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Friday, November 28, 2014

Playgro Click Bitz

A lot of the Playgro toys I had seen in the shops before we became Playgro toy testers were aimed towards younger babies. There are so many cute rattles and pram accessories for little babies I was under the impression that Playgro was only targeted at children under 12 months. but since we"ve been testing out their toys I've realised there are actually quite a lot of toys that are suitable for toddlers, including Click Bitz.



Click Bitz are a set of 12 plastic shapes which interlock together by clicking each bit end to end, hence the name Click Bitz. There are six bright colours and each piece features different textures. The raised bumps and lines combined with the different shapes give babies and toddlers a fun tactile experience while they're trying to work out how to put the bits together.



The Click Bitz encourage babies to use their fine motor skills by grasping at the pieces and feeling the different textures on each bit. They're also developing motor skills by passing the pieces between their hands and putting them together and pulling them apart. Bub also likes to stick her fingers into the holes and wear the bits as accessories.




The best part of the Click Bitz is that they help babies and toddlers to develop cognitive skills as they try to figure out how to put the pieces together. Bub spends ages fiddling with the pieces trying to get them together. I can see her little brain ticking over as she examines the pieces and holds them next to each other. She knows that they connect via the holes, but shes not quite strong enough to push them together yet. She can pull them apart though so I often give her a few of them joined together and she pulls them into pieces. Then she hands them back to me to put together.

I think the age rating of 12m+ is appropriate for this toy. While younger babies would certainly get the tactile benefits from playing with the Click Bitz, they won't understand how to use them properly until they're older. Bub is 16 months old and is not quite to the point of being able to put them together herself, but still has heaps of fun playing with them and has done for a few weeks now. She also worked out that if she holds the end with the hole over her mouth and yells she can use them as little microphones so shes having lots of fun exploring other ways to use the pieces.

As she gets older I'll also be able to use them to teach her different shapes. As they also feature many bright colours (a signature of all Playgro toys), they can also be used to teach colours. Once shes a bit older again I can use them to help her learn to count. As you can see this toy isn't limited to the baby stage and can be used for years to come to teach a lot more skills as bub grows older.


Toni x


Linking with Kaz, Ann, and Bel

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

52 WEEKS OF MEMORIES | 47 - FREESTYLE

To be completely honest this weeks prompt came about because I couldn't think of anything else at the time when I was putting the list together, my bad. Yea it doesn't literally mean freestyle as in the swimming stroke, more like freestyle as in take a photo of whatever you want because Toni couldn't think of any other cool words to use as prompts. Or, you could go with the swimming idea if you want.

Given that we've been so sick for nearly two weeks now we haven't been out anywhere exciting so I don't have any fabulous beach photos to share. So, I went with the next best thing which is a photo I took today of her hugging her owl pillow while she had her day time nap (yay I've got her back to having day time naps - I'm totally winning the war against the plague). I took the photo through the baby monitor so its not the best quality, but as much as I wanted to go up and take a photo up close, I wanted her to sleep more. She has an uncanny ability to hear the camera shutter sound on my phone even if she's in a deep sleep (and I haven't worked out how to disable it).

47 | FREESTYLE
~ I just had to capture this moment when I saw her hugging her owl ~


If you would like to join in 52 weeks of memories you can find out how to play here. Feel free to share with your friends on facebook or instagram, the more who join in the better!

You can follow me on Instagram and join in on Facebook. When sharing via Instagram or Facebook don't forget to use the hashtag #fmy52weeksofmemories so I can see your lovely photos.  If you have a blog feel free to link up your photos via the linky below and come back each week to link up each new prompt. 

Reminder - next weeks prompt is water.





Toni x


Also sharing with 
Trish from My Little Drummer Boys 


Linky rules

2. Add your post for this weeks prompt
3. Grab the button below and link it to the bottom of your post or sidebar or text link
4. Visit some of the other blogs and share some comment love (because its the nice thing to do)

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Monday, November 24, 2014

When the plague takes over



For the last week and a half we've been struck down by what can only be described as the plague. Technically the doctors never told us what it was, but it's taken out the whole family so to me plague = an appropriate name. This is probably the sickest bub and I have been since she was born almost 16 months ago. Shes been sick before and so have I, but this has really knocked us for six.

Its amazing how being sick can turn your whole world upside down and put a stop to almost everything. Its pretty much the only time I slow down and say no to things. Usually only because my body won't physically let me do them. We've been home bodies for over a week now which is driving me just a touch insane, but I don't want to be the one who unleashes the plague on my friends so its been kind of necessary (ironically all of the kids in my mothers group have been knocked down by the plague too so obviously one of the little buggers darlings was the origin of the plague). It's made it blindingly obvious to me that I could never be one of those stay at home mums who literally just stays at home all day. I need fresh air and changes of scenery and so does bub. When I say car she runs to the front door and bangs on it to tell me to hurry up. I'm sure she'll be super excited when we start going out again... if this plague ever properly goes away. After almost a week of antibiotics we're both still coughing our guts up and feeling like our heads are about to explode, but the green snot has gone so that's got to be a good thing.

We've endured hand, foot and mouth before (yea she shared that with me too, at least shes got the sharing thing down pat), but I have to say this is worse. With h,f + m she just wanted to cuddle me and sleep all day which was fine because its pretty much all I wanted to do as well. I feel exactly the same way this time too, but it appears shes forgotten what sleep is, both during the day and night. I think this plague has cured my desire to have another baby because its most definitely reminded me what sleep deprivation feels like. I'm so sleep deprived that last night when she cried I was patting my doona for nearly a minute to calm her down before I realised the noise was coming from the baby monitor and she wasn't actually in my room. No wonder why she didn't stop crying. In my defence though, it wasn't a completely ridiculous thing to assume as shes been bed hopping between our bed and her cot numerous times throughout the week. It reminded me of the times I used to wake in the middle of the night frantically searching my bed freaking out that I couldn't find the baby when she was safely tucked up in her bassinet beside me. I get why sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture, it seriously fucks with your head.

She's also decided she now hates food. All food, except sultanas and corn. Seriously? Corn and sultanas! If I was going to pick only two things to eat it certainly wouldn't be them, but who am I to argue with toddler logic. I finally get why parents get so frustrated when their kids don't eat. I've never really had to deal with it because shes always eaten like a horse and wants to eat anything, even the foods shes allergic to. This is the first time I've dealt with the screaming and raspberry blowing and smacking my hands as I try to feed her and blatant throwing of food on the floor. It sucks. I'm so over cooking her meals from scratch only to have them end up all over the floor. I'm hoping its just because shes sick and it isn't the start of a phase. She finally ate part of her spaghetti last night, so guess who's getting spaghetti every night until they refuse that too?!

So yea its been fun times in our house lately. I'm hoping to emerge from the plague fog this week and get my mojo back. We'll see how it goes.


Toni x

Linking with Eva, Alicia, Kirsty and Emily

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

52 WEEKS OF MEMORIES | 45 - HOLDING

Bub has always been a very tactile baby. Shes always loved touching us and being touched from the very beginning. We stroked her to sleep each night on her forehead and she still strokes herself to sleep now with her blankie. She got so excited when she discovered her hands and worked out how to use them. Shes always picking things up and running them through her hands. Shes a huge fan of sensory play. Now that shes older she creates sensory play experiences for herself at any opportunity. When we went to visit her aunty during the week she quickly discovered the gravel driveway running down the side of the house. She spent ages playing with the rocks, picking them up, holding them and letting them fall from her fingers. It makes my heart sing to see her learning and getting so much joy out of something as simple as gravel.


45| HOLDING
~ Bub having fun holding the rocks ~


If you would like to join in 52 weeks of memories you can find out how to play here. Feel free to share with your friends on facebook or instagram, the more who join in the better!

You can follow me on Instagram and join in on Facebook. When sharing via Instagram or Facebook don't forget to use the hashtag #fmy52weeksofmemories so I can see your lovely photos.  If you have a blog feel free to link up your photos via the linky below and come back each week to link up each new prompt. 

Reminder - next weeks prompt is in the car.





Toni x


Also sharing with 
Trish from My Little Drummer Boys 


Linky rules

2. Add your post for this weeks prompt
3. Grab the button below and link it to the bottom of your post or sidebar or text link
4. Visit some of the other blogs and share some comment love (because its the nice thing to do)

Finding Myself Young
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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

When is it the right time to have another baby?




That's the million dollar question isn't it?

It's one we've been pondering a lot for the last few weeks. Seems I've got a serious case of baby fever... I've been so dam clucky lately. Of course my family have been asking when we're having another baby ever since bub turned one. There must be some unwritten law that once your first child turns one you must immediately provide your parents with another grandchild. If you don't you will be continuously nagged at every opportunity until you do provide requested grandchild, at least that's what I think their plan is.

It seems our parents aren't the only ones who have an opinion on when we should have another baby. Checkout chicks at the supermarket and little old ladies at the shops are particularly fond of asking "ohh she's so cute, how old is she?" which is promptly followed by "are you planning on having another one soon?". I get there's a genuine fascination with such things, I do. And that babies make strangers gravitate towards you, but the interest has been particularly heightened now that the Duke and Duchess are expecting again. You see bub and Prince George are only a few days apart... so naturally I had better hurry up and get pregnant again because Kate already is... at least that's what everyone keeps telling me

Thanks for the added pressure Kate...

Seriously though we have been discussing the issue of when the right time would be for us to have another baby, regardless of what the general public may think. We haven't come up with an answer yet (yea sorry this post isn't a pregnancy announcement), but we have come up with the following list of factors that should be considered.



10 FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN PLANNING ANOTHER BABY

1. The age gap. I'm pretty sure this is the first thing that pops into everyone's mind when they're considering adding to their brood. If they're too close it'll be harder, but they could end up being best friends. If they're too far apart chances are they won't be interested in the same things so won't play together much. Then the omg what if I have them close together and I end up with twins factor comes into play. You may laugh, but I know two people who've had this happen and ended up with 3 under 3 and 3 under 2, it does happen.

2. Can baby number one walk & talk? This one is high on the list of factors to consider for me personally. I never wanted to be carrying two babies around everywhere at the same time. Similarly I also don't want to have two babies who can only communicate via crying (assuming I don't end up with twins!). We've overcome the walking barrier and are currently working on the talking part. It's just a case of do I wait until she can talk or get pregnant and hope she can talk a lot more by the end of the nine months? Jury is still out on that decision.

3. The nappy Situation. Everybody is quick to say "don't have another baby until the first one is out of nappies". Personally the idea doesn't bother me that much. She's only using 4 or 5 nappies a day now and doesn't require a nappy change at night so that's not that much to handle compared to a newborn. Also since we moved to nappy pants her nappy changes have gotten much easier and aren't a massive battle anymore. I also think it'd be easier to deal with a newborn while having a toddler in nappies, rather than a toddler who's toilet training and pooping and peeing all over the floor. I could be wrong though as I've never gone through the toilet training experience, but I hear it isn't good. The less time I have to spend cleaning excrement off the floor the better (especially when the squishy newborn will be doing tummy time on said floor).

4. Money. It always rears its ugly head when there's a big decision to be made doesn't it? I figure there's never going to be enough to live the way I'd like to live, but if there's enough to get by comfortably at a standard we can accept then that's ok.

5. Sleep deprivation. Isn't it amazing how we can magically forget all the horrible months of sleep deprivation hell. I've just become accustomed to getting six hours uninterrupted sleep at night and I honestly don't know that my body could handle going back to broken sleep just yet. The thought actually scares me.

6. Pregnancy side effects. I didn't have the easiest pregnancy. Although customers at work were telling me I looked great while pregnant, I most certainly didn't feel that way (at least not at the end). I got psd which means my pelvis was separating from 30 weeks. As you can imagine it didn't feel great, in fact at some points I couldn't walk. I had to finish up work earlier than planned and pretty much stay on bed rest for nearly two weeks until the pain subsided a bit, but then it came back even worse later on. I also ended up with carpel tunnel in both wrists and had to wear braces 24/7 (except while showering). On top of that I got pupp rash in the last week and ended up covered in a hideous, insanely itchy, rash which didn't go away until after she was born. Forgive me for not wanting to jump back into that again anytime soon. Each condition happened randomly so there's a possibility that I won't experience any of it the second time around, but I'm not sure if I'm ready to take my chances yet.

7. Is Kate pregnant? Just kidding.


8. Fertility issues. This one won't apply to everyone, but for us its a reality. It makes the process a little harder to predict because we could end up taking over a year to fall pregnant (or not fall pregnant at all) from the time we start trying. So its a case of do we start trying a few months before we'd ideally like to get pregnant, assuming it'll take that long; or do we stick to our preferred time and then hope it doesn't take months upon months to conceive. Considering it took me nearly four years to fall pregnant the first time, this is weighing heavily on our decision.


9. All the other stuff like will I need to buy a double pram? Will I be able to handle going out in public with two kids by myself or will she just dart off while I'm attending to the baby? 

10. Will I lose my mind? When he goes back to work will I just completely lose it having to look after two children by myself all day? Am I likely to get post natal depression again? 


In the end I don't really know that there will ever be a right time to have another baby, especially when there are so many factors at play. Chances are we won't ever be able to tick all the boxes at the same time. In the end I think it'll come down to our gut feeling on when we think we could handle adding another little spawn darling to our family and whether we are even able to get pregnant again. Rest assured if when it does happen I will let you all know (yes mum I will tell you first before announcing it on my blog, you don't need to text me).

Anyone have any tips on when the right time is?


Toni x


Monday, November 10, 2014

Mummy Must Have | Personalised Santa Sacks by My Teddy

When I was little one of the things I remember loving most about Christmas was my Santa sack. My brother and I both had a huge Santa sack each and it was the most exciting thing ever waking up Christmas morning to see what Santa had left in the sack. The first thing we'd do in the morning was run to the tree to see what was in our sacks underneath. Its definitely a Christmas tradition I want to pass onto my daughter.

Our Santa sacks were massive plastic bags with a Santa image, mum just wrote our names on them in niko pen. I haven't really seen anything like them in the shops. These days Santa sacks have most definitely gotten a lot fancier. I found a gorgeous one online from My Teddy and even better it can be personalised with any name. I've shopped at My Teddy before so I had no hesitation buying the Santa sack online instead of in a store.



The ordering process is so incredibly simple. Just pick the personalised Santa sack, enter the name you want embroidered (in either capitals or lower case, or a combination) and then checkout. So easy! The Santa sacks even have FREE shipping and are posted within 2 business days after payment is received. My Teddy is the quickest online site for postage that I've ever ordered from. Its amazing how quick their turn around is from ordering to receiving the goodies at the door, especially given that they also personalise the item within that time frame before posting.


Our bag arrived within the two days and its even better than I expected. Its huge (92cm x 58cm) which is great because quite a few of the presents I've got her this year are big and they can still fit in the Santa sack. Which means I don't need to buy extra presents from Santa on top of the things I've already got her (yay).

The embroidery is done really well and the sack fabric is so nice. It reminds me of Santa's suit and the white part at the top is so soft I just want to rub it against my face all the time. Yep I'm weird like that. She's going to love it on Christmas morning and for many years to come.





If you're looking for a Santa sack this year My Teddy are offering Finding Myself Young readers the special price of only $25 + free postage, simply use the code fmyss2014 at the checkout. There are only a limited number available for 2014 so if you want one you should order sooner rather than later. My teddy also do personalised Christmas bears if you're still looking for the perfect Christmas present for a little one in your life.


Do you use Santa sacks at your place?

Toni x


Disclosure - I was provided a voucher towards the purchase of the Santa sack. All opinions are my own based on my experience with the product.

Linking with Eva, Alicia and Kirsty.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Into the storm

Yesterday afternoon I went to the movies with my mum while T looked after bub. I've been told I need to get out more without her and do more normal things (I guess that means things without a toddler tagging along). I got sent movie tickets for my birthday so it seemed like the perfect way to escape from the world for a few hours and turn my mum brain off. For once I actually didn't worry about her when she wasn't with me. 

Mum actually asked me to take a selfie of us in the cinema {because shes so hip now lol}

I always feel like I've escaped to an alternate universe when I'm at the movies. Its so easy to disconnect and focus on one thing when I'm sitting in a dark room looking at a massive screen with my phone turned off (ok not off, but on silent and out of sight). Of course being hidden from the world in a dark room totally screws with my mind when I come back out into the daylight. It was worse this time because we went in during the daylight and came out when it was dark. And we didn't just emerge into the darkness, we happened to come out in the middle of the most epic storm we've had in ages. Watching the movie meant I hadn't been on the net for the last few hours to know that there was a storm coming, let alone a psychotic one. Lucky T was driving me home because I was petrified and would've happily hid in the underground carpark for as long as it took for the storm to pass just to avoid driving in it.

It was quite surreal driving home. The road and view directly in front of us was like a typical night, but when we looked just above eye level the whole sky was lighting up. It wasn't like a normal storm centred in one part of the sky, it was everywhere, like a 360 degree storm happening in every direction at the same time. Obviously a number of different storms happening at once. It was strangely beautiful and terrifying at the same time. 

The closer we got to home the more defined the lightening strikes became and the louder the thunder got. Awesome, that meant the storm was pretty much directly above our house. It was about that point I started to believe we were definitely going to get struck by lightning before we got home. I was even playing different lightning strike scenarios out in my head, that's how certain I was. Because you know if you're going to be struck by lightning its always best to be prepared for it, because that's going to somehow make it less traumatic, at least that's what my brain was thinking.

It's probably the first time I've let my anxiety and fear control the way I've acted in front of bub, although technically she was behind me in her car seat. I'm always super conscious to control my own anxieties when I'm with her because I don't want her picking up on them and taking them on herself. I'm usually really good at this. I can be freaking out on the inside, but cool as a cucumber on the outside. It's actually been really good for me and has helped me to get over a lot of my unrealistic anxieties. But not this time. This time I lost it (in the most controlled way I could).

Everything that isn't brown or blue is a storm. FYI red is really bad

I was totally panicking that we were all going to die before we got home. Panicking that we'd be struck by lightning. Or lightning would strike power lines and they'd fall on our car and we'd be trapped. Or worse still I'd be able to get out and bub would be trapped and I couldn't get to her. Seriously all this shit was flashing through my mind over the course of about ten minutes. In the midst of it I turned around to check on her thinking she'd be freaking out because shes never really been in a bad storm before and instead I found her almost asleep.

Kids really do blow me away with their ability to cope with situations that make us adults crumble. Here I was a grown woman losing my shit meanwhile she was just chilling looking at the pretty flashing lights. When we finally got inside almost soaking wet from running through the torrential rain, I finally felt safe, and recovered enough brain capacity to mask my anxiety for her sake. She thought all the lights streaming in from the windows were pretty cool, but then quickly got distracted trying to shove all her fingers in my mouth. So I let myself get distracted by it too. We pretty much just mucked around with each other until the storm passed over.

She taught me so much in that half hour. It'd be totally awesome to be able to live as a child again without fear, not being scared of something simply because you don't know you should be scared of it. I realise fear is a good thing in most cases though because it stops us from doing stupid things and keeps us alive, but it'd be lovely to live without the irrational fears. She taught me that my irrational fears are all in my mind. She taught me that I have the power within myself to control them and switch them off, or at least push them to the back of my mind, by focusing on something else. Seeing the world through her eyes each day is teaching me so many lessons, big and small.


Have you overcome any fears since becoming a parent?


Toni x


P.S. - We weren't watching Into the Storm, but wouldn't that have been ironic!

Linking with Grace, Ann, Sonia and Bel


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

52 WEEKS OF MEMORIES | 44 - SPECIAL

There's nothing more special than being able to kiss my baby girl while shes asleep next to me.


44 | SPECIAL
~ I love special moments like this ~


If you would like to join in 52 weeks of memories you can find out how to play here. Feel free to share with your friends on facebook or instagram, the more who join in the better!

You can follow me on Instagram and join in on Facebook. When sharing via Instagram or Facebook don't forget to use the hashtag #fmy52weeksofmemories so I can see your lovely photos.  If you have a blog feel free to link up your photos via the linky below and come back each week to link up each new prompt. 

Reminder - next weeks prompt is holding.





Toni x


Also sharing with 
Trish from My Little Drummer Boys 


Linky rules

2. Add your post for this weeks prompt
3. Grab the button below and link it to the bottom of your post or sidebar or text link
4. Visit some of the other blogs and share some comment love (because its the nice thing to do)


Finding Myself Young
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Monday, November 3, 2014

Cats and babies

Before I was pregnant with bub I was slightly concerned about how the cats would react if we finally did have a baby. My cats have always been my babies, especially given I spent so many years thinking I'd never actually get to have a real baby. They were used to getting all the attention and having cuddles at night. They were always number one (even though there were three of them).

When we first got pregnant I spent lots of time wondering how they'd adjust to our new addition once she arrived. Everyone loves to tell you about the horror stories that happened to a friend of a friend of a cousins mothers sister where their cat went to sleep on the baby and smothered it to death. My cats were all very well natured and loved to show affection so I wasn't really too worried they'd turn nasty. If they were going to smother the baby it'd be out of love not jealously, but still smothering is smothering and generally has bad results so it was in the back of my mind regardless. At one point I was considering a net for the cot and a screen door for the nursery just incase.

They were all fine while I was pregnant though. In fact Shelby grew quite protective of my bump to the point where I think she thought it was her baby in there. She'd come and sit on my bump every time I sat down. It didn't even bother her when bub started moving around and kicking back at her. She would curl up on me and purr any opportunity she could get. Which was nice because it meant I always had company when I was taking naps on maternity leave awaiting bub's arrival. She even had a knack of being able to put bub to sleep with her purring, which meant I got a few naps without being consistently prodded and poked.





I pretty much stopped being worried about how the cats would act around the baby because they were being so good while I was pregnant. The boys didn't really show as much interest as Shelby, but they would still come up and cuddle me when they got the chance. In fact I was getting quite excited to see how they would interact with the baby given they all seemed to love her already.

I thought Shelby would always be at my side protecting "her" baby. Turns out though that she wasn't a fan of the continuous high pitched crying and wriggling so she abandoned her mothering duties as soon as bub came home. Lucky she still had me to look after her because Shelby just spent all day hiding from her and ignoring her.

Max ended up taking on the roll of protector, to my surprise. He would sit on the lounge beside her rocker or lie on the floor near her while she was playing on her mat. He instinctively knew not to get too close to her and never tried to touch her, but he made sure to stay close enough to know she was alright. He just knew there was something special about her.




Jasper on the other hand wasn't quite as taken with her. The first few weeks he just kept his distance, but after a while the jealousy started to rear its head. Jasper needs lots of attention, he suffers from quite bad separation anxiety (seems to be a burmese trait and hes part burmese) and we found out he doesn't really like change. When she was a few weeks old he started trying to push in between her and us on the couch. He'd sleep in her port-a-cot overnight to try and claim it as his. He started hanging around her rocker when she was sleeping and he was getting a little too close for my liking. He never actually touched her or tried to hurt her, but it was quite evident that he had his nose out of joint that he was no longer the baby and he knew she was the reason why. He didn't like that she was now the priority and that she came first. So, we made the decision to re-home him for both her safety and so that he could get the attention he needed.

Its not a decision that was made lightly. We only let him go because we found a family friend who I knew would give him the attention he desperately craved and I knew he'd take care of him. I agonised over the decision for so long feeling like I was abandoning him and that he'd feel rejected. In the end I couldn't ignore my mummy instincts and bub had to come first.

I shouldn't have stressed over it so much though because apparently he absolutely loves it at his new house. He's the king of the castle and number one just like he always wanted. In fact he probably wouldn't want to come back even if he had the option (which makes me a little sad just quietly). I'm glad he's happy where he is though and I know we made the best decision at the time.

Having a baby is a huge adjustment for everyone, including the fur babies in your life. In some cases this may mean hard decisions will have to be made, but its important to follow your instincts and do what's best for your family as a whole. Fur babies can also surprise you in the most unexpected and loveliest ways like Max and bub's friendship. They have the cutest relationship ever which is only getting stronger as she gets older. For a cat who'd never been around children before he certainly has a way with her. He happily lets her pull his hair, drag him across the floor and even sit on him. Hopefully, for his sake, she'll get a little more gentle as time goes on. Those two will be inseparable for years to come and it warms my heart seeing them play together.




Did you have childhood pet you had a close bond with?

Toni x


Linking with Kirsty and Alicia