February 2014 | Rosy Cheeks & Muddy Feet

Eating Disorder Awareness Week.

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This week is Eating Disorder Awareness Week. So many people, both men and women suffer with an eating disorder in silence. A lot of people think of an eating disorder as Anorexia or Bulemia but it's not. Not to me anyway. I wanted to take today to share my story. A battle for me that is still ongoing. 

Food for me has never been fun. I'm not someone that enjoys going out to eat or trying new foods. I love to cook, I love trying new recipes and coming up with fun and exciting dishes for my family. I just don't like to eat what I serve. 

It started off as a control issue. At the age of 12 after suffering through sexual abuse and years of mental abuse it felt like the only thing that I had control over was my food intake. I never thought that I needed to loose weight. If anything I was already underweight and could have done with gaining a few pounds but instead I just refused to eat. My Mum took me to the doctors, I was prescribed medication and sent to a therapist. Although both of those things helped, I still didn't up my food intake. I hadn't dealt with the real issues so I masked it by restricting my food intake. In hindsight, a really stupid thing to do but I was twelve and didn't know any better.   

Between the ages of 16 to 18 I ate like a horse. Something inside me clicked one day and I felt hungry, like I've never felt before. For those two years I gained weight, I enjoyed food and no one would have know that just a few years before I was literally a mess of a person. 

Throughout all of this I had also been suffering with Emetophobia. Throughout my childhood though I didn't know that there was a name for it nor that other people also suffered from the same thing. I just figured I was a weird kid and something inside me was broken. 

When I was eighteen I was surfing around Google, not for anything in particular but I came across Emetophobia and realised that this was me! It described my fear down to a T... My eating by this point had already started to suffer again but I had managed to maintain my current weight. Then two years later I got a stomach bug. I passed out in my kitchen at 3am, I came round and made a frantic phone call to my Mum asking her to come and get me. I was petrified. Long story short, I spent two days at her house suffering from this stomach bug. Afterwards though I started to associate food with vomiting. In my head if I didn't eat then I wouldn't vomit. When I was thinking like a normal person I knew that my theory was flawed and for lack of a better word, stupid. In moments of panic though, it seemed completely logical to me. Slowly I began dropping weight again. I would try and force myself to eat but after a bite or two I was feeling myself begin to shake. My palms would start sweating. I was sure that it would be this meal that would make me vomit. On the few occasions that I did manage to eat a meal, for hours afterwards I would be plagued with anxiety attacks. The feeling of food in my stomach was the worst thing. 

I had good periods and bad periods. There were times where Anthony would literally beg me to eat. My Mum and Sisters would try to talk to me. At it's worst I was having around 20 anxiety attacks a day. I didn't leave the house for weeks at a time and when I did try a wave of panic would send me running back home again. 

Eventually I went to the doctors and they refereed me to an Eating Disorder Clinic. At my appointment I sat there and explained everything to them and they were lovely. The problem was that because I don't have a classic eating disorder, such as Anorexia or Bulimia, they couldn't help me. I was suffering from a phobia which was affecting my eating. I agreed with them. I never thought that I was fat. I knew that I was underweight. I wasn't in denial about it. I wasn't hiding my problems with eating.  

In the end the thing that saved me? Emilie.. I fell pregnant with her and suffering from 24/7 nausea for 28 weeks and then on/off nausea for the remaining 9 weeks of pregnancy was the best thing that could have happened to me. I still hate the idea of vomiting. It's still the worst thing in the world to me but I don't let it consume my life anymore. I still suffer with the whole eating side of things. I don't think that I will ever be able to sit down and eat a massive plate of food in one sitting. I still have days or even a whole week where the idea of food makes me break out into a sweat but the difference now is that I am in control of how I respond. I always saw food as the enemy but really it was me. I was the one letting food control me. I was the one choosing not to put the food in my mouth. I never want to be in that place again. 

If you yourself think that you may be suffering with an eating disorder then please talk to someone. A partner, friends, parent, doctor, teacher.. There are so many people out there that can help. You do not need to suffer in silence. 


Baby Sign Language.

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James was about two years old when I first heard of Baby Sign Language. I thought it sounded interesting but by that point James was talking and I still wasn't sure if we would have a second baby.

Then along came Emilie.. My sister had her daughter four months before Emilie was born and baby signing has come up in a few conversations but it was always one of those things that I thought, "I'll look into that..." Then something would happen, I would forget and life would go on.

A few weeks ago I noticed that whenever I made her bottle up and showed it to her she would smile and wave her arms about if she wanted it. The one and only sign that I knew was for milk so whenever I showed her the bottle I made the hand gesture too, not really expecting anything to come from it. Fast forward two weeks and I can make the sign without showing her the bottle and she goes mental! Arms flapping everywhere and the biggest smile you've ever seen.. Not only that but yesterday my little lady made the sign all by herself! I was so excited! It had actually worked. When something grabs my attention I want to know everything about it. I research for hours. I read anything and everything I can find about it and off course I go to trusty Google :)

I found this video that I remember going viral a while ago now..

Firstly, how cute is this one! Secondly it kind of helped to stem a fear of mine that by using baby signing that it would be hindering Emilie's speech from progressing. Well, if the video is anything to go by then apparently it won't. The two weeks that I was using the milk sign with Emilie, I was also saying "Milk" so I think that as long as you are still talking to them and not just signing then speech delay won't be an issue.

I've been on a mission to learn the most common signs needed to communicate to your baby. I found a beginners video online. Emilie was glued to it! I think she liked the puppets.

Today I've been using the signs for milk, food, bath and sleep. I love how this could help lessen the frustrations that come with a baby/toddler that doesn't know how to communicate through words. I'm excited to see where this goes!

Does anyone else use baby signing with their babies? I'd love to hear about any success (or failure) stories!



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This time five years ago I was sat in hospital holding my newborn baby boy... Tonight I am tucking in a five year old. It feels like no time at all has passed in between. 

 {1st birthday}

 {3rd birthday}

He's funny and bright. Inquisitive & challenging. He can throw the best tantrums but it's all forgotten about in five minutes. He worships his Daddy and loves his baby sister like nothing else. He wants to learn. He soaks it all in like a sponge. He loves fruit and vegetables but has a sweet tooth just like me. He has a laugh that makes you laugh. He is the grumpiest little thing if he's tired. He cannot keep a secret (don't ever tell him what you've brought someone for their birthday!) He hates to loose at games. He wants to be a fireman and a gunsmith. He wants ten children but never wants to leave home. He's clumsy but never stops moving. Little things make him happy. 

The past five years have been amazing. Scary at times, hard at times, frustrating at times, but always amazing. 

We loves you James, more than you will ever know. 


Miscellany Monday

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Monday mornings are so much better when I'm not running around trying to locate a school uniform, making a packed lunch and trying to persuade a four year old that it really is a good thing to brush his teeth. Both James and I were so ready for the half term break from school!

This weekend was just what was needed. Spent at home. Nowhere to be & no time restraints. I'm eager for Spring & Summer to get here so that we can spend more time outside. A storm on Friday night ripped some of our fence panels out and pretty much destroyed our garden. 

Photos from our weekend. 

{James & I worked on his maths homework whilst Emilie napped. 
He was so proud!}

{James plans a sneak attack on Anthony}

I know I gush all the time about the blossoming relationship between James & Emilie but everyday is amazes me and makes me smile. She can be screaming her head off but all it takes is for James to walk up to her and she is all smiles and giggles for him. I can just imagine in a years time when she is following him everywhere. She adores him and already he is so protective over her. 


My Budding Photographer.

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Up until a few months ago James loved having his photo taken. Randomly throughout the day he would come up and ask me to take his photo.. Off course I obliged ;) Over night that changed. Now when I bring the camera out he says "Don't take my photo Mum." I guess he's at an age now where he is beginning to become self conscious? Maybe? Whatever the reason is, I'm not going to force him. Occasionally I will ask him if he would mind having his photo taken with his sister. Nine times out of ten he humors me but puts a limit on how many I am allowed to take. One thing he does appear to enjoy is taking photos. He must be like me! Prefers to be behind the camera rather than in front of it.

Earlier this week I was feeding Emilie and he asked if he could use my camera to take some photos. Turns out he isn't too bad.

It is amazing to watch him getting older and developing his own interests. Maybe I have a little David Bailey on my hands! 

He did allow me to take a photo of him today. 


Five On Friday.

It's Friday! It's Friday! It's Friday!

1 -  A week today and my biggest baby turns five. That's F.I.V.E. How is it possible that a) I am old enought to have a five year old and b) That he grew up so quickly. It feels like overnight he went from a baby to a boy. Madness.

2 - 3.10pm this afternoon officially marks the start of half term.. *high five* James is so ready for it. He's tired and generally wiped out. How the goverment can think that their potential new plans to extend the school day to ten hours is a good thing, I have no idea. James can barely cope as it. 

3 - The introduction to chicken went well.. Little Miss wolfed it down like it was going out of fashion. Nothing like a bit of Mummy's home cooking. 

4 - Yesterday I ordered myself a little treat. 

A "Blooming Gorgeous" Yummy Mummy changing bag! I've wanted one for ages but the prices are astronomical. There was a sale on though so I decided to buy myself a little present. 

5 - Trying to write this with a little girl sat on my lap, pulling my hair is not the easiest thing in the world. Note to self - Keep hair tied back.. 


The First Week At Home.

When you are a first time Mum, you can't help but imagine what it is going to be like bringing home your newborn baby. You have nine months to dream and plan what this amazing, life changing event is going to be like. You imagine yourself rocking your bundle of joy to sleep, those midnight feedings where it's all quiet and afterwards you lie your baby back down and off they settle for another four hours of sleep. It is amazing. It is a beautiful experience but there are a few things that people don't tell you. You have to find them out for yourself, kind of like a right of passage. Here's a few things that I wish I had know when I had my son nearly five years ago.

1 - Mount Everest.

You've been in labour for hours, you've pushed for what feels like an eternity and dealt with more pain than you ever thought was possible for one human being to go through.. As soon as the baby is delivered though, the pain magically stops. Then comes the adrenaline rush. You feel like you could do anything. You are wonder woman and the world is your oyster. I felt like I could climb Mount Everest right there and then. I swear that if someone could bottle those first adrenaline fulled feelings then they'd be a very rich person.

2 - They're Letting Me Take This Baby!

The day comes when you're finally able to leave the hospital and take this beautiful new person with you. No matter how prepared for parenthood that you think you are, as you are walking out of those doors you will have a moment where you stop and think.. "They're letting me take this person home! What do I know about raising a child?" After three days in hospital with my son I was so ready to be back home in my own surroundings but as I wrapped James up in his blanket and tucked him into his Maxi-Cosi car seat, then walked out of those glass double doors I fully expected security to come running up to me demanding to know what in the world I thought I was doing taking this innocent child with me.
Maxi-Cosi items available here. 

3 - The First Night.

I'm going to put it out there right now. The first night home. You will not sleep. If you get an hour then you're one of the lucky ones. The bouncy chair, the swing, the moses basket, the cot, all those items that you ever so carefully selected during your pregnancy. That first night, your baby will hate them all. Your arms is where they're going to want to be.

4 - Day Three.

Around three days after delivery those hormones that got you through nine months of pregnancy and a day of labour suddenly decide to pack their suitcases and vacate your body. Expect crying. Lots of it. Whether you are happy or sad, you will cry and then when someone asks you whats wrong, you'll shrugs your shoulders and bawl, "I don't know!" Someone says something nice? The tears will flow. You spill your drink? The tears will flow. You go to the toilet and notice that no one has changed the toilet roll? Yes, you've guessed it, the tears will come again.

5 - The Most Natural Thing In The World.

Breastfeeding. It's the most natural thing in the world. It is also one of the hardest things to do. I am sure that some Mum's and babies take to it like a duck to water but some Mum's, myself included, struggle. For four days I sat in tears at every feed with my daughter whilst she struggled to latch, she couldn't stay awake long enough to get a full feed and was just too small. Even if you are one of the lucky ones (and I hope you are!) there will still be bumps in the road on your breastfeeding journey. You will have days, especially in those first few weeks, where you and your baby will be in competition over who can produce the most tears. You will want to quit at some points and that bottle of formula will look so tempting.
There are so many people that can try and help you though and use them first before you switch to bottle feeding. Doctors, midwives, health visitors, lactation specialists. If like me, it's something that really doesn't work for you or the baby then don't feel bad. I beat myself up for weeks when I had to stop breastfeeding my daughter. I felt like I had failed her but now she is six months old and thriving!

6 - Visitors

As soon as you announce that your little one has arrived you will be bombarded. You will get text messages, emails, phone calls, Facebook messages, the home phone will ring as you are already on a call on you mobile whilst at the same time someone is knocking on the front door. As lovely as it is to have everyone wanting to talk to you and they will all want to visit too, it's okay and perfectly acceptable to ask people to wait awhile before visiting. Your first few weeks together are so important as a family. It's when you are getting to know your baby. The bonding experience isn't just an overnight thing, it takes time. Chances are if you have loads of visitors then you are going to feel that you have to 'entertain'.. Before you know it you will be making Coffee for everyone and being that gracious hostess. Take the time after delivery to rest. To sleep when the baby sleeps. To sit in your PJ's all day with your hair unbrushed. Friends will understand if you decide to postpone visits for a week.

7 - Enjoy, Enjoy, Enjoy. 

When I was first pregnant many people told me that it all goes so fast and before you know it you will be sending them off to school. I fully admit that I brushed off their advice. How quick could it really go? Let me tell you now, if you don't take to heart any of the above points, please take this one. It. Goes. Fast. I swear it was yesterday that I was walking out of the hospital with James. I blinked and this past September off he went to school. Enjoy those newborn snuggles, the first gummy smiles and the early mornings when it feels like the whole world is asleep except you and your baby. You will never get this time with them again. One day they won't need you to rock them to sleep or to hold them for hours on end, just because they need the comfort. The saying "the days are long but the years are short" is so true.

In association with Argos.


Introducing Protein! A Recipe.

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For a month now I have been slowly weaning Emilie. So far I've only introduced fruits, vegetables & a little dairy. She's doing fantastic and loves her meal times, having not really liked milk which I've mentioned here before. I'm now starting to think about introducing protein into her diet. Whilst out today I popped into our local butchers and brought a big tray of chicken along with some fruit & veg. The rest of today has been spent cooking up batches of chicken meals for my baby food freezer stock pile. I decided to post the first recipe that I cooked up here because firstly I think that it's a great meal for an introduction to Chicken for babies and secondly because it's so easy to cook! I first found this recipe in Annabel Karmel's book, although I changed it slightly.

You will need. 

1/2 small Onion - chopped
12oz of Carrots
8fl oz of water - I had to add extra during cooking so it turned out to be more like 12 fl oz. 
1 Chicken breast - chopped. 
1 Apple
A dash of oil for the pan

  • In a saucepan, heat the oil and saute the Onions. 

  • Add sliced Carrots and pour over the water and bring to the boil. 

  • Cover and cook for 10 minutes. 

  • Add the Apple & chicken and cook for a further ten minutes or until chicken is cooked thoroughly. (I sealed the chicken in a frying pan beforehand and then added to the carrots but I'm a bit OCD when it comes to cooking meat.) 

  • Once cooked, puree in a blender. This recipe is suitable for freezing. 

See.. Easy peasy. I managed to get 8 portions but because it's her first taste of a protein meal I made the portion sizes a bit smaller. I imagine that when she is established on Chicken dishes then I would be able to get 5 servings. 

And whilst I'm here, I cannot recommend these freezer pots enough. 

I purchased them from Asda whilst I was pregnant and they are the perfect size for freezing little ones first meals! 

Now I'm off to cook another batch of dishes! 


Two Years.

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Yesterday my little blog turned two years old. For a while now I've been trying to decide where I fit in this world of blogging and where I want to go with my space here. I was over at Live Journal for eight years before I felt that I had outgrown it. For months I went back and forth on whether to stay there, where I liked the privacy that came with it. I felt free to write about whatever I wanted because only people that I chose could read it. Finally though in February 2012 I took the plunge and started For Those Little Moments, which last month became Rosy Cheeks & Muddy Feet. 

I feel like I'm still trying to find my feet. What I want to write about. How I want to write. You might have already noticed that I don't really have a niche. One day I'll post a recipe, the next I write about my kids, then there will be a knitting pattern thrown in, (I think the last knitting pattern was well over a year ago but it's there somewhere, I promise!) Then there is the random, "I've just joined the gym" or "I fell down the stairs twice in two weeks" posts.

Am I a "Mummy Blogger?" "Am I a Lifestyle Blogger?" If someone asked me right at this moment what kind of blog I write, I would have absolutely no idea how to answer.

Earlier today I went to trusty Google to find the definition of a lifestyle blog. I came across this post by Helene. Basically a friend had asked her what she writes about in her lifestyle blog and she couldn't come up with an answer, so she replied with, "A Lifestyle blog is where I write whatever I damn well please" I loved that answer. Why do I have to force myself into a category? Why am I so worried about putting a label on it? I write about whatever is on my mind that day. I write about my life as a Mum but I also write about myself, my struggles, my hopes and my failures. I write about our life together as a family.

So I'm going to stop over thinking it. I am going to write like I always have. For me and because I enjoy it. Some days I will fit into the Mummy Blogger category then some days I'll fit into the Lifestyle Blogger category. I get the best of both worlds right? I get to write about my gorgeous kiddos but also about navigating this crazy world and everything in between. Can't be bad :) 

My Essentials For A High Needs Baby.

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When Emilie was six weeks old our Health Visitor said to me that the first eight weeks of a babies life is all about survival. You do whatever you have to just to get through those first testing months. Personally I think it's more like for the first six months, but maybe that just because I seem to have high needs babies that scream for the first half of their first year.

Here's my essentials for the the first six months with a high needs, demanding, colicky, silent reflux-y baby!

1 - MAM Anti-colic Bottles.

I cannot say enough good things about these bottles. They have a ventilated base which helps regulate the airflow. They can also be sterilized in the microwave in just three minutes. I cannot tell you how many times I've gone to make a bottle up and then realised that I haven't sterilized any! Emilie started on the Tommee Tippee Bottles but she didn't take to them, we've had no problems with these ones so far. 

2 - BabaSling

Although she is loads better now, at one point I literally couldn't put Emilie down for two minutes. If she was awake then she was screaming. I had one of these slings with James and he loved it. Stupidly though, I gave it away once he outgrew it. Recently Babasling were having a sale and I was straight onto their website ordering a new one. Emilie loves it! We use it more than the pushchair now. 

3 - Door Bouncer

For a baby that has to constantly be on the move.. Which before she can crawl basically means I have to jiggle her constantly, this door bouncer has become my best friend. She gets to bounce around and my arms get a rest. Win win. 

4 - Angel Care Monitor

With James we just had a standard monitor. It was good, you could hear a pin drop in his room but night after night I would be hovering over his cot checking he was breathing and then on the rare occasions I would wake up before him I'd be in a blind panic, wanting to go and check on him but scared I'd wake him up! When Emilie came along we decided that it was worth it to spend the extra money for peace of mind. This sensor pad sits under the mattress and if she were to stop breathing in the night, the alarm goes off. It works too! A few times I've gotten Emilie out of the cot and forgotten to turn the monitor off.. Ten seconds later an alarm pierces through the house. Rather safe than sorry! 

5 - Muslin Cloths

I love these! They can be used for so many things! For Emilie though she likes them as a comfort blanket. She sleeps with one and if ever she is grumpy, one of these always helps. James was the same and slept with one until he was nearly three. Some of Emilie's were his old ones and you can hardly tell that they are nearly five years old and have been washed more times than I can count.

6 - Gripe Water 

Every house with a high needs baby should have a bottle of this in their cupboard! I don't know how it works but when something works this well, you take it and run. I don't think I would have survived certain days without my trusty bottle of Gripe Water! 

7 - Caffeine & Chocolate

And for those days when nothing works. You've jiggled and bounced, you've swayed and sang every nursery rhyme known to man.. You've put them in the bouncy chair, the swing, the door bouncer and under the jungle gym but nothing is working, then Caffeine & Chocolate is the way to go.. For you obviously, not the baby ;) 


Five On Friday!

1 - Emilie is napping for the first time in her cot. Up until now she's slept in the moses basket and for the past three weeks she's been in the travel cot but last night we got her new cot delivered. I assembled it this morning (by myself! Thanks to a husband with a broken finger & fractured hand). She's been very unsettled since she went down an hour ago.. Whether that is because she's in a new environment or just because she likes having me run up and down the stairs every five minutes, who knows? 

2 - I am so so so happy that it's Friday today. I am not a morning person in the slightest and weekday mornings are just a big old rush to get all of us ready to leave the house in time for school. I end up frazzled and it's not the best way to start your day. Weekend mornings are much more relaxed and low key around here. 

3 - A conversation between James & I yesterday morning.. 

James - Mum, am I five yet? 
Me - No you're three.. (He's four but I like to tease him about his age!)
James - No Mum! I'm four. Look how tall I am.. I'm definitely four. 
Me - Are you sure? I think you're pulling my leg. 
James - No, I'm stealing your thunder... 

4 - Tomorrow I am determined that we are leaving the house. We are going to go into the big outside and do something. Anything. I don't know quite what yet but with trying to get Emilie into a routine and the awful weather lately I have quite a case of cabin fever going on. 

5 - I made a promise to myself that I would start to use my camera more. It's so easy just to grab my phone when I see the kids doing something that my camera ends up sitting on the side untouched. I've succeeded this week in actually picking it up and switching it on. 

Happy Friday! 


"Parenting Teams"

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The other night whilst I was on Facebook I came across a link to this article. "Hey, Hi. I Want Off Your Parenting Team" Whilst I was lying there reading, I couldn't help but chuckle to myself as I was nodding my head. People are quick to put you into a category in all aspects of life but this is especially true in the world of parenting. Attachment Parenting, Helicopter Parenting, Instinctive Parenting.. The list goes on..

I don't think I fit perfectly into any "parenting team"..

I tried to breastfeed both James & Emilie and they both got some breast milk but eventually both ended up on formula..

Both flitted between their own cot and our bed. Emilie starts off in her cot but by the middle of the night is in our bed.. Even now, James occasionally ends up sleeping with us.. Note to self - We need a bigger bed.

We have a pushchair but I also baby wear.

I've never tried the CIO method - Never say never though.. The past month has been rough with Emilie at nights and I'm very tired! 

I set rules and boundaries and if James is naughty then he does get punished.

I don't smack James. Punishments include, time out and privileges revoked. If I have to utter the words - "Wait till your Dad comes home.." Then he knows he's in trouble! 

James loves fruit and vegetables but he also likes Pizza and yes, he has had McDonalds before.

I think babies and young children thrive off a routine. 

I have had one hospital birth and one home birth. 

I am a big believer in a mother should always trust her instincts. 

See? None of them fall into one category. I completely agree with the article. We should drop the labels. We're all just trying to do the same thing. Raising our children to be kind, healthy, happy, well rounded adults.

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