ONE MAMA’S BUMP DIARY (weeks 23-25)

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The bump is big. Yes, yes it is… I am growing a human.

My inner critic has been harassing me a little this week, despite the fact that I am not enormous or about to keel over with obesity but we all have these moments of self-doubt, (don’t we?) and for some reason mine was this week. I’ve not been eating as well as I should have. I’ve had far too many cravings for ludicrous coloured ice creams dipped with hundreds and thousands of hundreds and thousands and I’ve been eating a LOT of chocolate not to mention drinking a gallon of ribena each day! so all in all I think we can safely say “Mama’s got a sweet tooth!”

Aside from that, I also haven’t been sleeping that well as I can’t seem to get comfy now I’m that little bigger and feeling rather more cumbersome. I’m a little snappy with my husband and have already started to feel a little bit like I am nesting. He is well accustomed to it now it’s round too but I still feel bad. Hope he knows it’s the hormones and not actually ‘me’. I think he does (fingers crossed).

But it has been a good week for self-loving though and this is what we are going to talk about in my “Glow with the Flow” session this week.

Here are my self love activities that I can tick off:

SELF-LOVE

  • given myself about 4 facials in a fortnight. Cleanse, tone and moisturise. I use a bamboo flannel and take 10 minutes to really relax and treat myself.
  • gone to the woods. Freddie and I go pretty much every Friday. He loves it, I love it and being outside in nature does wonders for the soul – fact.
  • looked though old photos of Freddie and reminded myself how far I’ve come as his mama and what I’ve learned along the way.
  • taken a load of naps  – the best being yesterday’s 2 and a half hour one and I still managed bed at normal time! Thank you my man!
  • had a coffee with fellow mama. So good to be able to share this world of motherhood
  • read my book (this is such a rarity but o so good for the soul!)
  • chatted on the phone to bestest friends – nothing better.
  • went swimming in my PJs  – not quite as liberating as skinny dipping but fun all the same!
  • did yoga and balanced with the best of them – gave myself the kudos!
  • cooked, baked, sewed made smoothies and scrapbooked!
  • My little one and I have also crafted together but will be writing about that in a separate post soon. ( Easter crafts)

I hope this inspires you to do a little of all the things you love and see how much better you feel in mind and body.

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ONE MAMA’S BUMP DIARY

An honest insight into my pregnancy journey second time round… sharing my experiences, thoughts and happenings in week 22 of growing my seedling of society.

BENDY ANKLES AND BASHED ELBOWS

Hey ladies,

So here it is….the first installment of my “One Mama’s Pregnancy Diary” for baby number 2 due at the end of June. I wish I started logging this all sooner but I didn’t so we’ll just have to pick up here halfway in with a little look back to the first part of baby growing.

The idea just came to me having spotted something on ‘the Gram’ and whilst in the shower the other morning I suddenly thought…hang on a sec – why not document this journey into motherhood take 2 and share with other mamas-to-be. I hope it kinda acts as a friend along the way and reminds you that you are not alone in all things pregnancy, birth and babies and that we are all in it together.

Obviously, these are just my experiences, thoughts and feelings so would love to hear your take on things and thoughts too.

FIRST TRIMESTER

This time round I was a lot more sick. I mean like pop the tot in the highchair and race to the bathroom each morning sick, which was no fun let me tell you. But hey ho it was what it was and thankfully I am out the other side and since my 12 week scan I’ve started to feel a lot more normal. It took a while though. I know I am lucky to have only just experienced a few weeks of it whilst others really do suffer greatly through their pregnancy so feeling grateful about that.

I also popped waaaay earlier than last time and I had to get out the maternity collection very quickly out the loft as things were a little uncomfortable pretty early on. I say “I” but really it was my husband. Our bodies are amazing and it was like mine shifted into baby making gear and stepped on the accelerator. I’m 22 weeks now but feel and look about 28 weeks!

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Women are amazing.

SECOND TRIMESTER

WEEK 22

BODY

So here we are 22 weeks in and I have suddenly gone all clumsy. I’ve dropped glasses, spilled food, tripped over shoes and banged my elbow on a door frame. I am not clumsy by nature so this lack of spatial awareness is causing a little frustration in my day to day life. Anyone else experienced or experiencing something similar? I am hoping my yoga classes will help with this though. By focusing on balances and breathing I hope to get a grip on this wobbliness but if not  – o well I’ll just go with it! Another thing I’ve noticed is that my ligaments are loosening. I learnt about this the first time round. Your body prepares your body for birth by loosening our tendons and ligaments allowing for more freedom of movement and flexibility but when you are not expecting it, it can be rather shocking to hear your hip joint in surround sound and see your ankles gain 360 degree swivel space!

ALL THE FEELS

Seeing baby on the screen at 20 weeks was amazing and gorgeous. We weren’t allowed to bring Freddie so left him with a babysitter for a couple of hours so DaDa could meet baby number 2 too. The sonographer was amazing and very thorough in all her checks. She said the heart was a textbook viewing and she wished she had her student with her to show her – good work little one!

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It is definitely true what they say that in the second trimester you do get a burst of energy and I have certainly felt that! I’m feeling a lot less tired this week having walked 60KM around Rome last week in 3 days!  ha but I think the thing that is keeping me going with my little tot is my gorgeous afternoon nap! A total saviour and so necessary to remain calm and human. So I would totally recommend all pregnant ladies to rest when they can. Easier  said than done  – I appreciate that but the amount of energy your little seedling is sapping from you means you need to recuperate more so than you think so that’s this week’s optional homework: see if you can take an afternoon nap for 20 mins each day. Let me know how you get on.

CRAVINGS

I’ve been eating a lot of S***. Can’t help it  – I’m attracted to the sugary delights of chocolate puddings and mainly doughnuts. O…and chips! Anyone else ever made an emergency craving stop off at McDonalds?! Shameful I know but needs must when growing life! I am trying to be better by drinking fruit juices, taking my vitamins, eating lots of veg in the evening and having a lighter lunch but who am I kidding? Sometimes we just need a fix. I hope I am not alone in this!

It always start so well with the best intentions but sometimes we just have to listen to our bodies.

DOWNTIME

Having started “Glow with the Flow” sessions I have really enjoyed putting some poses to paper and then bring them to the mat to share with other mamas-to-be and I am feeling really good about it all. We seem to have created a lovely group so that has been a highlight. The other highlight has been watching “Workin’ Mums” on NetFlix which has had me laughing and crying. It is a snap shot into many different women’s lives post babies and the honesty and rawness is getting to me on many levels. Life does change and we have to try and accept that and embrace it if we can despite the reality being much harder than we might think.

TODDLER TIME

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This week my little tot and I have been having lots of fun hanging out. We went to the beach, enjoyed the sunshine, been swimming,  seen multiple diggers and tractors (his favourite 2 things at the minute) as well as playtime in the woods, building towers and even looking around nurseries.  Going to elaborate in more detail about those trips in a separate post I think.

What have you been up to?

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Thank you so much for reading this far and I’ll check in next week with the next entry. Please find me on Instagram @onemamaskingdom. I love connecting with new people so would love to hear from you.

I hope you have a great weekend

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New Year, New Ideas

This year, a clear vision, a personal plan and a strong intention, will give you a tremendous sense of confidence and empowerment…

What’s your new year’s resolution?…

O the pressure.

My sister-in-law posed this question to me over our new year’s eve dinner and I smiled, whilst silently berating myself for not having a better answer prepared. I haven’t actually decided yet, I meekly responded but deep down I wanted to shout out…

UMMM…WHEN AM I SUPPOSED TO THINK ABOUT THE NEW YEAR AND MY PLANS WHEN I AM CONSTANTLY THINKING ABOUT THE HERE AND NOW AND EVERYONE ELSE?

So,  that there was my moment of clarity. If I can’t give myself time to think about my goals and where I want to be, then something is amiss and I’m not being me. I’m someone who likes to have a vision, a reason and often a plan. That’s who I am. I know things don’t always go the way you want (something I am trying to teach my toddler) and circumstances change through no fault of your own and you have to be flexible and make changes but it’s not an excuse to not have something to focus on.

Last year I made myself a vision board after an old friend and yoga teacher suggested it to me and I was amazed by how much it worked for me. I enjoyed creating something tangible that I could bring out and look at. This year I thought – yes and I gave myself a morning, whilst my tot napped, got my scissors, glue stick and magazines out on the table and let my creativity flow. I picked out images that spoke to me, that linked to the things I wanted to change in my life and do differently this year and this was the end result. I hope some of these resolutions resonate with you and you start this year with a spring in your step. Please feel free to get in touch @onemamaskingdom on Instagram I’d love to see yours!

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GO GREEN – I brought my husband the book “No. More. Plastic” by Martin Dorey for Christmas and as a family we are really trying hard to cut back on our plastic usage.

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We are now shopping more at Cariad in Blandford where you can fill up your own containers with staples such as rice, cereal, pasta without using any plastic.

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We are cutting down our meat intake from the supermarket but splashing out on quality cuts from the butchers and taking our own bags with us to take our shopping home and we have already purchased a Cheeky Wipes  starter kit so we never to have to use a wet wipe again.

GET ORGANISED  – I stumbled across this amazing series on Netflix this week called “Tidying with Marie Kondo” and it has been an absolute game changer. Her philosophy is to “Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. Thank them for their service – then let them go.”

A while ago, a  friend had raved about her book ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organising’ and said how great it was but my goodness the woman is a dream. I watched the whole series in about 3 days and was lapping up her tips like a cat drinking cream. If you can, watch it. I truly believe it will help you kick start the year with a pre-spring spring clean and not only order your house but give you the space to take ownership of your space and keep on top of the tidying without the stress. Seriously, her process is magic and my goodness I feel so much better for it. It feels like a weight I never knew was there has been lifted and to walk into the kitchen is a dream each morning! Let’s hope I can keep this up.

Here is the  trailer for you to watch.

BE YOU – For me this is so important. When I became a mother I truly thought I might lose my identity and not be able to keep doing the things I love. Infact, it was one of the catalysts that led me to start writing my blog. The art of writing made me see the importance of doing something that was solely for me, as Aimee not as Mama, wife, or teacher but for me and only me. Over Christmas my mother shared with me a Japanese concept called Ikigai that translates as a ‘reason for being’. A reason to enjoy life. One article I read suggested thinking about your perfect Saturday and what you would do if you could do whatever you wanted. This is being you.

ikigaiBeing me varies from month to month; sometimes it might just be a long hot bath with no interruptions, a trip to the supermarket with no company, a night at the movies or dinner with my girlfriends. I might choose to craft one day, write my blog or get my hair done. An hour to practice yoga, work on my blog or read.

This year I want to remember to take care of me.

What would you do on you perfect Saturday?

Wishing you all a very happy, healthy and year full of love and light.

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C A M P B E S T I V A L

An insight into festival life this summer, with a baby in tow ….

It’s been a week back from the fun fest…..

Some thought us mad taking our 11 month old son with us to a festival, others thought us brave, some gave us an impressed nod and others thought we were totally crazy but my husband and I had never been to a festival… so when your mate says let’s meet at Camp Bestival 2018, I’m working and can sort you some tickets…. and then someone else says they have craft work for you and want you to help out with am exclusive private breakfast gathering, We were hardly going to say no to the hottest family festival around!!!

The theme this year at Camp Bestival was “Set Sail” and I couldn’t wait to get involved! Dress up is something I love to do, stemming from my love of theatre and I couldn’t wait to plan my outfits! I thought I’d down well with my look but my goodness were there some fabulous sights! People really went to town and I figured as long as you have something to give a little nod to the theme you’ll blend right in! I was of course anticipating lots of glitter and sparkle but I’ve never seen so many face gems and sparkly make up. It was like a glitter confetti gun exploded and everyone was like “shoot me, shoot me!”

Obviously being a festival organised by the very talented Rob Da Bank, I was expecting some great music but the line up was truly fantastic. There was such an eclectic mix of new/ fab music reverberating with crystal clarity around the Lulworth Estate as well as the awesome headliners, Rick Astly, Clean Bandit and some genuine favourites; The Cuban Brothers who bizarrely I remember gigged at Goldsmiths’ Club Sandwich! We picnicked on Friday afternoon right by the main stage and were treated to artists Dodi and Rae Morris. Both beautiful singer song writers with stunning voices, not out of place on your Spotify playlists and for a while we revelled in the joys of listening to live music al fresco and it was bliss. There was so much to see and do with such a variety of genres and activities you could never get through all of it in a weekend. But that’s the beauty… you’ll always leave wanting more.

The food options were also amazing and at times it was hard to decide which stall to go to. There was everything from Pad Thai, organic burgers, fresh oysters, burritos, vegan establishments, sushi, and Ghanaian cuisine to name only a few. A serious feast fest known as the Feast Collective and perfect when you all fancy different things for lunch/dinner. We enjoyed the thumping tunes from DJ BBQ and his 21 hour smoked pulled pork but perhaps not the place to head towards if you are vegan.

Camp Bestival really was a feast for the senses and the most exciting, enthralling, magical, enchanting, dazzling, intoxicating weekend ever that tired us out (in a good way) and meant we all slept for 10+ hours after we made a swift escape before the storm hit and the rest of the festival was cancelled.

It was also the first time we have ever camped with a baby and we definitely learnt a few things this weekend when it comes to packing and being festival virgins! Can you ever really be prepared for camping in 40mph winds with an 11 month old?

Here are our top 10 tips for camping at a festival with a babe in arms:

1️⃣ 🎒PACK LIGHT – you most definitely won’t need everything you have packed and I know this because I packed for every possible eventuality. I can’t help it now I am a mama – it’s like I’m in competition with myself to be ready for anything. However when your pitch is 4 fields away from your car and your poor husband is doing shuttle runs with 5 times his body weight and he says to you “I’ve only bought the essentials some things I’ve left”, you nod (pray he has bought the pillows) and realise that you can survive with the bare minimum.

2️⃣ BUT BE PREPARED – still make sure you have your rain mac, sunnies, suncream and boots to hand because you just never know when the weather will change.

3️⃣ 🏡HOME COMFORTS – dummies, familiar foods, toys, books, blankets it’s amazing how little ones relate to things they recognise especially if you are sleeping in a tent for the first time. We took our travel cot with the hope Freddie would sleep easy.

4️⃣ 💰CASH – sometimes it’s just good to have some on you especially when to rent a trolley you might need a large deposit.

5️⃣ 👶🏼🍼 BABY GEAR – you need to keep Baby warm at night so don’t forget the warm sleeping bag. Sleep suits and vests are great to layer up and it’s worth packing an extra blanket. Ear defenders are also a must for little ears to protect them from the loud sounds of a music festival! Don’t forget the dummy and ready made milk and I packed pouch food to make it simple.

6️⃣ 📆 PLANNING vs SPONTANEITY – we didn’t plan to see a particular artist, or event this year as we just wanted to get a feel for what a festival is like so we wandered around taking in all the sights and sounds. Next time though we think we might read through the programme in more detail and make a mini plan of the things we’d like to see/ do/ visit etc. We were lucky enough to see some great stuff though just by wandering aimlessly around and that, I guess, is the beauty of a festival!

7️⃣ 📝 ESSENTIAL ITEMS:

* Trolley – to cart everything including your child/ children (lots of families have them and decorate them too! Not sure how great they would be in mud though.

* Torch -you will need one. We took head torches as easy to carry and I like to be hands free but we also found our tent lantern really useful for those midnight nappy changes.

* Bin liners – for everything – keeps the tent organised, everything cleared away and when you leave you’ll feel good for having kept Britain tidy!

* Bucket – I hate to admit it but sometimes when you have to go you have got to go and the toilets are just too far away and when there are people all around……only a bucket and a bag will do!

* Toilet roll – for in the campsite but also during the day at the festival when the toilets have usually run out of toilet roll.

* Rucksack – to carry all essential items for the day without having to head back to the tent.

8️⃣ 🦄 FANCY DRESS – there is no hiding from it I’m afraid and anything goes, So my advice is embrace it and immersed yourself in the glitterati! Don’t forget a mirror so you can actually see where you are putting the gems and remember the face wipes if you like to sleep fresh – although part of the festi vibe is to rock that glitter for as long as possible! Each year there is a theme too so make sure you keep up to date and I like to do a few searches on the internet to get a little inspo!

9️⃣ 💧WATER – I’d suggest to take your own water bottle that you can fill up on site but also bring a couple of bottles of water to keep on the tent. You never know when you might have to wash or warm some milk. Plus remember to drink lots – festivals are very thirsty work as you do not want a dehydration head ache!

🔟 💤 NAP – key. We were not really there long enough but it would be my top tip. Give yourself and your little ones time to nap and recharge before heading back out into the craziness… we headed back to the tent for tea around 4/30ish to keep a little routine with babe but find what works for your family.

I hope this proves it can be done and gives you confidence. It was an adventure but one we won’t forget!

A Positive Birth Story

A positive birth story full of truth, drama and magic.

 

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It was my first pregnancy and I was too scared to plan a home birth for my first one. I didn’t know what to expect and it being my first time I was frightened. I’m not a lover of hospitals and so we opted for a middle ground and booked us into the midwife led birthing Centre. I felt happy I could use the birthing pool as I had always envisaged a water birth and having looked around it felt like a home away from home.

2017, it was a hot August and I felt huge, could barely see my toes and  I had been working right up until 38 weeks as a primary school teacher and I was tired, slow and ready for baby. Despite the uncomfortableness I felt awash with love and excitement about meeting this little babe that I had grown inside me for 9 months and I like to think I was “glowing”.  I had the most amazing class of children and I felt so lucky that I could share my pregnancy with them as they watched me grow; to see how my body changed, stretched and nurtured this precious being inside me. It was such a treat for them to witness nature and new life first hand.

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On the morning of 11th August I thought my waters had broken. I couldn’t be sure as it was not a huge amount of fluid, so we went to the birthing centre, just incase,  to be checked over. Nothing was conclusive but I was told,  if I didn’t go into labour that night then I would need to contact the hospital to check my waters and to ensure the baby was ok. Change of plan number 1. I was not allowed to go to the irthing centre anymore as if my waters had broken there could have been risk of infection. This was the first metal test to now being to visualise myself in hospital.  The next morning we went for a walk to see if that would get things moving. Broadwater Warren was laced with purple heather and it was beautiful, Tom and I discussed baby names, took in the views and enjoyed our few hours of being ‘just us’, before I got far too sweaty and could barely walk another few steps without waddling!

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The morning of Freddie’s birth

We went to the hospital that afternoon and baby was monitored, my waters had definitely broken and so we were given until the following morning to go into labour. Change of plan number 2.  I would not be allowed a water birth now, as my waters had broken. All fine with baby and the midwives said that if baby didn’t come that night then we were going to be booked in for an induction the next day.  Change of plan number 3. If I’m totally honest I didn’t want to go for an induction. I had had a near perfect pregnancy, very organic and natural and I just didn’t want to be in hospital. Next test I faced was to really begin to imagine me being in hospital and getting my head around that with the used of labour inducing hormones.

But… that night on the way home we stopped off for pizza. On the way back home I did feel a couple of twinges but nothing serious. It felt a little like a period pain but nothing to rave about but we did get a little excited. We ate,  I bounced on the ball, we played cards and called my mom to let her know what the plan was for the morning. I would call first thing when I knew the time I was given for an induction so she had enough time to get over from France on the shuttle.  I reread my affirmations and focussed on my breathing and we decided to download an app to monitor contractions. According to the app, things were ramping up fast and we were instructed to pack the hospital bag and get the car seat ready. We laughed it off.  I went to have a bath with a couple of drops of clary sage and Tom made me a cup of tea. We carried on playing cards but I felt the contractions getting stronger and so went upstairs again but can’t remember what for.

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From that point on it gets pretty hazy. I threw myself onto the pillows on the bed  (I think because it meant I was in the dark) and breathed through the contractions whilst simultaneously trying to use the app! Tom rang the midwives who told me to take paracetamol… I told Tom very  clearly and probably quite aggressively that I did not want paracetamol…. I may have even screamed it! I took the paracetamol.

I faintly remember Tom telling me he was packing up the car and it between the next contraction I was to make my way downstairs. I did as I was told but as I made it to the bottom step I knew the baby was coming as I could feel him between my legs….at that point I was wrestling with fear and trying to remember all the skills and techniques I had been through on my hypnobirthing course.

Tom tells me he had 2 phones on the go, one to the midvives and the other on the line to 999. He was washing his hands and getting the towels. My hero.

Change of plan number 4 – a home delivery.

I remember being scared because I didn’t know “how to be”, which pose to be in, on my all fours or standing up. This was for me the hardest thing. I tried to listen to my body but we were on our own and the baby was coming so it felt frightening but as soon as someone arrived I remember feeling better; someone to take control of the situation. I was debating having gas and air at one stage until Tom said yes I should definitely use it. Crazy I know, but I didn’t feel like I was in pain. To me, the sensation felt like the biggest ball of energy circling in my pelvis. I carried on breathing and needed total silence to focus on each surge. so much for the calming music and fairy lights I had prepared!

It is hard to recall the timings of that evening but I do remember how it felt. The room was filled with 7 strangers ( 2 ambulance crews and a midwife, who arrived 10 minutes before our boy was born) and in our living room, a shooting star – my beautiful baby boy was born safely and with control under a Perseid meteor shower at 00:31 on 13th August 2017.

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My Hero

So despite not going to plan, I wouldn’t want to change a thing.

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Team photo in the front room with the worst lighting EVER!

 

We both went to hospital to be checked over and to have a little TLC down below (with proper lighting!) and my mom was there waiting at home to welcome us and basically look after us for the next week! (see ‘The Day I became a mother…” blog post)

I hope by sharing this honest account of my labour, it will give you the confidence and strength to know that you can do it and that your body knows exactly what to do, as does your baby in this amazing miracle we call child birth. It is sheer magic and Mother Nature’s greatest work so don’t fear it  –  we were made for this!

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MY BIRTHING TOP TIPS

AFFIRMATIONS– tell yourself daily in the mirror how much you respect your body, how much you trust it and visualise how this baby is going to come into the world.

REST –  listen to your body and take the time you need to save up all your energy.

DRINK –  lots of water – it is the best medicine there is!

READ  -I found reading really gave me lots of knowledge and in turn power. Obviously not everything will match your beliefs or your philosophy but it really gave me confidence knowing that others had been through the same and had experience.

My best reads were:

How to Grow a Baby and Push it Out by Clemmie Hooper

Why love matters:  How Affection Shapes a Baby’s Brain by Sue Gerhardt

What to expect when you are expecting by Heidi Murkoff (more of a dip in and out)

BREATHE – practice practice practice. If you already practise yoga then you will know just how important the breath is to your bodies movement and your mind’s clarity. It served me so well and I would encourage all pregnant ladies to try and master their own breath and see the benefits and how it can empower you when you need it most.

Sending you all so much love and courage

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It’s worth every second!

Going Wild

Going wild – a 30 day journey of discovery in the Dorset countryside with mama and baby

The month of June, when summer finally arrives and the countryside is a buzz with nature and the weather entices you outside on a daily basis so what better way than to spend your days outdoors appreciating the beauty of Mother Nature and really enjoying what she has to offer. Having spotted something online about the #30dayswild campaign hosted by The wildlife trusts across the UK, I thought it would be fun to challenge myself and see what I could find and do that involved nature and being outside. It’s hard sometimes to find the motivation to get about and do things especially when you’ve just landed on planet Motherhood but I can not express how therapeutic being outside with your baby is. Not only will you feel great your little one will be encapsulated by nature and experiencing his/her new world first hand with you!

30 days sounds like a long time but it went so quickly and it was amazing some of the things we got up to. Being accountable on social media has its plus points for sure. Mainly it was a chance to really stop and look around and to really see what nature there was right outside our front door, but during the month I realised how much it did for my wellbeing and no doubt little Freddie’s too. He’s always been a lover of the outdoors right from the start when we would go walking everyday and watch the changing of seasons but now, to be able to share in the delights of his surroundings is a real joy. As he is grows, he can now notice the movement of the butterflies cruising from bud to bud and hear the bees buzzing. He loves to watch the trees move in the wind and looks up to see the clouds. I’ve found myself wanting to learn more about what we’ve seen in the hope when he is old enough to ask me “mama, what’s that?” I’ll be able to respond confidently and be able to teach him about the wildlife around us. We’ll see though….

I hope my posts on Instagram might have inspired some of you mamas out there to step outside with your seedlings and share with them the beauty that is all around us, both in cities and in the countryside. I know I’ll be taking part again even if it’s just to nourish the soul. You can find more of my wildlife posts @MrsStrongman. Children remember their experiences, we all love to make memories and so this family is staying wild!

Cows go Moooooooooooo

When the farmer opens his gates to the public, grab the bull by the horns!

Open farm Sunday is a special day in the countryside calendar when farmers open their gates and let the public in! LEAF Open Farm Sunday began in 2006 and since then over 1600 farmers across the UK have flung open their gates and welcomed 2 million people onto their farms.

It is a brilliant opportunity for everyone, young or old to discover what it means to be a farmer, at first hand and to witness the fabulous work they do across the country, producing our food, caring for livestock and enhancing the countryside with all the goods and services our farmers provide.

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Each farm will offer something different and will be based around the farm’s individual story of how they are where they are today. Activities might include a nature walk, tractor ride, demonstrations, local crafts, mini farmers market and plenty of activities for the children.

farmThis was my first year attending. Tom was working so I decided to take Freddie. His great uncle is a farmer so it’s basically in his blood…. so off we went to visit Knife Hill Farm in Winterborne Stickland. What a treat it was. Freddie loves the tractor ride, as did I! There was even a tractor simulator on site, as well as animal petting, milking demonstrations, farming machinery on display and a trusty tractor ride that was a definite highlight for the visitors. There was space for picnics and even though it felt stormy, the rain held off. It felt like a true privilege to be able to explore the farm and hear all about how they farm organically in the heart of Dorset. The farm workers were extremely passionate about their work and it was great for the children to see what happens at Knife Hill Farm, home to 400 cows who graze the grass and clover leys around the dairy. You could even sample the types of products that contain the milk produced by the farms cows. I kept thinking how great it was for the children to be able to see the journey of the milk and begin to understand a bit more about how the milk makes the transition from something that cows produce to products on the supermarket shelves.

Open Farm Sunday runs each year so keep your eyes open in 2019 to find a great farm near you opening it’s barn doors!

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“Cows go MOOOOOOOOOOO!”