Rosy Cheeks & Muddy Feet

One.

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And just like that he's One.. 

It's crazy to think that already twelve months have passed since Henry came into this world. Time seems to speed up when you have a newborn and it feels like just moments ago that I was holding my six pound baby. Now here is is, twenty-two pounds, babbling away and taking his first steps. 

It's taken me three children but I think I've finally found my stride as a Mum. I'm more patient this time around. More forgiving of myself. Better able to tolerate the sleepless nights. I know that this phase won't last forever. With James & Emilie I was so hellbent on routines & structure, worrying about every little thing. I'm more laid back this time. We still have a routine. We still like structure. We just have a calmer Mum this time around. Those midnight cuddles won't be on offer in years to come. Those cries in the middle of the night where all he wants is me will one day stop. When you look at the big picture rather than the moment, it puts it all in perspective. 


His birthday was spent with friends & family celebrating him. It's been a year of firsts. A year of gummy smiles, sleepless nights, messes & memories. A year of tears and tantrums, some from him, some from me. Reflux & dairy intolerance. First words and first steps. Six teeth and twelve months of breastfeeding. The first birthday is a big milestone. A turbulent year where everything shifts and changes but I wouldn't change a moment of it. 

I love this age. It's always been my favourite. Everything to him is new and fascinating and it seems like he learns something new each day. Two weeks ago Henry took his first steps and each day he takes a few more. He's climbing all over the sofas now. He still only says "Mama" & 'Uh-Oh" but I have a sneaking suspicion that once he's mastered the walking, he'll move on to the talking. He has the cutest laugh but quite the temper. A bubble bath is the cure to any of his bad moods. He adores his big brother and sister. I think the feeling is mutual :)

Happy 1st birthday Henry! 


As soon as I saw you, I knew an adventure was about to begin... 

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My Best Self

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If you know me then you know that I absolutely adore Victoria from In The Frow. She's smart, funny, beautiful and an amazing writer. Her recent post about being the best version of yourself is what has inspired me to sit and write this post.



I've never really sat and thought properly about the different sides to my personality. There is me the Mum. There is me the wife. The daughter. The sister. The blogger. There is the Liane that is the biggest grouch in the morning. The Liane that is happy when my kitchen is spotless. The side of me that gets overwhelmed easily. There is the introvert side of me that is quite content to sit alone and read a book or to write for hours. The side of me that is happy when I'm on the sofa surrounded by my children.  I know my faults and regularly focus on them but what if instead I tried to figure out what is my best version and spend more time focusing on that? I don't know why I've never thought of this before. Surely it's better to focus on the positives rather than the negatives.

So what is my best version of myself?

If I'm being completely honest here, I've completely lost myself in motherhood. For eight years now my life has revolved around my children. First James came along. With the first child, your whole world changes. Life as you've known it completely changes and you go from being just responsible for yourself to being responsible for this tiny little person who depends on you for everything.

Two kids isn't too bad. Your world has already changed so it's not as big of a culture shock. The third though.. Wow. You're outnumbered. You're tired. You're running from school runs, to nursery runs, to the next nap time, the return school run, dinner, homework, bath time. It's easy to loose yourself. I'm completely wrapped up in being a Mum. That's not a bad thing. It's just where I am at this point in my life and I'm completely okay with that.

I'm lucky that I can survive on little sleep. I do know that I am my best self when I've had at least five hours though.

I am my best self when I am able to wake up, get dressed and have my first coffee of the day before the little ones wake up. Those few minutes of solitude prepares me for the day.

I am my best self when I like my outfit. My hair is done and I am able to put on my makeup.

I am my best self when the sun is shining.

I am my best self when I've organised myself the night before. When the school uniforms are all sorted and ready in little piles. When I've washed the dishes & cleaned the kitchen before bed. I hate waking up to mess.

I am my best self when I am on time for the school run, doctors appointments or play dates. Being late just puts me in a bad mood.

I am my best self when I have patience with my children. It's easy to snap when they do something naughty or they spill a drink over the floor that I've just cleaned but when I stop, breath and remember that they're just children I'm better able to deal with any incidents.

I am my best self when I have patience with myself. My type A personality makes me want to do everything right there and then. Numerous times a day I have to remind myself that I am just one person. Rome wasn't built in a day.

I am my best self when I make the time to play with the kids. Sometimes I have to tell them to wait a moment because I'm caught up with the baby or ask them to wait until after I've finished cooking dinner but getting down on the floor with them and playing a board game or sitting at the table with Emilie and her beloved play dough and making the millionth play dough sausage makes them happy which in turn makes me happy.

I am my best self when I remember to look after myself. To drink that pint of water. To go to bed at a reasonable time.  To stop and eat lunch. Snacking on the kids leftovers does not count!



I'm going to make a conscious effort to focus these points and be the best version of myself!


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To do two things at once, is to do neither...

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I feel like I need an extra pair of hands and about five more hours in my day at the moment. We're on the home stretch of the Summer holidays, the kids are starting to miss their routines and I feel like my head is spinning.

I have this antsy feeling. It's not a new feeling to me and it's something that seems to appear every few months or so. It's as if all of a sudden I want to do everything. I want to knit, decorate the house, read five new books, organise every bit paperwork from the past ten years, cook batches of food, find a new hobby, learn a new language, write a book.. I feel like I want to do everything right there and then..

All that happens is that I end up feeling overwhelmed and defeated. So I end up not doing anything that I love. I stop reading. I stop writing. I stop carving out time for 'self care' all because I tell myself that I don't have the time. Which in turn all this does is makes me moody and snappy, which is no fun for me or the kids. I'm a much better Mum (& person) when I take the time to write that blog post or when I spend an evening after they're in bed curled up with my nose in a book.

What I actually need to learn to do is focus on one thing at a time. I would love to be superwoman, looking after the house and the kids all the while filling any spare time (Ha! What Mum has spare time?!) with one of my many interests. It can't be done though and that's what I have to tell myself each time this antsy feeling rears it's head.

It's funny but I always get this way around my birthday. It's as if my mind goes, 'Right, you're another year older. What have you done with your life! What did you accomplish this past year?' This year appears to be no exception. I just turned 32 and I keeping asking myself these questions. Each year seems to fly by quicker than the last year. I mean, we're at the end of August already! It's never lost on me how fleeting time can be and how we never know what is around the corner.

So maybe I'm not going to knit a blanket, decorate the house, read all those books, get all my paperwork in order, cook up several home cooked meals in one day, learn how to speak fluent Portuguese, or write a book all at once. (Let's be honest.. I'm never going to organise all that paperwork...) But I can do one thing at a time and tell that overwhelmed feeling to go take a hike....

To do two things at once, is to do neither - Publilius Syrus


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Currently.

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Reading... I was at my Nan's house last week so I raided her book collection. I admit to being a bit of a book snob. Everything from the title to the book cover has to catch my attention for me to want to read it. I ended up borrowing Now The War Is Over by Annie Murray. I started it during Henry's nap yesterday and I am totally hooked.

Watching... I've just binge watched Call The Midwife on Netflix. I can't believe I've never watched it before, especially after hearing all the hype for the past few years. I'm all caught up to series 5 and want more!

Listening... I downloaded Spotify last week and have been busy downloading albums. I've got a total mixture going on in my playlists. Everything from Whitney Houston to John Mayer. The kids may be getting slightly annoyed with my car performances....

Cooking... A roast dinner last night and tonight it's Chinese pork chops. I go through total love/hate periods with cooking. At the moment we're in a love stage.

Planning... Back to school lists.. I picked up most of Emilie's school stuff today. She now just needs shoes. I  can't believe she is starting school so soon. It's going to be so strange just having the baby home with me during the day. Not that he doesn't keep me busy enough...

Wearing... Jeans.. Is there anything else that Mum's wear? The weather isn't great today so I'm also rocking out a hoodie. What has happened to the weather this Summer? Did Mother Nature not get the memo?

Enjoying... The freedom of now being able to drive. I love being able to go where ever I want. Lazy days with the kids. Early morning snuggles with the baby.

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