Halloween ghosts and ghouls (and a little pumpkin)

Halloween ghosts and ghouls (and a little pumpkin)

When witches go riding, and black cats are seen, the moon laughs and whispers, ‘tis near Halloween. – unknown


We have hit another first – Molly’s first Halloween and our first Halloween as parents. With this comes mess and fun which is purely for my fun rather than Molly’s; carving a pumpkin or two.

I have always wanted to carve a pumpkin but when I didn’t have a child or a Halloween party to go to I really had no excuse to do one. I was going to make one last year when I was pregnant but we ended up forgetting and then just leaving it. This time we were prepared and bought three pumpkins in different sizes. The littlest one for Molly, medium for me and largest for my husband. We have a pumpkin family.



I carved two of the pumpkins with faces on one side and carved “Molly” and “Mummy” on the back of our pumpkins. As Molly only has a small pumpkin it was hard to get the name to fit and didn’t look how I had hoped but the Mummy has worked out well. I can’t wait until it gets dark so we can put candles in them, put the lights off and enjoy our very first family pumpkins!

As well as pumpkin carving Molly and I met up with our friend and attended a Halloween party at the local soft play centre. It was so cute to see all the babies and toddlers in their costumes but I have to say we had the cutest babies there!


This was the first time that our babies have really interacted with one another and it was cute to see. I love watching Molly analyse people and she often just sits and stares working out who they are but today they both wanted to play together (or beat each other up I am not sure which). I think Molly was teasing “Dracula” by stealing his dummy, maybe not such a good idea when he is a Vampire!! She has started to really become aware that she can pinch things, not just her toys but that of other’s, including their juice bottles (as she did at her last party) and other children’s toys (she kept stealing other children’s musical instruments at Bookbug). I think this is a great time to start teaching her to share.

After the soft play we had a lovely autumnal walk along the nature trail to take us home. It really was so nice with all the leaves and autumn colours. I felt really Halloweeny and just felt so happy. Within 10 minutes Molly was sound asleep and has been for 2-and-a-half hours and counting.


How did you spend your Halloween? Did you carve a pumpkin? Why not share your links to your pumpkin creations.


How did you choose your babies name?

Choosing your child’s name is such a difficult task

Picking a name for our baby was a hard task. We did not find out what sex of baby we were having so spent a lot of time thinking up names for both sexes.

For most of the pregnancy we thought we were having a boy. Mother’s intuition was a little off! We had a list of boys names and only a couple for a girl but even when we went into the hospital we did not know what names we would choose.

For months we read all the baby name books that we could find and discounted almost every name in them. One book, 100,001 baby names, was full of names that we just laughed at such as “Baby” or “Bacon”. I know naming your baby, baby, would have been an easy thing to do but we decided against it.

Then there were the names I liked and the husband didn’t – it seems almost all his family have already chosen the names I liked! – or vice versa.

Then there  was the fact that I was quite fussy. At work we spent many hours with colleagues shouting out ideas of names and me saying no. In the end I think they just gave up giving suggestions as they knew the response – nah!

We even packed the baby name book in our hospital case, just in case, as we really we clueless.

Finding a name we loved was proving to be a harder task than falling pregnant.

Then it was time to have a baby, which we had via an emergency c-section, and the minute my husband eventually managed to get his words together and let me know I had a girl I knew instantly she was going to be called Molly. We had discussed it and it was a name we had agreed on as being a possible name but something just clicked the minute I knew I was having a girl that she was going to be a Molly. I had not seen her at this point, I had not even heard her cry in the distance but all the other names we had thought of calling her were forgotten.

Name - Molly

Now nine months later I can honestly say that Molly is my favourite ever name. I could never imagine Molly being called anything else. I would never want her to be called anything else. I love Molly, in person and in name.

I have gone off almost all the names of the other names we had chosen for both male and female which is a huge concern when we want to expand our family. Maybe we will just go with the name “Baby” and be done with it.

How did you choose your baby’s name? Did you ever wish you had chosen another name?

Returning to work… or not?

It’s not that I can’t find a childcare space – I can’t afford one (and don’t want one)

Being able to afford to return to work, to earn money, is a dilemma that many mums have to go through at some point during their maternity leave and before I had a child myself I thought it was simple – returning to work would mean more money for the family. How wrong I was.

work coins

I would be working for pennies if I went back to work

I have been looking at the costs to send Molly to nursery to allow me to return to work and it is so expensive. I worked out I would be returning to work to earn about £1.20 an hour after childcare costs. By the time I bought juice and food as well as diesel to get to work I would hardly be taking anything home at all, so what is the point?

The Government is keen to get mum back into work but I fail to see what is so wrong with mums staying at home to do what a mum is there to do – to look after her children.

George Osborne wants to see nearly 500,000 more women in the workplace by the beginning of 2016 by increasing access to childcare across the UK which makes me feel that I am wrong to want to look after my child myself.

They plan to introduce tax-free childcare paying up to 20 per cent if childcare costs up to £2000 a child – great so that 2 months sorted but how do we afford the remaining 10 months?

They are funding more childcare spaces, which is great, but it isn’t that I can’t get a space it is because I can not AFFORD a space. I am also very happy to be a mum and to look after my child myself. I didn’t choose to be a parent just so I could get someone else to look after it.

I know many woman do want to go back to work and I don’t think they shouldn’t. It is what they want and just because I don’t want to doesn’t mean it is wrong. I can see the benefits of going back, especially with career prospects, but it just isn’t what I think is right for my little family.

Why don’t the Government leave it up to the individual families to decide what is best for them rather than pressuring them to go back to work.

Do you enjoy being a SAHM or did you return to work?


Swimming – a vital skill for babies to learn

Swimming should be something all babies get to take part in

As a child I was a swimmer. I got up at 5am to swim before school and the minute the school bell ran I would head back to the pool for a gym and pool session. Before I joined the club I used to swim with my family. I started to swim without any aids at 1.5 years of age so I have always enjoyed playing in water and I would love Molly to feel as comfortable in the water as I do. For this reason we have taken Molly swimming since she was around 4 weeks of age.


Since birth Molly loved her bath, the midwife even commented on how relaxed she was when she got her first ever bath, so we were sure she would love swimming and she did. The first time we took her we took her to the local pool but it was too cold for us let alone her and it was not quite so fun. The second time we took her to a baby pool which was much warmer and she loved it. She was so relaxed that she even started to fall asleep in the pool. From then on she has enjoyed going swimming and gets more and more excited each time we go.

The Department of Health recommends that you can take your baby swimming from a very young age. There is no need to wait until they have been vaccinated. – NHS

We were unsure about taking her so young as we had thought she should have her injections before jumping into the pool but we saw that NHS guidelines say you no longer need to wait for injections before starting swimming so we decided there was no need to wait.

One thing we hate doing is dunking her under the water – we do it but  I get so nervous each time. She doesn’t seem to mind though and never moans when we do it. She doesn’t mind having water on her face which is great as it makes swimming and showering so much easier.


Since she has been young we have taken her to the pool a lot. In fact we have just signed up for our Council’s gym membership which means we can go swimming as much as we like without thinking about how much it will cost us. We have gone a couple of times in the past few days and I will probably take her a few times a week without my hubby as I don’t need to worry about cost. This will also help me get back on track with my fitness as it will mean I can go to the gym, swim or play badminton.

Today we found out that the council have a swimming scheme for pre-school children so we put Molly’s name down for that. We were warned there were hundreds on the list before her but we are not too concerned as she doesn’t need to be in lessons any time soon but I would like her to get into lessons as early as possible.

We spoke to one of the swimming teachers who were are the pool today ans she said that she can tell the difference between those children who swam a lot pre-school to those who never went and we would like Molly to be a child who loves being in the water as much as she does now, when she is older.


Broody after newborn cuddles? Not any more than I was!

Could I return to newborn days? Of course I could!

I got newborn cuddles today. Tiny little squishy cuddles. I thought I would feel so incredibly broody after this as I am already broody but I can honestly say I feel no different.



This could be because I am already massively broody but I think it is because I know when we will start trying again and that day is not today! Don’t get me wrong, I would love to have a newborn again and I am desperate to give Molly a little brother or sister but at the same time I am enjoying spending loads of time with Molly and I wouldn’t be able to give her 100% if I had a newborn to look after as well.

Having the cuddles made me realise that I would manage to have two. I could multitask and look after both. I could picture us looking after two and I think I would be ready now to fall pregnant but leaving it a couple more months would allow Molly to develop that bit more.

The question I don’t know is how you know when you have the family size you want.

I currently would like three children. I know many who know two is the limit and of course there are those who want more or less children. How do you decide when you have enough children. I presume something will click and I will just know.

I guess I need to see how we get on if we have a second to see how we cope. We may end up finding two is all we ever want. I hope not as is love to have three running about. I just hope I don’t decide to keeping having “just one more” as a family of 16 is not what I want!!!!

Wallpapering – a skill I never knew I had

Wallpapering? Normally a work that is followed by “Dad can you help?”

Decorating is not my strong point. I have many great ideas but never manage to do much with these ideas but this all changed when I attempted wallpapering

Wallpapering is not something I had ever attempted. I had watched my dad do it and just the thought of doing it made me sweat but when you have a baby who is eight months old and you haven’t decorated her room it is time to get over the fear and make a go.

One reason it took us so long to get started with the wallpapering was that the room was covered in dreadful woodchip wallpaper which took forever to remove. Eventually we got there.


The first problem is knowing how many rolls of paper to buy. This could have been made easier if we had measured the room before heading out to the shops to look at paper but thankfully our estimate on how many rolls we needed worked out – in fact we had one roll too many. We even got bargains. Homebase had 25% off wallpaper and one shop we got a roll of paper reduced from £23 to £3.99!


Armed with paper and all the accessories you would ever need to start a decorating shop, we headed home to work out how to go about the process of wallpapering. The first strip of paper had two plugs that needed holes cut which scared me at first but also gave me a boost of confidence – if I can do that I can do it all.



Before long I had done a wall. I just wish the paper had been paste on the wall as I got bored waiting the five minutes between pasting the paper and putting it on.


From that point on I felt fairly confident that I could manage to do this and cracked on for as long as I could before I got bored. It took an evening and and afternoon (but only because we had to wait for plaster to dry) to get finished but the end result was well worth it. I can honestly say that I do not think I will ever be buying paint again. Wallpaper makes a much neater and professional result than paint has ever done.


Once finished we went out and bought curtains, although I am not so pleased with them as they are not quite the right shade of red but they are better than the falling apart, navy, homemade disasters that have been in the house since I moved in. They are also thermal lined which is a bonus as we have noticed that the windows don’t seem to seal right at the top and let in a huge draft.


To finish off the room my husband put up a new light which we bought before the the wallpaper and which luckily blended in well with the colour scheme.


How did you decorate your wee one’s room? How did you decide to do it that way?