2017 | 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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Henry - Ten Months.

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This past week Henry turned ten months old and I know that I am constantly asking this question but how in the world did that happen? How did my 6 pound 6 ounce newborn become this crawling babbling little boy just two months away from turning one?

He is such a happy little man. You will usually find him with a smile. Apart from the odd day where we are in teething hell. Talking of teeth he now has six of them. He seemed to be 'teething' for so long before any teeth actually appeared but in the space of two weeks he got three and the other three were not far behind them.

He's crawling, pulling himself up and cruising around the furniture. I brought him a walker yesterday so he's happily walking around rooms with that, looking mighty proud of himself at the same time.



I feel like I need eyes in the back of my head at the minute. This guy is into everything. If it's not nailed down then it's in his mouth or thrown from it's shelf onto the floor. His newest trick is to climb the stairs if either James or Emilie has forgotten to shut the baby gate. He literally gives me several heart attacks a day.

Bath time is still his favourite time of the day. If he's grumpy or having a bad day then a bath tub full of bubbles normally helps. He's not a fan of nappy changes, being made to stay still just annoys him!

Baby led weaning is still going well. So far he is pretty willing to give anything a go. He absolutely loves toast with Jam. Sausages too and broccoli. He's still breastfeeding like a champ. I cannot tell you the relief of making it this far! We had a few latching issues once he started getting teeth but I think we've sorted that now.. He's still waking several times a night to eat, which I'm not going to lie, after ten months is pretty draining. Bright side? I've learnt that I can function with very little sleep :)


I think this age between 9 months to two years is my favourite. They literally learn something new everyday and watching them start to engage with the world is amazing to watch...

And now I have to go because a certain ten month old is busy emptying all my kitchen cupboards.....

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When Your Confidence Gets Knocked.

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I never intended to take a month long break from this space of mine. It also wasn't a conscious decision. Something came along though and pulled the rug from under me. I've never been the most confident person and this something took whatever confidence I did have and left with it. I nearly made the decision to not come back here at all. I've had the mouse hovered over the 'delete blog' option on more than one occasion. I couldn't do it though. I have never claimed to be the best writer in the world but Rosy Cheeks & Muddy Feet is my safe place and when push came to shove I just couldn't part with it. I spoke with my sister yesterday and she told me just to sit down and write. To not overthink it.. Just write.. 


When you get knocked down it's so easy to sit there and pick apart everything. What happened. Why did it happen? For me that then spirals into every other aspect of my life. My self esteem has always been balancing on a knife edge and it's something that I have to intentionally work on daily. I try to never put myself out there, always happy to hide in the background away from attention. I look at Emilie now, at 3 years old and I love her confidence. Her excitement at the smallest of things. At her age she doesn't care what people think. She loves life and she loves hard. That's probably one of my favourite things about children. They're so innocent that they don't see the bad in the world yet. They don't dwell on the past or worry about the future. They live in that moment.  I wish they never had to loose that. 

This month long break has taught me something though. No matter how many times your confidence gets shaken. No matter how many times you fall down. It doesn't matter, as long as you get back up. I teach that to my kids so I should practice it myself. Deleting this blog probably would have been the easy option but then what? Writing is a part of me. It's something that I've loved since before I can remember. I'm not going to change that just because I had a bad experience. 


So here I am. Confidence knocked but my motivation & drive still intact. Onwards and upwards! 

Mummy in a Tutu
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The Tell Me More Tag.

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The lovely Lydia From What Lyd Did created this Tell Me More Tag and I decided to join in. I always love reading other posts like these. It's nice to get to know the blogger behind the blog a little more. 



What's the story behind your blog name? 
When I originally created this blog in 2012 it was called For Those Little Moments. Then about 2 years later I had a complete redesign and along with it I changed the name. I pondered for weeks on what the new name should be, it was actually getting to the point of frustrating!  Then one day I was sat in the garden watching the kids playing and the name Rosy Cheeks & Muddy Feet just popped into my head. The rest as they say is history. 

What's your real reason for blogging?
It started as a way for me to document my life as a first time Mum. Somewhere for me to write down all those memories. It's become so much more to me now though. I always say it's my free therapy. When life is busy and I don't get a chance to come here and write I end up all antsy and almost anxious. It's as if I need to get everything out of my head and until I do that I'm like a bear with a sore head. 

Best thing about blogging?
I've met some amazing people. I still don't really feel like I'm part of the whole blogging community but I have connected with a few really lovely ladies. I'd love to meet more though! 

Worst thing about blogging?
When I don't write a post for a while I end up beating myself up so badly. I want every post I publish here to be perfect and in reality, that's not 100% possible. There are going to be some that are better than others. Also lately the blogging world seems to be filled with drama. Women tearing each other down. That's not cool and it's not needed. 

Proudest moment so far?
It was probably when I wrote this post about my struggles with my son having high functioning autism and it got picked up by Mumsnet. A little accomplishment but a proud one for me! 

What are your ultimate blogging goals? Don't be shy!
This is a hard one! Ultimately I just want Rosy Cheeks & Muddy Feet to be a place where people come here, read and think, 'hey me too!' or 'Thank goodness I'm not the only one....." and then leave feeling better. 

If you released a book, what genre would it be?
Ever since I was a child I've wanted to write a novel. I would write so many short stories or start a novel and then leave it half finished because I was never sure if it was good enough. I want to be the next Jodi Picoult! 

If you released products, what would they be? Homeware, beauty, or something unexpected?
Ohhh! There are so many things! A line of baby boy clothes definitely, seen as the shops seem to have rack after rack of girls clothes and then one tiny bit for boys ha! 

What would you name the products and why? 
I actually have no idea. Maybe I could have a range of boys clothes and call it Rosy Cheeks & Muddy Feet?!

What has blogging taught you?
To be patient. It's not very often that something happens over night. I've been blogging five years now and I still haven't got any where near where I want to be. I am the worlds most impatient person so this has been a massive lesson for me. 

Sum up your blog in three words!
Real. Honest. Raw. 

I don't want to sugar coat everything or only share the best bits. Good days, bad days and everything in-between. Sometimes life sucks and it's okay to say that. 

If you want to take part in this tag then don't forget to leave me your links in the comments or over on Twitter so I can take a look! 

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Preparing For Summer Travels.

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Howdy June! (How in the world is it June already. This year is just flying past at lighting speed....)

I have been loving the warm weather that we've been having the past week. Summer is well and truly on it's way and I don't think I could be anymore excited. Everything just feels so much easier during this time of year. Leaving the house without having to bundle the kids up for one. Suncream and hats and we're good to go. Salads for dinner, eating outside & being able to use the garden to name just a few more things :)

This summer I am hoping beyond hope that we can go on a trip. We haven't had a holiday since 2004 (madness I know!) There just always seems to be other things to pay for and do so holidays have always come bottom on the list. This year though I want the kids to experience that thrill & excitement of packing up and leaving on a little adventure. What could be better (or more British) than a good old camping trip!?

I've already begun looking into it so I thought I'd share some ideas on preparing for a camping weekend.

Finding the site! 

I've been mooching around looking at campsites and I came across the Campsites web page. You just search for a destination and it brings up all the campsites in that area and at a glance you can see what it offers. Electric hookup, internet access, swimming pool etc. You can also contact the campsites direct from the webpage. How awesome does this campsite look? Who even knew Glamping was a thing?

Keeping the kids occupied! 

Having not been on holiday for 13 years means that I've never travelled too far with children in tow. The furthest I've gone is London to Somerset with James as a baby and that was awful. I can only imagine a few hours more would be slightly worse, especially with three kids, including a baby under one! Pinterest has given me some great ideas for some Travel Activities for kids. I think James & Emilie would love them. I love the idea of making my own especially as it means I can include different things for their ages.


Prepping the house! 

I am totally the type of person that would leave for a few days away and forget to lock the back door or leave the hot water on. Thankfully this printable from SimpliSafe's Facebook page is a perfect checklist when you're leaving your house unattended. Notice the 'Turn water and gas off..' I'm pretty sure that one was written just for me ha! 


Fine Dining

Having a type A personality means that I like things to be organised, add having a baby with a food allergy into that and I'm already making lists of food that is dairy free, easily transportable and easy to store in a tent. The bonus of breastfeeding is that at least I don't have to worry about taking bottles, formula and a steriliser with me! 

Including the little ones!

James with his autism and sensory processing disorder likes structure and routine. He likes to know whats coming next and things out of the blue or out of his normal routine throw him for a loop. I'm going to try and include him as much as possible in the planning. I figured one good way would be letting him pack his own case. I think it's little things like this that will help him deal with the change easier. 



... And that's about as far as I've gotten. Now I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that I can make this camping trip a reality! 


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Thankful Friday.

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I'm starting to really enjoy writing these weekly thankful posts. It's good to sit down and intentionally think about the good. No one week is perfect but even during 'bad' days or weeks, there is always good. Little slices of happiness that bring a smile. 

What were my slices of happiness this week? Well, I'm glad you asked :) 

1// A sunny park trip with Henry. He was fascinated by the grass! 



2// Listening to Henry giggle every time James even looks at him. 

3// Starting a new course with the Open Study College. After having each child I've done a distance learning course, just to stop my brain from turning to mush. After James I got my diploma in Psychology. After Emilie I studied Makeup Artistry and now after Henry, I am going for my Level 3 in Marketing & Social Media Management. I'm excited because I feel like it's actually something I could make a go off. Watch this space! 

4// Emilie telling me she 'loves me millions..' 

5// Listening to James tell me how him and 6 of his school friends are moving to LA when they leave school. They have it all planned out. Apparently they were going to go to New York but then changed their minds.. He ended the conversation with, "Just the tickets are going to set me back two grand.." He also informed me that I can come too!

6// Practicing for my theory test at the end of this month and passing several of the 'mock' exams. 

7// A beautiful sunny day after a day of constant rain. 

8// Eating the best bacon & sausage roll that I'm pretty sure was bigger than my head. 

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Thrive Stress Free App.

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If you've been reading here for any amount of time you'll have probably realised that I've suffered from anxiety for as long as I can remember. It's normally always centred around my Emetophobia but sometimes life will throw something at me when I'm already anxious and the added stress will set me back. 
I've been doing a lot better the past 3 years, especially with the anxiety relating to my Emetophobia. That being said, some days it will sneak up on me and leave me stumbling. Also I think everyone should always be conscious of their mental health. Depression, stress and anxiety can affect anyone. 

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Thrive and asked if I wanted to try their new app called Stress Free. Thrive was founded by Dr Andres Fonseca, a psychiatrist with 20 years experience in helping patients with mental health issues and Richard Flower, a games developer. Along with the Stress Free app they have also designed Arachnophobia Free (I need this one too!) & Agoraphobia Free. 

My initial thoughts when I downloaded the app was how easy it was to set up. My email address and a password and I was all set. I liked the Island theme running throughout the app, it was relaxing from the get go. 

There were some initial questions to answer about I was generally feeling, what certain things were worrying me, how I had felt in the previous two weeks etc. Each morning when you log onto the app it asks you how you are feeling that day. 



It then offers you certain exercises to complete that day which they think may help you based off your results. It's as simple as that! 


The main page of the app looks like this below. You can then select whichever exercise you want to complete at that time. 


My favourites parts of the app are the "Breathing" & "Deep muscle".. I'm not normally a fan of apps where there is someone talking you through an exercise. (I once listened to a stop smoking hypnosis app and the woman drove me crazy, so much so I couldn't finish it. I did stop smoking though!) The voice talking you through these exercises is very inoffensive and actually slightly relaxing. 

I've been using this app for just under two weeks now and I have noticed a difference overall. I am definitely more aware of how I feel in certain circumstances and when I need to change my thinking. I can definitely see how using it on a long term basis would be beneficial to my own mental health! 

I received this app free for one month in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. 
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Henry - Seven Months.

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SEVEN months! Sometimes it feels like he is so much older. Not because he's doing anything more than a seven month old should be doing but just because he is so damn big! According to our home scales he weighs around 20lbs. I know they're not a 100% accurate way to weigh a baby but it's a way to get a good gauge of how he's doing. He's been in size 6-9 month clothes since he was five months old, still breastfeeding every 2-3 hours and is doing better and better everyday with solid food so I'd say he's doing well! 

This month Henry's mastered sitting up! I'm still cautiously leaving my breastfeeding pillow behind him so when he throws himself backwards he has a safe landing but he starting now to use his arms when he wants to change position. He also rolled over for the first time this month but has literally done that twice. He has no interest in rolling whatsoever. 


I wrote a post earlier this week about our adventures with Baby Led Weaning so far so I won't repeat that all over again. You can read that post here :) Everyday though he is doing better and better and is starting to chew like a pro. He seems to have a more savoury pallet. Toast appears to be his favourite followed by banana. He wasn't a fan of melon or kiwi. He'll give anything a go though. I am so thankful to say that above all else he is still a boob monster. Ha! 

Sleep.. Nights are hit and miss. Some nights he will only feed twice between 7pm and 6am.. Other times he gets up to 5 or 6 times. He does go back to sleep pretty much straight away so I can't really complain. Over the past week though there has been a lot of random night time crying which leads me to believe it's those pesky teeth, which are right under the gums but still not in a hurry to make their appearance. Both James & Emilie were around 7 months when they got their first teeth so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for this month! 


He still loves bath times. I swear this baby is a fish. Put him in the bath or the swimming pool and he is happy. His favourite toys are the jumperoo & his Sophie Giraffe. 

This month seems to have led to a bit of separation anxiety. It's not horrendous (yet!) but occasionally over the past two weeks if I hand him to someone else and I'm not in his direct line of vision we've had some tears. I read somewhere once that it's around this age that babies realise that they are not physically attached to their Mummy's and they suddenly become aware that we could walk away and not come back. I'm happy for the extra snuggles though :) 

Overall this month has been pretty great. I've never had an easy going baby before so this is a whole new world to me. He pretty much spends most of his day smiling and squealing.. 

Happy seven months Henry!
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James Takes Over Mum's Blog!!!

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Today James asked me if he could start his own blog. We came to a compromise and I told him that he could take over my blog for the day..... 


MY LIFE STORY by James Bayliss.

{Me writing my first blog post}

I was born at 12:31 AM at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital. I weighed 7 pounds.

I stayed in the hospital for 3 days and then came home to our flat with Mum & Dad my birthday was 21st February. The first time I ever went out of our flat in London was to Westminster Bridge outside the Houses of Parliament! I lived there until I was 16 months old, and moved to Rushden.  My Auntie Dawn lived across the road from my flat.

{Walking around St James' Park}

When I was 4 I had a baby sister, Emilie. The night she was born I had a sleepover at my Mum's friends house. When I came home, to my surprise there was a REAL baby sister!

{Me and my little sister}

I was lucky because I didn't start school until I was 4 and a half. I went to Whitefriars Infants. I am still at the school but the Juniors. My friends are really nice and I have 6 of them. Now I'm lucky enough to have a bigger house AND a baby brother, Henry. He is the youngest, and I'm the oldest. I'm happy because this is my first blog post... for now. I moved from Rushden to Irthlingborough. I've lived here for 6 almost 7 months. Happy first blog everyone!!!!
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Raising A Strong Willed Girl.

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When I found out that I was expecting a girl everyone I spoke to said the same thing. 
"Girls are so much easier than boys.."
James was a pretty easy going toddler at the time so I figured I was definitely onto a winner. All those people though, they were either messing with me or they were just plain wrong. 
Girls are a lot harder! 
From the moment Emilie came into this world on a hot July night in our living room, she has kept me on my toes. She spent the first sixteen months literally screaming. She refused to leave my side until she was two and a half. She has a shriek that can break glass and thinks nothing of throwing herself onto the floor in a tantrum. I swear she could make an amazing career on the stage in a dramatic west end show. 
She is the most girly tomboy I have ever met. She loves her dresses, shoes and playing with my make-up. She carries her babies around and feeds them whilst sitting with me so we can "have a chat." In the next breath she is off to help her Dad in the shed, coming back into the house later covered in dirt but happy. 


Raising Emilie has taught me that each child is different. Each child needs to be shown love in a different way, disciplined in a different way & taught in a different way. 

Emilie is a little whirlwind. A big personality for such a little girl. She literally throws herself head first into everything, and at three years old she doesn't have the time to think about the consequences. As hard as some days can be, I hope she never loses those traits. There is nothing I admire more than a strong, confident woman. For every tantrum, shriek and "I want to do it this way," She loves fiercely, has the biggest laugh and is so compassionate for someone so young. 


The past few months have been particularly tough. She's had so many changes all the whilst going through the threenager stage and I constantly have to remind myself that maybe her acting out is just her tiny self trying to cope with everything. Earlier this week I was up and about before the kids woke up. I heard little footsteps and then a bedroom door opening and then more footsteps coming down the stairs. A disheveled Emilie walks into the kitchen, rubbing her eyes that were barely open, her hair curly from where she had been sleeping, 'Mummy I have a sore throat,' I picked her up, carried her into the living room and sat with her on my lap for a few minutes, her hands stayed around my neck, whilst she woke up properly. It's moments like these where I remember that she is still so little. It's easy to forget sometimes, whilst I'm rushing from one job to the next, hurrying the kids along, asking them to get dressed or tidy their bedrooms. 
One day she will have the emotional maturity to not throw herself on the floor when someone says no to her but until then, it's my job to guide her and occasionally rein those tornado like qualities in. She's also teaching me at the same time. She's reminding me to slow down. To stop and embrace those hands around my neck, the belly laughs and the "Mummy can you read this book to me" moments. 

Some days parenting such a strong willed little girl can be so hard but loving her? Well thats easy... 

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Baby Led Weaning!

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Truth be told, when Henry reached six months and was old enough to start trying solid food I was a little hesitant. I wanted so badly for breastfeeding to work this time around so I was (and still am,) thrilled that he is a boob monster! I'm so proud that we've both mastered the art of something that actually doesn't come as naturally as we're sometimes led to believe. 

So when the six month milestone rolled around, off course I was happy for the next stage but part of me was sad that already that first stage was over. I know he still needs mostly milk and "food before one is just for fun" but for a few days I was terrified that he'd try food and not want milk anymore. Silly, I know but I'm going to blame the hormones for that one. 

Both James & Emilie started solids before 6 months. James because of his reflux (around 4 and half months) & Emilie around 5 months, so I wasn't sure if Henry would actually wait until 6 months. It turns out he probably would have went longer. He didn't seemed fussed by it. The first two days I tried him with home made pureed vegetables.. He cried. He spat it out. He wanted no part in it. 

I gave him a break for a couple of days and then decided to try baby led weaning. Turns out he loves holding the food and feeding himself. We're going slowly and we haven't really got a routine to it. Some days he'll try lunch. Other days it's dinner or occasionally it's breakfast. If we're eating something that he can have and it doesn't contain dairy then I'll pop some on his high chair. His favourite at the moment seems to be Jam on toast. 


I have resorted to sitting on my hands so I don't jump up every time he gags. I've had to learn that there is a difference between gagging and choking. We've had a few gagging episodes but he always spits it out himself. 


Giving him sausage last night actually terrified me. He gagged once, spat it out and carried right on eating. He's mastered chewing and can demolish a rusk like no ones business. 


So many things I am doing differently this time around so even though Henry is my third and I should have this parenting thing down, I don't. I feel like a first time Mum again. I'm not the only one, right? 

Now I just need to find something to do with the freezer full of pureed vegetables... 

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May Goals.

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Who else is kind of shocked that we're in the fifth month of the year already? Just me? A new month means some new goals! First though, lets see how I got on with my April ones. 


1// Get Outside! With being out of the house most of the week by the time the weekend comes around all I want to do is hunker down and forget that outside exists. With the weather warming up though and kids with an abundance of energy I want to make more of an effort to get out at the weekends. - Success! Lots of days out, park trips & dog walks. 

2// Print & organise photos. I take lots of photos. However all they do is sit on my phone. I miss the days of having to print them out and putting them in albums. (I love going to my Nan's, sitting with all her albums from when we were kids and flicking through them!) I want to go through all my photos on my phone and computer and get the best ones printed, then display them somehow. I'm not sure how yet. Maybe some in albums, some in scrap books and my favourites in frames. It's a work in progress :) - Big fail.. I haven't even printed one photo yet. 

3// Make a Summer Bucket list with the kids. I love a good bucket list :) Plus making one with the kids means that they will hold me accountable for it! - Started but not completed.. 

4// Read Happy Mum Happy Baby by Giovanna Fletcher. I have a habit of reading the same books over and over again but lately I've really enjoyed reading new books. The kids brought me Happy Mum Happy Baby for Mothers Day and it looks great so I'm looking forward to getting stuck into it. - I've n early finished reading this. I would have completed this already but a teething baby halted my flow. 




1// Print & organise photos. I'm bringing this over again from last months goals because it's something that I really want to get done.

2// Drink more water. I'm prone to kidney stones. In fact I'm battling one right now and I always forget the intense pain that they bring with them. I'm also awful for remembering to drink enough water. I want to make an effort to drink drink drink this month. 

3// Pass my theory test! It's booked for this month. I'm revising every day. Now just to pass it! 

4// Find a writing space. At the moment I'm sat up on the kitchen table and it's less than inspirational. I need to carve out a little space.. Not easy in house with five people!

What are your goals for this month?


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Thankful Friday.

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It might not be Friday anymore but technically I did start writing this on Friday afternoon, I just never got to finish it.. #MumLife.
It's been a few weeks since I wrote a weekly thankful post. Half term with the kids was so busy that it's been a while since I've even sat at the computer properly. They only went back to school on Wednesday so I feel like I'm still trying to get back into our 'School routine.' 

So, what am I thankful for this week?

1// A great half term. Sure there were tantrums, fights and days where I didn't think I would make it until bedtime but we also had lots of fun! Two BBQ's, picnics and trips to the park. Lazy days at home with DVD's and afternoon's in the garden. 


2// Henry has mastered sitting unaided! He has no interest in rolling over yet but can sit like a Boss :) I keep my breastfeeding pillow behind him because if he wants to lie down he just throws himself back and then we end up with a bumped head and lots of tears. He looks so grown up now! 


3// I have my new Media kit all sorted! The lovely Jess who I originally met through Twitter a while ago designed my first one and I contacted her last week looking for a new design. I love it!

4// An evening spent with my sister where by the end of it my sides hurt from laughing. 


5// Some gorgeous weather. Especially over half term. 

6// Watching Henry start to explore his first tastes of food :) A post on this will be up soon! 


What are you thankful for this week? 

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Henry - Six Months.

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Henry, today you turn six months old and I honestly cannot remember what life was like without you. You have slotted into my life so perfectly that it doesn't seem possible that just several months ago you weren't even here. We've been on quite the journey since your arrival and not only have you come on in leaps about bounds but so have I and I have you to thank for that.


According to our home scales you weigh about 18 pounds and have been in size 6-9 month clothes for close to a month now. You're a big boy who loves his milk! I had only one goal when it came to feeding you and that was for the first time to make it to six months of exclusive breastfeeding and today we've accomplished that! I have nothing against formula or bottles (your brother and sister loved them!) but I am so proud of every single one of your chubby little rolls! It hasn't been easy and three bouts of thrush prove that. There have been nights where I've been so tired and literally begged you for sleep but now I am so glad that I never gave in. Now comes for the fun that is solid foods! I'm excited to see how you take to it and have a little freezer stock pile of purees. I think we're going to do a mixture of puree & baby led weaning.

You gotten yourself into a little bedtime routine and thankfully it fits in with James & Emilie too. You have your last feed about 6.30pm and are normally in bed for 7pm. Most nights you will sleep for 3-4 hours before you wake for another feed. Now we've mastered feeding lying down you tend to go straight back to sleep and wake roughly every 3 hours. Sometimes more sometimes less.

You've been such a sleepy baby these past 6 months but I can definitely see a change in regards to how long you can stay awake during the day. Sometimes you need a nap after 2 hours, other times it's been 4 hours and you're still wide awake. You've started 'playing' a lot more and it's so cute to watch and see what toys interest you.

You have been practicing your sitting and can last a few minutes before you topple over. It makes me laugh because you're so close to sitting completely unaided but still can't roll over! You're quite happy lying on your back that I just think you have no interest to try and change that. You have come close a couple of times but you just get frustrated and give up.


Overall you are so happy! I've never had a happy baby so this is completely new to me. As soon as we figured out your allergy to dairy it changed everything. You basically cry if you are hungry or tired. James & Emilie can get the biggest smiles out of you and they love it!


You love bath time, music & dancing. Your jumperoo & door bouncer are definitely your favourite toys. You do not like being still although you are the cuddliest baby who loves a good snuggle. It doesn't take much to make you happy :)

Happy six months Henry!

 
 



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