How Lauren Rose entered the world

Our youngest turns 2 today and I’ve finally written her birth story to share:-

When we found out I was pregnant with Baby Laville 2 I said I wasn’t telling anyone the due date this time. Our first was born 17 days after her due date and I was in hospital from 12 days overdue until the day after she was born. Whilst I appreciated all the texts, Facebook messages and phone calls asking where baby was, it was one of the hardest things ever to resist temptation to reply what I really was thinking!!!!

At our first 12 week scan it turned out I was actually only 10 weeks pregnant so straight away the due date was put back. Baby 2 was due on the 18th December 2012. When we announced our pregnancy we just told people the baby was due in December and should be here before the year was out. We got a few comments about how it was bad planning having a baby so close to Christmas and a few people pestered for the due date but I’d made my mind up. If I didn’t talk about a specific date I wouldn’t get wound up about it.

Just as I did with Taylor I had a relatively easy pregnancy, and at 36 weeks I was sent up to hospital for a scan as baby was suspected to be breech but thankfully this time was fine and there was baby, head down.

I was convinced this baby would be early so the week before our due date I started to get ratty. Why was I going to go overdue? I was going to give birth on Christmas Day wasn’t I? This was the only day that we didn’t want the baby to be born.

On the Friday evening before the due date I started with regular pains. I never really had it with Taylor so it was quite nerve racking as well as exciting. Because I’d gone in for an induction I’d never had the whole “when do we call the hospital?” saga and I didn’t know what to expect.

I went to bed about 11pm and I was asleep before I knew it and when I woke the pains had gone.

On Saturday and Sunday night the pains started again. On both nights they started around 7pm and continued at regular intervals until I went to bed.

The Monday was the day before my due date and I was not in a good mood. I could not believe I was going overdue again. I had a cry or two during the day as well as throwing a few tantrums!!

I spent the day doing all sorts trying to keep occupied I cleaned the house from top to bottom. I hoovered throughout, hoiking the heavy vac up the stairs, I lifted and moved a few boxes, went up and down the stairs countless times, took the dog on his usual walks….. I took a few evening primrose tablets and had leftover curry from the night before!! I literally did not stop all day…

7pm came and as per the previous 3nights the pains started. My husband plays pool on a Monday night and off he went as usual. Taylor was in bed so I sat on the rocking stool that accompanied my nursing chair and rocked side to side while watching the Monday night soaps. The pains didn’t worsen, nor did the gaps between pains get any shorter, but tonight was different. The pains didn’t stop.

I had downloaded a contraction counter app and it was showing various gaps between contractions. Never less than 7minutes but it could be up to 15.

I went to bed but couldn’t sleep. I ended up going back downstairs and watched tv so I didn’t disturb my husband who was to work the next day. I continued to log the contractions on the app and rock on my stool. There really isn’t much on the tv in the middle of the night and after exhausting all I had recorded, at 3am I decided I should try to sleep.
I dozed but the contractions were waking me every 15minutes. Just as I was dropping off the tightening would disturb me. I was a bundle of nerves but I knew that as they weren’t getting worse, nor were the gaps shortening, nothing was happening anytime soon.

Now was my due date. Could it really be that this baby was going to arrive on time? We carried on our day as normal. I took Taylor to playschool, I walked the dog and then Damian decided he wouldn’t be going to work today, he was due in later that day. He walked with me to playschool to pick Taylor up. It was a slow walk with many stops as I’d grab his arm while my stomach tightened. I tried so hard to disguise the contractions but I got some funny looks from the other parents whilst waiting at the playschool gates.

The pains started to get worse. Bearable but hurt more. And the gaps were occasionally shortening. Trying to hide the pains from Taylor – who was 2 and a half – wasn’t easy.

Early evening I rang my mum to let her know what was going on as she was the one who would look after Taylor while Damian and I went to hospital. Typically it was an evening she was out with her friends for a Christmas meal! She just said to call if we needed her. I warned her that I intended to call the hospital after dinner and I’d let her know what they said.

I cooked dinner and tried to eat but the pains were getting worse still so at 7pm I rang the maternity ward. I came off the phone crying as I got the standard response…. “No point coming in yet. Have a bath getting your whole bump under the water and take paracetamol”

Get my whole bump under the water?! How big did they think our bath was?!!

Taylor was ok but it was clear that mummy wasn’t great and this made her a bit anxious so she was quite quiet and tried to follow me wherever I went.

After having a tantrum I took paracetamol and got in the bath. I laid on my front of sorts so my bump was under the water and then laid on my side. Very quickly the contractions became extremely intense. Damian helped me out of the bath and I laid on the bed in my towels. Taylor sat with Daddy downstairs while I laid on the bed groaning through each contraction! I could hear her asking Damian what was the matter with me. The contractions were now coming every 5 minutes but I knew this still wasn’t good enough for hospital.

Just after 9.30pm it all suddenly stepped up a gear and the contractions were coming every 2 minutes. Just after 10pm I rang the hospital. The midwife said I sounded ok so she wasn’t sure I was ready yet. I cried and pleaded with her and she said I could go in but I had to understand that if I wasn’t dilated and in established labour I’d be sent home. I said I understood but I needed to see them. I called Mum and she said she’d be with us ASAP.

By the time Mum arrived the contraction were only 1-2 minutes apart and really painful. I was a noisy labourer and couldn’t help but moan with every contraction.

As mum arrived Damian and I literally just left. Taylor was in her bed but still awake, I think her worry for mummy was keeping her up. During the 20 minute car journey to the hospital every single bump and turn was agonising. I’m pretty sure that journey didn’t take as long as it normally should……

We arrived at the hospital at 10.50pm and we were put in a room. Funnily enough it was the room in which I started my induced labour with Taylor which made me quite happy.

I got undressed and waited to be examined. Damian and I both said we recognised the midwife and when she returned to the room she said she’d looked through my notes to discover that she was the midwife who was with me when my labour finally started with Taylor. She wasn’t with us for her birth though.

The midwife, Amanda, then examined me and it was so painful it kept having to be stopped and started because of my contractions. Then came the bad news. I was only 2cm dilated therefore not in established labour. The midwife said I should be sent home but she would go talk to her senior.

I could not believe it. How could I go home when my contractions were coming every minute??!

Fortunately the midwife came back in with good news. I could stay and see what happened. I started on the gas and air and from this point I don’t remember a great deal. The room felt like it was spinning so I had to keep my eyes shut. Every time the midwife came I apologised for having my eyes closed. I said I wasn’t being rude but I could not open them. Gas and air wasn’t cutting it so I had an injection of meptid. By now the contractions just seemed to be constant. The midwife came in and out to check on me but I constantly had my eyes closed and was either grunting through the pains or puffing on the gas and air.

I was determined this birth would be different to Taylor’s and I always had in my head that if I could help it I’d avoid an epidural, but lying on that bed knowing I wasn’t even classed as being in established labour, all I wanted was the pain to stop so when the midwife said how was I doing? I told her I wanted an epidural. She very nicely told me that I was doing extremely well so let’s not make that jump, just take the next step up. I just nodded in agreement. Looking back she must’ve known there was no time for an epidural.

The midwife left the room to get the drugs and in a matter of seconds I was shouting at Damian to press the buzzer as the urge to push was overwhelming.
With Taylor I hadn’t experienced this feeling so it was quite comforting in it’s way. The midwife was very quickly back in the room, and immediately pressing the buzzer herself before putting on her gloves. Someone came into the room to assist her very quickly. She gave me an injection and within seconds it was as though a curtain of calm had descended. I could have my eyes open, I no longer felt pain and I was silent.
I threw the gas and air mouthpiece out of my mouth towards Damian. I didn’t want it anymore and it was annoying me being near me. The urge to push was so over powering. Damian was stood at the head of the bed holding one of my hands and stroking my head with his other hand. The midwife told me I needed to push. I didn’t reply and Damian said “are you listening babe? You need to push.” I felt like I’d lost the ability to speak and just nodded in response as I attempted to push our baby into the world.

Within no time at all the head was out. It hadn’t at all occurred to me but my waters had not broken so the baby’s head was out with the water sac still complete around them. Damian said it was an amazing sight and I wish it was something I could’ve seen. We’ve read since that the baby is considered to be lucky in life if they are born with the waters still in tact. Let’s hope that’s true.

The midwife broke the waters and the baby immediately started crying, which in turn set the tears off on both me and Damian – our baby was here!The baby’s body was then delivered and the midwife held the baby up to Damian to see. He then told me we had another baby girl and gave me a kiss and a cuddle, whilst tears of joy ran down our faces.

Our newest baby girl was then placed in my arms. The midwife asked if we had a name. We agreed that yes, she would be called Lauren.

Lauren was born at 1.17am, just under 2 and half hours after arriving at the hospital. I’m so glad I wasn’t sent home as I’m pretty sure I’d have ended up giving birth in the car or at home if I had! According to my notes my labour timings were that I was officially in labour for just 1 hour and 16minutes. The first stage being 1hour 5, the second stage 7minutes and the third stage just 4minutes.

I don’t remember delivering the placenta but it must have been quick and simple as it was never mentioned to me at all. Similar to my previous birth.

Thankfully due to the cushioning of the waters still being in tact I had no discomfort at all and was up and out of bed within a very short time of giving birth. The midwives tended to frown at me when I declined painkillers over the next 24hours. This really was a breeze compared to my first birth.

Lauren’s body temperature was dropping so she had to be wrapped up quite well. When her temperature still didn’t rise she had to be placed in an incubator.

Damian went home to take over from a very weary Mum, as Taylor hadn’t settled at all. Fortunately she did sleep once Daddy was home and told her she had a baby sister.

I couldn’t have had a more different birth to Taylor’s birth. I was thrilled to bits that I hadn’t had an epidural and this time I actually felt like I had done something. I don’t think any woman should be made to feel inferior for having drugs, epidural, csection, because ultimately as long as baby and mum are safe that’s all that matters, but I know I personally did have feelings of failure from Taylor’s birth. Failed induction, drip, epidural, forceps delivery….. Everything was forced. My body didn’t do it. But with Lauren my body did. I’m not prouder of Lauren’s birth than Taylor’s as they were both so different, but I’m just pleased that second time around I got to feel things and know what it means to want to push, to feel those pains, to push that baby out.

I’m lucky. I know that.



Happy Anniversary!

Wow. 9 years together, 5 of them married.

Sometimes it feels like we’ve been together a lot longer, other times it feels like it’s passed in the blink of an eye.

We had hoped to be away this weekend, celebrating our anniversary with a trip to London, just the 2 of us, but unfortunately (because I’m too soft) we couldn’t leave our youngest who still wakes for Mumma overnight.

Instead we had a family trip to the Coronation Street Tour yesterday and we are going out for dinner tonight.

I remember our first date like it was yesterday. I say date, basically Damian had asked me to go out with him but as I was on holiday with my best friend it was a night out – Damian, my friend, a random holidaymaker called Russ (who we never saw again!) and me! We never looked back from that day.


When we got engaged and sat with the wedding planner at our chosen venue to pick a date for the year 2009 there was our anniversary on the perfect day to have our wedding. It was a Sunday and it was Bank Holiday the next day which made it perfect for all our family members who needed to travel up to Yorkshire from various counties down South. One less date for hubby to have to remember too hey?!

Our wedding day was the most perfect day. Hardly a cloud in the sky. Hot sunshine. Blue skies. Perfect.

I often look at our wedding photos and just smile. Smile because it was one of the happiest days of my life. Smile because I married my best friend. Smile because I knew that day how much he loves me. Smile because of it being another memory we created together.

Hope I’m writing about our golden anniversary one day and that I’m able to remember everything just as clearly as I do now.


Shots, bar crawl, laughter and friendship

I’ve chosen this photo for this week’s What’s the Story? link up with PODcast


March 25th 2005.
It was a Friday night.
It was taken in a bar in Albufeira, Portugal. Renos, to be precise.
In the photo is me and the man who is now my husband.
I remember this night like it was yesterday.

It was 2 months minus 1 day after this photo that we went on our first date and started our relationship.

This particular night had started out like all the others had that holiday, with Shelley and I drinking shots and vodka at BJs Canadian Bar with our new friends. Our new friends were the bar men!

Damian was sat at the bar drinking on his night off from the bar he worked at. When it came to the time Shelley and I were about to move on to do our bar crawl on The Strip he asked if he could join us.

What followed was hours of 3 people laughing, drinking shots, dancing, drinking vodkas and lots and lots of talk about anything and everything.

Although neither of us realised at the time, looking back it was that night that created the initial sparks of attraction between us.

When I had a successful E.C.V

From about 28 weeks in our first pregnancy the midwife suspected our baby was breech. Nothing got the little monkey to turn so at my 36 week check I was sent up to hospital for a scan. The scan confirmed that our baby was indeed breech and I then had to wait for the consultant to look at the scans to see if an ECV was possible. I was willing to try if they were as I was determined not to have a c-section. The consultant was busy so we left the hospital and 10minutes after we left we received a phone call saying if we wanted to try an ECV we could return the next morning.

That was 4 years ago today and here is what I wrote at the time on BabyCentre:-

“Since I had my ECV booked yesterday for this morning I had googled and searched on here and I read a few things and had tried to avoid horror stories but in back of my head I had it that it was going to be extrutiating but hand on heart it was hardly even painful.

We got to hospital at 8.30am and I was put into one of the delivery rooms which I wasn’t expecting. The lovely midwife – Irene (who we hope is there to deliver Bubs!) – hooked me up to the machine more or less straight away. I had one monitoring in case of contractions and one monitoring the baby’s heartbeat. She explained they needed to monitor that for an hour…….so me and my hubby just chilled and watched Animal 24:7 on BBC1!! LOL Although he did keep looking at the graph printing out and keeping an eye on the heartbeat.

The doctor came and saw me just before 10am. She checked the heart monitoring and said Bubs was happy and she explained what would happen, then I was given my pills – 3 capsules which were the muscle relaxants. Within minutes I felt really drowsy and went really cold!!

So half an hour later the doctor and midwife came in. The doctor scanned me and showed me where everything was. My placenta is more or less all the way down my right hand side. Bubs head was under my ribs on the right and they had their hands in front of their face. Then she showed me their bum in my pelvis and that their legs were extended.

Then she got to work. The bed was tilted so that my head was lower than rest of my body and she worked on lifting Bubs bum out of my pelvis. It took her a few minutes then I felt it almost glide along my pelvis up and over so it felt like it was over my hip. Then the only uncomfortable bit was as she tried to move Bubs’ head out from underneath my ribs. The pain was in my ribs and wasn’t a massive pain – it just was not pleasant in the slightest. Then I just felt it move!!! At this point she scanned again and sure enough there was my empty pelvis and our baby was transverse!!! She then just guided Bubs’ head and bum into the right positions. My husband said it was bizarre when they were transverse as he could almost see the whole baby being lifted almost around my tummy!!

Once she was satisfied Bubs’ head was placed in my pelvis she scanned again. So now Bubs head is down, their back is on my right and then their legs extended on left so their feet are down near my hip.
All in all it took her about 10minutes. Bubs’ heartbeat was regularly checked throughout and although their heartrate did increase he/she never showed any signs of distress.
I was then hooked back up to the machines again and monitored for just over an hour. Bubs heartbeat soon settled back down and was just steady away. I was brought tea and toast after 45minutes and I tell you – toast has never tasted so good!!!!!! I had to stay hooked up for a bit longer as they said baby was sleepy and they needed a few movements so I moved about a bit and Bubs was soon moving and it now feels so weird compared to the movements I have always felt!
We were at hospital for just under 4 hours in total. I have to go back tomorrow, Sunday and Monday and be hooked up for an hour to monitor Bubs heartbeat again, and now have to see my community midwife every week not every 2 weeks as planned.

I am so so pleased that I chose to try an ECV and didn’t just elect for the CSection without trying. I know that there is still a small chance Bubs could move back to breech again but with the effort it took the doctor to move Bubs I am hoping that it is unlikely they have room to easily move back to breech.

My bump has changed shape loads (about to upload photos in my profile!) and the movements I am now feeling feel so bizarre!!! I am also hoping it may provide a bit of relief in terms of the problems I am having in terms of eating/drinking/indigestion etc….

I am just keeping fingers crossed now for Bubs to stay head down and a vaginal delivery will follow!!!”


I did have a vaginal birth. Granted it wasn’t “easy” and involved 2 failed inductions, water broken by the doctor, drip to start contractions, epidural which wore off, spinal block, episiotomy and forceps……. and 17 days overdue!!!!! But I wouldn’t have had that birth if I hadn’t had the ECV

When it was suspected our second baby was breech I knew I’d try an ECV again. Didn’t even cross my mind that I wouldn’t, but fortunately with baby 2 they were wrong when I was sent up for a scan at 36weeks again!

I would tell anyone to at least try an ECV, yes some people find it painful, but equally, some don’t. I just hope that someone can take positives from my experience rather than the abundance of negatives on the internet

When those two lines show

Exactly 2 years ago today I found out I was pregnant with Lauren.

I wasn’t a POAS (that’s pee on a stick for those that don’t know) addict like some fellow friends that had spent god knows how much on ovulation and pregnancy tests over the years. I took 2 tests with my first pregnancy, and 2 with my second.

I admit we were lucky. Both our babies were conceived within 4 months of starting to try. We are the lucky ones.

With our first pregnancy I’d stopped taking the pill about a month before our wedding. A honeymoon baby would have been the perfect scenario right?! We got married in the May. In the September I’d started to feel bit sick, my periods were all over the place so I couldn’t say if I was late or not, and we didn’t want to get our hopes up. But after a few weeks we decided to take a test, so it was a Saturday morning and the first thing I did when getting up was take the test.

I left the test on the bathroom windowsill and went and got back in to bed.

“How long do we have to leave it?” A few minutes I replied, but my husband was impatient and went to the bathroom

“Was there already one line on here?”
What do you mean?
“Well was there one line as an example and then another one matches it? There’s 2 lines”

I shot out of bed and into the bathroom snatching the test from him. Sure enough there were 2 lines. Shaking I handed my husband the instructions to show him what 2 lines meant – with tears of joy springing from my eyes I looked up to see the same in my husband’s eyes as he embraced me and we stood there in our little joy filled moment in the bathroom!!

We kept that pregnancy secret until after our 12 week scan. It was so loved having our little secret and knowing our baby was growing inside of me.

With Lauren we had been away for a week with my mum so although I’d felt like I was pregnant I couldn’t test while staying with her as no one even knew we were trying. We got home from our break on the Saturday and I went and bought a test that afternoon to do the next morning.

As soon as I woke up that next morning I did the test and left on windowsill while I went to make myself a cuppa and get Taylor some breakfast. Damian was still in bed. I’d convinced myself the test would be negative so I was completely shocked to go upstairs and find 2 lines on the test! I woke Damian up with the news we were going to be parents for a second time and this once again a celebratory hug happened.
I went out to Asda that afternoon and bought a Clearblue digital which confirmed the result the next morning.
This time we told no one until 10weeks. We had our 12 week scan but were put back 2 weeks so we told our family once we’d had the scan, and broke the news publicly after 12 weeks.

I know we were lucky. We were fortunate to conceive easily, have two easy pregnancies and deliver two healthy daughters.

I can’t even describe the feelings that go through your mind when those lines show:-
Euphoria, relief, happiness, love, nervousness, giddiness, apprehension, ……

It’s hard to believe it’s highly likely I’ll never have that feeling again.

2. Visit Dubai – ✔️

My first tick can now go on my 40 things before 40 list.

On 13th March 2014 we flew from Manchester to Dubai and spent the most amazing two weeks there with our friend.

We explored almost everything we had wanted to before we went and have a long list of things we want to do on our next visit. We are not normally people who would visit the same destination more than once but we will definitely go back to Dubai.

We went to Dubai Mall on our first day there. I will never be satisfied by a visit to Meadowhall again now I have been there! Inside they have an Aquarium part of which you can look at as you pass whilst wandering around.


It was full of rays, sharks and various other fish. The girls were amazed by the sight of it as were we. We visited the Dubai Mall three times during our trip (and didn’t cover all the mall!) and each time we would visit the tank and stand in front enthralled by what we saw.

Outside the Dubai Mall is the World’s Tallest Building – the Burj Khalifa. It was dark the first time we set foot outside the Mall and craned our necks to look up into the night sky to see how tall it actually is. It was quite a weird concept for me to be in awe of a building but it was totally mind baffling thinking how these people designed this structure knowing it would work, but then wondering about the builders brave enough to put those final pieces right at the top.  We have many photos from various different views in and around the city of the Burj Khalifa. It wasn’t until our final day that we got to go up to Level 124 and be 452m up in the sky – above the clouds! And unfortunately on the day we did go it had been raining and cloud cover was thick. We still saw a hell of a lot and it just means that we have to go back and do it all over again on a sunny day!! My husband and eldest daughter went out on to the outside observation deck but I couldn’t do it and had palpitations at them being out there as there were gaps in the windows! Obviously no one could fall through but it turns my stomach even thinking about it now!



At the foot of the Burj Khalifa lies the Dubai Fountains. Starting at 6pm each day the fountains dance to music every half hour up until 11pm.  The crowds that gather then disperse every half hour is quite incredible. The crowds here gave me quite a good insight into how busy the city actually was. We visited the fountains on all three occasions we visited the Dubai Mall, and on one occasion we went on the boat ride of the fountain lake ……you are out of the way as the fountains perform though so don’t get drenched!


Our first weekend in Dubai was out of this world thanks to our wonderful friend. We were lucky enough to be guests at the Atlantis The Palm hotel which is situated on The Palm which is manmade island.  From the moment you walk in to reception you know things are just incredible. We arrived at 11.15am – check in wasn’t until 3pm but we were able to use the facilities at the hotel from 10am on check in day until 6pm on the day we check out so we wanted to make the most of our stay.  There was absolutely no fuss and we were immediately given a room and allowed in it despite being almost 4 hours early!
We spent the afternoon at Aquaventure – the hotel’s waterpark which can be accessed by anyone for a fee but is free to hotel guests. There were plenty of sunbeds available and many areas of various different slides and pools.  Dinner and breakfast were also included in our stay, so we ate at the Kaleidoscope restaurant then visited the other hotel attraction free to us as guests – The Lost Chambers Aquarium.  Again they haven’t done things by halves and have a huge fish tank as well as lots of smaller ones with all the fish you could think of (including Nemo and Dory much to our eldest’s delight!)


Day 2 at Atlantis included our treat at Dolphin Bay. Due to the girls’ ages we weren’t allowed in the water with the dolphins so our experience was titled “Dolphin Photo Fun”  We were stood at the edge of the pool and in turn we kneeled down to first kiss the dolphin, then dance with her. Unfortunately neither of the girls were overly keen at the dolphin popped out the water to greet us, but typically our eldest tells people how much she loved it! We got a photo each of us included.


We spent the rest of the afternoon at Aquaventure and Damian and I both braved the Leap of Faith slide that is shown on most TV programmes and magazine pictures when the Atlantis is shown. You fall 9 storeys in a second!  Now I hate being splashed in the swimming pool, so doing this was quite incredible for me but boy am I glad I did it!! Even though my eyes were kept firmly shut throughout I had the biggest smile on my face when I was getting out the pool!


So what else did we get up to?
Shopping, shopping and more shopping at various different malls – all of which make our shopping malls look like a dilapidated town centre. There is a huge mix of UK shops, US shops, European shops and more.  There’s an enormous amount of jewellery shops. And the amount of dessert/ice cream/cake shops and cafes just blew my mind!

Knowing we were going to Dubai, for Christmas my husband bought my eldest daughter and I a Penguin experience at Ski Dubai. Ski Dubai is situated at the Mall of the Emirates and is a huge indoor “real snow” ski centre. For anyone who’s visited XScape here in UK – its like that, but better!  We were given snow suits and snow boots and all children under 13 have to wear helmets whilst in the snow and ice. We first met Gentoo penguin which were told was called Lucifer. He had been taken there from Sea World, Orlando where he was called Devil.  We weren’t able to touch this penguin as they don’t like it, but he waddled about a little and we had photos with him sitting next to us before we moved on to the next enclosure and met a King Penguin. We were able to touch this penguin and it felt rather odd. You can see the feathers but its almost the shiny, non-wet slimy kind of feel that a snake has. Thankfully Taylor was much happier about meeting and touching the penguins than she was the dolphin!


We visited the beach too. Our friend took us to a hotel beach where you can pay to use the facilities for the day. There are public, free beaches, but having the girls using the hotel beach meant we had easy access to drinks and also had the option of shade. It was a hot day and shade was a must. The girls had a great time building sandcastles and were in and out of the sea and swimming pool. The sea was the warmest I have ever been in and quite clear.

This is turning in to quite a long blurb about our stay so I’ll leave it there. We had the most amazing two weeks ever. Dubai really is an amazing city and I would recommend it to anyone. We’ve had a lot of people say to us that they know how amazing it is from photos, or they’ve been at the airport on a stopover, or they’ve been told……but these things do not do it justice. It is definitely a place that needs visiting to actually feel what it’s like. If you get chance to go – go.  We will definitely be going back.

This trip wouldn’t haven’t been possible without our wonderful friend who was an amazing hostess and tour guide and her levels of kindness and patience (!) were astounding.

So that’s tick number one – Visit Dubai – DONE ✔️;

My March Aims

I didn’t do great on my aims for February. In fact I did pants!!! So I’m going to try stick to a few important ones this month rather than lots

In March I aim to:-

– sort out all my clothes & shoes and get rid of the ones that I decide I don’t wear/want

– stick to my running plan

– give my time with littlest more structure

– sort out all the baby clothes properly & vacuum pack

– do at least 75% of the photo book I’ve ordered

That’s my few this month

When Daddy’s off work…..

Being half term and with a few days holiday to use up before end of next month, Daddy took some time off this week. It was lovely to spend some quality time all four of us, not having to think about preschool or alarm clocks etc. Routine went out the window completely and this is what we got up to:-

On Monday we had all had a haircut! Exciting right?!!!! Tell a lie, we didn’t all, Lauren still hasn’t had her first haircut. Our hairdresser is someone we’ve known a long long time, so we saw her at my mum’s house. Taylor can now see again without peering underneath her fringe. I did contemplate growing it out, but not this time!


On Tuesday we took a trip to Chester Zoo it’s about an hour and 20 minute journey but worth it! We hadn’t told Taylor where we were going so once she realised it was lovely! She couldn’t wait and ran from enclosure to enclosure “what animal’s next? Let’s see the next one!” Despite the fact it absolutely poured down in the afternoon we all (mum came too!) had an amazing day. I’m still exhausted today from all the walking. I googled and found that there is 11 miles of pathway there and we covered A LOT!


Wednesday we had a day at home apart from a brief trip to the dentist. This meant a lot of cuddles, reading books, playing imaginary games, lots of laughter and fun. I love watching the girls with their Daddy. I think they are really going to miss him being back at work even if it’s only been a few days together.

We get weekends together but they seem to get caught up with general “life” and household duties. Days off like this are special and create special memories for our little family of four

40 things before I’m 40

I realise I’m not the first person to do this, and nor will I be the last. But I suppose what’s a bit different is that most of the time these lists start on a 39th birthday. I turn 34 in May.

It’s something I’ve been jotting down for a while now on one of my many notebooks dotted around the house. After a conversation with a friend who’s starting her list on her 39th birthday in few weeks time (her blog coming soon) I thought I’d make my list a bit more official and publish on my blog as there’s things that are going to happen this year that are on my list. (Is that cheating?)

I don’t actually turn 40 until May 2020 and although that sounds ages away I know it’ll be here before I know it. I’m usually someone who leaves things to the very last minute so for once I am going to do this with plenty of time to complete.

So here’s my list so far of my 40 things to do before I’m 40-
(there will be 40 eventually, I’ll add as I think of more!)


1. Take part in The Great North Run
I used to run long distances in my teens and early twenties. I was no superstar but I enjoyed it. During that time I always said one day I would do a marathon but to date that has never happened. A few years back I decided I would attempt the Great North Run to ease myself in. I have gained a place and I am going to be running this in September 2014.
✔️ 7th September 2014 – DONE

2. Visit Dubai
For years Dubai has been top of our “To Visit” list. We have a friend that lives there & we’ve been promising to go visit for a while. We hope it lives up to all our expectations and we aim to find out very soon – DONE!!

3. Study & gain a qualification
I haven’t narrowed down the subject yet. I have two main ones and a couple of others floating around my mind. The main one is Psychology with a view to becoming a counsellor. The other is bookkeeping / accountancy as I thought the job opportunities it could provide me with would be good.

4. Start in employment again – part time
I was made redundant when pregnant with our first child. It was probably a blessing as I’d have probably gone back to work if I hadn’t and missed out on being a stay at home mum. It’s now 4 years and 3 months since I last had paid employment. I have looked into going back to work but by the time I paid a childminder I’d have nothing left. So once the girls are both at school (September 2017) I will seek employment. What depends on number 3. I suppose!

5. Have a weekend away with my husband – child free
I think I’ve only spent 4 nights away from my eldest in her 3 years & 9months of living and no nights from my youngest who is now 14months. Hopefully one day my husband and I can go off somewhere for a couple of nights leaving the girls in Nanny’s care.

6. Take part in a London Marathon
Just the natural step after completing number 1. right?!! I know there are other marathons but London is the most prestigious. – (I got my name in the ballot for 2015. Find out October ’14 if I get a place)

UPDATE – 1st October 2015 – I got my place & will be running on 26th April 2015

✔️ 26th April 2015 – DONE!

7. Have a touristy few days in London seeing all the sights
I have been to London. Many, many times. I’ve even been inside Buckingham Palace but I really want to do it all again – The Palace, Tower of London, Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden, Harrods, Selfridges, London Eye………….

8. Join the PTA at the girls’ school
Bit of a weird one but those that know me will know that being part of the PTA would suit me down to the ground.

✔️ September 2015 – DONE!

9. Move house
I think this is a bit of an ambitious one if I’m honest. It could happen, but it might not. I’d like to think we’d move one day but whether it’ll happen before 2020 I don’t know, but for now it’s on the list.

10. Have a “make up lesson” and make more of an effort with my appearance
The only time I wear makeup is on special occasions. I don’t need to put any on before leaving the house. I never have really. Think part of it is laziness, but part of it is I don’t really know what suits me. When I say make up lesson I mean one of those counter things in a department store or something similar where I then know what to use (and costs me a fortune!)

11. Do some volunteer work
I don’t know what, or when, but everyone should do a bit in their life shouldn’t they? Mainly inspired by our friend who spends one day of her weekend helping out various causes.

12. Give blood
I’m registered but I’m yet to donate. I used to hate injections and giving blood but by the end of my second pregnancy I’d happily watch them stick the needle in.
✔️ DONE – 14th July 2015

13. Take the girls to watch football with Daddy (at Emirates to see Arsenal)
How dare I say this as a Manchester United fan?! But I know how happy it would make my husband. And Taylor’s first ever match was at Old Trafford, only fair Lauren’s is an Arsenal one.

14. Hold a dinner party with friends
We used to see friends and invite them round a lot but it hasn’t happened for a long time. It’d be fun to have friends round and cook for them.

15. Have a drunken night out with friends
I honestly cannot remember the last time I was drunk. I don’t really drink. I’ll have a glass of fizz at Christmas but for best part of 5 years that’s all I’ve had. When I go out with friends I drive. So a mental night out drinking should be on the cards.

16. Have a family day out at a theme park I don’t know which one because eldest will just be about to turn 10 when I turn 40, but a good family fun day out on rides is what I’d like.

17. See a musical in London
Broadway would be more exciting but there’s no way I’m getting to New York in the next 6 years, so London it will have to be! Can’t decide which one yet

18. Go on a proper shopping trip with my mum with plenty of money to spend!
I do go shopping with mum but we’ve never been on a trip where we just go for nothing in particular but end up with lots, with a nice lunch in the middle. Would have to be a city…..

19. Go ice skating
2001 at an ice skating rink in Dundee I fell and displaced my kneecap. Had it been a time of camera phones I’d no doubt have a photo to insert here, but you’ll just have to imagine being in a toilet cubicle and pulling down your jeans to see that your right kneecap is on the left hand side of your knee, not in the middle where it should be. Safe to say I haven’t skated since……. But I should.

20. Complete a cross stitch
When I visited my aunt in New Zealand in 1998 I bought several cross stitch kits. My aunt is very good at cross stitches and I think I wanted to emulate her skills. I still have those kits unopened. I really should complete one.

21. Read this book list
I’ve compiled a list of 40 books from recommendations of others that I should read. I will blog about The Book List as I read on my side blog which can be found here

22. Visit every house I’ve lived in
I was googling 40 things before 40 and have pinched this idea from Slummy Single Mummy I have only lived in 4 houses in my life; 2 of which are local, the other two; one is in Essex, one in Portsmouth. It’ll be fun going to see them.

23. Grow a plant and not kill it (added 27.2.14)
After sharing my blog post on Twitter, my friend was inspired to write her own list. One of hers is this so I pinched it but we’ve now decided we are going to buy the same plant at same time and see who last longest!

24. Go Nessy hunting
(added 28.3.14)
I’ve always wanted to go to Loch Ness and look for Nessy. Yes, I know, it’s most probably not real and if she really does exist it’s unlikely I will see her but I still want to go.

25. Go to Bingo
(added 30.4.14)
I’ve never been and played proper Bingo in a Bingo Hall. I’ve always thought it’d become quite addictive but I imagine with a group of friends it could be quite fun. So off to Bingo I go!

26. Go sit in the viewing gallery at court for the day
added 11.6.14
Knowing my luck I’d get a load of boring cases but I’d love to see the court at work

27. Go to Ladies Day at the races added 2.7.14
Preferably at Ascot but would settle for one of the others. Would have to be done with group of friends and us all doing it properly with posh dresses & hats!

28. Do a ghost tour / overnight stay added 27.7.14
It would freak me out – and yes they are most probably all just set up for entertainment purposes but I’d still like it!

29. Attend pole dancing classes added 28.7.14
Where I go to my boxercise classes, the instructor also does pole dancing classes. I keep wanting to have a go but am nervous! I will do it soon!
I did a pole dancing session for my hen night and loved it, so should love the classes too

30. Watch 40 films suggested by friends (added 28.7.14)
I asked my friends what the film is that they think everyone should watch and is the one that they say “you’ve never seen that film?”
So my 40 list is here

31-40 to be added

As I aim to blog as I complete tasks and hopefully there’s 40 big ticks on here by the time the next 6 years, 2months and 17 days have passed.