After day three of waking up at 6am ‘bright and early’, even before the sunrise may I add… it dawned on me that you get more holiday for your money with a baby/toddler. Fact. Gaining at least 3 to 4 hours a day depending on how lazy one used to be pre-baby means you are first to breakfast, first on the beach, best selection of beds, more sunshine, more pool time, more swimming sessions, more sand castles. Bonus!

I haven’t got any magic tips to give because I think everyone knows what’s best for their bubba’s! Bring more of what you think you need though, we ran out of formula and had to start using normal milk which is fine, I just should have packed more. For me – Ed living off cold baked beans, grated cheese and good old spaghetti bolognese for the whole holiday worked a treat. PLENTY of snacks too, my boy loves a snack. Swimming and running up and down the reception ramp continuously is hard work!

Lots of family memories. Lots of quality time. Lots of beach time, pool time and sunset watching time! Lots of rum punches… but just in different quantities to what I used to have. I would HIGHLY recommend Barbados – I’d return time and time again without a doubt and look forward to my next trip! The locals are super friendly and LOVED my little man. He found his groove and loved dancing anywhere he heard music, the stage at Oistins was his for at least an hour – he’s got a super little shoulder jig going on now. New moves!

I am lucky & blessed!

 

Goodwood Revival - On Site

Well, it’s been a very long time since I last posted anything. A very long time indeed.

All I can say is it has been a whirlwind of 1/2 year – one minute maternity leave was coming to an end and I was heading back to my job as an Executive Assistant. The next minute I’d handed my notice in, and yes, this was the most challenging thing I’ve ever done – the risk, the unknown, this thing called ‘work/life balance’, my little man, my ‘family’ now actually mattered to me. As heartbreaking as it was for me (8 years at one company IS a long time) and I do NOT like letting people down, it was a decision I made and went with – my gut, my head and my heart all helped!

I was sent an email the other day, a lovely PA I’ve known from many moons ago. She was introducing me to someone I should speak to, this was the introduction used:

Firstly, you are both top ladies who totally rock and I know you’ll get on. You both juggle insanely busy work lives with family whilst managing to make it look easy.

Sarah – is the founder of Bucks PA Network, a group to celebrate the fabulousness of PAs and get them together to hangout at amazing events in great local venues. The last event I went to was Stoke Park. I met Sarah when she was the EA to a client my company worked with a million years ago. She set up the network whilst on mat leave and “a bit bored” (I’m sure I’d just sit about looking horrified and eating custard creams for 11 months!). She has now got a new job and has moved in an eye blink from EA to Event Manager.

I know. You are thinking what a LOVELY introduction, right? Yes. Believe me, it made my year.

It’s after I read and re-read it through a zillion times I realised what I’ve actually achieved this year.

A shiny new and amazing long-awaited IVF baby, maternity leave successfully nailed, Bucks PA Network set up ‘because I wanted to network’ whilst being off work and to top it off I’ve got a fab new job in a new industry which I am absolutely LOVING! I am made for events, I just love it!

Wow.

So… thank you to this lovely person for pointing this out to me. You have literally made me smile and feel very proud of myself. I am not one for giving myself a high five at all. However today, as I sit looking at all the presents I need to wrap, all the cards I need to write and all the housework that is waiting to be done… I am ACTUALLY going to give myself a high five! It wouldn’t be worth giving without a large glass of Marlborough, we all know that…

Here’s to working mum’s and dad’s, here’s to balancing and juggling, here’s to being what you want to be! Going with your gut, heart and head pays off.

The image I’ve chosen for this post is me smiling at Goodwood this year, the final day, the Sunday. I think I’d had about 4 hours sleep the night before, 5th day out of 7 on site. The day before it had torrentially rained whilst I had a group at Goodwood ALL DAY, after plying them with champagne to ensure they were smiling, I got back to London and escorted another group to watch Phantom of the Opera that evening followed by time in bar for a G&T nightcap (of course!)… then did it all again the next day. I LOVED IT.

Happy, blessed, humbled, thankful and grateful. That is well and truly me.

 

Loved today. Starting little man early on golf whilst Daddy coached and Mumy drank Pimms… I managed to walk a few holes too of course. Golf is going to be a big part of our lives. Perhaps time to dust off the golf shoes I’ve worn once. The phrase “all the gear and no idea” was made for me. Watch this space (by space, I’m giving myself a 10 year goal…)! 

We’ve had a few really great days out recently. Now I’ve hit the ‘less than 3 months’ left of maternity leave and Spring seems to have sprung I am making sure I squeeze in as many fun things as I can with Ed. Sometimes it’s the simple things that are the best; a nice walk along the river, a visit to our local kids farm, feeding the ducks and going to the park are our favourites. A bit of fresh air does everyone the world of good. Spending fun time together is really important to me at the minute as is having tonnes of snuggles in the morning. The countdown is on. I’ll no doubt have mixed emotions about it all, at the moment I’m at the I’m really looking forward to returning to work stage. I am convinced Ed will love nursery (or am I convincing myself!). I’m keeping positive and remembering how lucky I am to even be able to have a whole year off with my son. I’ve had the best year of my life. Here’s to two months of total FUN!

The photos below are of Edward at ages 8 and 9 months old. He is such a little character now. Crawling mastered. Standing up against stationary things mastered.  Bottom two teeth out relatively stress free. Top ones on their way but no sign yet. He hates lumps in his food… after three projectile vomiting episodes I’ve decided to just go with it. I never realised projectile vomiting actually exists and have to admit I always thought it was just an over reaction to a bit of puke. Nope. It isn’t. He’ll master lumps in his own time, I am no way adding lumpy foods to his dinner – my clothes will stay cleaner for longer!

 

January and February saw the “H” family go on a huge amazing adventure! My brother’s wedding in Brisbane, me being on maternity leave and my husband in his quiet season were three bonafide reasons to book a long trip and have a month of a lifetime. For the record, I am open to having a holiday anytime – I certainly don’t need a reason!! It just made sense though. Cue three Singapore Airlines tickets booked and paid for before Ed was even born!

I heard so many shocked people say to me, in the politest manner I am sure you can imagine, “How the ?@%&@!! hell are you going to travel that far with a baby?”, “You must be mad”, “Are you crazy?”. I laugh in the face of danger and when someone says it’s going to be tough or a challenge. I am up for it even more. I like to prove people wrong!

So how did travelling with a baby go? Well. Actually is wasn’t that bad… In fact on reflection as I am now home, it was bloody brilliant! Ed was a superstar. Now, I know I have a totally chilled out little boy and am very lucky. I don’t shout too loud about it for fear of being jinxed but he’s very much like me (ha ha ha). Chilled. Happy to go with the flow. Loves his sleep (especially on flights so it seems!). Loves food, drink, wine and cocktails. (No, I did not give Ed wine or cocktails). He’s certainly like his dad by the fact he also loves a party. In fact, we’ve decided that Ed is made for travelling. Don’t get me wrong, we had a few hairy moments: Cue ambulance to get us to the hospital for Ed in Australia (I am sure him putting the Singapore remote in his mouth didn’t help that!). Cue forgetting the 50spf factor sun protector buggy thingy that I purposely spent £35 on for Australia only to find I’d forgotten to pack it & finally, cue washing bottles out of the tiniest bathroom in Singapore and playing with Ed at 3am in the morning… jet lag only hit him the 1st day which was actually ok in the grand scheme of things!

As a family, we had the BEST time. Made so many lovely memories and laughed so much together. It was a whole month of pure fun and pure quality time. I took a million photos and made sure I treasured every moment. I realise how lucky I am and am so grateful to have this cute little dude.

My main reason for this post is in the wise words of Nike – JUST DO IT – with a baby. Going out, a trip to Aus, a weekend away… whatever it may be. You can make it as stressful or as easy as you want to. We both went into this trip expecting it to be ‘pretty’ challenging and to our surprise we just took everything in our stride and went with the flow. We went it to it as a team. TONNES of people have said to us, “Easygoing parents, easygoing baby”. Is this true? Who knows… From the day Ed was born we’ve made him fit into our lives. He’s partied late into the night (NYE!), he’s snuggled me in bed and we’ve been lazy until I kid you not 12pm noon, he’s been on trains, planes, trams and taxis – adventures are just the best!

And no… Ed didn’t listen to headphones at the age of 7 months or sit and watch cartoons! The photo opportunity was just too great to miss!

 

 

 

My name is Sarah and I have a gel nail addiction.

It’s the little things that make a big difference to me. Getting my nails done is one of those little things. I feel better about myself, polished, like I’ve made an effort without even making an effort. I just can’t let it go and won’t, EVEN with a baby! I just can’t sacrifice the nails!

Thankfully I’ve found a gem of a nail salon in Wooburn Green – SERENITY. Aimee is lovely, bearing in mind I am MEGA fussy when it comes to gels, she ‘nails it’. I can even bring Eddie along with me which is a lifesaver.

Selfish? Yes – and there is nothing wrong with that every now again.

I have to admit that I’ve never been SO BUSY! I’ve had doctors appointments, health visitor visits, post-natal group sessions, ‘Bubbles’ play sessions, ‘Baby Massage’ lessons, lunch dates out, lunch dates in, picnic dates, copious coffee dates, injection dates, baby weigh in sessions, baby register appointments, visits from friends and family. The list goes on. and on. and on.

My CEO was demanding but he has nothing on my son! I absolutely love my job as a PA (I say ‘love’ rather than using the past tense ‘loved’ as I WILL BE GOING BACK!). It’s the perfect role for me; no day is the same, you are thrown curve balls often, you have to think on your feet, take control, be assertive, generally do a million things at once. Thankfully I am quite good at it. Motherhood seems to be drawing on the same skill set only instead of booking flights, scheduling meetings and organising events I am dealing with sterilising, bottle making, changing nappies full of types of poo I never knew existed, juggling all of the appointments listed above and trying to be a wife also.

I never understood how busy a mum could be… until now.

Thankfully I am absolutely LOVING it all. I love being busy. Apart from learning early on not to cram too much into a day and making sure I leave time to be ‘at home’ to snuggle my little man, I am having the best time and am treasuring every minute.

Signing off – Edward’s Personal Assistant.

My new BOSS.
My new BOSS.