Category Archives: Family life

Expecting the milk (and more) man…

Back in the day, when I was a carefree teen living at my Parents house and sleeping in until noon, we had a milkman. He would always deliver us a pint or two of bottled semi-skimmed milk every day and the fridge was always well stocked for milkshakes, angel delight and great big cups of tea.

I left home, went away to university and we had to buy milk from the supermarket and the milkman was long forgotten. Until now.

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We were recently offered a free trial of Milk and More. Part of the Dairy Crest group, Milk and More is the easy way to order fresh milk to your door online. Order by 9pm the night before a delivery is needed and a local milkman (or lady in our case) will deliver your fresh milk order. You can also order lots of other essentials such as baked goods, cheese and eggs as regular deliveries or one-off orders such as wine and chocolate if you need a last minute gift.

A week last Friday (the only weekday I don’t work) I ordered our first delivery. A simple order of a couple of bags of milk (no bottles or cartons here), a JugIt milk jug, a packet of croissants and some sliced bread. I was apprehensive about ordering from the service as I didn’t know what time delivery would be, I was worried the milk would get stolen from our doorstep and I wasn’t sure how well the order would survive the recent elements (rain, hail and sleet) should we not be in when delivery took place.

Our first order arrived just after 9:30am which was fine as I was waiting in for a parcel to arrive. All our items were present and correct and I had fresh milk to feed Little Mr with. Fab! We ordered again over the half-term break as again there was going to be someone in to accept delivery. This order was delivered before hubby got up which must have been before 7:30am. Perfect! Except something from our order was missing. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to ring up customer services so I’m not sure if the order was delivered whole and some tea leaf pinched the milk or the order was delivered unfulfilled. Lesson learnt.

I’ve got another order planned for this week so I’ll let you know how we get on.

Do you order milk and other goods from the milkman or lady? Or do you just buy fresh milk throughout the week?

Disclaimer: We were given a credit to use against a number of deliveries for the purpose of this post and a further review of the Milk and More service. This is an honest and unbiased review. 

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Why I’d never leave a baby alone with a dog…

dog baby 4

Before Little Mr came along I had another baby, a fur baby, his name is Mikey and he’s a West Highland Terrier. We have had Mikey since he was just 6 weeks old and to look at him now, I can’t quite believe that he was small enough to sit in the palm of my hand.

When I was pregnant I was worried how he would react to a newborn in the house, after all he had been our priority for the last seven years and was used to getting all our attention. I was worried that he might get jealous and try and compete with BabyShilts for our attention and ultimately I was worried that my very docile Westie would become aggressive.

As we brought Little Mr home for the first time, Mikey was sitting on top of the sofa watching out the living room window as he often does. He watched us get out the car and bring in the car seat with a very tiny baby in it. As we put the car seat down on the floor, Mikey went up to the car seat and sniffed at it. We watched him intently to see what his reaction was and made a fuss of him to make sure he knew we still loved him.

BabyDog3

Over the passing weeks, Mikey became quite protective of Little Mr. He would sit under his crib as if he was on guard and wasn’t fazed by Little Mr’s loud newborn cries for attention. On most occasions as Little Mr began rolling around the floor, Mikey would just move out of the way and find his own peaceful corner.

dog baby

One morning as Little Mr was on his play mat, the postman pushed some post through the letterbox and it startled Mikey. He jumped off the sofa and ran towards the front door in the hallway, only narrowly missing trampling on Little Mr as I sat in his way. In that instance, I was scared enough to worry that no matter how much Mikey appeared to care for Little Mr, he was still a dog and his instincts were to protect his territory.

dog baby5

Dogs can injure and in the worst case, kill. Even the nice ones.

In recent weeks, there has been a number of tragic incidents where family pets have mauled small babies or children. Just yesterday, in the news there was a shocking story of a family pet dog (the breed of which wasn’t on listed on the Dangerous Dogs Act) who had mauled a six day old newborn baby to death. The full story has yet unknown but a newborn baby has lost its life. It’s terribly upsetting.

It might sound patronising but never ever leave your baby or small child alone with a dog. No matter how docile they are around you or your family, their behaviour can change in a split second and that is all it takes for the worst to happen. Let’s not forget dogs are animals and have animal instincts.

If I need to pop to the toilet or answer the front door, I always separate Little Mr and the dog. I’d never leave a baby alone in the same room as the dog. It’s not worth the risk. We have dog gates on our living room and kitchen doors to ensure we can keep them apart and when Little Mr was younger I made sure that the dog couldn’t jump onto the moses basket or into his rocking chair.

Dogs best friend

If you could see Little Mr and Mikey together today, they’re friends. Little Mr likes to pat Mikey’s back and Mikey loves the leftovers that come his way as he sits under the highchair at dinner time. I’m pretty sure that Mikey wouldn’t harm Little Mr but I’d never take the risk of finding out.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Latest news from Shilton Towers…

collage feb update

It’s been a busy few weeks of late. I can’t believe we’re already into mid-February but so much has already happened this year, it’s been a little bit mad.

January was a busy month for health service appointments. I had a nasty gum infection and abscess so was given antibiotics to clear it up. Hubby had several appointments at the hospital for his sleep problems. After a discussion with his consultant, he was given a date for a sleep study which is what we had wanted. The sleep study was able to record hubby’s breathing pattern and could monitor his sleep through the night. After a night using the equipment, the results were in which led to a diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnoea. Next step is hubby’s appointment to fit the cpap machine which should (fingers crossed) help hubby breathe properly through the night and he’ll get his first full nights sleep since October. Of course, we still have hurdles to cross as he’s still not driving as he is still falling asleep through the day meaning I can’t leave Little Mr with him at any time but it’s one step closer to having a fully rested hubby and perhaps an hour or two on my own to go to the hairdressers!

In late January, we lost our wonderful Nan (hubby’s Nan) to a stroke. It was all very sudden so it was a massive shock but I’m hopeful that she didn’t suffer and she passed away in peace. She was a wonderful lady. Family was at the heart of everything she did. She loved the family get togethers, the parties and our family meals. She was a very kind lady who had so much love to give, she was honest and loved to find out the latest news from around the family. I’m blessed to have met her, she welcomed me into the Shilton family with open arms back in 2003 and it was my pleasure to call her Nan. She taught me a lot and I’m hoping I can help pass down the Shilton name with the same family values, love and trust. From one Mrs Shilton to another, sleep tight Nan xx

Little Mr’s bedtime routine has really improved with massive thanks to Fi Star-Stone (Childcare is fun) we can now put him down to bed and he’ll usually drop off within twenty minutes. Massively improved from the hour to two that it was taking. He is still waking up through the night, not every night, but most probably 4-5 times per week. It is hard going being woken up at 2am then crawling back into bed to be woken again in an hours time to repeat the cycle of lying him back down, replacing the dummy, putting Ewan back on and getting him back off to sleep. He has really come on with his self soothing but of course he does have his moments.

Following the diet has become a bit hit and miss which I’m rather annoyed with myself for but I’m still trying to make the right choices, drink plenty of water and have 5 fruit and veg throughout the day. I’m desperate to get the weight loss moving again, I don’t want to be this fat for my holiday in July and of course, being bigger is rather unattractive, is very unhealthy for my bones and isn’t doing me any good as we look to the future of our family and in particular my polycystic ovaries.. Must try harder!

This year already we’ve had our highs and lows but we have a lot to look forward to ahead of us. Big birthdays for quite a few of the family including both our Dads, a couple of weddings, camping in Lincolnshire, a family holiday abroad and the prospect of becoming a little bit more financially stable. There’s also a few more challenges and opportunities on the horizon but will know more about those as time goes on.

You may have noticed a shiny new badge to the side of the blog, the Mads 2014 are again accepting nominations for the blogs that you love. I was delighted to have been nominated last year and would love to be nominated again this year so if you’ve got a few minutes, click the badge or here and vote for your favourite blog (ahem!) in possibly the Best Baby Blog or Mad Blog of the Year. I thank you!

Coming up on the blog later this week, photographs from the awesome Birmingham leg of the Team Honk Relay, Little Mr’s 12 month update and a couple of reviews.

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This entry was posted on Sunday, February 16th, 2014

Moments that mattered in 2013

Looking back to 2013, it was undoubtedly the best year I’ve ever had. So much happened in those 12 months that I do feel very blessed and extremely lucky to have had such a fantastic year. 2013 was the year of my maternity leave and you can read more about what I got up over the ten months here; but there were three moments last year that spring to mind as moments that mattered the most.

First moment

The birth of my long awaited for baby boy. Becoming a Mummy was one of the scariest and happiest moments of my life. I had waited a long time to hold this little bundle of gorgeousness, snuggle him tight and kiss his forehead and boy, did it feel good.

little mr and daddy shilts

little mr february baby

Second moment

The second moment that mattered in 2013 was the meeting of Little Mr and my friend Tanya, who I had known since we were in the same class in Primary School back in the late 1980′s. Little did I know at the time that it would be the first and last time that these pair would meet and it would be the last time I saw her. Tanya was very poorly with cancer and had fought a very brave battle but sadly lost her fight in June 2013.

Tanya and LM

Third moment

The third moment that mattered last year was the wedding of my longest friend Becky (our Mums met in hospital before we were born and remained friends ever since) to her fiance, Daniel.

mr and mrs clarke wedding

I was asked to be her chief bridesmaid and had the honour and privilege of signing the register as a witness to their marriage at The Guildhall in Windsor. It was a stunning day with glorious sunshine, plenty of smiles and a day full of happy memories, one that I will cherish forever.

Emma and Becky 2013

This is an entry into the Moments that Mattered competition with Lloyds Bank  to win an Ipad Mini as featured on Mummy’s LIttle Monkey.

What were your moments that mattered in 2013?

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This entry was posted on Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

Preparing for a cake smash

I’ve just spent the last three hours baking a giant chocolate cupcake as a trial run for Little Mr’s birthday next weekend. Luckily, I’ve arranged for a very talented friend to make his first ever birthday cake so I don’t need to worry about that but I have wanted to make a cake for him to smash up ever since I saw the idea fill up Pinterest.

cake smash

My baking skills leave a lot to be desired. I just don’t have the time to practice anymore. I do love getting in the kitchen to have a go though so I thought I’d use a silicone mould I was given last year as a gift and have a play.

So, it’s out of the over and in all honesty, it’s terrible but it’s a practice run, hopefully the real one will turn out better! It’s so difficult cutting the cake so it’s even. I’m definitely not applying for Bake Off next series..

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The idea behind a cake smash is for you to bake a cake for the birthday girl/boy and then let them loose on it whilst you take some photographs. You might not want to let them delve straight into a cake that’s supposed to feed the family so a giant cupcake is perfect. Decorate it with buttercream or cream cheese frosting, add sparkles or chocolate buttons or coloured ‘hundreds and thousands’ (does anyone else call them that?) and have fun. I’m going to practice my icing skills tomorrow and if I’m any good I might try and pipe some swirls on to the chocolate cake. If i’m rubbish I’ll just cover the cake in frosting and throw some sparkly bits at it.

Practically in our home the only place suitable for a cake smash is in the bathroom. It’s a large bright space with wipe-able surfaces so if cake gets smeared and thrown anywhere it’ll be easy enough to clean up. I’m hoping to borrow a decent camera from someone so I can take some photos to do the smash some justice. If all else fails I’ll just let Little Mr eat some cake and have a play with the textures.

If you’ve done a cake smash before with your little ones I’d love to see some pics, or if you’ve got a fool proof recipe for the perfect cake please let me know!

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This entry was posted on Sunday, February 2nd, 2014