A Trip to the Seaside and a Very Special Wedding…

The beginning of this rather sunny and lovely week was spent in Bournemouth. Tom and the McBusted boys headed there on tour, and me and Buzz decided to tag along for the ride to enjoy some family time. Although, realistically me and Tom actually became a parenting tag team, with me going off to work on my next novel in the daytime and Tom heading out to perform in the arena at night. Occasionally it can feel that our time as a trio is a little limited, but I think we’re becoming very good at juggling the situation.

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Take Tuesday afternoon, for example – I’d been sat on my laptop in the hotel room all morning (it was a flipping lovely spot with an awesome view) when, after lunch together, Tom said he was going to take Buzz to the beach. Now, I’d been working all morning and was happy with the progress I’d been making, so decided to take a cheeky couple of hours off to play in the sand with my husband and bubba… and I didn’t feel even the tiniest bit guilty. No really… sitting there in the sunshine and taking in that vitamin D gave me a lovely little breather, making me realise just how important it is to stop and live life every now and then. I know I can become really fixated on workload and deadlines, but in reality I have a little boy who’s growing up extremely quickly and a husband who’d probably like a conversation or two with his wife every now and then. Giving them my time and love will always be my top priority… and rightly so.

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Also this week my lovely, kind and beautiful friend Savannah Stevenson (Glinda in Wicked) married the charming and funny Nathan Copier. I was a bridesmaid and felt so proud watching the pair declare their love for one another and I actually wept the whole way through their heartfelt speeches. Sav’s been in my life for seven years now, and from the moment we met I knew we were destined to be great friends (we bonded over Marks and Spencer’s chocolate covered toffee popcorn – little piece of heaven). Sav has a great set of morals and values, and I just love her dearly – I couldn’t be happier that Nate has come along and whisked her off her feet.

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Tom and Buzz also came along to the wedding, and I’m grateful that Buzz slept the whole way through the service – although was rather comically gurgling with agreement during some of the speeches later on. Tom had to occupy him with his first ever scone to keep him quiet. Talking of Tom – he was Sav’s something blue as his hair is very, very, very, very, very, blue right now…

This week also marks four years since Tom and I got engaged. I can’t believe it’s been so long, although in all honestly it also feels like a lifetime ago that Tom got down on one knee in the shell of our old school, on the spot that we first met. So much has happened since, it really has been an adventure.

Right, I best get back to my edits – but before I go I just want to say a huge thank you for all the tweets you guys send me after reading this blog. Occasionally I touch on matters that are very close to my heart and extremely honest, the supportive comments never go amiss and encourage me to keep going with what I’m doing.

Big love to you all.

Gi. Xx

Getting the work/play ratio right…

Over the last six months I’ve been working my little (optimistic – it’s more medium to large sized thanks to all the biscuits I’ve been consuming) butt off writing, vlogging and blogging. Obviously the biggest chunk of that time has been spent writing my next novel Dream a Little Dream.

Writing a book is a huge task and the whole process demands a lot of my time, energy and effort. If I’m not at my desk writing I’m usually thinking about the characters and what I have left to do – which quickly causes me to feel guilty that I’m not at my desk writing… But then I have Buzz – and I see how he’s changing every day – how the sounds coming out of his mouth differ, how he’s started communicating and playing differently and how he’s really growing into a more independent toddler… and I feel guilty there too. Guilty for working and enjoying what I’m creating, but guilty for wanting to see the human I made grow into a little person. Guilt, guilt, guilt… what a horrible emotion that is.

I spoke of mummy guilt back in September when I first opened my blank Word document in my office and sent Buzz off to be with my mother in law a few days a week. Usually I’m fine – I love, love, love everything that I do, and thoroughly enjoy doing it – but there are days where I’d actually prefer to shut the world out and just be with my family, relishing life with nothing hanging over me… especially on sunny days when I know other people are out taking their children to the park or off on fun adventures.

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Well, thankfully this week has been the first spent away from my desk in AGES! In fact, it feels odd to be back typing at this keypad after seven whole days spent in the sunshine, enjoying the unexpected spring heat. Hasn’t it been amazing?! I’ve been out walking almost every day and it’s been wonderful… It’s made me realise exactly why downtime with your family is important. I think I get so caught up in all the things that have to be done (I’m actually planning a complete over-haul of the house whenever things quiet down – life is never-ending) that I forget to stop and chill. Well, from now on I’m pledging to myself that I will no longer work at weekends and that I’ll give myself a definite two days off a week… fairly simple and necessary.

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This isn’t a grumble – I’ve already said I absolutely love what I do and couldn’t imagine wanting to do anything else, however – I think it’s about finding a balance that works for you and your family home. So to every mum or dad that’s ever felt guilty for the tim

FullSizeRendere spent away from their child – chin up, I’m sure you’re doing a wonderful job at providing for your family, as well as setting a fab example about working hard and fulfilling your dreams.

Well, it seems I’ve been freed from my cage for long enough – my publishers have sent over some edits to do, so I’m off to ponder over those with a cup of decaf coffee and an Easter egg… I really can’t wait for this book to be read by you all and hear some reactions – that’s when all this hard work really becomes worthwhile.
Until next week…

Big Love!

Gi. Xx

Let’s talk about boobs…

You all know I love talking about my boobs and I don’t think I’ve mentioned them in a while… So let’s talk boobs!

Having breastfed Buzz for a whole year (I can’t believe I’ve managed to do it this long after my tricky start) I’ve finally decided to stop… Almost! Buzz is now down to one feed a day, which he has first thing in the morning. Sometimes he wakes up at five AM and having a quick feed sends him back for another couple of hours, so I’m a bit dubious about cutting that one out right now – but I will do it very soon once he’s sleeping through to a decent time again.

 

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But, seeing as my body responded nice and gently to cutting out the evening feed (no hard, tingly breasts) I’ve managed to go back into my old bras. I can’t tell you how excited I was when I dug them out from the back of my knicker draw. I mean, I wish they were a little more exciting than a variety of black or nude t-shirt bras, but nonetheless – they were back in my life… Fun times, right? Well no, actually. No. Turns out they’re not as blooming comfy as I remember and under-wiring is a total bitch… The only thing I loved was my boobies looking all lovely and bouncy again in the familiar setting I was used to seeing them in… (And no I’m not going to post a picture of them… Perverts! Ha!)

 

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Anyway, I don’t think the highlight of my week was looking at myself in the mirror, but after being told babies ‘suck the life out of them’, I was rather impressed. Haaa! In all seriousness nothing prepared me for how much they were going to change over the last couple of years – from the moment I got pregnant they developed a life of their own… Hard (like rocks), squishy (like stress balls), lumpy, bumpy, darker, lighter, bigger, smaller… It’s all been going on and I feel like, for the first time ever, I’ve finally got to know my boobs…

 

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Which leads me onto a rather special brunch I had last week with the inspirational Kris Hallenga from Coppafeel. She’ll probably hate referring to her as that, but I think she’s quite a remarkable and special lady. When Kris was just 22 years old she found a lump in her boob. A lump that was shrugged off by her GP as nothing to worry about… Eight months later she went back to the doctor and eventually got them to refer her to get it checked out properly. Tests revealed she had breast cancer. Stage four breast cancer. Not the type to be ignored as, in her own words ‘there is no stage five.’ Further tests showed Kris also had spine cancer. Fast forward a few years and she’s also been dealt with cancer of the liver, hips and pelvis as well as a brain tumour… There are no words!

 

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Kris’s outlook is that she’s ‘living’ with cancer… And she really is. Since her original diagnosis, Kris and her twin sister Maren founded Coppafeel! – a charity to get people aware of their bodies and regularly checking in for lumps and bumps. Kris is on a mission to make people rethink Cancer. It’s not just something old people get and actually, new research figures have shown that 1 in 2 people will develop a form of cancer in their lifetime… That’s flipping mental! The message is clear – check yourself and go to the doctor if you think something is awry. You know your body better than anyone else, so fight for more tests if you’re in any doubt.

 

 

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Kris is a flipping amazing person who I feel lucky to have met. I’m now a firm supporter of Coppafeel! and look forward to having lots of fun and games with them in the near future.

So, now I’ve started copping a good feel of my own babs I’m not going to stop… And I encourage you all to go have a good feel of your own right now.

Go on… NOW!

 

 

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Also this week Tom and the Mcbusted guys played the O2. I took Buzz down there and the adorable little thing happily sat through both shows in his Babybjorn carrier – clapping, waving and bouncing away. He’s been watching old McFly videos on YouTube, so he totally gets that it’s his daddy up there.

Hope you’ve all had a brilliant week and enjoyed Easter! Buzz had his first try of chocolate with a bit of a Kinder Surprise egg… needless to say, he loved it. He’s also loved exploring on his new smarTrike – which he looks so grown up on! Waaaaah!

Right, go on now – go ‘Coppafeel’.

Big love to you all!

Gi. Xxx

Buzz starts walking

This week has been manic. So manic that I’m in shock that I’ve managed to find time to write this… But I have to keep you guys posted on what’s going on in my life, don’t I?!

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The start of the week was spent on tour with Tom and the McBusted boys – Glasgow, Newcastle and then Leeds before heading back home. I’ll be honest, I was so happy to be heading home and knowing we’re going to be based here for a few weeks. Buzz hasn’t got back into his regular sleeping pattern since getting home from Australia, which I’m guessing is because he’s been poorly (teething and a rotten cold – blurgh), but also because we’ve been staying in different hotels every few nights and he’s not been in his own room. I know I shouldn’t say this as I’ll totally jinx the situation, but he’s slowly easing himself back into sleeping through the night in his own bed… Yes, that’s the other appalling habit we’ve fallen into – bringing him into our bed. How dare we?!? It’s just so tough when you’re jetlagged/tired and just want to sleep yourself, especially when you know that all he wants is your company because he’s woken up somewhere scary and new. To be honest, I don’t think a snuggle with your mummy and daddy is a lot to ask… But I’m so glad he’s starting sleeping better in his own bed! Although I love having him with me, I don’t sleep quite so well with him there… Sorry Buzz!

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In other baby news… BUZZ HAS STARTED WALKING! (Yes, that totally needed the caps lock on) So far he’s managed a total of twelve steps in one go and finds it hilarious. Although, he still prefers to crawl everywhere or side-step along furniture. It’s scary to think he’ll be running around the house in no time… Eek!

 

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Sadly when we got home at 3am on Wednesday night, following a drive from the boy’s gig in Leeds, we found that one of our cats had been sick everywhere… Poor Leia was walking around in quite a state so Tom ended up taking her to see the emergency vet. We thought it was a virus or bug at first, but by Friday she still wasn’t herself, hadn’t eaten anything and had started to refuse water. After another trip to the vets, and more tests, we found out that her kidneys were severely failing and that she needed specialist treatment somewhere else. Long story short – crystallised matter has been found in her kidneys, suggesting she’s ingested anti-freeze. The specialist said Leia’s chances of survival were minuscule to none… Something that was incredibly difficult to hear. On Saturday morning, before Tom was due to head off on tour again, we went to visit Leia and hear the latest. In all honesty, we thought we were going there to say goodbye. Well… It turned out Leia had been responding extremely well to the treatment and had even eaten breakfast. We were shocked. Tom cried, obviously, but I’m relieved that they were happy tears. Leia still has a big fight ahead of her – her kidneys may never fully recover, but we’re glad she’s more comfortable than she was before. She’s a very special cat – she’s been a blood donor for the RVC and saved the lives of other cats. She’s dippy and loving and I can’t wait for her to come home and sleep on my pillow at night time again!!

 

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Also this week:

– I’ve been burying my head in make believe! My next book Dream a Little Dream is published in June and I’ve been working my butt off and loving it. I love the fact that anything could happen when I close the door of my office each morning.

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– Our lovely friend Chunny is expecting her baby girl to arrive in a matter of weeks, and to celebrate Izzy threw her a gorgeous babyshower. A night talking babies and cooing over the new adventure Chunny is about to start with wonderful girlies was delightful!! Good luck Chunny!!!

Right, I’d better get back to it.

Big love to you all!

Gi. Xx

Buzz is now a one year old!

Buzz is now a one year old… it feels so odd typing that. It’s been an extremely emotional week for me as I’ve found myself reminiscing back to this time last year, when he first entered our lives.

The last year has been filled with so many different emotions. I think I’ve laughed, cried and loved more than I have in my entire lifetime. Being a mum is hard work – I can’t remember the last time I had a lie in or showered without feeling like I have had to rush in case Buzz wakes up or, if showering before Tom goes to work, hurrying so that we both have time to get ready before he leaves. Holding conversations and dining out with friends has become a multi-tasking mission that’s exhausting as you listen and nod eagerly (loving the adult interaction) while simultaneously jumping at your child’s every move and dragging them away from plug sockets, sharp edges on tables and removing from their mouths whatever it is they found and started chewing on while you picked up your coffee cup for a quick swig of its lukewarm contents. And then there’s my appearance – I permanently look as though I’ve just got out of bed in my frumpy, bedraggled state. If only that were the case, but, as stated above, I haven’t slept in late for a whole year now… In fact, I can’t even remember the last time I slept the whole way through the night – because, even if Buzz does, I can’t help but go in and check up on him.

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Gone are the days when I could spend hours getting ready, gone are the hot drinks and the hours of sleep. Gone are the hours of watching trashy TV (they’ve been replaced with The Muppets on repeat). Gone is my size ten figure (for now).

Yet… I don’t care.

I’m perfectly happy with this new way of living – especially when Buzz cracks a smile in my direction, laughs at something stupid I’m doing for his amusement, sings along to whatever I’m squawking to or gives me a kiss I’ve not had to ask for, just because I’m his mummy and he had an urge to do so. Those are the magical moments that make everything worthwhile and remind me how beautiful my life has become.

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‘We made him’.

Those are the words that have been said by us dozens of times over the last year as we’ve watched in amazement as he’s tackled the world around him. In many ways it feels as though it was only yesterday that we welcomed him into our lives, but in others it feels as though he’s always been here with us.

I feel immensely proud to have such a gorgeous little boy to call my son.

So, with his first year of life complete, we celebrated by going up to Glasgow with Tom and the McBusted boys, where they kicked off their UK tour. Buzz was treated to a whopping big Kermit cake and Muppet cupcakes (made by a great company I found up in Scotland called The Little Cake Parlour) – and we even let him try a bit. His face as the sugary delight touched his lips was a treat – he couldn’t get the rest in quick enough.

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That night we went along to the Hydro Arena to watch Tom and McBusted perform. I thought Buzz would pass out and fall asleep within a few songs, but he sat and watched the whole thing while waving at his daddy and munching on rice cakes… rock’n’roll! Tom also spotted Buzz in the crowd and waved – which felt pretty epic and emotional too.

I’ve also met a lot of people this week who’ve said they read this blog and watch my vlogs… You’ve all been with me on this new adventure of mummyhood and it’s so lovely to be able to meet some of you and hear your comments. Thanks for your continued support and love.

Sending lots of love to you all!

Love Gi. Xx

We’re home!

We’re hoooooooooome! Our Australian adventure has come to an end and we’re now back in our jumpers and coats debating whether to go out in the rain again… ah, it feels so good to be back in our own bed and have Buzz back in his room. Obviously it’s been amazing to be on the other side of the world altogether, but all being in the one room at night-time has been interesting… I’m just thrilled that Tom and I will no longer be having to watch films on the laptop with our headphone splitters… Although I loved watching Broadchurch and Better Call Saul with Tom while sharing a bar of chocolate and sipping on a little glass of wine – they were lovely.

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Having been away for three weeks, I thought I’d share with you the top five baby essentials that helped me through our trip:

1. Mountain Nano pushchair – this item absolutely made my trip a million times easier. Light, compact and perfect for travelling around, I really did come across a piece of magic when I was told about it from another parent who’d also been travelling around Oz with a baby.
2. Tote bags – lots of them. I’ve become a tote lady since becoming a mummy. There’s nothing better to keep all your bits organised. Seeing as Buzz and I shared one suitcase it was fab to sort our socks from our swimwear – or knickers from our nappies.
3. Aden and Anais Sleeping bags – Buzz sleeps in these at home, but the thicker version seeing as it’s winter. Having the thinner version gave Buzz some continuity and meant we didn’t have to worry about him suddenly having a blanket when he’s never had one before. Do any other parents worry about when to introduce blankets? With so many SIDS warnings I think I’ll keep Buzz in a bag for a little bit longer…

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4. Ear Defenders – seeing as Buzz was going to be in Stadiums with loud music playing and hoards of screaming girls, we clearly needed to take these along with us. Buzz last used these when he went to watch Tom and McBusted headline at Hyde Park. I’m thankful that they don’t bother him in the slightest and that he’s happy to sit with them on.
5. Peppa Pig books – Buzz loves Peppa (to the point where his first word was actually ‘Peppa’), his face literally lights up any time he sees her. He also loves books and can keep him entertained for a good amount of time – perfect for shorter flights.

Bonus item…

6. BabyBjorn Active Carrier – I used this a lot, especially when getting on flights with Buzz on my own. It’s just really great to have your hands free. It was also fab at the aquarium (Buzz’s favourite) as it meant he could really look around.

Tom leaves to start the McBusted UK tour next weekend – which means he’ll be in Scotland for Buzz’s first birthday. Understandably, we’d quite like the three of us to be together on that special day, so we’re tagging along again. However, this means our families won’t get to see the little dude and has meant we’ve had to throw an early first birthday party… Seeing as we’ve just got back from Oz and are still suffering with jet lag, we decided to keep things simple and low key by just inviting the Fletcher/Falcone gang. Plus, seeing as we’ve been away, they had a lot of Buzz time to catch up on.

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We filled the frames in the lounge with Buzz’s favourite fictional characters, puffed up some balloons (Tom couldn’t resist rubbing them on Buzz’s head and creating static to make it stand on end) and ate a Toystory inspired cake (kindly made by a distant relative). It was a wonderful day – completed with Buzz having his first taste of cake. He refused it at first, but once he had a nibble he was hunting out more crumbs. Bless him. We’re currently planning his Glasgow cake for when we celebrate up there.

Right, I better crack on with some work. Can you believe it’s March already? Scary stuff!

Big Love,

Gi. Xx

The tour continues…

And so the tour continues – Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and then Sydney again before flying back to Melbourne for the last stop around Australia before heading home… It’s been an extremely fun three weeks, and a welcomed break from cold and wet London.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been reminded (yet again) how important a good night’s sleep is. It’s something you really kiss goodbye to as soon as you become a parent, but somehow you get used to the disruptions and adapt. Bizarrely you even feel fully functional when waking up in the mornings having had little to no sleep. However, mix in a bit of jet lag and a change to your well-calculated nightly routine, thanks to being somewhere new, and it all goes to pot. Well, it has for us.

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Yes… night times have been an adventure. Buzz’s even done the unthinkable and (shock, shock, horror) slept in our bed a few times. The murderous cries that he has spilt every time we’ve put him down in his cot meant we had no other option – the boy’s got a talent for detecting you’ve lulled him to sleep and tricked him in there against his will. As soon as his head touches the mattress it whips back up again and he gives you THE look. You know the one. The one that says you’re the meanest person who ever lived – even though you’ve spent twenty minutes lovingly cradling him to sleep in a way you used to do when he was a newborn (your simple placing him in his cot awake method unusable thanks to you being in one hotel room and him being able to see everything you do – like write this blog post).

One night, alone in Sydney, it all got a little too much and I had my own mini meltdown. I do, after all, have work to be getting on with – which I can’t do if he’s resisting sleep and screaming in my face. So yeah… that thing called parenting is blooming hard and getting anything else done around that is a total juggling act. I just love the fact that none of us parents know what we’re doing (I bet a few do) and an ability to laugh at the new manic ways of life is a necessity. It keeps me sane.

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I hope others reading this in similar positions feel comforted to know there’s another set of frazzled parents out there deliriously singing ‘Life’s A Happy Song’ on repeat at three in the morning… never have I sang a song and lost all sense of tune or melody… No wonder Buzz protested so heavily and continued to fight off sleep.

Jokes (and sleep deprivation) aside, we’ve been having a wonderful time over here. I’d not really heard much about Adelaide before heading there, but something about the spacious city caused me to fall in love with it pretty quickly. I’ve never been to Texas, but Adelaide is what I imagine it to be like… It’s like an imaginary Australian Texas. On top of that, Tom and I stumbled across Goodies and Grains – a health shop that was featured in Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead 2… we totally fan-girled as we headed in for a juice. Ha!

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Only a few days left until we close our suitcases and head back home. I must admit – I’m quite looking forward to it now. Bring on the rain!

Big Love,

Gi. Xx

Touring Australia with a baby

In my last post we’d just arrived in Sydney… I love Sydney. Having visited the city several years ago I knew certain areas and felt very comfortable there. However, visiting anywhere with a baby is a whole new experience – especially as for a few of those days, while Tom went on to Brisbane, I was there alone with the little dude. I had all these visions of visiting beaches and walking around museums and parks – but I’m certain they’d have been boring for Buzz who’s unable to go anywhere on foot seeing as he can’t walk yet.

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On the beach I’d fear he’s just a little too young for the sun and heat, so would be a paranoid mum keeping him in the shade and fully sun-creamed up, and if we were to go for walks anywhere he’d be kept in his stroller or his carrier… like any little bubba, he just wants to be free exploring the world and bumbling around – it doesn’t really matter where we are for that… Buzz would be happier spending an hour in the hotel room learning how to flip open a suitcase than sitting in his stroller as we walked through the Botanical Gardens. So I’ve learnt to chill out a bit and realised it’s fine if we’re not going out on big adventures all day long. Although we have had some brilliant times nonetheless, including two (yes two) trips to Sealife and a trip to Toronga Zoo. Buzz loved, loved, loved the aquarium, and was particularly taken by the shark tunnel… It was amazing watching him watching them. That’s the funny thing about being a parent. Not only do you start seeing the world through their innocent eyes, you start ignoring what is around you entirely, and just look at the way they look in wonderment at the sight in front of them as they marvel over the funny shape swimming around, or the way their mouths gawp in amazement, head tilts in confusion, or lips curl in disgust… Yes, I’m forever looking at Buzz for a reaction.

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The reason we’re over here (in case you’ve missed this bit of info) is because Tom and the McBusted boys have been opening for the One Direction lads for the Oz part of their world tour. Armed with his ear defenders, it was time for Buzz to watch his daddy on stage once more. Being a little older this time made for a very different reaction. So far we’ve had frowning, waving, gawping and…sleeping. I think that might’ve been my fault though – with Buzz suspended from my front in his BabyBjorn carrier, my dancing must’ve felt like his bedtime ‘rocking to sleep action’… oops. It’s been so adorable to see him around the McFamily – and for them to really get to know him. He’s been so well behaved with the different settings and surroundings – he’s made touring with a baby look easy.

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Oooh, also this week I conquered my first ever solo flight with Buzz. I’ve always had relatives or friends with me before, but this time I flew from Sydney to Melbourne without anyone else… To be honest, after the long-haul flight from London I felt ready for anything. And Buzz was brilliant. As soon as we sat down I said to the man next to us, ‘Oh no, you’ve pulled the short straw I’m afraid – you’re sat with me and a baby.’ He laughed and thankfully this broke the ice. Turns out he also has a little boy and wasn’t fazed in the slightest. I was so relieved. Buzz wouldn’t stop tapping him and playing with his watch – something he didn’t seem to mind. What was REALLY great was that I managed to pass the kind man Buzz when I needed to sort out our luggage to get off the plane. So I guess I ended up having an extra pair of hands in the end.

So, as I’ve said, I’ve not taken Buzz to the beach YET – but there’s still two weeks to go on this little trip of ours, so I imagine we’ll go to the beach when we get back to Sydney. It’s been boiling in Melbourne, and Adelaide (we fly there tomorrow) looks as though it’ll be even hotter.

Right, I better go pack… again!

Big Love,

Gi. Xx

Long Haul Flight With a Bubba…

I’ve always loved flying, especially on long haul flights. I love getting on a plane and seeing how many films I can get through on the journey whilst sat in my PJs with a glass of bubbly, or shamelessly sleeping whenever I fancy as I cross over the different time zones. Yes, flying was something I used to savour… Well, that used to be my experience with flying. Obviously Buzz has turned it into something else entirely, as I discovered this week when flying with him to Australia.

Before we left home I gave Buzz his dinner and bath and popped him in his PJs so that he’d be nice and relaxed on the journey. He was very confused when he was strapped into his carseat and put into the taxi instead of his cot. I don’t think he was very impressed.

On getting to Heathrow, I was told my suitcase was overweight…hardly surprising when I was carrying three weeks worth of clothes for the both of us – and enough Ella’s Kitchen smoothie pouches to sustain Buzz’s 11o’clock daily intake. Ha! Even though I’d read online that I was allowed to take 40 kilos, I was actually only allowed 32 in one suitcase because the conveyor belts can’t move anymore than that. Thankfully I was travelling with Georgia and Izzy and managed to pop a few items in with Georgia’s to balance things out… nothing like a drama before getting on the plane though.

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Sitting at the gate, waiting to board our Qantas flight to Australia with 22hours and 35minutes stretching out ahead of us, it’s safe to say I was a little worried about boarding the vessel with a teething baby – Buzz had had a rotten few days leading up to our trip. I already felt sorry for the other passengers and what they were possibly about to witness.

We were really lucky to be flying Business, so I had a big chair that reclined into a flat bed, and Buzz has a bassinet at my feet – I was a bit concerned that he wasn’t going to fit in it at first, but the air stewardesses said they’d seen bigger babies than Buzz in there, so I went for it. He looked incredibly snug in there. The scary part for me was the seatbelt/net type contraption that clipped over him to keep him in place if we went through any turbulence. This meant I wouldn’t have to wake him up and put him on my lap if the journey got bumpy. If Buzz was younger I probably would’ve left this off until the ‘fasten your seatbelts’ signs came on – but he’s such a little wriggler now that I knew he’d be climbing up and out of it if given half the chance.

The first part of the flight was from London to Dubai, leaving at 21:15. Meaning Buzz was shattered by the time we’d gotten onto the plane – in fact, he was already asleep on my lap before take off. This flight flew by – even though I’d jump from my seat anytime Buzz stirred and cried. This actually happened quite a lot as I was worried he’d wake up all the other passengers – but he was actually pretty good and slept lots. I didn’t, however. I was so worried about him waking up in a panic and me not hearing him that I closed my eyes and just listened. Although, I’m sure every mum knows their bubba’s cry – it awakens a natural instinct of panic as you jump to your child’s aid… well, that’s what it felt like on that flight, and so I couldn’t rest too easily.

The first few hours of that second journey was something else… Buzz was clearly over tired and needed to nap. But would he fall asleep without wailing? Nope. Luckily Qantas have a little lounge area at the front of the plane that no one was occupying. So I took us off down there and rocked him to sleep whilst singing to him. It took me half an hour. However, as soon as I lowered him into his cot he woke up incredibly angry at me for putting him down. Up he came and off to the lounge we went for more singing. I didn’t want to keep all the other passengers up – who were all asleep again. A further fifteen minutes rocking/singing/crying and he was asleep once more. Popped him into his cot and the screaming ensued again. Waaaaaaah! Up and out he came. Thankfully Izzy took him off me at this point and walked off to the gallery with him while I had a little cry with Georgia. I was so shattered. Not only had I not been asleep since the previous morning, but I’d also had a few nights of shocking sleep thanks to Buzz’s teething.

Once I regained my composure (it was good to have a little release of frustration and helplessness) I set a plan – if Buzz wouldn’t sleep in the cot, he’d have to sleep on me instead. He just needed to sleep. As soon as I’d changed my mindset, the rest of the flight went swimmingly. We slept together, and ate and played for a couple of hours each time he woke up before going back to sleep. Buzz actually managed to get some good sleep in. Hurrah! I was so pleased. I guess the thing I’ve learnt is to just roll with the punches and adapt to the situation. I’m certainly glad I had my big bag of tricks, though – spare clothes, sleeping bag, new and old toys, rice cakes, fruit pouches, teething rings, calpol, teething granules, bonjela, ipad, baby carrier… it was all in there and it was all needed!

You’re probably wanting to know how the other passengers coped with us on board… well, I was ready for the death stares, for the annoyed glances at the inconvenience of me being on their flight with a baby, but that never came. In fact, I’d go as far as to say people actually avoided eye contact with us for the first leg of the journey. It was the strangest thing. And not one of them made a fuss over Buzz – which I know is a weird thing to say, but I expected something. On the first flight no one even mustered a smile for him as he giddily waved in their direction. It was only after his distress at being put in the cot and my meltdown that things really changed. Not only did they look at me – but their expressions were ones of compassion. Perhaps it’s because I’d done my hardest to keep Buzz fulfilled and calm – rather than just letting him run/scream wildly. Who knows. Either way, I’m glad they all saw me cry and gained a bit of sympathy. So, top tip to parents out there who are about to tackle flights with their young ones – have a little weep to show you’re really trying, and then you’ll gain some respect from your fellow passengers. Haaaaa! I’m only joking, of course.

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I can’t tell you how happy I was when we eventually met Tom at the airport. I was so relieved to have made it through the journey and to hand Buzz over. There are a few internal flights we’re doing on this trip (two on my own, two with Tom), but I’m sure they’ll seem easy in comparison to that long-haul one. I’m so glad Tom is doing the return flight with me.

And now we’re in Sydney! Like real tourists – we headed straight to see the beauty of the Opera house and of Sydney Harbour Bridge. Buzz even had pizza as he sat gazing at the view. What a grown up little boy!

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I love Australia and can’t wait to explore with our bubba.

Big love,

Gi. Xx

The Thirties Club

Firstly, seeing as I’ve talked about it for the last two weeks, I should probably let you know that I’m now in the thirties club… I was totally fine about it in the lead up and was really looking forward to cracking on with a new decade of my life, but the night before I started to feel nervous for some unknown reason and actually went to sleep with butterflies whizzing around in my tummy – very bizarre. I don’t feel thirty at all. It’s going to take me a while to say it’s my age – simply because I’ll keep forgetting!

So, more birthday celebrations… On the actual day I met my lovely Emma for breakfast, then spent the afternoon with my mum and Mario, before Tom and I had a scrummy meal for two in Lomito with a gorgeous glass of red. Nice and chilled after the busy weekend. Plus, I took the whole day off from writing and just hung out with Buzz… Which was certainly a highlight!

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Birthday celebrations aside, I sparkled a little bit of controversy this week (which isn’t like me) when I asked about iPad apps for babies. Actually, there were only four or five disgruntled tweets in return, the rest were as supportive as ever – but even a minority casting negativity my way a rarity for me. Eek! I was looking for ways to keep Buzz happy and entertained on the flight to Oz and have seen other babies playing on some cool light ones – so I reasoned that things like that would actually be good for a section of the journey seeing as he’ll be sat on my lap for twenty-four hours. Most replies were wonderful, then I got the ‘give him a book instead’, ‘babies don’t need ipads’ comments… Oooooooh! I read lots and lots of books with Buzz and I spend a lot of time talking and interacting with him (our singing in unison is fricking amazing), so I’m not about to bonk him in front of an iPad and ignore him for twenty-four hours. It just really got my goat that a few people would be so judgmental on the topic. But also, it got me thinking about how the way in which we bring up our children is always evolving thanks to intellectual and technological advances. I bet years ago people thought books were utterly ridiculous when words could be spoken instead of written down and then read… Well nowadays reading is viewed as essential and we strive to ensure everyone has access to learn that skill.

I too used to gasp in horror when I saw toddlers unlocking iPhones with the swipe of a thumb, but if they’ve seen their parents do it every day is it really that surprising? A huge party of our development in the early years is based on imitation of those around us – and seeing as we all love our gadgets it’s not ridiculous to think they’d want a piece of the fun. Perhaps that’s why babies always search out any adult contraption in the room – remotes controls, iPads, phones or laptops. They want them all.

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But above all of that, I think we underestimate the things children can learn from interacting with these gadgets. Especially on apps designed for them – almost always they focus on developing different skills… They’re actually blooming clever!

I’m not suggesting that all children should have their own iPads and that all life should be technology based – I love the sight of children running around freely in the great outdoors, but I do believe a little bit of everything is a good way to strike a balance. It’s certainly not going to interfere with the time we spend actually interacting with Buzz – they’re the special moments, and no little black square can make us neglect those!

As ever, I think it’s unnecessary to judge others – especially when their decisions don’t make a direct impact on your life. So live freely in the best way you possibly can.

So, wish me luck on my twenty-four hour flight with a TEETHING baby (yes, great timing for the next little gnashers to make an appearance). If all else fails, I have The Muppets to fall back on. It never fails to make Buzz laugh – that and me making ridiculously silly noises, but I don’t want to annoy the other passengers too much.

See you next week from sunny Sydney!

Big love!

Gi. Xx

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