Busy B Competition

I discovered Busy B by accident. I read a review of one of their diaries and as I had never come across them before I visited their website (and Instagram) and was immediately hooked. Like many people I know, I am a sucker for nice stationery but the first time I visit their website I just bought a diary, just to see what I thought of it.

Over the last year or so the range of available items has grown to include travel wallets, calendars, document holders and much more. I bought a travel wallet early last year from Busy B and I’ve used it every time we have gotten a plane out of the UK. It is so handy for keeping the BattleFamily’s passports together, along with travel insurance details, EHIC cards and boarding cards and hotel documents. I have also bought diaries from Busy B, both for home and work and they have come in so handy, especially for keeping track of deadlines in work!Busy B

I recently revisited their website and decided to make another purchase for myself, the Family Documents Holder. I love the design on the document holder and it is a great way of keeping all our important family documents together in one place, such as birth certificates, our marriage certificates, driving licenses and our passports. While I was there I thought I would buy a few items to give away to some of my lucky readers to let them discover Busy B if they haven’t already.

So, I have two sets containing one of each of the following to give away:

Busy B Travel Wallet

  • Holds two passports.
  • Various sized compartments.
  • Five pockets for essential documents.
  • Essential for the trendsetting jetsetter, this stylish travel wallet keeps everything in one place, helping you stay calm, look cool and travel in style.Busy B

Busy B Book Journal

  • Ideal for book lovers and bookworms.
  • Reading record.
  • Page markers & Stickers.
  • Smart journal has four sections for notes in books read and book club choices plus what you’ve loaned or want to read.Busy B
  • Busy B

Busy B Family Document File

  • For important papers.
  • Holds up to 5 passports.
  • With a variety of easy-to-use pockets for everything from passports and certificates to important documents, you can keep the whole family beautifully organised with this file.
  • Easy reference page for passport numbers.Busy B
  • Busy B

If you like the look of these, then to be in with a chance to win one of the two sets, simply follow the instructions on the widget below and good luck! And if you’d like to know more about Busy B and their fabulous range of stationery and accessories, then simply visit their website.

Busy B Accessories Competition

Terms and Conditions:

  • Open to my UK and Republic of Ireland readers and followers.
  • Two winners will each receive one set of the items as described above.
  • Winners will be picked at random and notified of their win within 5 days.
  • Winners will receive their prize direct from me, BattleMum, within 28 days of the close of the competition.
  • Although I am featuring this competition on my Facebook page, it is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Facebook.
  • This competition is not sponsored or endorsed by Busy B.

 

 

 

Surviving with Less Sleep as a Parent

It surprises me sometimes how little sleep or broken sleep I can survive on these days. You see, before BattleKid came along I was a hound for sleeping. I could sleep and sleep and sleep, almost to the annoyance of BattleDad. I’d have long lie ins at the weekend, afternoon naps and still be ready for bed by 10pm.

BattleDad would often remark I could sleep on a washing line as I have always found it easy to nod off. Even when travelling I would only just sit down on the ferry and I’d nod off. As soon as my bum hit the seat on the plane I was gone before we would even taxi away from the terminal. I could sleep just about anywhere, anytime.

So when we fell pregnant and did our NCT course, the one thing that worried me besides giving birth was the lack of sleep. I wondered how I would cope, if at all. But I’ve been surprised at how I can manage on reduced sleep.

Don’t get me wrong, it was torture in those first 6-12 weeks, being woken from sleep every 2 hours to feed BattleKid but I did it. BattleDad supported me alot of those nights by getting up and doing the nappy change with me, even though I told him to stay alseep. Occasionally I’d get a snooze on the couch in the afternoons with BattleKid. As he got older and 20 minute catnaps stretched we’d often get into bed by 2pm and sleep together for a few hours, me under my duvet, BattleKid safe in his Sleepyhead® pod. I found this was the only way to get him to nap for longer, with me resting my hand lightly on his hand or chest. It may not have been dream-inducing sleep but it was much needed rest for me. It was part of my maternity leave that I loved.

Fast asleep in his Sleepyhead at 3 months old
Fast asleep in his Sleepyhead® at 3 months old
Almost 4 months old and sleeping well in his Sleepyhead
Almost 4 months old and sleeping well in his Sleepyhead®

 

You would have thought the constant getting up at night to pee in the third trimester would somehow prepare you for it but nothing does. It’s also easy to see why sleep deprivation has long been used as a form of torture.

The Holy Grail for parents is a baby who ‘sleeps through’. Now many of us think this is 7pm to 7am but it is actually classified as one full 6 hour stretch! This didn’t happen for us until 14 weeks old when BattleKid slept from 9.30pm to 3.30am. Then it was another breastfeed before another stretch of 2-3 more hours until we got up at 6.30-7am. When I hear of babies sleeping 8-12 hours a night by 6 weeks old I wonder how the hell that’s happened. It certainly didn’t happen for us. It wasn’t much before 7 to 8 months old that BattleKid slept from 7pm to 6am.

I also wasn’t sure how I’d cope with being woken early, every day of the week as weekends always consisted of a lie in. You can’t ask a baby or toddler to stay in bed until 9, 10 or 11am just because you want to. Once they’re awake that’s it. In our house there’s a saying

“I’m up, we’re all up!”

This used to be in the context of when we were teenagers and our mums tried to get us out of bed at the weekends but it applies to babies, toddlers and younger children. Once they’re up they expect you to be up too. And you can’t blame them. They’ve slept for the best part of 12 hours (if you’re lucky), it’s not their fault you didn’t go to bed at the same time as them. But I don’t mind the early mornings anymore and would rather get up early at the weekend and enjoy lots of family time together as we get none during the week.

I’m very lucky in that BattleKid found a natural rhythm with his sleeping, can nod off himself and is generally quite settled at night. And I’m thankful for this, especially when I returned to work as the afternoon naps I’d become accustomed to vanished. Don’t get me wrong, there are still times he wakes during the night, and as the terrible twos have hit with a vengeance, it can be hard to convince him it is still night time and that the stars are still out, but mostly he’s a good sleeper, thankfully.

When we do have occasional disturbed nights due to teething or illness, they are few and far between, and the number of good night’s outweigh the bad, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time. These episodes do exhaust me but I can just about cope if it’s a week day by going to bed earlier than usual to catch up.  If I’ve had a few successive bad nights during the week BattleDad will try to give me a lie in on a Saturday to rest. Two extra hours can make all the difference between grumpy, tired mummy or happier, rested mummy. The latter is always preferable.

Generally I’m in bed by 10pm and asleep within 30 minutes, as I have to be up by 6.50am on a weekday. Occasionally at the weekends I might stay up a bit later, like games nights with friends where we might finish at midnight but I couldn’t do this every weekend or go to bed any later during the week.

Being a parent in the first few months is exhausting due to lack of sleep but I think it trains us in a way to deal with less sleep in general. Before having BattleKid I had to get no less than 8 hours or I was tired and couldn’t concentrate. 10 hours was more my average. Now as long as I get a stretch of 5 hours I can manage. Less and I’m tired and in bed early. On average I get 8 hours sleep a night, perhaps with one slight disturbance due to a cry out from BattleKid if he’s dreaming or has roused and is finding hard to drift off again. And I know I’m one of the lucky ones. I often read about mums whose babies have never slept through and I really feel for them. And yet they too manage to cope, just, with the minuscule amount of sleep they get.

Whether it’s down to our bodies getting used to less sleep or what, I don’t know but we parents manage. Somehow!

Are you one of the lucky ones like us or have your little ones kept you awake during the night?

Cath x

 

 

Chester Day 4: 29/08/2016

After a slightly better night with BattleKid, I took BattleKid out into the living area when he woke and left BattleDad to get some more sleep. We had tea and toast together with CBeebies on in the background. I gave BattleDad tea and toast once he got out of bed and I started to pack us up, ready for our trip home. I’d done a bit the night before so only really had the kitchen and food to sort before we were ready to hit the road by 9am.

I was pleasantly surprised at the small number of cars on the road. We didn’t have much to complain until we turned off the A5 towards Welshpool and got stuck behind a lorry. We didn’t actually mind as we weren’t in a hurry. We had decided that we would take a different route home than we had taken going up to Chester so that we could visit Powys Castle, a place we’d never been to before, but one that was on our to-do list.Chester Day 4

We arrived by 10.15 and parked in the third row back from the castle. We got our tickets and were informed that the castle would open at 11am. So we decided to have a very civilised tea and cakes in the courtyard of the castle as it was such a lovely morning. The sun was shining and the surroundings were very pleasant. BattleDad went inside while BattleKid and I found a seat and watched a small plane circling above our heads.Chester Day 4

Chester Day 4

Chester Day 4

After our tea and cakes we entered the castle and started in a drawing-type room just inside the main entrance. We wandered around the castle, which to be honest is more like a stately home than a castle. Unfortunately there were no hiding places for dragons inside this castle so we decided to move outside to hunt one down.

Before making our way towards the lake in the gardens we had ice cream at the castle entrance as we had been promising BattleKid all weekend but had forgotten each morning. By the time we remembered each day it got too late to chance him with the sugar. So we enjoyed some ice cream in the sunshine and then made our way towards the lake, checking for dragons along the way.Chester Day 4

We eventually found one hiding beside a tree on the edge of the lake. A little boy who was passing us asked his mum where his dragon was. Oops, we caused a bit of trouble! (Truth: we bring a dragon teddy bear of BattleKid’s with us to whichever castle we visit and one of us walks ahead and plants him for BattleKid to find. It makes for great adventures I can tell you).Chester Day 4

Chester Day 4

Chester Day 4

Chester Day 4

Chester Day 4

We left Powys Castle just after 1pm and headed down the A470, a road we know very well, towards home. BattleKid fell asleep almost as soon as we left the castle and got an hour and a half before waking up. Even I managed 20 minutes in the back with him.

We arrived home at 3pm, despite a dawdling driver as we came into Builth Wells, and unpacked the car. The usual post-weekend washing commenced. We had a lovely weekend together as a family, despite a few mammoth tantrums from BattleKid. We packed as much into it to ensure we made the most of having four days together, away from the house and the dogs. We’ll definitely be going back to Chester Zoo, although we’re not too sure about the Blue Planet Aquarium if I’m honest.

After that impromptu weekend away, next up on the holiday agenda is New York. Pop back in a couple of weeks for those holiday diaries.

Thanks for reading,

Cath x

Chester Day 4

Chester Day 3: 28/08/2016

After yet another awful night’s sleep with BattleKid, we got up at 8am and I made us scrambled egg, beans and toast for breakfast which BattleKid enjoyed. We got ourselves dressed, repacked the change bag and headed off just before 10am. Destination: The Blue Planet Aquarium.Chester Day 3

BattleDad and I had visited this many years ago with my nephew when he was visiting us in Telford and we really enjoyed it then. And as BattleKid is getting more into fish after having watched part of Finding Nemo (we had to switch it off at the sharks part as he didn’t like them), we thought he might enjoy the Blue Planet Aquarium. Again, this was less than 15 minutes from our AirBnB accommodation, which was really handy.

We parked the car and made our way to the entrance, paid up and in we went. We started on the upper level, visiting the Northern Rivers and Tropical sections before going down stairs to see the big fish tank and the underwater walkway. BattleKid hadn’t actually been too interested in the fish until we got to the sharks tanks and the underwater walkway. This certainly got his attention, so much so he didn’t want to leave. We finished off our visit to the Blue Planet Aquarium by visiting the otters outside.Chester Day 3

Chester Day 3

Chester Day 3

Chester Day 3

Chester Day 3

Chester Day 3

Chester Day 3

As we were done by 11.30am, we decided to make our way around to the Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet and parked with the hundreds of other shoppers in the multi-storey car park. This is where we saw the most people over the course of the bank holiday weekend. It was heaving!

BattleDad made a beeline for Hugo Boss and spent ages inside. BattleKid and I got bored outside waiting for him so took to taking selfies and messing while we waited. He finally appeared at the door about 20 minutes after he went in with arm loads of stuff, saying “Help, I don’t know what to get” to which I told him get it all, just to get him out of the damn shop. It still took him another 10 minutes to come out, this time with bags!Chester Day 3

We walked halfway around Cheshire Oaks before deciding to stop at Carluccio’s for lunch. We had a really nice meal, BattleKid ate well, and most of mine I’ll add, and all for under £50 which was great. We decided to walk back to the car and I popped into Paperchase and Warehouse. I would have liked to pop into a few more shops but BattleKid was starting to get cranky and tired so the car beckoned. BattleDad ran into Starbucks for drinks for us to take with us and, as I waited for him outside, I ended rocking BattleKid to sleep in my arms as he was exhausted. He had been quite good up till then and one man waiting outside the Mulberry shop for his wife asked if I’d rock him to sleep too! Ha!

We managed to get the boy into the car and he stayed asleep. We dropped by the Tesco again and I waited in the car for BattleDad to get what we needed. BattleKid woke 5 minutes from our accommodation, ratty as hell even though he’d had a 40 minute sleep! When we arrived back BattleKid watched the end of Rio while BattleDad napped, he too was exhausted from the bad night with the boy. We had dinner at 5.30 and decided to take a walk around the lake and nature trail of the area we were staying in rather than stay indoors on such a nice evening. We figured it would also distract BattleKid, possibly wear him out, and maybe, just maybe, help to avoid any more tantrums, of which there had been many!

We ended up out for over an hour but had fun, checking holes for dragons and seeing if we could spot any cats along the way. Getting out of the apartment was a good idea and we had fun as a family. Once we got back it was well past milk, pj’s and story time, and thankfully BattleKid went down without too much of a fight.Chester Day 3

Chester Day 3

Chester Day 3

Chester Day 3

BattleDad and I read the papers he had picked up until we knew the boy was asleep before getting some tea and watching the weekend’s second episode of X-Factor. We turned in after this, exhausted from our day out and with the journey back to South Wales just ahead of us.

Pop by tomorrow to see if we managed to go dragon hunting on our last day of the bank holiday weekend.

Cath x