January 2014 | Rosy Cheeks & Muddy Feet

Emilie - Six Months.

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Half a year! Where has it gone?

Emilie is in size 4 nappies and weighs just over 16lbs. The past two days she has started to wear 6-9 months clothes although a few 3-6 month outfits still fit.. Just about.

Eating - Emilie is doing so well with her solid foods. She loves Cauliflower and Swede and I finally got her to take some Broccoli, I mashed it in with Potato ;) She is still hit and miss with the amount of milk she takes daily but she eats solids three times a day, small amounts but we are slowly increasing the portion sizes. She has 5 bottles a day still and they range between 4-7oz. Today she tried yogurt for the first time and loved it!



Sleeping - It finally feels like Emilie is a normal baby with regards to how much she is awake versus how much she is asleep. I've spent the past month trying to get her into a routine with regards to naps. She takes two to three naps a day. One around 9am for thirty to forty minutes. Then a long nap at lunch time which I try to encourage her to sleep for two hours. She generally wakes up in the middle of it but I just have to rock her for a few minutes and off she goes again. Sometimes she is fine with just those two naps but some days she has a short nap around 4.30pm, depending on how tired she is. Bedtime is between 6-6.30pm.. She won't stay awake any longer.. Trust me I've tried.


Milestones - For the past two weeks she has been trying to sit up on her own but was still very wobbly. Over the past few days she is so much more stable! She is still prone to toppling over with no warning so I have a single quilt that I fold over and wrap around her so that if she does fall she won't bang her head. She loves sitting there playing with her toys. I cannot wait until she is more steady and learns to put her hands down to balance herself.



Loves - James! This girl is totally in love with her big brother.. I can see why, he's pretty awesome. Bath time, her new high chair, being without a nappy on, not having any clothes on, being outside in the sling. 

Hates - Getting her nappies changed or getting dressed, not being in bed by 6.30pm, being still.. Baby girl loves to be jiggled or walked about. 

The past six months have been a whirlwind. It feels like we're finally seeing some light at the end of the tunnel with regards to her constant screaming, excessive tiredness and her silent reflux. This month, by far, has been the best yet. She is still a temperamental little soul but is so much more happier. Whether that is because she is finally in some sort of routine or maybe it's just because she is a little bit older but her personality is shining through and it's amazing! 



And seen as six months is a milestone.. (I like any excuse to celebrate!) Why don't we take a trip down memory lane?










Happy SIX months Peanut! 





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Life Lately.

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Nearly two weeks since I've last sat down to write here. An unintentional and unexpected hiatus, I guess.

As if I didn't have enough going on in my life with a nearly five year old and a baby, school runs, household chores, sleepless nights and the such, last week I decided to join the gym. I didn't do it to loose weight. If anything I need to gain weight but as I'm sure a lot of you out there know, once you've had a baby or two, things generally need toning. I've been pondering on the idea of a gym membership for a few months now, going back and forth, weighing up whether it was an expense that we could afford and if I'd actually use it enough to make it worth it. In the end I decided that nothing was going to happen unless I decided it would. On a whim last Wednesday when Emilie woke up from her nap, I bundled her up and off we went. I had a tour of the gym and signed up there and then. Since then I've been everyday and I can honestly say that this I-hate-any-kind-of-exercise girl has been converted. I am loving it! My confidence is still a little low as I walk into the hustle and bustle of the crowed gym and see all these fit, healthy people who look like they've been living there for the past fifteen years.. Then there's me. I can barely manage ten minutes on the cross trainer before my legs are giving out on me and I'm pretty sure that no one would be impressed with the tiny amount of weight that I am able to life. Although I do love the fact that I know the more I go, the more I push myself, the better I will get. I am sore. I ache in muscles that I didn't even know I had but for the hour that I am there I'm doing something that I didn't realise that I would love.



Who knew that exercise could make you feel so good? I didn't. I literally walk out of there feeling like I could take on the world. I have more energy. I'm eating better. I am more positive. I'm a better person to be around. I'll take the achy muscles for those feelings any day. 



Now I just have to keep my motivation up. After the sleepless nights and I'm tired. After the bad days. The days when I'm feeling down. 

I. Can. Do. This. 






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Baby Food!

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I don't buy into the whole "Mummy Wars" that has dominated social media in the past few years. The whole breast versus bottle, cloth versus disposable, cot versus co-sleeping. How you parent is a personal choice and what is right for one family is different for another family. I desperately wanted to breastfeed both James & Emilie for at least six months. James took to breastfeeding like a duck to water but his awful reflux & multiple food allergies made it nearly impossible and three weeks later he was on the bottle. I thought I had a second chance with Emilie but she just couldn't get the hang of it. She was such a sleepy baby and being born early meant that it was too much hard work for her. I didn't realise until she was born that babies have to use every muscle in their mouth to feed from their Mummy and she just didn't have the strength. Even now at nearly six months old I don't think she'd be able to do it. It's hard enough trying to get her to stay awake on the bottle.  When she had lost 11.2% of her birth weight by day four and had dropped to 5lb 7oz, I had to admit defeat and once again a bottle was introduced.

One thing I am big on though is home made baby food. I think the jars of food are great if you are out and have a hungry baby to contend with but for everyday use at home I personally think that home made is the way to go. It's cheaper and you know exactly what your baby is eating. Win-win :)

The past two days I have been cooking up a storm, creating my freezer stock pile of baby food. I find it easier to cook it all up, freeze into ice cube trays, pop them out into a freezer bag and then every morning I grab a few cubes, defrost and voila!

Yesterday was made easier with the purchase of my new blender..


This baby, purees, blends, pulses, grinds, juices & grates. Plus, it was on sale. I love a good bargain! We're still at the introducing fruit and vegetables stage so I can't be that inventive yet but I now have a good stash of apple, pear, broccoli, courgette, cauliflower, peaches, swede, butternut squash, parsnips, potato & green beans. 




I done this for James too four and a half years ago and now that I'm doing it again it makes me happy. I might not have been able to breastfeed either of them for long but this kind of makes it a bit easier for me to accept.


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Ten Years.

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I should have really wrote this yesterday but it was a busy day coupled with a baby that is still under the weather, so it never happened. I didn't just want to leave it though. I feel like our ten year anniversary needs to be marked here on my little blog.

It sounds so cliche to say that it feels like we've been together forever. But it does. We were serious from the get-go. Our first week together and we made a five year plan. Within eight months we were engaged. We knew from the start that this felt right.  






Technically I guess we started off as a long distance relationship with Anthony based in Windsor with the Army and me at home. I think that definitely helped us though. Hours upon hours speaking on the phone, the excitement of being together on sporadic weekends. Even today we can still talk for hours about nothing in particular.





My husband knows how to drive me crazy and can annoy me like no one else can but he makes me smile & laugh every single day. Life with him is never dull. We've gone from being kids to being a family together and I'm grateful that I get to live life with him :)

Here's to the next crazy ten years together! 




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Miscellany Monday,

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The start of another week. Is it just me or does it seem like every year goes by faster than the last? Our weekend was quiet, spent at home. Emilie has had a cough and yesterday my Mummy instincts kicked in and told me that she needed to see a doctor, even if it was Sunday and it would mean a trip to the out of hours doctor thirty minutes away. Turns out she had a temperature, swollen glands, a cough, enlarged tonsils and an inflamed throat. Trusting my instincts is the biggest thing that I have learnt since I entered the whole parenting world. They've never led me wrong and it's the first bit of advice I give to first time Mum's that I meet.

She seems to be doing a lot better today. Still coughing but her temperature is down. Me? I've had 5 hours sleep in three nights so I'm kind of running on fumes. Sleeps for the weak right?



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"Mum, tomorrow I think I just want to have a relaxing day so I'll just stay home from school, okay?"



Ha! Nice try kid.. 


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Happy Monday!

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Who Doesn't Love Bullet Points?

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  • I would really love it if Emilie's first two teeth would come through. She's been 'teething' since she was 2.5-3 months old but still no teeth. The poor thing is in so much pain with them though. I can see the little white spots just beneath her gums and this evening she was inconsolable. Thankfully I had a teething ring stashed in the fridge.




  • I just watched the Celebrity Wife Swap episode with Kendra Wilkinson & Kate Gosselin. I was a big fan of Jon & Kate plus 8 and I also watched the first season of Kendra's show. The wife swap episode though.. Kind of made me like Kate more and Kendra a little less... 
  • I want Kate Gosselin's house.  
  • Earlier today I got the camera out and for the first time in ages James didn't run away! Once upon a time he loved to have his photo taken.. Then he turned four.. 



  • Last year we brought the Insanity workout DVD. At the time I was just pregnant and wasn't allowed to do it, so I sat on the sidelines and watched Anthony. We've lent it to my Sister but once she's done, Anthony and I plan on doing it together. A little husband & wife bonding :) Plus I have a post-pregnancy stomach that needs to go. 
  • Yesterday I sold a bunch of Emilie's 0-3 month clothes that she had outgrown and today her Moses Basket and baby bath got handed down to my Sister-In-Law who is expecting a little boy in April. It's kind of  weird that the first of the baby stuff has gone. I'm adamant that we're not having anymore babies but it still makes me a little sad. 
  • I know I say it all the time but the bond between these two after just five months amazes me daily. 




  • We have an exciting week coming up.. Starting with our ten year anniversary on Tuesday! I cannot even tell you how excited I am about that! 

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Stream Of Consciousness.

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I have two half finished posts in my drafts. I attempted a Miscellany Monday but Emilie woke up whilst I was in the middle of writing and then yesterday I sat down and attempted another post but between James wanting dinner & Emilie crying it just wasn't going to happen.. Third time lucky right?


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Today was James' first day back at school. Yesterday he was so excited and then this morning he woke up and informed me that he didn't want to go. After talking to him I managed to figure out that it was nerves talking. It's easy to forget that he is still only four years old and has only been at School for one term. He was worried that his friends wouldn't like him anymore. On the walk to school he informed me that he couldn't wait for half term to come around. Thankfully, we were in the gates less than two minutes before he found one of his friends and ran off to play, his nerves forgotten.. 




Today marked the first day of normality for us since the holidays. Early mornings, no more lingering over breakfast, but instead a rush to get everybody dressed and ready to be out the door in time. Anthony was back at college and with James at school it was just Emilie and I. Day six of attempting to get her into a routine and it was a bust. She fought me on every nap and when I did finally manage to get her to fall asleep, as soon as I laid her down she woke up within five minutes screaming. 




Whoever said that girls were easier than boys as babies was lying! On a brighter note though Miss Emilie was weighed on Tuesday and for someone that started off in premature nappies and "tiny baby" clothes she is gaining weight like nobodies business.. 16lbs and counting :) 

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In just six days time Anthony and I will celebrate a decade together. 



We started off as an eighteen and twenty-two year old and when I look back on it, I can't believe how far we have come. I love the fact that we have grown together. I was just a teenager, thinking that I knew it all.. When in reality, I had no idea about life.. Together though we've figured it out and now.. Ten years, several house moves, career changes and two beautiful children later, we're still learning, growing and figuring out this crazy life. 


It still amazes me that we get to do that together. 





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Boys Will Be Boys..

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I admit it. When James was born I was adamant that he wasn't going to play with toy guns at a young age. I don't know why I felt like that but it was something that I felt strongly about.. 

Fast forward nearly five years and without any persuasion from me or Anthony this little guy is in love with Nerf Guns. He has more than I can count and walks around with one stuck down the back of his t-shirt, a smaller one in his pocket and always one or two in his hands.. And you know what, it doesn't bother me.. Boys will be boys and he isn't anymore rowdy because of it.   




He still loves his books, he still loves to read and write, he still loves to play Operation & Jenga.. Just with a Nerf gun or two by his side. 




And this little one... 



We're into day three of a routine and so far, so good...  Actually, don't read that.. I don't want to jinx it..


Happy Saturday!
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New Design!

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My new blog design is up and running! I love it! If you're in the market for a new design and wanting to spruce things up a bit then I cannot recommend Erin enough. She was kind, sweet & helpful. I really didn't give her much to go on. I basically just gave her some colours that I liked and she came up with the rest. At every point she made sure that I was happy with what she was working on and I even got the first draft on boxing day! Does that girl ever slow down ;)


Rosey Cheeks & Muddy Feet


Goodbye blogging slump.. Hello Rosy Cheeks & Muddy Feet!


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No Spend January.

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I've decided that now is the time to try and get Emilie into a routine. The first six months with James was horrendous, awful reflux, poor sleeping and generally he was just a cranky baby. Just before he turned six months old I came across the Gina Ford, Contented Little Baby book and although I changed the routine to fit mine and James' lifestyle, literally overnight he turned into a different baby. He thrived on a routine and loved having structure.

Now I'm facing the same problems with Emilie minus the sleeping issues.. She sleeps through the night (minus last night.. Damn teeth..) She loves her daytime sleep but overall she is cranky.. I'm hoping that she too will thrive on a routine.. Fingers crossed.



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Erin over at Love, Fun & Football  is co-hosting No Spend January, which I've decided to take part in. The idea? You do not spend any money that isn't already budgeted for. No takeouts, coffee trips, clothes shopping, trips out that aren't already planned etc etc.. I'm loving this idea. Generally I don't overspend.. We don't have credit cards so if we don't have the money in the bank then we don't buy it.. What I am guilty of is deciding that I really need something and if I have the money then just going and getting it.. If I don't feel like cooking then I'll order take-away.. Silly little things really.. I'll be shopping and think.. "I really need a nice new notebook"... When in reality, I don't.. 

Anyway.. this month there are some purchases that I need to make.. James' birthday presents and Emilie needs a new cot.. They are the two big things which I cannot put off. Other than that though.. If it's not a bill, part of the food shopping or a purchase for the baby (nappies, formula etc.) Then I'm not buying it. 

The link up is on February 4th. 


Life According to Steph




Right now, I'm pretty sure that my husband is chuckling to himself wondering if I'll be able to last the whole month! Lets see! 


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Word Of The Year.

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Happy new year!

Anthony & I just about lasted until midnight.. I think I was asleep before the fireworks finished but when Emilie woke up at 6am this morning I was glad of my reasonable early night.

The past week I've been thinking about my word of the year. Last year was my first year not making resolutions and instead having a word for the year. I never do well with making resolutions, I start on a high and within a few weeks I've failed and probably forgotten what most of them were.

It took me ages to decide on my word for 2014. I finally settled on one just before I fell asleep last night. It came to me out of the blue and straight away I knew it was perfect for me.





I want to stay connected. With my children, my husband, my friends, my family, my blog, the friends I've made through social media.. In this busy world where everyone, myself included, is so busy. We have to go here, be there, get this, do that, finish just one more thing.. It's never ending and in this world of busy I want to connect.. I want to be connected. 

Do you have a word for the year? 



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