August 2014 | Rosy Cheeks & Muddy Feet

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 Five.

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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! 


You Know You're Getting Old...

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.... 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..


Sleep Baby. Sleep.

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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!


Fighting The Overwhelmed.

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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.


Half A Dozen Years.


Yesterday we celebrated six years of marriage. Actually we didn't celebrate it due to Anthony still being unwell. We've decided that once he is better then we will pick another day for my birthday/our anniversary celebrations. 

It feels like I've blinked and already here we are.. Half a dozen years down the line. 

We've grown. We've changed, both as individuals and as a couple. We've laughed lots. We've had arguments and nights where we've gone to bed angry at each other. We've supported each other and cheered each other on. He sat by my side and held my hand as I pushed two babies into the world. We've spent nights talking about nothing until 2am. We've travelled and spent weekends at the beach and nights drinking in bars. We've said goodbye more times than I can count. I've ran into his arms five times as he returned from deployments. 

I think it's easy when you've been together for so long to start to take each other for granted. After eleven years as a couple and six years married I think we've occasionally fell into that trap. We talk about it though and try to rectify anything before it becomes and issue. My Auntie & Uncle have been married for 24 years and for me they are my role models when it comes to our marriage. I always say that in eighteen years time if we are half the couple that they are then we would be the luckiest people in the world.

Although I say we didn't celebrate.. I did get my birthday present...

{Meet Molly}

Anthony did good :) Ever since I was a child I have wanted a Border Collie. She is eleven weeks old and the sweetest thing. My third baby!


A Stressful Week.

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I think this has been the most stressful week that I've had in a long time. Unwell children and unwell husband, a hospital stay for Anthony, about six hours sleep since Monday morning for me and feeling like I'm being pulled in four different directions all at the same time. I don't like it when things are this crazy. It doesn't bring out the best in me and when you add tiredness onto that I turn into a completely different person.

Thankfully today has been a little calmer. Long may it continue! I think I can just about muster up some bullet points before I dig into my bar of chocolate (I deserve it!) and watch NCIS.

  • Emilie became unwell three days after her MMR injection. I put it down to the side effects from that but yesterday it was deemed that she has hand, foot & mouth. I feel so bad for not realising sooner but I guess thats the problem with injections. They create so many of the symptoms of illnesses that's its hard to tell. Thankfully it seems like she has a mild case. 
  • Talking of Emilie I am seriously thinking of contacting a baby sleep consultant. After having James who needed no help in learning to self settle, it's been a learning curve having one that has no idea what self settling is and each time I've tried to help her along in the process it ends with her screaming and me feeling like the worst parent ever. I refuse to let her cry it out but now she is waking numerous times a night. Sometimes it's only three times, other nights it's fifteen. This Mama needs some guidance... And some sleep. 
  • I have so many 'house projects' that I want to start.. Damn you Pinterest.. Who knows if i'll ever have the time or money but I can still sit and pin can't I? 
  • It's my 21st  29th birthday on Saturday.. We were planning on celebrating it with a family day out somewhere but because of Anthony being unwell thats going to have to be postponed. I don't mind. As long as I'm with him and the kids I doesn't matter what we do. It's also our 6th wedding anniversary on the same day! I love the fact that we got married on my birthday. It makes the day all the more special! 
  • I was talking to my Mum yesterday and nearing the big 3-0. I remember when she turned 30 and she hated it. I remember her being so sad about getting older. I honestly find it hard to believe that next year I will be celebrating that milestone. In my head I still feel like I'm 18. In September she turns 50 and for her birthday me and my two sisters have organised for her to do a parachute jump. It's been on her bucket list for forever and when we told her at Emilie's birthday party she was so happy and shocked. She kept walking around telling everyone, "I'm jumping out of a plane!" I wonder if she will feel that enthusiastic on the day! 
  • I am officially a 'Soccer Mum!' For months James has been telling me that he wants to join a football team but most of them start at 7 years old. I finally found one that takes younger ones and he went for the first time last week. He LOVED it and everyday talks about going again this Saturday. 


I'm A Housewife... & I Love It..

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Firstly, lets just state the obvious here.. It's August. The eight month of the year. How in the world did that happen? Wasn't it just New Year?

The past two weeks have been, for lack of a better word, manic. Anthony started a new job. He is up at 4.30am and out the house by 5.30am and doesn't walk back in the door until 6pm, at the earliest. It's a good thing for him. He loves his new job and he's putting all those brand new qualifications to good use. It's a good thing for me and the kids too. We're getting into a new routine. James is trying to adapt to the fact that Daddy isn't here during the day and he's testing his new boundaries. That doesn't come without it's challenges but I'd be surprised if he didn't test me. For a while there whilst Anthony was looking for work I felt like a fraud calling myself a stay at home Mum. Sure I was a stay at home Mum, but one with help. If I needed to pop to the shops, run upstairs and put clothes away, go take a shower without a five year old calling 'Mum' through the door after two minutes, then I could. When people would ask the question, "So what do you do?" I felt like, "I'm a housewife" was the wrong answer, although it was entirely true.

Now though, I love the fact that I can call myself a real housewife and stay at home Mum. I love the challenges that come with being at home with the kids all day. I even love the mundane moments, the routine and structure. Somedays I grumble when it seems like my to-do list is never going to end or James is telling me for the millionth time that he is hungry even though just thirty minutes before he refused to eat his dinner, even though I had used the "You'll get nothing else for the rest of the night" speech.

I sometimes joke that I am a wife in the wrong decade and that I should be in the 1940's. I like being at home. I love looking after my family and making sure that they are happy and nurtured. I would rather be at home on a Saturday night, putting the kids to bed and cleaning, than out in the clubs, dancing until the early hours. I feel like I got that all out of my system before we got married and had James. I feel like I've done things in the right order. I drunk my way through pubs, I've spent until 3am in a club and then got up for work the next morning and now I feel settled enough to not have to do that anymore and to be honest, if I was to go out on a Saturday night now, I'd be asleep on a bar stool by 9pm! 


August Goals.

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Sometimes I am the most motivated person that you will meet. I will set my mind to something and I won't stop till it's completed. Whether that be something to do with the house, a project, something for the kids.. Other times though, I need a good kick up the backside. Sometimes I need to be held accountable. Now I know this isn't a brand new idea and I've seen lots of other bloggers do it so I'm jumping onto the bandwagon with monthly goals. I always make long term goals. Where I want to be in a year. Where I want to be in three years but day by day or even month by month.. Those little every day goals I want to write down and put them out there so that I can look at them daily and check them off one at a time. It's always good to have things to work towards, right?

1 - Open a bank account for Emilie. Yes this probably should have been done when she was born but it's one of those jobs that I think about doing and then something else pops into my head and before I know it another month has passed. 

2 - Organise our bedroom. I am hoping that I am not the only one that has this problem. Our bedroom is the 'dumping ground of the house.' Something doesn't have a home.. It goes into our room. Every time I walk into our room I look around, sigh, and try to ignore it. Not anymore.. Tomorrow I will start this! {Side note.. My look into storage solutions!} 

3 - Take Emilie's old clothes to the charity shop. Please see number two! Right now all her clothes that she has outgrown are stacked in our room. 

4 - Make a time capsule with James.  One of the items off our "Summer Bucket List."

5 - Work on Emilie's one year scrapbook. I have never scrapbooked in my life. When Emilie was born my sister started one for her as a present to us and left lots of blank pages for me to continue her story. I'm excited to give it a go.. {I may or may not be ringing my sister every night for advice!}


Party Time!

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What a week! I feel like I've aged about twenty years! Wednesday was Emilie's 1st birthday and her party was today. I've been so worked up and stressed about trying to get it all right and making sure that everything was perfect that tonight, now that the party is over, I feel like a big weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

The past few days Emilie has been more clingy than normal. As soon as I attempt to leave the room without her she screams. Also night time sleeping has been a bit hit or miss so I was conscious of how today was going to go. A new place, lots of people and much more noise than she is use to.. Once again though my girl surprised me and rose to the occasion. I gave her an earlier nap so by party time she was raring to go. She didn't like anyone else holding her but that's nothing new so as long as she was with me, she was okay.

Both me and my sister forgot to bring our cameras with us (I cannot tell you how gutted I am!) so I only managed to get a few photos on my iPhone.

My sister made her cake. It turned out better than I imagined! 

Singing 'Happy Birthday' It was so hot in the room so half way through Emilie ended up in just her top & nappy!

Enjoying being the centre of attention.. 

A quick twelve month update seen as I didn't do my normal monthly update this month. 

I honestly cannot believe how quick this past year has gone. It's been a testing time but also amazing. My high needs, high spirited little baby is turning into a high spirited little girl right before my eyes. Every day she changes and does something new. The way she loves her brother is beautiful and watching her eyes literally light up when her Daddy walks through the door at the end of the day is amazing. She is still so 'baby' in lots of ways, she sits on my lap for all of her bottles, she needs rocking to sleep for every nap & at night time, she still likes to be carried a lot.. But then in other ways she seems so independent already. I don't mind all the 'baby' like behaviour though. Knowing she's my last baby makes me want to savour it as much as I can.

And lastly.. Some photos from her big day on Wednesday..

Now I promise you, no more birthday talk until James' big day in February! 

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