Author Archives: Keren Polland

About Keren Polland

Mother to Eleanor and wife to be. Going through the motions of Motherhood as I begin my family journey. Coffee addict living a vegetarian lifestyle.

Cullen beach.

Last weekend, stumped for what to do with the nice weather but keen to explore we racked our brains for a baby friendly activity to follow through. Something new but fun, easily accessible yet an adventure for the family. Euan came to decide we would take a drive out to Moray and head for Cullen beach.

Loaded into the car, take away coffees at hand, we were set for the two hour drive to the beach and ready to have a day of fun. Eleanor slept the duration of the car ride and we played music whilst chatting away. A nice little break in all honesty, and having the time to just sit back and chill was pretty good.

IMG_20180728_192820_642.jpgNot to mention the lovely sights on the drive, out past the shire everything seems much more scenic. The homes are idyllic, landscapes are heavenly and the air seems so fresh. If it wasn’t that bit too far out I’d consider a move out that side of town,so much to offer and a whole lot of peace from the City hustle.

We made our way to Cullen and parked up at the golf club. I’d never been before, not even as a child but had only heard good things. A small town but absolutely perfect, many beautiful sights to take in, a small town square filled with old antique stores and cafes, let’s not forget the beach either.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0249.JPGDCIM100GOPROGOPR0250.JPGThere was a wee carnival down by the beach but it wasn’t much of anything really, a small ride for children and a game of hook a duck situated beside a bouncy castle. Fine for bugger children but not really age appropriate for a baby (an excuse to return over the Summers to come). To begin, we sat down for a drink outdoor at the golf club and soaked in the rays while Eleanor had a snack.

A beach walk followed. Eleanor wasn’t in the best of moods, with teething and being hungry for her milk, she was a little grizzly. Euan carried her in the sling and we walked along the beach, playing with the gopro looking to get some action shots. I always forget we have the gopro and have been really trying to remember to carry it with us when we head out for family day trips, to capture all of the moments.

I stopped by some rocks and breastfed Eleanor by the sea, a safe distance from the tide though, don’t worry. Euan hunted for rocks and treasures while waiting. I enjoyed nursing my baby by the sea, I’m aware the days of nursing are over and that as she grows her interest is no longer dedicated solely to nursing. Moving around, playing and exploring new food is all the more exciting and fun.

GOPR0274_1532181371434_high.JPGI’m keen to bask on the last precious months of our breastfeeding journey before it comes to an end and a new journey begins. This means feeding wherever and whenever necessary and reeling in with the moments. I love holding her wee hand as she feeds, petting her head and running my hands through her golden hair,watching her expression and waiting for the drowsiness and sleep to cast a spell over her. Everything about breastfeeding, I love but I’ll explore in detail later, for now I’m all about sharing some beachy snaps.

We let Eleanor drop her toes to the sand but she wasn’t so convinced and would keep throwing her legs up to get them out from the sand, the texture must have put her off. We played and acted silly along the beach front and took on the views together. A chilled out day where we went at our own pace and enjoyed the company and rare summer weather.

As I said, we took the gopro and got some snaps at the beach before heading for a news around the carnival and the town centre. We didn’t leave with much, not even an ice cream.. the queue was out the door which with a baby is not ideal as they don’t really have the patience to wait, not even for ice cream. OK, OK, you got me, I don’t have the patience more like, I’ll stop blaming things on Eleanor, that’s a bit naughty but totally acceptable.

GOPR0254_1532181506838_high.JPGWe left with happy memories and satisfaction from a good day as a family. I can tell you, I absolutely went to bed with a smile on my face that evening, nothing but love for my little family and this life we work through together. I’m  happy that I get to explore and adventure with my two best friends in the world and that together, we relish in taking time out and getting out into the open, taking in a good dose of fresh air while surrounded by great views.

I love nothing more than to be active and outdoors, I hope that this healthy lifestyle will be reflected onto my baby girl and that she will appreciate that life isn’t just about ipads and mobile phones, there’s so much out there to explore that doesn’t always mean from the comfort of through a screen. There is so much more to life and living than any lens can provide you with. Here’s to many more beachy days and family trips, adventuring the unknown together. Hope that everyone is having a lovely Summer time.

 

Keren x

Dad’s day off. Trip to Camperdown wildlife park.

Hey guys! A busy spell over here with us so I thought I’d share a little of what we have been up to. On Thursday, Euan had a day off so we were up and out at 7am ,ready to adventure on a day trip down to Dundee and hit the animal park at Camper down.

DCIM100GOPROG0040237.JPGI’d not been for years and we have rare opportunities to do such activities during the week with Euan working, it’s just too busy. Sure to make the most of a sunny day, we set about with a plan and followed through.

We arrived in Dundee early, before 9am, and took advantage of a wee browse around the local shopping centre. Or at least I did, I left with a second set of ear lobe piercings.. talk about inpromptu. I blame a mum life crisis if that’s such a thing? Anyway, we grabbed picnic style snacks, some food for Eleanor and headed off to the park around 11AM.

The sun was out, the park was busy and the animals were out to play for the best part. We had the gopro set and ready to go, to capture any moments from the day. Waltzing around the park with Eleanor in her dad’s arms, watching all of the animals in their daily life was quite nice. A chilled out day going at a pace of our own and making me ever grateful for the little family that I call my own and everyday life.

GOPR0243_1532027445953_high.JPGEleanor wasn’t fully aware of all that was going on but she did enjoy watching some of the wild birds and the bears having a bath in the sun. I was quite impressed with the park, small and nothing crazy going on but enough to make the most of your time there. With it being a nice day, we took a slow jaunt around and stopped to look for the wild animals.

Come 2pm we decided to head back home and walk our dog Fern into the centre to grab an ice cream. It is of course so crucial to make the most of the nice weather back here when we have it and ice cream is never a bad idea.

A scoop of blueberry panna cotta for Euan and cookies n cream for Eleanor and I to share. My baby loves ice cream, in fact, her favourite word right now seems to be “Mmm”  a foodie in the making with a definite love for anything sweet. Definitely takes after myself with the food department for now, so long as she picks up a love for pizza and Hallomi we are onto a winner.

Back home, we sat down to a glass of wine and some chill time before preparing for the working day ahead. It’s nice to take a day off together and utilise as a family day now and again as time flies so fast, these moments are precious and not to be wasted. Family is the best part of my life and to take time out together makes my heart so fuzzy and full, I just love it.

G0030235_1532027445953_high.JPGBesides, what is better than watching your Husband (to be) play and interact with your baby? It’s just too bloody special.

I hope that you guys are all good. Does anyone have any ideas of family activities with a small child? Particularly outdoors, as we just love to get up and get out.

 

Keren x

 

First birthday gift guide.

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With my baby’s first birthday approaching next month (how??), I’ve decided to draw some inspiration from such an exciting time and share with you some hand picked gifts to celebrate Eleanor’s big day.

My baby is turning one year old! Both exciting and nervous of a time, I’m so excited to see how her personality and development grows over the period of another year but I’m also a little sad to be waving goodbye to that ever precious first year. A time that I’ll never earn back and will miss sorely.

My once newborn has now become a fiesty little sass pot who loves to explore and turn an empty room to a chaotic mess in moments. My little girl who smiles at strangers and pulls me close for a cuddle of a kiss. Eleanor loves nothing more than to bop her head in time to music and to eat her dessert before her dinner (you go gal).

My beautiful baby has transformed for a frail and precious bundle to a fearless adventurer which both excites and frightens me for obvious reason. I’ll be sad to see the first year of her life out but like all things we must grow and change will always be welcome.

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With a birthday such a special time to celebrate and remember, I’ve chosen to share with you some handpicked gifts that Euan and I have picked up, ready to wrap for the big day. A little early, I know but when working with a tight budget and having little time to think, let alone plan, I find that being as organised as possible is always favourable.

We have opted to choose just a few select gifts, both educational and fun for Eleanor’s development. We didn’t want to go over the top and spoil her as I’d like for her to grow to be humble and modest rather than come to expect that she can have what she wants with a stomp of her feet.

The big birthday gift we have is a rocking horse. I don’t know who will be more excutwed, Eleanor or I and I just can’t wait to see her rock back and fore with nothing but pure glee. We had always had a rocking horse on our agenda as a first birthday gift, Euan hunted Hugh and low to find the perfect match which he did eventually off of a private seller on amazon. Both a bargain and a quality item, we are onto a winner.

Secondly, I chose to purchase a personalised wooden xylophone from my favourite online store, etsy. Handmade, wooden and beautiful in every way, I can’t wait to get stuck into this and beat away making some music with my music loving babe. I’m sure Eleanor will much rather chew the wooden sticks or attack myself with them but I feel it will be good for her to begin to explore with musical instruments and get a little creative. I’m sure come those late nights with her banging and making a racket rather than music I may regret this option but I feel this will be a beautiful gift that can be kept for a long time to cherish and play.

Books – books, glorious books. I’m a great fan of reading and I love to read Eleanor a book before bed. It settles her for bed time all while can be an enjoyable and special time for the both of us to wind down together after a busy day. I’m a huge fan of reading and feel that it is so important for a child to learn and to love to read. It can enhance development, knowledge and open a child up to a world of endless possibilities. I’ll not get into the list of the books I’ve selected but I handpicked four children’s books suitable and fun for Eleanor. I can’t wait to get stuck in.

As for the rest of it, I picked up a selection of hair grips and a headband along with two tshirts for her to rock into the Autumn months.

Again, we made a decision not to spoil Eleanor and be lavish with gifts as I don’t feel that at the age of one she really needs an extravaganza. A birthday can be very overwhelming for a child, never mind a baby and we plan to celebrate her birthday quietly as our own little family. Unsure wether to host a small birthday tea or to just have a trip out together as a family of three, I’m yet to decide but have time to sit down and plan a little something special.

How did you celebrate a first birthday? Or a birthday for a child? Looking for any ideas, hints and tips!

 

Keren x

Are all risks worth taking?

I’ve been forward and backward too many times currently with our living arrangements and forward planning. My head is dizzy, my mind is in two and my heart is left a little deflated. When it comes to finances and livelihood, is a risk worth taking?

Sell up and risk a big financial loss only to rent a place which is yes, bigger but not cost effective? Or stay put and make do as a family of three in a one bedroom flat while we can try to save as much as possible in the next three to four years and take it from there. Bear in mind, there is no guarantee that during this time more equity on our home will be lost.

While we thought it through and were prepared to take a leap of faith, to hope the home we share would sell and we could live in rented accommodation meanwhile as a stepping stone, we have since decided not to go ahead with a move.

This may seem silly, we need the space and the rent wasn’t over expensive. Initially, it was a no brianer. To cut our loses, take the hit and move on. A mortgage isn’t everything and being so young we could work up savings once more. Could we?

Should we sell and lose money on our flat? This takes us off the property ladder and leaves us in a rut of renting a home and struggling to save, all with a baby to consider and a family livelihood to support. Having talked it over, and over (and over) we come to agree that a move at this time would not financially benefit our family.

The risk of not selling our flat and having to keep two properties running on my part time wage and Euans salary just was too much of a stretch. The rented accommodation we viewed was lovely, it would have been ideal as a first home but to take ourselves out of the property ladder and potentially get into a dangerous situation financially for the sake of something that’s simply ‘nice’ just isn’t worth the loss of sleep.

Sadly, our scenario is quite tricky, we are not in a position to have a mortgage and require further savings, yet we have limited space available at home. Eleanor is on the move and requires that extra room to roam, we squeeze past one another in the hall, in the bedroom. It is cramped but this is what we have for now and all we can do is save whatever we can for the foreseeable future and hope that what’s meant won’t pass us by.

As a family, it is in our best intention to do what is best and do what is right for us and for Eleanor. The risk involved with a move right now is just too much to bear should something go wrong and the thought of homelessness with a child is just unthinkable, we would never forgive ourselves if we bit of more than we can chew on a whim. I believe every decision has a consequence and the easy option, that quick fix doesn’t always come so easy.

So, regarding my last post and a move on the horizon, we will be staying put in our one bed home, a home that is yes, cosy but it’s home. It serves us well and suits us just fine. I know ill forever complain about the space, the shoes falling out onto my head from the wardrobe that doesn’t close and the sheer clutter gathered in an organised mess but I think that we can all learn to be more thankful for the things that we have, after all, it is what we have and we can’t change the hand we are dealt.

We can work towards a better future and financial stability and we can work hard at it for those things that we want. Nothing comes easy and I was never raised to believe so. The experience has taught us what we need to know for a future move and shown that to be organised is key. We have expectations of what we now want from a home, we have a rough estimate of figures and we have time.

Time to save, time to think and importantly, time to breathe. The risk of a move was too big for us to consider in full at this stage of our lives but we will readdress the situation over time and keep looking for options available that will suit and serve us better.

I’m sorry to have given up on the idea of a more positive environment to raise my baby. An extra room and an en suite would have been great but it’s just not the time for us to be taking on a second property and paying both a mortgage and rent. A heavy burden to carry whatever way we look at it.

I’m ready to move on from this and begin to work toward a new goal. A goal of having our own home, an upgrade from our one bedroom flat and one that can and will be ours to keep. We have areas in mind and ideas to toy with, what’s right for us will come at a time that is right for us. Just because this moment is not ready, it doesn’t mean down the line we won’t be ready. We will be more prepared than ever and I cant wait to get stuck into saving and work toward a better future.

 

Keren x

 

Life in the fast lane.

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Right, hello you bunch. I’m going to get real in this blog post and share what’s been going on with family life the past few weeks, there’s a lot to get through and I must admit, I’ve been having quite the time of it all lately, a time that has been overwhelming and most definitely stressful. My patience tested and my sanity questioned. Wait, what sanity?

Why is it that everything comes at once? It seems the past two years have been non stop, from passing my driving test, to a pregnancy, becoming a Mother, an engagement and now a move? I laugh that we have done this all in the wrong order, we are all muddled up with our relationship path and direction. Finally, it’s all coming together but the thing is, how much longer can before I burn out?

Trying to find the balance between being a working mother and spending enough time with not just Eleanor but with my partner too all while trying to keep up appearances with my family and friends can really be a great challenge. With Eleanor being so young and demanding such full on attention, I hardly have time with my partner, never mind any self time to just sit back and relax for a minute. If im not chasing after her every move, I’m trying to settle the constant wails of the dreaded teething. It’s tough, nothing really prepares you for welcoming a child Into the world and the challenges you face can get to be too much from time to time.

I amaze myself with how many times I have to repeat in a day “mummy just needs a minute” as I try to unload the dishwasher or give myself heartburn from having to shovel lunch into my mouth so fast. Yes, life with a baby really is life changing, believe it or not, it is true what they say. Even now, ten months on, I find a new struggle with every waking day. There is no day off, but would I have it any other way? Of course not. This is life now, and no matter how tired, how stressed and how unglamorous, I am living my best life with the people that I love.

Long gone are the weekends spent at the pub with friends or the endless shopping trips with my Mum or even just taking some time to enjoy a hot bath and a wine. Life has turned upside down and unfortunately time doesn’t wait for nobody. There is no catching up, all stations are go and on a 24/7 basis.

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Onwards and upwards though, and I’d not have it any other way. I mean, as much as I’d like to belive that I miss the partying, the friends that would come and go and the tireless walking around the shops I don’t miss it. Not for a minute would I change my situation, I can’t imagine ever not having my Eleanor, life before her was non exist ant. Sure, there are parts I’d do differently but that’s all part of learning and the journey into Womanhood, into Motherhood and my past mistakes make me grow to be stronger than ever and rise above issues (or crumble to the ground in a pile of tears – depending on the hormones).

With some further exciting news, the past week in our household has been filled with excitement, nerves and anxiety. We have recently received word of our application to rent a new property going through and depending on the status we take after a viewing we can move immediately. The property has two bedrooms, a balcony, and en suite. It provides us with the extra space that we need for our family right now all while being secure tenancy which means we can move without the worry of being left on the street at any time. The properties are not far from where we call home and ideal for a utilising as a family home for the future. Though not a forever home, it provides us with the steps we must take to get to that stage all while it buys us time to save and time to grow.

With the idea of a move to a family home, a fresh start all very exciting and new, it does bring a great deal of sadness and anxiety. I mean it’s great, yes and it is what we were working towards, only we thought we would have more time on our side. Walker Road has provided us with so many good times, it will be very hard to part ways but with everything in life, you have to move on and grow. It’s time for our family to grow into a new home, start over with a new chapter and really embrace those precious family moments.

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The surrounding buildings are full of families which will be great for bonding and making friends, Eleanor can grow up with children her own age around and can have the space she needs to express herself and play. There is a play park and a spacious area of grass where Fern can run around and play too. The homes look direct onto the river, a phenomenal view on a blue skied day. Everything we could want, need and more is in the palm of our hands, when we can let go of now and move on to a better future, I think our quality of life will greatly improve. After all, they say that change is good.

It is a busy time, but we can get through it together. A move, our babies first birthday, our wedding and honeymoon all coming in before the Autumn months arrive, time will fly. I have returned to work part time to get a break and to enjoy some adult company, to be my own person a few hours in a week, only it seems I’ve ended up with less time than I’ve ever had before and a lot less unsure of the person that I am. Go figure?

With all the nerves and the excitement, the fear of change and the huge lifestyle choices we have had to make, it really can become overwhelming and I’m looking for ways to still grab some time out for myself while I can, before I do lose my mind.

A coffee trip to mull over my thoughts alone, light breathing work to try to stay calm and practicing some basic yoga moves to stay focused and remember to remain positive in every situation, no matter how exhausting or stressful. To have a calm and a clear mind will always be better than having a mind filled with a tangled mess or worries, fears and stresses.

I do struggle to remember to breathe with all the crazy sometimes but I’m trying to remember to focus and keep a clear mind as with this busy period in mind, a clear head to think and a positive outlook is all very important. I like to reflect good vibes for myself which keeps my spirits up and can be especially good for Eleanor to pick up on.

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A busy time for sure but with the move becoming finalised, the wedding done and dusted, I’d like to believe we can move on as a family and work toward a better future for ourselves with time. Together we are able to do whatever we put our minds too and there is no right or wrong direction. We are going to go with the flow that life drives us in and to see the future with an open mind.

aaaand, breathe.

Tell me, how do you relax when times become all too much?

Keren x

Summer reading list.

At the beginning of the year, I set myself the target of reading two books every month. What I didn’t realise was just how tough this would be with an ever developing baby and the chaos of work and day to day life.

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Perhaps my goal of two books in a four week period was just too optimistic for this busy Mama,however that hasn’t stopped me adding to my ever growing collection of beautiful books and trying to work through the all. Slow and steady wins the race, right?

Wait, what race? When it comes to reading, I’m in no competition with anyone and this, I like this about reading. It’s my own pace and I can enjoy a book for as long as I choose. If I want to relish in every page, it’s my choice to do so. I can choose what and when I want to read and my mind can escape from my every day reality into a deep world elsewhere.

I’ll read anything and there’s no limit to my reading style nor trends. I like fiction but I too enjoy non fiction. I like nature books but I enjoy biographys also. There’s so much material around, it’s real tough to choose just one book to read at a time. Anyway, I’ll list a brief summary of my reading list for this Summer.

So, what’s on my list you ask? Let me show you..

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How to fall in love with a man who lives in a tree – Emmy Abrahamson

Thug – Angie Thomas

The book thief (recommended and gifted by my Mum) – Markus Zusak

A Gentleman in Moscow – Amor Towles

I’m excited to get stuck in and long for days sitting out in the sun with a wee wine and some time out to read and enjoy the surroundings. Here’s hoping we get to catch some nice weather and I can grab a break.

Have you caught any of these reads? What’s on your list?

Keren x

Finding my feet with my life as a working Mum.

Hello again, and hello to my new followers. Thanks for taking the time to follow. As you may have noted after my spell of maternity leave, I am back to work and getting into the hang of the working environment once more. Its a challenging and tough time for myself, a time of having to let go and allow time away from my baby. A time that doesn’t always come easy but I know is for a good and worthy cause and a better future as a family.

 

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It was always known I’d return to work following my maternity leave, financial ties and finding a balance for myself was all too important to justify staying home to care for Eleanor full time. I’d miss my work and the pleasure which it brings. With that in mind, while back at work, I miss my baby and have elements of guilt when I have to wave goodbye to her every other morning. It’s hard for me to walk out the door and be without her. It’s as though a limb has been missing and my hearts been stabbed. I miss her dearly.

Anyway, with that said, I must work to provide the lifestyle and the family that I want. Without work I’d be unable to have great days off with my baby and go out for coffee trips, shopping hauls and the rest of it. Holidays would be non existant and the quality of life would be sufficiently worse. So here I am, working part time as best as I can to create a life that’s worth living as a family and to aim to progress. I’ll give you an update of how I am getting on back at work as after all, this is what this post topic is set around.

I began back on the 6th of June,i felt calm and held myself together well. I was ready to return to the post I once knew so well. Of course there were elements of anxiety.. would I still know how to do my job? Did I still hold my locker key at hand? You know, little things that you can totally blow out of proportion and turn to big problems in your head? but rest assured, I got up, I got on and I completed my first day back at with. No blips, no tears, I just stuck my head down and allowed myseld to be at peace and familiarise with the environment once more.

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Now having been back for some weeks I can say I am happy with my part time hours, working three days per week. The balance is pretty great and I’d struggle to find such a good weekly routine elsewhere. I really enjoy the work that I do and am committed to my career so it’s great to be back to it and back to a happy environment.

Eleanor is in great hands and has had no complaints as of yet, she’s been such a little gem and I couldn’t be any more proud of how far she has come and adapted. My baby girl isn’t such a little baby anymore. She is becoming fiercely independent and bold within herself. It makes me so happy to be playing the role of her Mother. My best friend really is the best little girl ill ever know and I’ll forever aim to work as hard as I can to allow us to have a family life that is fun, that is loving and full of happy memories.

I do of course miss my baby each day I’m at work but I try to keep busy, pass time and not give her too much thought, as otherwise I’d be out the door and on my way back home to her. On our days off, we make sure to get out and enjoy the day. We head to the play park, go for coffee trips and trips to the book store. We play, we read and we nap together. I ensure that my baby has the best days with myself and that I give her my all and full attention, and love when I’m with her.

It’s so important to interact with Eleanor and we really get on great in each others company. She brings out my best, I can be silly and I can crawl around the floor with her, I can dance all crazy and sing as bad as I want. She loves it all and her love that she shows from the attention I give her makes me realise there are no limits to the attention she requires and I’ll pull out all the stops to ensure she can go to sleep with a wee smile, happy thoughts and has a childhood that’s worth remembering.

I want her to know that her Mum and Dad worked endlessly hard and tough to raise her to be strong and independent and to give her a life that shows what living is. I want her to know just how important family is and family time is the best time, I want her to learn good habits and traits from myself and her dad and to learn about a healthy work ethic too. I don’t ever tell my baby that I dislike work or don’t want to go as I want her to see work as a good time apart and know that Mum and Dad do return after a days work or some time away. It’s perfectly healthy to be away from your baby for some time to do your thing providing your baby is in safe hands and being cared for effectively.

IMG_20180619_143813_159.jpgTime away has shown me that I am my

own person as well as a Mother and that I have to take control and do things for myself once more. I have learned that I don’t have to feel guilty of I’m not with my baby at all times and I have become more comfortable with getting out alone once again. My independence is making a return and I feel so refreshed and ready to be the best Mum I can be after a little break.

Keren x