a boy!

We didn't want to find out the sex of Bean as we were pretty much convinced from what we had read and from what everyone was saying that we were having a boy!

Were you proud of your bump?

As you may already be aware we run a pub, so every body knows your business whether you like it or not but they are all kind and mean well in their own special way! (I haven't always felt like that!)

I wanted to keep my pregnancy quiet for as long as I could. However having four wonderful sisters I couldn't help but tell them and start talking names, clothing, nursery ideas etc....We all got carried away chatting and by the time I was 10 weeks pregnant we were at a family party and mum couldn't wait to tell people! So by the time we left everyone knew which then meant the next day nearly everyone in the village knew.

I have always been very petite and a small size 8 so to see my body change because I had a baby bean growing inside me was very exciting, I was very proud and looked forward to reading how my bean was growing each week.

I remember laughing when I bought some maternity trousers I put them on to show my sister and they fell straight down, I never though I would …

Egg and Soldiers

It was a sunny sunday morning Spring/Summer 2010, my partner had been downstairs cleaning the pub and was getting ready for football so it would be around 8.30/9am. Mum had just arrived at the pub to start preparing food for the busy Sunday Carvery.

Tillie had been a bit fussy that morning and didn't really want her breakfast so I went downstairs to see if mum could think of anything else I could get Tillie to try for her breakfast, she suggested trying egg and soldiers. Tillie had been on solids for a while and with Tillie being lactose intollerant I always tended to use jars or make my own food so I knew there was nothing in there to hurt her little belly.

Nick was stood with me as we watched Tillie's face in anticipation as we did when we tried her on anything new....does she like it? will she squirm?
A matter of seconds after she tried the tiniest bit of yolk on a 'soldier' she started rubbing round her face, rubbing her nose, her mouth and sniffing lots. Mum had c…