Nursery sneak peak | The Bearded Dad’s Survival guide

Yesterday marked the end of my university year meaning that now I have the whole summer to do what I like! I am really excited to be able to spend more time writing content for my blog along with working on all my outstanding projects! I have had a great year this year at Uni; studying a module that I have a keen interest in! This year for me in terms of writing has probably been my most successful one yet. Not only do I now consider myself to be a ‘writer’, I also feel that my skills in the craft have improved considerably.

Anyway, let’s talk no more of that. The reason for today’s blog is to give my readers a sneak peek at how our daughter’s nursery is coming along!
Last week was a busy one for us as I spent all week-along with the help of family- moving house. It is the third time that Emma and I have moved since knowing each other and I would like to think that I am now pretty good at moving home.
We are currently in a position now where we are close to being completely sorted. There are still piles of boxing scattered around- which I intend to go through this weekend- but the majority of our stuff is now unpacked and in place.
On Monday we have a delivery of the cot and also the changer and drawers. They have since been built and are now both ready for use! We also now have the Moses basket which was a gift from Emma’s grandma.20180601_142438.jpg The cot as you can see pictured below was pretty easy to assemble and can be adjusted so that the mattress sits lower as the baby gets bigger. It also has plenty of space underneath to store items such as spare nappies and wipes. The mattress we bought is made by SilentNight, and I have to say it’s pretty damn comfortable. We went with this cot as it will last baby until she is four years old, as the sides can eventually be removed and serve as a toddler bed.

The Moses basket is also fully assembled with the little canopy above. When baby eventually arrives she will sleep in the Moses basket in our bedroom for around the first six months before she sleeps in her cot. It looks really cosy in there doesn’t it? It also rocks gently to help baby to sleep on restless nights

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The drawers were also pretty easy to assemble and match the cot. We have already started putting supplies of nappies and wipes in the drawers ready for use as seen below.

 

 

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We have also bought and stocked her new wardrobe with all her new clothes. I say ‘we’ but it has been Emma that has done all the organising! Including her reading corner and all her cuddly toys. Photos of which can be found below!

The nursery is nowhere near finished yet, but as you can see we are making steady progress as we approach 28 weeks.

Thanks for reading and please feel free to join me on Instagram @beardydadsurvival. where you can show me your nursery progress and give us more ideas on things we can add!20180601_142627.jpg

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We’re in! | The Bearded Dads Survival Guide

It has been such a long week of moving for us this week but I am finally ready to tell you all that we are officially moved out of our old house and into our beautiful brand new one!

I took the past week off work and have spent the whole time moving our possessions from one house to the other. 7 days and two full tanks of fuel later and I am typing my first blog from my armchair in our new living room. Emma is currently upstairs arranging the baby’s nursery and I have found a spare minute between writing my university final that due next week to write a little update on here.

At half-past 12 on Tuesday afternoon we received the key to the new house and from that moment until this moment my life has been chaotic. From carrying heavy furniture from one house to another to finding a place for all our things to go in the new place. Tuesday was mostly spent laying the laminate flooring in our living room which I did with some help from my Dad. We also had the carpet men in on the same day laying carpet in the whole of the upstairs of the house. later on that evening we managed to move all our bulky furniture such as the suite, bed, washer, dryer, fridge and freezer.

The rest of the week has been filled with trips to and from the house in our cars collecting all the smaller bits and pieces. Also multiple trips to the tip with all the stuff we no longer have any room for. Today we finally handed in the keys to our old house and we won’t be looking back!

I have spent this afternoon building our new garden shed in the sunshine with my future father in law. I am terrible at DIY but think I have done pretty well this week with laying laminate, putting up curtains and building a shed!

This will be the fourth time I have moved house in the four years I have known Emma. Surely that is some kind of world record? I have become very tired of moving house and I am just really happy and relieved that we have finally found our home that we will hopefully be very happy in for years to come.

on a final note, I just want to shout out to the baby gate that I bought earlier on in the week. You really have been the best thing I have possibly ever bought. our baby hasn’t even arrived yet but the baby gate makes eating and having guests so much easier with a dog in the house! We can put him in the kitchen and close the baby gate and there is no dog harassing you for your tea. It’s great!

Tell me some of your moving stories below! Thanks for reading.

Dan

Lancashire: A beautiful place for a walk with nature | The Bearded Dad’s Survival Guide

For the last few weeks, Emma and I have gotten ourselves into a great routine of walking the dog and taking him to a new place every weekend. Em was told that walking would be really beneficial for her when it comes to giving birth and I am really proud of us both for getting out and going walking in new places locally.

I want to talk a bit about all the different places we have visited in Lancashire and if you are local to the area you should really check them out, especially when the weather is up for it. Which, let’s face it, the last few weekends have been awesome for it!

Today we ventured out to a place that is practically on our doorstep yet neither of us had heard of it before. Hurstwood Reservoir in Burnley Lancashire was such a beautiful place for a nice gentle walk. It is dog-friendly meaning your dog can walk off the lead providing you take caution as there is livestock such as sheep in the area. We walked around the reservoir today and found a bank where Opie could have a swim and we could stop and sit around for a while and enjoy the view which you can see above. The only thing it was lacking was dog waste bins as I had to carry a poop bag around with me the whole time as there was nowhere to dispose of it. Also, there was some really epic looking mountain bike routes which really made me wish I had a bike! Maybe when baby is older I can take her there on bikes. I think that would be really fun!

Another place that is really worth a visit is Brockholes nature reserve which can be found straight off junction 31 of the M6 in Preston. admission is free for all but parking will cost you around £5. We had a great walk here with friends. The only real downside to it is that dogs are not permitted due to the protected wildlife. We saw lots of different species of birds and also some really big bulls! They have a floating village with a cafe and a shop. If you do check it out make sure to get an ice-cream if its a warm day! You can check out Brockholes at the website below:
http://www.lancswt.org.uk/

The next place that Em and I love to visit is Towneley Park. This place really shows off the beautiful heritage that Burnley has to offer. Towneley hall which is situated in the park is a magnificent looking building which now serves as a museum for tourists to visit. It is also the venue that we have picked four our wedding which is hopefully taking place at the end of next year. Here is a photo of Towneley Hall in the background of me when I picked up my new car. There is plenty of open space and greenery to explore here. Even if you are not a local to Burnley I would recommend a visit to Towneley Park.

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The final place I want to mention is a little further out than the places I have talked about above. It is still in Lancashire albeit about an hour drive, but, on a sunny day, it is certainly worth it. The place I am referring to is Hollingworth lake. I have been going here since I was a kid. I remember my grandparents taking me and my sister for ice cream and fish and chips. There is plenty to do at Hollingworth lake for everyone! They have a boating school on the lake which you can also walk around and see some lovely views along the way. There are several pubs dotted around the lake also picnic areas where you can stop off for a rest. The front at Hollingworth lake has a selection of restaurants and a really amazing chippy! You can get ice- cream and refreshments and sit around on the benches. This place is always packed on hot days so you have to be sure to get there early if you want to get a parking space!

Why the radio silence? | The Bearded Dad’s Survival Guide

I realise that there has been a long period of radio silence from me recently. The thing is, that there is just so much going on in life right now. I have been spending my computer time trying to get my assignments sent off in time. I had a deadline today for my final tutor marked assignment and I only just hit it! I have one more examiner marked assignment for this year and then I’m done until October. To be honest I am ready for a break from Uni for a while. I really enjoy it, but at times it just gets too much with working and trying to fit in some downtime.

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We are now 17 weeks away from meeting our baby girl and the Mrs is really starting to show her bump. We have recently started to feel her kicking and it is all starting to get very exciting. The house is full of baby items ready for the big day. We are also moving at the end of this month into a brand new house which we both really can’t wait for. We have lived where we are now for just over 12 months and we have both come to hate it. A fresh start for our little family in a brand new home is something we really need.

I’m back working day shifts again so my sleeping pattern is pretty messed up recently. I have gotten so used to working nights that I am just constantly tired in the daytime now. It wouldn’t be so bad if I was staying back on days permanently as my body would eventually get used to the day pattern. I have a week off at the end of May so I can focus my time on getting the three of us safely moved into our new house so hopefully, I will get some time in that week to relax and recharge my batteries.

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On a final note, I’d just like to thank the few people that have followed me recently, your support is much appreciated and I would ask if you haven’t already that you head on over to my Instagram, where you will receive more frequent updates on whats going on in life! @Beardydadsurvival

 

WeParent | The Bearded Dads Survival Guide.

I recently connected with WeParent, an online service which serves to help young children in the most important years of their development. Whether you are currently having issues or you are trying to get one step ahead of your child’s mental health development, WeParent offers a wide range of content that has been specially crafted by a dedicated team of professional psychologists.

I have had the pleasure of being given unrestricted access to the WeParent website and have spent several hours going over some of the modules they have readily available. The first thing I have discovered whilst using their service is that you can do everything at your own pace with no rush while working on each subject. Also, being able to access the modules from the comfort of your home means that you and your family can work through the modules in a familiar, stress-free environment.

Let’s now move on to looking a little closer at the materials on WeParent. In total there are five subjects that you and your family can work through. These are:

  • Emotions
  • Friendship & Social Skills
  • Independence
  • Positive Sense of Self
  • Sibling Rivalry

Each Subject is broken down into several modules, covering different scenarios in each subject. There is no set order for the subjects so you are free to start wherever you wish. Each module contains fun facts and interactive strategies which will give you, as a parent the advantage to help your child with their early development. Their easy to navigate website makes it simpler than ever to get help and advice on any everything listed above.

As an expecting father, Having WeParent available 24 hours a day is very convenient and comforting. I have no real experience with dealing with young children, and their professional advice is going to be priceless as I begin my journey into parenthood.

I hope that you enjoyed reading this introductory article on WeParent. If you wish to find out more about WeParent and what they can offer you and your family, you can find them at http://www.WeParent.co.uk, If you have any questions then please feel free to leave me a comment and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Also, please keep an eye out for details on how you can win your very own subscription to WeParent as I have been very generously given ten subscriptions to give away to my readers.

 

A discussion with my pregnant fiancee

Today’s article I bring you a brief chat I had with my fiancee about everything pregnancy related. We have been meaning to do this for a while and today we finally managed to find some time to write the transcript. I hope you all enjoy it and you get some source of helpful information (and also a touch of humour) from it.

My first question is, how have you managed to still look and feel good so far?

Am I? (Haha) I have not been eating a lot of chocolate as I have had more food aversions rather than cravings so I have been eating more fruits and vegetables and drinking lots of water. I have been lucky enough to only really put weight on around my bump when I thought I would be the size of a house by now.

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Who do you think will be most keen to help out when baby is born?

My mum is going to be impossible to get rid of but I know that she is going to be really helpful and supportive, especially when baby first arrives. My best friend will be visiting a lot too as she is baby mad and she has a lot of nieces so she will be really helpful. But we have a lot of visitors for the first few weeks so we won’t be short of a helping hand.

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Have your boobs changed, if so how?

They literally seem to change every week. right at the beginning, they felt huge and really sore but now they have sort of gone back to their normal size. I won’t lie I’m a little disappointed!

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What about your other parts?

I don’t know, I cant see them. But the hair grows too quick I can’t keep up!

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Do you feel like your relationship with me has changed?

You spend a lot more time feeling and looking at my belly than you did before, I think it has given us more of a connection, even more than we had before. And you are a lot more sensitive towards me when I am feeling emoshe (emotional).

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Can you reach down to tie your shoes?

Just about. It’s getting harder every time when I lean over I feel that everything inside is a bit squished and I can’t breathe very well. I have noticed a few things are getting harder to reach like the lever to open my petrol tank in the car and trying to reach things in the cupboards because I can’t get any closer to the countertop because my belly is in the way.

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Do you find yourself chatting to bump sometimes?

Not so much, yet anyway. But I do keep getting urges to dance with my bump especially when cooking and there is music on I sometimes have a little bop around the kitchen holding my belly. It’s a little weird but I kinda like it.

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On average how many times a day do you worry about the pain of childbirth?

I honestly don’t think about it. From day one I have never had any fear about childbirth and since have done some research on hypnobirthing which is the techniques are going to follow. Hypnobirthing is all about having a relaxing, calm birth were you trust your body to do the job it was designed to do. I strongly believe if you trust your body and try to stay as positive as possible, you can have a positive birth experience. No lying in bed screaming for me thanks!

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Before we go, what are your hopes and aspirations for your baby?

I just hope that she is healthy, happy and I can inspire her to be the best she can be in every aspect of her life.

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As always guys, thanks for your continued support! We both really enjoyed creating this post for you guys today and we are thinking of doing round 2 before baby is born. If you have any questions you think would be good to ask a pregnant woman who is ripe and almost ready to pop then please feel free to get in touch with me, either via Instagram (@beardydadsurvival), by commenting below or by using the contact tab!

DC

 

 

Half way there!

This week it the halfway mark for us in the countdown to becoming parents. We went for our 20-week scan on Wednesday and got to see how much Pumpkin has grown since last time. Mummy has now started to feel her moving and she seems to be quite a wriggler.

I bought us both hiking boots last week so that we could both start to get some more exercise. Yesterday we travelled to Brockholes nature reserve which can be found just off junction 31 of the M6. They have a floating village with a cafe and shops to explore and also 250 acres of land to explore that is thriving with rare birds and local wildlife. If you are in the area and the weather is good then it is worth the trip!

Tomorrow mummy will be 21 weeks pregnant and we will be stepping over the halfway barrier. The plan for the coming weeks is to make an inventory of the things we have bought for Pumpkin and also a list of the stuff we still need to buy. I am hoping that some of you reading will get involved and give me your input on some of the essential items that you found made all the difference for the arrival of your baby.

I also have a plan to interview mummy at some point when we can both find the time between work. We are going to be discussing one of the changes that have taken places over the past few weeks and also some of the thoughts and feelings she has had along the way.

That is all for today but please, if you get a chance, head over to my Instagram page where you can find quick and easy updates regarding my blog!

17 weeks, 23 to go!

We have had a great week this past week. I have gotten absolutely zero uni work done and I have done very little planning for content on my blog. However, we have finally been relieved of my mother in law (Emma’s mum) who has been living with us, along with her dog for the past 8 months or so.

I picked up Emma from the airport on Saturday morning after a traumatic experience in Philadelphia where she missed her connecting flight back to Manchester and was stranded there for an extra night. At least she is now home safe and she has a story to tell the family! She also brought me back a giant pack of Red Vines which I have been using as straws to drink my beer.

This weekend we have enjoyed our first weekend in our house alone for a long time. We both agreed that it feels as though we have just moved to our own place now that we are alone. We had an entertaining night last night playing Wizard Chess and binging away on Netflix.

Tonight I’m on my own with the dog so it gives me chance to get some work done on my novel which has sort of hit a rock. I have made good progress on it since I started it in October last year and I really hope that I am able to share it with you in the near future. I also plan to finish my current read which is ‘Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine’ by Gail Honeyman. If you haven’t read it then you definitely should. It was a little slow starting but it is a very touching story. One that I would never have even considered had it not been for a friends recommendation.

That wraps it up for this week, thank you for being here!

DC

 

A chat with fellow Dad blogger JamesyNI

In today’s article, I talk with fellow blogger JamesyNi to discuss some of the pros and cons of becoming a father for the first time. I will be looking for answers to my questions from an experienced father and also be mentioning some of the things I am expecting to happen in the coming months. With Jamesy being a father of three he is more than equipped to help out a newbie such as myself and by creating this article, helping other people out there in the same situation.

Questions from a clueless dad to be.

What are some of the things that you totally didn’t expect to come from being a father?

Jamesy: The responsibility hits you after the dust settles! It’s scary that you have now become one of 2 people solely in charge of this child! Everyone briefs you for the nappies and the sleepless nights but that’s all part and parcel and you quickly overcome that, but it’s just adapting to having something so new to you!

Did you find it difficult to bond with your newborn?

Jamesy: From the minute you first lay eyes on your first child you fall madly in love and the bond is created! And as you learn how to change them, dress them, feed them and look after them the bond grows stronger. As my kids have gotten older I have seen that I bond with them each differently as they all have very different little personalities!

What is the first thing you did when you got baby home from the hospital?

Jamesy: Clare and I went back to her mums that night, and we had a takeaway from our favourite place whilst Nanny and Aunties bathed the baby. I had been off Coca-Cola and fizzy drinks for the 9 months as well, so I completely demolished a few cans! Once we had done that it was a matter of sitting with everyone and enjoying the company, sharing stories of when we were babies and hints and tips for dealing with everyday baby situations!

 Do you have any good tips for helping baby to get a good nights’ sleep?

Jamesy: The one thing I have learned is to make sure the child has a good feed AND SPEND TIME BURPING THE CHILD before putting them down, otherwise you will have hiccups, burps, and you will be up and down changing clothes and wiping mouths! Me and Clare have an agreement that we both allow each other to catch up on sleep during the day if someone has been up at night, to make sure that we are both fully charged!

Were you present for the birth of your children and what was that like as an experience?

Jamesy: I was present, and the first time, it’s daunting as you don’t really know what to expect, even though your partner has probably made you watch countless episodes of One Born Every Minute! But when that baby arrives and you hear the first cry, I welled up and genuinely felt a tear in my eye…that was something I had helped to create! Our second son was born in his amniotic sack, so that really blew my mind, as I knew what to expect the second time around but I wasn’t expecting him to be born in a little bubble!

What were your first thoughts as you held your baby for the first time?

Jamesy: I couldn’t stop smiling, I just felt so proud and so much love each of my kids! The feeling never leaves or changes! And even now after having 3 children, there are times when they can drive you crazy and misbehave, but the love you have for them quickly overrides that!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Jamesy for spending some time with me over the last few days to create this piece. Jamesy is a well-established dad blogger of three and you can read more about his adventures by checking out his website by following the link below:

http://www.jamesyni.com

 

 

 

Back to reality!

I have woken this morning and branded my usual work attire. It’s funny how even a short holiday from work can make you forget about how much despise your day job. It makes it all the worse when you finally have to go back. To make things worse, the missus has flown off to Los Angeles until Friday on a business trip and left me at home alone.

Hopefully, there will be a holiday on the cards for us next year. We are hoping to go to Disneyland Paris. It will be my first holiday abroad in several years and of course, will be our first holiday as a little family.

Bump is 17 weeks today and I can’t believe how fast the time is going, it’s almost April already and I feel like the year is escaping me.

Nothing else planned for this week other than hoping to squeeze in some Uni work at some point.

See you soon.

DC