Dearest little one,

I hear your cries and glance at the clock – 04:18. By now I know it’s futile to delay going to you, you’re not going back to sleep alone. I stumble back to the room you now share with your brothers and to your crib for what I later calculate must be the eighth time that night (it started around 1am and you average twice an hour) and simultaneously, in my blurry state, start writing snippets of this blog post up in my head.

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It’s been a while since I last wrote an update specifically about you kiddos – somewhere between Jack starting school, pregnancy, moving house and giving birth, there just hasn’t been the time but as I lie in bed with you Abey baby snoring next to me after a miraculous night’s sleep (you slept through – and after months of wake ups every hour, this truly is miraculous although also I’m assuming, a total fluke!), I suddenly felt an urge to document where you’re all at.

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This is my 93 year old grandma, Beatrice. She’s who I turn to when I need some uncomplicated advice and sound truths; her flat is where I take the kids after school when we need to change things up and get some fishfingers and chips in them with a bubble bath to boot; she’s the one that will coo over Abe endlessly and dangle toys in front of him whilst I can nip to the toilet or make a phone call, and who by the way, tells me every time I see him, what an absolute blessing he is, which is always so special to hear. She’s amazing, and she’s very much part of my village.

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So I took this long break from social media and deleted every single social media app from my phone. Yes, the actual, tangible quantity of time I suddenly had on my hands was awesome but it was the mental space that actually felt so abundant and so damn good. The first place I immediately felt its effect was breastfeeding.

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Image: Amanda Oleander

What’s your take on Valentine’s day? Last year I shared an ethical and affordable Valentines gift guide but somehow this year, the whole thing has totally crept up on me and I’m all outta time (and inspiration). But it struck me anyway, does celebrating love always have to be associated with things?

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It’s common to start using cloth nappies once you’re baby is a little bit older, around the three month mark, mainly because having a newborn can be enough work as it is without adding in loads of washing to the fuzzy, messy mix of it all.

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It was stupid, really. I thought I’d birth a baby and be back at my desk for my usual 6.45am work slot before the other kids’ breakfast and drop off. Oh and that I’d whack up a video telling you all about it, too.

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In the past to some, October half term might have meant jumping on a short haul flight and nipping across to warmer climes. These days, though, with everyone well aware what a contributor to climate change flying is, many more of us are opting to holiday in the UK. And with good reason, because the UK has huge amounts of beauty, culture and – if you get good luck – sunshine.

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