Alternative Halloween Films 

 Me and horror films don’t get on. Scream traumatised me for years, Halloween was a nightmare with masks popping up everywhere, and The Ring is still traumatising me. A grown woman really shouldn’t have to sprint up the stairs so fast just because the lights have gone off!

I still really enjoy Halloween, and it’s no secret that I love film night; I’m just no good with the horror films. So here are my alternative Halloween films, that won’t keep me up with the lights on for the next year.


Hocus Pocus – an obvious first choice. I love this film so much, all year, but especially at Halloween. Who doesn’t love Bette Midler for a start!? Suitable for children (slight fear factor) and adults too, a true Disney classic. I’ll be singing the creepy child luring song for weeks!
Addams Family Values – of course the first film is equally good for this time of year, but this was the one we had on video and my favourite. More suited to older children it has a mild scare factor and language. But nothing is better than the Thanksgiving pageant…Pugsley as a singing turkey, brilliant!


Practical Magic – one for the grownups, best enjoyed with a pitcher of margaritas! Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman are both fab, but Stockard Channing steals it for me. Spooky enough to make me jump but not keep me awake with nightmares, this is a great grown up film for Halloween. Just don’t try the witch jump off the roof…unless you know you can fly of course.
Return to Oz – not a Halloween film I hear you say? Well if you enjoy scaring your littles (just a little bit) this is a good film for it. Jack Pumpkinhead was my first thought for a Halloween hint, but the Wheelers and all the Queen’s heads…terrifying for kids! Not as good as Wizard of Oz (of course) but I do enjoy it as a film in its own right.


Casper – a great kids film that has the feel good factor, and very little fear factor. Who hasn’t fallen in love with the cute, chubby cheeked ghost, and the adorable Christina Ricci? I still tear up at the end “can I keep you?” blub blub!
Will you be watching any Halloween themed films this week? Or are you braver than I, and enjoy a good horror?
Mrs H xxx

Little Tikes Lil’ Ocean Explorers


Recently we were very lucky to be invited to meet the lovely people of Little Tikes, and get to know their brand new range a little better.
It was G’s first time in London, and my first time taking on a solo trip so big! Despite the very shaky start (cancelled train and a big panic!) it went pretty well, and G was so good considering the incredibly active 16 month old was forced to keep pretty still for several hours over the course of the day. I think a couple of hours making new friends and playing with some seriously cute toys helped make up for it. I think he’d agree anyway!

And it certainly was lots of fun! Both of us got to meet “new friends”, although it’s proving to be very strange meeting fellow blogger that you’ve been talking to and reading about for a long time! You’re meeting for the first time but already know so much about their lives. It’s very strange, but nice at the same time.


Doll thief!!

G’s friend making was a lot less strange for him. Steal a doll, try and swap your beloved penguin for said doll, have to give doll back. I don’t think there were any long term grudges. At least I hope not!
After the initial scoping out of the poor doll, he soon got stuck into the toys (the ones we were there to actually try!) and really enjoyed them.


Checking out the Stand ‘n’ Dance Starfish


The Lil’ Ocean Explorers range consists of eight new little sea creature friends which have been designed to engage our littles whilst helping them develop their motor skills and co ordination. And they don’t even know it!

We got to chat to Dr. Amanda Gummer, an independent child development and play expert, who believes that children learn best through play. And I happen to strongly believe this! Children are the little sponges who are constantly soaking up new information and learning new things (even the stuff you wish they didn’t!) and they’ll learn best by doing rather than being shown. These colourful characters can help them reach important milestones whilst having so much fun they hardly know it.

Side note – we’re supposed to be encouraging these milestones, not crying over them and repeating “where has my baby gone!?” over and over…so I’m told.

Catch Me Crabbie looking cuter than ever in biscuit form!

All the characters are exceptionally cute, with they’re bright colours and big cartoon eyes, it’s hard not to love all of them! I was particularly taken by ‘Catch Me Crabbie’ who has a motion sensor that will detect baby approaching, and scuttles side to side, clapping it’s claws and playing music (the music I can’t comment on. A room full of toddling, crawling children and chatting parents…yeah I couldn’t hear it!) It’s great for encouraging crawling and hand eye co ordination to catch him. What I particularly loved was that he doesn’t scuttle off too far. G had some great toys when he was younger, that would roll off in order to be chased. They would inevitably roll too far and mean that I was chasing it more than G! Crabbie goes far enough away to encourage movement, but not too far that I’d have to join in too much. Win win.

Stomping out a tune

G’s loved the Stand ‘N’ Dance Starfish. It has everything that he loves (and I’m sure he’s not alone) lights, music, and a ‘slide’ that he can spend hours chucking the balls (and cars, trains, upsy daisy and bits of sandwich) down the ball drop and watch them spiral down and across the room.

3 in 1 Adventure Course

To be honest, he really enjoyed playing with all of the toys, but his favourite by a mile was the 3 in 1 Adventure Course. It’s a fab all round toy, suitable from 6months, all stages can find something to enjoy with this. There are loads to look at and reach for if they’re just sitting. The octopus is sturdy enough to help them pull themselves to standing, where they can load balls onto his arms and catapult them across the room. 

Not sure if the kids or grownups were enjoying this feature the most. Even when they’re crawling or full on sprinting, there is hours of fun to be had crawling under the tunnel sections or zig sagging in and out of the course. And although it’s a fairly sizeable toy when it’s all set up, it does come apart for storage. I believe (although I didn’t test it out) that the sections can be used individually too. 

The adventure course will definitely be going on G’s letter to Santa this year! I can see it having a lot of use, burning off some energy on the rainy days indoors, and taken into the garden for an obstacle course during the summer months (we are getting one next year…right?)


Exploring the Adventure Course


Definitely his favourite toy!


Little Tikes is such a well known and trusted brand, we knew that we were going to have fun, but were really impressed with the new range, the bright colours, variety and sturdiness. They were all put under some serious and rigorous stress testing that afternoon and I didn’t see a seal or lobster falter.

Have you seen the new Lil’ Ocean Explorers range? Who’s your favourite character?

Mrs H xxx

Our Halloween Plans

Last years pumpkin…must try harder this year!

 It’s half term and Halloween, and there are tons of events on locally during the holiday. I usually avoid anywhere public during half term, prices go up and it’s always too busy for taking a little baby out. Soft play is a special kind of hell during the holidays. Except now he’s not a baby anymore, he’s a very bright and energetic toddler who would enjoy the chance to join in some activities.

I wanted to do so much, and visit so many places during this half term. In fact my biggest problem was going to be how we’d fit in all the activities, places and crafts into just one week. I was prepared to face the crowds (too many people give me anxiety) and I know G would love it.

Now, due to some ill health, it doesn’t look like we’ll be doing half as much as I’d planned. But instead of sulking about it, I’m planning a load of crafts and activities that we can do at home instead. I’m still going to try and get out a bit, because it would be nice for G to be able to join in and have some company his own age, but the week won’t be as jam packed as I thought it would be.

I’m hoping we can have a little party in the house at the end of the week too, so all these activities can help with decorations too!

I don’t know how many of these we’ll get through, but here are some of the activities we’re hoping to do this week (thanks Pinterest!)

Potato ‘pumpkin’ printing

Happy Halloween bunting

Toilet roll Bats (I need to use up the million and one loo rolls I’ve been hoarding!)

Bloody window clings

Pumpkin carving

Spiced pumpkin seeds

Toffee apples

Creepy cookies

Paper plate black cats

Spooky sensory bins (spaghetti worms, jelly eyeballs etc…a classic game!)

If you’re still looking for things to do in and around Cardiff this week, check out these fab guides from Cardiff Mummy Says and Cookies and Cwtches. 

Do you have any trips planned this half term? Or will you be getting crafty too?

Mrs H xxx

A Fab Time at Folly Farm


 I’ve been to Folly farm on several school trips when I was very young. I can remember that it involved a tractor ride sat on hay bales (lots of hay sticking up the leg of your shorts and itching and tickling), feeding bottles of milk to lambs (still miss this) and a few cows.

It has certainly changed a bit since then! Not only do they have the traditional farm animals, but there is a fantastic zoo! From chickens to emus, goats to lions, and cockroaches to penguins, it really does have it all.

Shouting at goats

On top of this there are plenty of different play areas, indoors and out. Several wooden adventure parks suitable for the older children, sand floored areas with sit on diggers, soft play frames for the toddlers, and variations of them all for all ages.

And if that wasn’t enough, there’s a vintage fairground too! A classic carousel and waltzers take centre stage in the indoor fair, surrounded by vintage rides suitable for all ages and rates of bravery. There’s also a beautiful Ferris wheel outdoors that gives a beautiful view of the whole farm. The rides are additional to the entry price, but are extremely reasonable, usually only 50p or a £1 per person, even the Ferris wheel.

Loving all the funfair arcade rides

We took G last year when he was only 4 months, and he did enjoy it, getting to look at the animals and nose about. But this years’ trip was so much better!
We got to explore the many play areas, and have a go on the big slide. There are hundreds of animals to see and shout to, including the beautiful lions. It was only disappointing that they didn’t roar back to him 😉


G loved watching the meerkats running around, especially the tiny baby ones. He was oohing and ahhing over the cute babies…well we all were!

My meerkat family

It’s definitely not somewhere that you need to take kids to enjoy. We went with my parents, and although it was special to watch G trying to interact with the animals, we would have been able to enjoy the day out without having to take him. There was even a special ‘adult’ showing at the giraffe enclosure, however I’m not sure that was part of the official schedule!

Just before the ‘adult’ show 😂

The family was forced to spend the most time visiting my favourite animals. The beautiful and funny penguins. I could happily spend the entire day watching the penguins. Mr H and I were there to listen to the penguin talk, and watch feeding. My parents were walking around the outskirts whilst G had a bit of a nap. 

Once he woke up we spent a good half an hour at least watching them waddling and sunbathing at the top. Then we took a walk down the penguin walk ramp (past the beautiful new flamingos!) to the viewing area, where you can watch them diving and swimming around. I, of course, absolutely loved watching them, but G did too! I think we both could have stayed there and watched. He was so excited when they were swimming right up to him at the glass. He even leant in and gave them kisses. My heart melted!


Hello new friends


Giving the penguin kisses!


We love the penguins


Usually we would take a picnic on day trips like this (I was particularly proud of the epic picnic we took to Alton Towers earlier this year) but as we were self catering that week anyway, we decided to treat ourselves to lunch at the farm. It was so reasonable! 

We ate at the restaurant inside (next to the vintage fairground) although there was also a cafe and burger spot to choose from. The restaurant doesn’t have hundreds of choices, but what they have is very tasty! Between us we had pie and chips, fish and chips, curry and rice, and pasta Bolognese and there wasn’t a single complaint!


Tractor fun!


Exploring the softplay


Family photo on the Ferris Wheel


We had such a fantastic time, rounded off by a trip to the gift shop on the way out of course. We almost went for the boomerang ticket, a fantastic deal that means you can return half price, but there was so much planned already we knew we wouldn’t get the chance. You could easily do two or even more trips in one week and not get bored with it all! We’re were a little bit sad when we realised we wouldn’t be able to squeeze another visit in during our holiday, but knowing that the new members of the Folly farm family were not due to arrive until October, we reasoned that we’d need to make another trip later this year anyway. Not only will you be able to see lions, penguins, giraffes, as well as lots of farm animals up close, due to arrive in October are Rhinos!! We can’t wait to go back and say a big hello.

Folly farm is also on my list of places that we may take G to visit Father Christmas. Not decided yet, but it’s almost any excuse to plan another trip here!

I would really recommend this as a fantastic day out for all ages, and you certainly shouldn’t feel like you have to take children as I’d thought before, it really is suitable for all ages. And it is one of the cheapest day trip entry prices I’ve seen anywhere, especially when you consider everything that is included. It’s actually not much more than one of the big soft play centres in Cardiff, and they don’t have penguins! Even if you add on token prices for the fairground rides it really isn’t that much extra, and as they’re not really something that everyone will want to go use I think it’s fair that it’s an extra (a very small extra!).

Have you ever visited Folly Farm? What would be your favourite animals to visit?

Mrs H xxx

*Disclaimer: we were very kindly given entry to Folly Farm in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are honest and purely my own.

The Herniman House is NOT Moving!

For most of this year we’ve been planning to move. There’s nothing wrong with our current house, we really like it here, but a friend of ours had a property becoming available that we’d always dreamed of living in. A beautiful little cottage on a mountain. For the moment at least, that plan is on hold. It’s not never going to happen, but it’s not happening for a while.

It’s not a really a big deal, like I said we do like our current house, so it’s we’re not desperate or stuck somewhere we don’t want to be. But I’ve spent so much of this year planning the redecoration of somewhere new, I’ve let our home slide. It’s starting to feel like a house and not a home. With my favourite time of year rapidly approaching, I know I’m going to want to make my home a cosy and welcoming again, for us as well as any family and friends that will visit.

I’m going to be going through each room, decluttering and getting rid of a lot of the junk that is hoarded, and redecorating or adding some new personal touches. There’s something to be done to every room. That’s the kitchen, living room, dining room, bathroom, two bedrooms and a spare room. It’s not all a big refresh, some rooms just need a few little changes, but others need a bigger overhaul.

I have zero budget for this! It’s going to be done on as little money as possible…mainly because we have none 😀
Charity shops, sale items, free cycle, up cycling, selling our unwanted stuff. Way more fun than simply shopping!

So wish us luck as we start sorting out and improving the Herniman House!
Do you have a sort out at this time of year? Have you got any tips for home improvements on a budget?

Mrs H xxx

Tenby Food Diary 


One of the most beautiful places


As autumn is well and truly on its way, we’re reminiscing of our ‘end of summer’ trip to Tenby, only a few weeks ago. We were very lucky weather-wise, and seemed to scrape the last of the ‘summer’ out of Wales. There’s no denying the evenings are definitely cooler now.

Myself, Mr H, G and my parents, had a lovely week in one of the most beautiful places in Wales. Probably the world to be honest.

It was a wonderful week filled with exactly what this blog, and my life, is all about. Food, family and fun! It was lovely to see G enjoying the trip so much more than last year, and getting to explore and join in.

We stayed in a lovely house right in Tenby town centre (huge thanks to my lovely parents!) which felt so homely and cosy. I could have happily moved in! It certainly felt made for me when I found a Nigella cookbook, polka dot table cloth and Christmas cd in the gorgeous kitchen. I didn’t put the cd on, but it made it feel like my kitchen 😀

Being so close to the beach was lovely. The sea air is good for the soul. And for my Mum to take G on endless walks when he was fighting naps! Me and Mr H were truly spoilt that week; my parents were invaluable for childcare, especially at night, taking over the baby monitor. We were incredibly lucky to have a little break and a few lay ins! Don’t worry, mum and dad have a holiday coming up, so they can have their well deserved break too.

We’re a pretty foodie family, and Tenby is the perfect place for us. There are many pubs and restaurants to choose from, all serving a big range of delicious food, including plenty of seafood as you’d expect.  

Ice cream stop at Feccis!

The Hope and Anchor – this is a firm favourite of my Dads, it serves a nice selection of craft ales and good food. We’ve been lucky to catch the good weather when we’ve visited here, and only ever sat in the small beer garden, which is quite full of tables, there was a little squeezing and climbing to get sat down, but it’s not overly cramped when you’ve settled at a bench table, though the high chair was another challenge and didn’t sit as close to the table as I’d like.

It’s the food that keeps us going back though. The seafood especially. Mackerel, sea bass, and a lovely seafood platter were all enjoyed.

The Buccaneer – Mr H and I discovered this friendly pub on a day trip to Tenby last year. It was chosen mainly because it could fit in the large group we were with rather than the menu, but we were so glad we found it! 

Again we seem to end up in the beer garden, but this is half covered and has heaters so it’s suitable for most weathers. Bench tables mean, again, the highchairs can’t get right up to the table, but G was happy enough, especially as he could wave and chat to the next table!

Terrible lighting, amazing food!

The food here is delicious; my classic surf and turf was exceptional! King prawns, well seasoned steak and a delicious creamy sauce. My mouth’s watering at the memory! 

But I think what singles this pub out is that not only does it taste delicious but the portion sizes are extremely generous. And by generous I mean huge! We could have happily had a few visits here and work through more of the menu.

The Bay Tree – Mr H and I were treated to a night out to ourselves (yes I am aware how spoilt we were on this trip!) and we weren’t sure where we wanted to go. There were a few ideas and recommendations, 

Tenby is so full of nice places to eat it actually becomes a problem deciding where to go! The only thing we were going on was that Mr H fancied a decent steak. I’d already had a steak earlier in the week (Surf and Turf) so I was looking to try anything. After looking at a few of the menus, and online reviews, the Bay Tree seemed a good choice. 

We almost gave it a miss when we found a sign at the door saying there was live music that night. It’s not that we’re against live music! But we wanted a nice evening out to talk, not be drowned out by loud music. Luckily we decided to try it anyway. The music (a very good female singer) was set up in the front bar area, the restaurant being further back, so you could hear it and enjoy it, but it wasn’t too loud or over powering.

Mackerel pate

I’ve had lots of nice/ok steaks, but it’s hard for me to find one that I can rave about. I like my steak to be one round of CPR away from coming back to life. I know it’s not for everyone, but anything more than rare just isn’t for me. This is something a lot of restaurants struggle with. I understand not everyone is willing to serve ‘blue’ steak, but even getting a proper rare steak is, well, rare. They always seem to arrive medium. It’s a “first world problem” for me. If I ever find somewhere that say they’ll serve blue steak I’m almost always guaranteed to order one. 

The waitress here didn’t even hesitate when I asked; it was a very quick yes. So we both ordered steak.
I am so glad we did! I must have mentioned how great that steak was every day since!


the elusive blue steak

These are just a few of the places we visited for food; it certainly becomes a food holiday when we go to Tenby for the week!

Have you ever been to Tenby? Do you have a favourite place to eat?
Mrs H xxx

Baby Herniman – The Birth Story


Just a few hours old

Our beautiful little baby is no longer a baby any more. At 16 months he’s a walking, talking little whirlwind. A beautiful whirlwind. It’s about time I wrote about his birth story!
I’m not sure why it’s taken so long to write this. I was incredibly lucky, I had an almost enjoyable labour and birth. Despite it ending in a c-section, I don’t feel like it went ‘wrong’ or am disappointed in it. I wouldn’t choose a c-section if I could help it (recovery isn’t easy!) but it was right for me at this time.


When I was 38+6 I had my final midwife appointment in the surgery on a Friday. My blood pressure was higher than they wanted so I was sent to the hospital for monitoring. 

A few hours later and I was ok to go home, with a home visit from the midwife booked for the Monday after the weekend, and strict instructions to keep an eye on how I was feeling and to go back to the hospital if anything changed.
Monday morning, around 8am, I got up to go to the loo (I was fairly lucky during pregnancy, there was very little disturbed sleep for frequent peeing, but I’d be desperate by morning) and when I sat down there was a big whoosh. I knew I was desperate to ‘go’ but it felt different. I waddled back to the bedroom to go back to sleep, but it just felt risky. So I found one of those terribly comfy (sarcasm alert) maternity pads, got dressed into a comfy top and jogging bottoms and went downstairs. I decided that I’d leave Mr H sleep as long as he could. It was the last lie in he was getting for a while and I wasn’t sure what was going on.

I set myself up in the living room, drink and snacks on the side table, birthing ball (complete with a towel over it just in case) and a John Barrowman concert on Sky Arts…the start of labour has never been so glamorous and stagey!
By the time the midwife came to visit, around half 9am, I was certain it was my waters and not just a big pee, and I’d had some very minor contractions. The midwife and student were greeted at the door with “good morning! My waters have broken!” And that’s how poor Mr H found out too! He was walking to the loo upstairs when he overheard us! Not sure that’s the best way for your husband to find out your in labour but it was very calm and not very soap opera worthy.

I can tell you that a student midwife learning to use one of those ear trumpet things to listen to the baby, whilst having your first ever contractions, is less than comfortable! But at least I helped 😀 

After some checks it was decided I was ok to stay at home for as long as I wanted/could as long as I kept checking my temperature, and if I felt dizzy or fluttery at all I was to go straight to hospital. Though how you know if this is different to labour anyway I have no idea.

Once the midwife left, Mr H came down to check that he hadn’t been dreaming and I confirmed that yes I was in labour. My main concern was to finish sewing the nursing pillow cover I’d started the night before! Mr H went out to get some work stuff sorted whilst everything was still calm, and I set up at the sewing machine, keeping my handy iphone to hand to time the contractions. I’d have finished that cover too if I’d cut the pieces out properly the night before, but I’d done one piece the wrong way. It’s still not finished even now!

Mr H made me lunch and loaded up the car with the bags. I watched the Take That musical ‘Never Forget’. It was all a bit surreal really.

When the iphone app told us contractions were pretty close, a quick phone call to the hospital confirmed we should go in. The pain was all in my lower back (I’d later find out that he was back to back) so sitting properly in the car wasn’t easy. I was hanging on to the handle above the door for dear life, trying to hold myself off the seat. I remember saying to Mr H that if it turned out that I was only a cm or two then that would be ok because it wasn’t that bad yet. But when I was first examined and they told me I was indeed one whole cm dilated I nearly cried. I’d heard of people being 1cm dilated a week or so before they went into labour!

I couldn’t be admitted as I wasn’t far enough along, and I couldn’t stay in the hospital any longer, it was too hot and stuffy. But to go back home was risking being stuck in traffic if we needed to come back. So for about an hour I laboured in the hospital car park. I couldn’t sit down so I was pacing around the car (and throwing up next to the car. Very attractive.) and making Mr H take photos of me, my last bump photo.

Last bump pic – I was in labour

When I couldn’t handle it any more we made the very long walk back into the hospital. It was only a few hundred yards away but it took forever, because every 10ft or so I’d have to stop for a contraction. They were very close together and a lot more painful than they had been. 

The second examination, it had to be better right? 1-2cm at a push. I think I did cry at that point. It wasn’t more pain than I could handle, but to be only just 2cm was pretty heartbreaking by then. It was about 5pm by now. I voted for a shot of pethadine. There didn’t seem to be much else they could offer as it was too early to be admitted so no gas and air. I was at risk of pulling the sink off the wall whilst clinging on during contractions, apparently it had happened the week before and it was fragile. So at least the pethidine helped me nap for an hour, I could lie down and doze between contractions. During contractions I was flapping my arm at Mr H for him to rub my back. I was too sleepy to use actual words.

It didn’t seem long before it had worn off and I was requesting more. But another examination was needed first. I struggled with this. I could either stand up or lie on my side. Sitting or lying on my back was not an option. You could see the midwife was thinking ‘here’s another over dramatic’ who won’t lie down properly for the examination she needed for the pain relief she was asking for. There was the firm ‘if you don’t lie down I can’t examine you, so there’ll be no pain relief’. I tried. I got there eventually. If I wasn’t more than 2cm I think I’d have throttled the poor woman. “Do you want the good news?” I remember thinking if this is not actual good news that I’d kick her in the face! Labour can make you very violent. “You’re 7!” I cried with happiness. And was quickly whisked away to be admitted.

Then came the miracle stuff. The gas and air. I’d heard how it made some people ill and they couldn’t have any. I took two puffs and floated away into a hazy bliss. The room started spinning and I felt the most drunk I’d ever been. It was great!

The next few hours passed in a haze. Somehow I remembered the student midwife (different from the one in the morning) was at one of my consultant appointments. But apart from that I was in my own little bubble.

I don’t really remember being told I’d reached 10 centimetres, but I do remember the pushing. A lot of pushing. A LOT of pushing. But I had no real concept of time so it was hard to tell how long I’d been pushing for. I did however manage to ignore a contraction. I’m pretty proud of that in a weird way! It felt like the contractions were nonstop, and it turns out that they were coming two at a time rather than evenly spaced, which explains the feeling of constant pushing. So for one particular contraction, when the midwife checked the monitor and informed me I was having as contraction (like I didn’t know) I flatly refused. “I’m not” is all I kept saying, and somehow managed to stay as still as possible whilst repeatedly denying that there was a contraction.

Eventually I got to the point where I was too tired to push properly. I could feel how low the baby was with each push, but I just couldn’t get past that point. The midwife could even tell he had hair! But as my contractions were coming two at a time I was tiring easily for the second one, and having too much time before it came again. There was talk of giving me something to regulate my contractions, but as time went on I was tiring and baby’s heart rate was dipping slightly, so they asked if I’d go to theatre and possibly have a forceps delivery or a c-section. I would never have elected to have a c-section, but I wasn’t against it either, so it didn’t feel too scary.

Despite it being an ‘emergency’ it didn’t feel like one. The room didn’t fill with panic or raised voices or people running around. I did have to sign for consent which is frankly ridiculous when you’re high on that much gas and air.

Getting in to theatre my emotions did increase when I realised that Mr H wasn’t able to be in the room for the spinal. It was also pretty difficult to sit in the right position and stay still when all the pain increased in my lower back when sitting and the contractions and therefore need to push were still going strong. A few firm words from the anaesthetist had me sorted though, and she apologised after if she had upset me (which she hadn’t) but she said she didn’t want it to get out of control.

Once the spinal was in the surgeon said he would prefer to do a c section for time reasons, and because I’d already had growth scans in the later part of pregnancy and baby was measuring two weeks ahead. I don’t regret the c section as such, but recovery is hard! But I feared forceps more and didn’t fancy trying them and then needing a c section. If there is a next time, and I find myself in the same position, I would definitely opt for the forceps in the hope that recovery would be better. Fingers crossed for a vbac if there is a baby 2. 

As I said though, I don’t have any regrets about my c section, I feel it was right for me at the time, and was actually helpful in learning about how I feel for any future births. And I certainly don’t feel like it ‘went wrong’ which is nice.
With Mr H by my side (looking rather fetching in his scrubs) and a lot of pushing and shoving of my insides (“it’ll feel like someone’s doing the washing in your belly” yeah, the old fashioned way by beating it against some rocks!?) our beautiful boy was pulled into the world. I remember asking Mr H where my baby was when they brought him round for me to see. He looked so tiny and I was expecting a whopper! At 7lb 4oz he was teeny tiny to what I was expecting!

Minutes old

Mr H tells me I went very pale and started shaking. To me I just felt relief and happiness that my boy was here. Turns out I was happy, but I was also losing a litre and a half of blood! Oops! But I didn’t even notice, or know anything about it until going through my discharge info a few days later. But it still didn’t feel like it was some scary emergency. It was lovely. In a strange way.

I can honestly say that I enjoyed my labour and birth, however off ‘plan’ it went, and I love looking back and remembering it all.

Did your birth go the way you’d hoped? Did you enjoy any of it?

Mrs H xxx

Bank Holiday Camping


As you’ll probably know by now, we love camping! Most of the time it’s just the two or three of us. But once a year there is a big bank holiday trip, with the in laws and a lot of friends. This year’s group was slightly smaller than previous years, but there were still around 25 of us taking up half the field. It was a new site to us, in Llanelli, and it had a lot of facilities (pool, play area, park etc) but it needed a LOT of ‘polishing’ so it wasn’t exactly our favourite place, but we still enjoyed ourselves.

In past years we’ve had a fancy dress theme; pirates, school, Romans. And a big ‘sports day’ with lots of different events; tug of war, long jump, ‘shot put’ and it’s always a lot of fun, probably even more for the adults than the kids as we’re in teams and it all gets very competitive!


This year though, for many reasons the whole weekend was planned later than usual, a lot of people were unable to make it, and it was decided there was no theme or games this year. We were just going to enjoy the long weekend ‘winging it’ for activities and no enforced fancy dress. Although we still managed to have a minion, Spiderman, super man and a ninja turtle…guess we were kind of super camp!

We also joined in with a fantastic idea from the Caravan Club, The Big Little Tent Festival, which encouraged everyone to pitch a tent in their garden and have some outdoor fun. First of all I was almost disappointed that we’d be away actually camping, and thought we couldn’t join in, but then they explained that the festival is to take place wherever you are. So we sent off for our festival pack, and decorated our little camp site with a flag, bunting, and sticker and got to wear our festival bands, just like a real festival! The kids really enjoyed it, and so did the adults! We played music to really get into the festival mood. I hope it’s going to be on again next year; I’ll be looking out for it and planning for it a bit more in advance, with more activities.
We were really lucky to have added a new item to our kit list for this trip. As you may have read, the last time we took G camping wasn’t exactly successful. The fresh air and running around did not ‘knock him out’ at bedtime as expected, and the light evenings and early sunrise certainly did not help! The lovely people at Snooze Shade sent us their newest product, the Snooze Shade for cots. We’ve used the shade for a pram since G was very little, last year summer was a lot better and it was invaluable. The fabric on all items is light and breathable, but does an excellent job of keeping the light out. 

If I’m honest, G still didn’t sleep well over the weekend, last time it was badly timed teething, and this time was a badly timed tummy bug! I won’t give you all the gory details, but a dodgy tum resulted in the worst nappy rash G has ever had. It was horrific! So sleep wasn’t exactly plentiful, but I can be certain that this time that it wasn’t the light that was affecting him. The shade was also great for keeping the cot cool. 

It always frustrates me trying to dress G for sleep when we’re camping. He’s a pretty warm baby anyway who doesn’t like a lot of layers and will never keep a blanket on (thank goodness for sleeping bags!). The temperature is obviously cooler when sleeping alfresco, but what I always think of is when the sun comes up early in the morning and starts heating up the tents. It becomes almost green house like in our tepee tent! This also doesn’t help with G sleeping in the mornings; if he’s layered up he gets much too hot and restless. So it becomes a delicate balance of too cold at night or too hot in the morning.

Well we found that the shade keeps the cot consistently cool, not freezing, but it the shade inside keeps the heat from hitting him in the mornings. This means I can layer him up to go to bed and know that he won’t overheat in the morning. It’s fantastic!!
It was also invaluable for an afternoon nap on Saturday. The weather was lovely (for a change!) and the tent was hot and humid. We’d left the shade unzipped from the morning, so the cot had warmed up too. G didn’t want to settle in there for a nap, and I didn’t love the idea of him napping somewhere so hot. So we pulled the cot out into the field, parked it up slightly away from the main action, popped the shade over G, who was happily snuggled up with his bottle, and he slept there quite happily for almost 2 hours!

Can you tell I’m in love with it!?


It wasn’t the easiest bank holiday weekend we’ve ever had, but we still had tons of fun! G got to run around and join in with the big kids, which he LOVED. Especially when the big girls took him around the big kids park when we went out for Sunday dinner. After 17 hours of straight rain from Sunday to Monday, I made a promise to G, that he could use his new wellies properly, and go for his first ever puddle jumping adventure. It just cemented for me how much G loves outdoor activities, and that I definitely need to get him a waterproof suit for the winter and go on lots of adventures in the rain. And that I really need to get myself a pair of wellies…fabric boots do not cut it, and are still drying out from last weekend…oops!!



What did you get up to over the weekend? Was camping a feature for you?


Mrs H xxx

*Disclaimer: I was sent a Snooze Shade for travel cot, for the purpose of a review. All opinions are my own.

Summer (and Beyond) Bucket List 

I realise that for many of you the summer holidays have been well underway for a few weeks, and you’re more than likely starting to look for new shoes, shirts, pencil cases and back packs ready for September and going back to school! 

However as G is only 15 months we don’t have to stick to the holidays to visit places and do things. It’s almost harder to do stuff during the school holidays because everywhere becomes so busy and expensive! 

I’ve been feeling like we weren’t doing much, mainly because everyone else is cramming as much into their limited time as they can. So inspired by Cardiff Mummy Says, I’ve written out a ‘to-do’ list to give us some ideas when we’re not sure where to go or what to do. 

Here is our “Summer (and Beyond) Bucket List”
Visit Cardiff Bay Beach
Invite the cousins round for a splash in our pool
Play knights at Cardiff castle
Explore the sculpture trail in Tongwynlais
Try lots of new foods
Go down the big slide at Roath Park (and go to Joe’s for ice cream!)
Splash in the new lido at Ynys Angharad park, Pontypridd (open from 29th August)
Explore Caerphilly and find all the parks (due to be our new ‘local’)
Get geeky at the Doctor Who experience
Take Grampy bowling (he’s never been before!)
Have a carpet picnic and watch Disney films (this may be my choice…)
Meet lots of animals at Amelia Trust farm, Cefn Mably farm or Green meadow farm
Start geocaching, heard Cardiff Bay Barrage is a good one
Feed the ducks at Cosmeston Lakes
Find a splash pad park in Cardiff or nearby
Have a big family bbq
Get really sandy and paddle in the sea at Barry Island
Collect pebbles at Penarth beach (and run down the pier!)
Join the local library and check out any events they may have
See the fish at Pugh’s Garden centre
Get messy and have a ‘make your own’ pizza night
Eat fresh bread and cakes at St Fagan’s museum
Go camping (lots!)
Use up a lot of the crafts stash
Buy new wellies and go to the park in the rain
Go on holiday (is it cheating that this has been booked for a while!?)
Hunt a Gruffalo and Fairies at the Mountain View Ranch
De-clutter the house and give lots away to charity (family effort needed before we move!)
Roar at the lions at folly Farm
Have a family picnic at Victoria Park
What would be/is on your Summer must do list? Is there anything else you think should be on ours? 
Mrs H xxx