Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Day Two - What makes me happy?

Brave Love Blog

Through two other bloggers that I follow I have just read about the Blog-tember Challenge that's being hosted by Brave Love. Last year I participated in the Blog Everyday In May challenge with Jenni  and I loved it so I figured why not try it again. I'm hoping that I will be able to keep up!

I've missed day one so I'm just going to jump in today :)

Day 2 - Write about what makes you happy. From the little joys to the huge game changers. 

Have you ever read the book, 14,000 reasons to be happy? I brought it a few years ago and I love how if I'm having a bad day I can pick it up, open it to a random page and I never fail to find something that makes me smile and nod my head in agreement. 

Taking inspiration from that book, I'm going list style. 

Waking up to clear blue skies
Hearing my children laugh
Homemade soup
Fresh flowers in the house
My husband walking in from work
Decorating.. (Call me crazy but I love painting walls) 
Feeding Emilie her bottles. At 13 months old she still sits in my lap whilst I feed her. 
Social media.. It's my social life!
Hearing James talk all about his day after school
Walking Molly.. There is something relaxing about walking dogs :)
My MacBook
Melted butter on toast
Taking photos.. Documenting my babies lives
A clean house

What makes you happy? 

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Emilie - Thirteen Months.

As of yesterday Emilie is thirteen months old! Where did that last month go? 

The biggest achievement this month is that she now self settles. This is amazing for me as she is sleeping better at night. Now she wakes up once or twice but I normally just have to pop her dummy back in and she goes off to sleep again. We've had a couple of rough nights but I think that teething has played a part in that. Her fifth tooth popped through just a couple of days ago. 

She has no interest in walking. When she started pulling herself up at 7 months old I thought that she was going to be an early walker. Nope! She won't stand alone yet so I think walking is still a long way off.

She loves to talk but as soon as we have people in the house she shuts up! Her separation anxiety is still as bad as ever. I have vision of being the Mum at the school gate on her very first day with Emilie hanging onto my leg screaming whilst the teacher tries to tear her off! I kid, kind of, but I hoping that she gets better about it soon! At the minute just me walking to the bathroom will set her off screaming, let alone anyone else trying to pick her up! 

Technically I guess she is classed as a toddler now but to me she is still a baby! 

Happy thirteen months Boo Boo! 

Friday, 29 August 2014

Friday Five.

Friday already! This week has flown by because of the bank holiday last Monday. I've spent the whole week thinking that we are a day behind.. It's been a while since I've done a Friday Five so here goes.

1 - James goes back to school next Thursday and I am so shocked at how quickly the summer holidays have gone. I'm going to miss him when he goes back and I know that Emilie is too. She worships the ground that he walks on and can now say his name! She shouts it in the morning when he comes downstairs :)

2 - James has now joined the world of loom bands. He has a new friend that brought some over last weekend and he spent the next three days begging me to get him some. The day they arrived he was so excited and asked me to watch some YouTube videos so I can teach him how to make them. He then asked me to film him talking about his loom bands.. It's adorable! 

3 - Today Molly was able to start going on walks! I'm so excited about this! I love walking dogs. To me it is relaxing. (Please remind me of this in the dead of winter when I'm soaked wet through) I took her out this afternoon and for the first minute or so she had no idea what was going on. She got the hang of it quite quickly though. We walked for about twenty minutes, came home and she slept for two hours! 

4 - I've decided that I am hitting the gym again once James goes back to school. Several reasons have inspired this. I'm paying for a membership, I might as well use it. I think the hour in the creche might help Emilie with her separation anxiety. Also with Anthony working every hour god sends I don't get any time to myself, which I don't mind at all, but I keep hearing that all Mum's need an hour or so every once in a while for themselves so I'm going to give it a go. Lastly, going to the gym helps my eating. I've documented before about my struggles with food due to my Emetophobia and at the moment I'm going through a rough patch. When you work out you have no choice but to eat. 

5 - On Sunday I am hosting an informal dinner party for some people from Anthony's work. I love hosting but get so nervous beforehand, worrying that there won't be enough food, wondering if it will taste good etc. In the words on Ross Gellar.. I'm making Fajitas! 

Thursday, 28 August 2014

You Know You're Getting Old...

.... When you get so excited over your purchase of the H2O X5 steam mop. 

No seriously. I have been debating for a few weeks whether it was a necessary purchase. I already had a steam mop but it was a very cheap, basic one and didn't really make any difference to my floors. Finally last Saturday I relented and brought the X5. 


It cleans floors, it cleans carpets, it cleans windows, bath tubs, tiles, surfaces, it even steams clothes. 

The first day I walked around the house finding things that I could clean. We had friends over at the time and they all found it very amusing and I realised then and there that I am getting old. 

I don't get excited by nights out or the latest Miley Cyrus single. It appears though that I get very excited by household appliances.

On a serious note though my main motivation for my purchase was our kitchen floor. It was here when we moved in and no matter how much I have cleaned it in the past four years it always looks grubby. To the point where I refused to let Emilie crawl in the kitchen. Obviously this led to her getting so frustrated at being confined to the living room whenever I had to be in the kitchen or stuck in her high chair. Now though, she is loving emptying my kitchen cupboards as I potter around cooking or cleaning. 

If you're in the market for a new steam cleaner.. I highly recommend this one.. 

Oh and you also know that you are getting old when you can dedicate a whole blog post to a cleaning product..

Friday, 22 August 2014

Sleep Baby. Sleep.

Up until Emilie was three months old she spent her whole life asleep. We were admitted to hospital she had various test and after a while it was deemed that she was just going through the fourth trimester. Doing what she would be doing in the womb. 

Since then though, trying to get her to sleep for any stretch of time has been hard. I've had to rock her to sleep for every nap and every night time and then every 45 minutes in between. It's been a year of sleep deprivation and lots and lots of cuddles. 

Monday night I done something that I swore I would never do. About two minutes before I put her to bed I decided that I wouldn't rock her to sleep. I would lay her down and see what happened. Assuring myself that if she started to cry then I would go back to rocking her. Would you believe it but she talked to herself for a few minutes, whined a little and within ten minutes was fast asleep. Nap time the next day was the same. She woke half way through and sent herself back off to sleep. I was AMAZED. I phoned my sister, I told my father-in-law, I repeated it several times to Anthony. Our daughter was self settling and actually sleeping in large chunks!

Then Tuesday night came.. I was confident that after the night before and nap time earlier that day that she could do this. I laid her down, told her it was night time and that I loved her and walked out the room. She cried..  I was torn.. Do I pick her up and rock her? Every part of me was wanting to rush back into the bedroom, to scoop her up and rock her until she fell asleep. Another part of me though knew that she could do it, just like the night before. She cried for ten minutes, I went in popped her dummy in, told her I loved her again and walked out again. She whined for ten minutes and fell asleep. That night she woke once for about thirty seconds.. 

Wednesday night was the worst. She still only cried for ten minutes but I was in physical pain listening to her and the only thing that stopped me from running to her was her success from Monday night. After she fell asleep I sat on the sofa with tears in my eyes. I was sure that she would hate me. I felt like the worst mother in the world. My heart literally ached. Anthony told me that I was doing the right thing. I was helping her learn to sleep. I was teaching her a life skill and she would be be better for sleeping better. It didn't help me and I went to bed feeling terrible. Again she only woke once. 

Then yesterday.. Nap time success! I laid her down and within two minutes she was asleep.. No crying, no whining.. Just sleep. Bedtime was the same. It helped me to realise that maybe I had done the correct thing. 

She woke up at 12.30pm last night and didn't cry, she was just laying wide awake, she was like this on and off all night but this morning a fifth tooth has appeared so I'm hoping that was the cause. We're on day five now and I've just put her down for a nap and she went off to sleep happy.. 

I know that if she had cried on Monday, the first day, then I wouldn't have continued. I would have carried on rocking her to sleep every hour for as long as she needed it and I'm so glad that I waited until she was over a year old and obviously ready to learn this new skill. I still feel awful for Tuesday and Wednesday night though. I still have that ache when I think about her crying for those ten minutes. Anthony told me on Tuesday night that as a parent we sometimes have to make tough decisions for the benefit of our children and this was one of those times. 

Now i'm keeping my fingers crossed for tonight! This is all so new to me. James never needed any help in learning to self-settle, by six months old he was doing it himself. From day one Emilie has been a big learning curve for me!

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

All About Molly.

Molly has been in our house now for 9 days and has settled in so well! She will be 12 weeks old tomorrow and had her first injection last Friday so in just two weeks time I can take her out for walks and I cannot wait! 

Ever since I was a child I have wanted a Border Collie. They're my favourite breed. I love their intelligence, their need for both mental and physical stimulations, their playfulness but their need for 'work'. 

I've already taught Molly to sit and for the past two days we have been working on 'leave it' using treats. I can now leave a treat in front of her and she won't touch it until I give it to her. I'm also using this command when she tries to get one of the kids toys! That part is a bit hit and miss at the moment but we're getting there. I've been watching a lot of Zac George's You Tube videos on dog training. I cannot fault his techniques so far! 

Yesterday Molly's crate arrived and I spent an hour with her trying to get her to get inside. We used a lot of ham and today she is popping in and out of there on her own accord. Every time she gets in I give her a treat. I want her to think of her crate as her own little space. Her place where she can go when she's overwhelmed or wants to get away from the kids! 

So so far so good! 

Monday, 18 August 2014

Fighting The Overwhelmed.

You know those days? The ones where it feels like from the moment you open your eyes everything seems to go wrong. It feels like the kids do nothing but scream all day. For every job that gets crossed off your to-do list another three get added. The five year old has a tantrum whilst the baby wants to do nothing but be held by you because they are teething and all the while you are looking at your laundry pile that appears to be growing by the second. You have nothing in the cupboards for dinner but no time to make it to the shops. Your husband gets home from work and the breakfast dishes are still sat on the side. By the time you put the children in bed you have just about enough energy to fall into a heap on the sofa and you feel like you've just fought in World War Three.

We all have those days. I know I do. I don't like to be overwhelmed. I can deal with change but I like some warning. I find on days like that that it affects my parenting. I am quicker to snap. I pay attention but at the same time my mind is going at one hundred miles an hour whilst I'm thinking about the next thing that I have to do. I don't stop to recognise or appreciate the small things. I fight to get through the day.

I don't like that about myself. 

This past week has been like that. Having Anthony in hospital and me not knowing what was going on or how long he would be away for. I was worried about him and trying to keep things going at home. James didn't cope well with him away and I was putting on a brave face for him but knowing I had the same fears that he did. Then when Anthony was home I was trying to look after him and the kids. Things were hectic. James wanted to spend time with his Dad but Anthony was still contagious so trying to explain that to James when he knew that his Dad was just upstairs. His five year old mind couldn't understand why he could just see him. Emilie wasn't sleeping at night so therefore neither was I... So I wasn't my best last week. I don't think I was a good parent. Yes I played games, I rocked a baby and made meals. I washed clothes and vacuumed the floors. I laughed with them and had dance parities in the kitchen. We played in the garden and went for walks but I wasn't 100% present. My mind was constantly on the next job, the next thing that I had to do.

I need to try and change how I cope with being overwhelmed. I need to understand that those days will come. The tantrums and the clingy baby. Some days will feel like a breeze whereas some days will feel like I am in battle. That won't change but what I'm going to try and change is my attitude. I need to realise that the laundry will still be there tomorrow. The dishes will get cleaned and the bottles will get made. The to-do list is never going to end anyway so I shouldn't worry if it's as long as my arm.

It's a new week and I'm making myself and my family a promise that I am going to fight the overwhelmed feeling.