May 2017 | Rosy Cheeks & Muddy Feet

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. 


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. 

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!

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!!!!

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... 


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... 


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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