Yes, babies cry. Deal with it (and love them hard)

I am writing this post having been inspired by a recent trip to the GP for concerns over the health of our baby daughter, Eleanor. A baby who has always been, in my opinion very vocal and dependent. I believe this to stem from her connection with me due to breastfeeding. I could be wrong.

My partner had suggested that we call the GP to make an appointment regarding an issue with our baby who seems to cry constantly and wriggle around in pain. Eleanor has reflux which is currently controlled by medication, however, some days not even medication seems to help.

I called the doctor to make an appointment for as soon as possible. I didn’t want Eleanor to be in pain but nor did I expect much was up. She was after all, just being her usual self.  Euan arrived home to attend the appointment, I discovered that we were taking the car to the GP which is a short distance from home, I became upset and wound up.

You see, this sounds silly but it’s tough for me to get out alone. I spend much of my time alone with her and a lot of this is spent indoors as it’s just too tricky to get out, especially with being in a first floor flat. If I want to go anywhere, there is a whole battle with the Pram getting down stairs and out the door before we even get moving.

Some days it isn’t worth the fight with Eleanor if she is in a particularly sleepy or in a grumpy mood. I find I don’t have the fight in me to battle through the cries very often, blame it on the lack of sleep.

It’s easier for me to simply just return home than to deal with the stares of strangers passing judgment as I still past with my baby screaming out from her Pram. I’m not cut out for public judgement, it brings a great deal of anxiety. So, with that mental image and sound of a babies cry echo through your eardrums, forgive me for getting upset having had my dream of five minutes in the fresh air, shattered.

What might not seem a big deal to some, can be a huge deal for others. Something which I have recently learned. We all handle things differently and lately, I feel like I can barely handle things at all. I spend most days alone and some times I feel as though I am losing my mind. Perhaps I am. Perhaps I lack social interaction.

I understand that my partner has work commitments but a five minute walk is not really going to make such a big difference to the working day when  opposed to three minutes in the car? I feel alone much of the time right now and the inability to get out can lead me to feel like I’m stuck in these four walls, all I wished for was my partner to take a short walk to the GP clinic with me. I was once very active and I crave to lead an active life again.

A life that has more challenging excercise to it than the constant bending to change nappies or emptying the tumble dryer. I need to walk, I need to have fresh air. Without it, I go crazy. I’ve given up on my fitbit for the moment as the step count became so pitiful, I felt ashamed to even track and document it.

Back to the GP, the reasoning of this post, I had a feeling that I knew what the doctor would say, having been in this position before. I’m usually lucky to get an appointment as its normally an automated phone service. Nonetheless, the story never changes and the outcome is always “babies cry, it’s a phase” or something along those lines.

I’m never taken seriously with the GPS and feel as though my worries are over looked and brushed off as though I am a mere hypochondriac. Even if I were, I would expect better care and time in the hands of the professionals than what they tend to give.

There was no answer. Babies cry and that’s just how it is. Some are more vocal than others yes, but it doesn’t mean that anything is wrong. It were suggested that we try control crying.. as if this would help with her round the clock cries. I wasn’t looking for answers of how to get my baby into a night sleep routine, and I didn’t want advice for control crying, I’d get more information from a book to be frank.

I wasn’t looking for anything actually,  I knew all too well how the appointment would go and knew that I would leave feeling stupid. My partner wanted this appointment as he was certain something was up. I merely booked it to prove a point and to show him that what I tell him when I call the GP each time is not a lie. I wanted him to see for himself how it goes. I wanted to prove my point and stamp my feet at the same time. My inner diva was out to play. I fear you not.

Some babies cry more so than others and they want held. This I know to be true with Eleanor. We were told that she was on the top dose for her reflux medication and to keep with this. When solid food becomes more frequent, her reflux should improve. Other than that, deal with the crying and just get on. If I felt it necessary, I could make an appointment to see the Health Visitor for advice on control crying but there was no cause for concern.

This was all said as I sat there choked up and crying spontaneously myself. I was crying because I was mad to have taken the car when I had hopes of fresh air. I was crying because I was drained, physically and emotionally. I was crying because this was the first outing of the week that involved human interaction  and it was now Wednesday afternoon.

I was mad at my partner, Euan for making me book an appointment to which I knew the outcome. I was told that he would get answers and yet here we are, no further than I have ever got before, Eleanor still crying.

I feel an element of guilt. Guilt that I can’t help my crying baby, I can’t take away her reflux and stop the back arching pain soar through her tiny body. I feel guilty that I want so desperately to have a break from her, even just for five minutes of peace. I feel guilty that I feel the need to have a break from her. As her Mother, I shouldn’t want a break from her. Should I?

I often can feel a whole lot of guilt and it seems that my best is never nor ever will be good enough. I ponder over thoughts about my parenting and I wonder if I’m a good Mother. I wonder if my Daughter knows how much I love her and I worry that I am incapable of the around the clock care she requires.

The Gp, I assume was left wondering who the appointment was initially made for. The sobbing mess of a Mother that I presented to her, or the baby sleeping in her car seat as though butter would not melt? Typical.

The thing is, the GP was correct, babies cry and all that we can do is hold them close and love them harder. It’s hard, it’s real tough, especially when you feel so hopeless and can’t help them take the discomfort of reflux away. Or even know the reason behind the cries. Is it reflux, teething, ear ache?

The guilt you feel along with the pain can be overbearing and overwhelming and I forget that as parents, we too are only human and we need to give ourselves a break and cut some slack or we will lose our minds. Its hard to always remain on top on situations and it’s hard to mimic what a baby wants at all times. Some days, there is just no pleasing these tiny humans.

I guess, I should be both grateful and thankful of Eleanor’s super dependent personality. I am lucky that I have my baby to hold and come time, I will look back and miss the cuddles and the closeness of my baby girl.

The days when I’m back at work and wish I could be curled up with her lovingly by my side at home, when she is a stroppy pre teen and I’m no longer cool enough to cuddle. I should take these moments to appreciate my ‘needy and vocal’ baby and love her as hard as I can all while embracing her before it’s too late and she no longer cares for the comfort of my company.

I hope that through weaning, the reflux will ease off. Our journey with food has only just began and we are still on select puree foods. I hope that when we venture into more tastes and textures, introduce baby led weaning her reflux will slowly disappear and we can forget about the difficulties that it has brought. Until then, I will continue to monitor and control it as best as I can with medication and a whole lot of baby cuddles. I hope that as she grows, she will become more independent and less reliant on myself, with this, the tears will stop too.

If you too have the struggle of a very vocal baby, don’t feel so alone. There’s always someone going through the same and there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

We as parents are often too hard on ourselves and can be our own worst enemy, let’s be a little more appreciative of our efforts. After all, we are only doing our best and there are days that push the limits but we have to see past this. Take the good with the bad.

So here I am, sat on the sofa, same spot as always with a lukewarm cup of coffee, staring at a blank screen with a numb buttom from lack of movement,  preaching to all you parents out there, to take your baby and love them hard.

Keren x

Searching for baby day care as I prepare to ‘let go’.

The time has come for me to let go of that ever precious newborn stage and begin to shop around local nurseries to utilise when my maternity leave comes to an end. This is not something that I carry lightly as obviously, I wish for my baby to be in the best hands possible. If I didn’t have to return to work and could spend my time dedicated solemnly for her, I would.

Unfortunately, I don’t have the luxury of being a stay at home Mum, I have to go out to work to earn money and continue to lead a comfortable lifestyle and offer the best that I can for my baby.

Besides, as much as I would love to stay in my baby bubble forever, in order for Eleanor to grow and become independent and strong I need to get over myself and get back to it. To regain a healthy work/life balance.

Plus, I think I need to regain some sanity soon as spending my days alone and chatting to my baby has let this young mind get a little hazy and lost. Even more so than previously. I swear mum brain is a thing, a really bad thing.

My memory is not the same as it once were and I struggle to out sentences together some days. Wether this is a lack of a social life outside of those four walls or sleep deprivation, I don’t know. Regardless, I must return to work and live my life again. Come four months time, my spell of nine months maternity leave will be over and reality has to kick start. Staring with returning to work and having Eleanor into a care routine.

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I’m well aware that Eleanor needs to start living her life and interact with other babies of her age to learn from them. I can’t offer her everything that she needs on my own and I feel that interaction with other babies and children can only benefit her development and personal growth. I can imagine she will come on leaps and bounds from the day she steps into her first nursery session.

With starting back to work in the pending months, I thought it best to get stuck in early and begin the search for a local nursery that will cater to our needs. I wanted some place close to home and close to my Mum’s all the same, a care centre that provided healthy and home made meals, introduced plenty of play and interactive activities with support from staff around the clock.

I hope to be return to work for three days per week. My Mother will care for Eleanor some of those days and the other days, she will be on the care of a private nursery. I’d happily have my Mother watch her each day I work but I deem it unfair for my Mum as she too works and I would hate for her to struggle with Eleanor on a bad day then have to get ready to go to work in the evening for a twelve hour shift. That isn’t fair.

With that thought, I decided to look local and check out a nursery in Cove Bay. Close by and handy for my Mum should she do the pick up run for whatever reason. I went to view the nursery and meet with staff to get a better idea of the daily running of the centre and the care that the children receive. I must say, I left really pleased with what I seen and the information I received.

There are several rooms for the children, three outdoor play areas all of which were spacious and there were staff around wherever you looked. The manager met with myself and gave the walk around tour with the appropriate information and answered any questions I had. There is a kitchen on site where both a vegetarian and meat option of meals were cooked and snacks were home baked goods with limited salt, sugar and fat content.

I was really pleased with the whole home made food consensus and with Eleanor going to raised as a vegetarian, this too was perfect as it would suit her dietary requirements and I could be at ease knowing she was getting a healthy meal provided. I can’t stress just how important healthy eating is to me and I want my baby to be well catered for with a wide variety of healthy and nutritional foods.

I actually caught feeding time during my visit and it was good to see that the staff were at large and sat with the children, helping to feed when necessary. I also discovered that if Eleanor is still taking her milk, I can provide the nursery with breast milk for her and they would store a supply to give her as she wanted. It was really nice to see how the staff cared for the children and that the meal times were well organised and ran smoothly.

The nursery also has an online journal that is updated daily and gives parents the opportunity to check on what their child has been up to each day and of any news that is new to the nursery. There are day trips out to the local community and local parks and the children are encouraged to go out and play together.

Getting out is something which I too find very important and part of a healthy and active lifestyle. I’d hate to return to work and think that my baby was couped up inside all day, I do not feel that would provide a full release of energy and I imagine come time, Eleanor will be full of plenty of energy!

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I felt really content with the nursery and the whole running of it. I liked that healthy food was provided with plenty to choose from, there were staff at hand and the children can play outdoors and get on trips. It makes the day a bit more exciting and offers a little fun for Eleanor. The opportunity to meet and play with other babies will be real great for her and help with learning life lessons and her personal development,  such as sharing and kindness.

I have opted to register Eleanor for this Cove Bay nursery for the days in which she is not at the care of my Mum. I looked online for reviews and input from Mum’s for many nurseries, Clive included and this certainly came out near enough the top of my searches. I’m unsure where I will return back to work, the days of work I will be offered and what days my Mother can care for Eleanor but I’m happy and feeling a little more settled now that I have found a nursery for her to register with and attend for some sessions each month.

The nursery offers morning and afternoon sessions as well as full days, I think that to begin with, I may opt to have her attend for around three afternoon sessions per month. This will give a better idea of how it will all pan out before committing to any set plans and full days or weeks of care.

I will get to know how she is coming on with her sessions and if they are worthy for her development. If I were to think that her development was being hindered, I’d have to then rethink my plans and look to find a new replacement nursery.  However, I think that this could be a great day care centre for her and I felt really happy with my insight of the building and staff.

I’m thinking of it more as a taster right now, before devulgung in and going for full days right from the get go. I’d like to break her in easy, if not just for Eleanor, but for myself. I imagine waving her off to her day care will be a very upsetting experience. My baby will be growing up, drifting a little further from me to allow herself room to grow and mature into her own person.

Before attending her first session, parents are encouraged to meet with the staff and create a personalised profile for their child. This means that the staff will try to cater to your child’s needs and each child is seen as an individual with their own choices, strengths and weaknesses. The nursery work on the strengths and weaknesses of your child and allow them dedicated time to do the things which they favour. Your child isn’t seen as just a number, they are allowed to be their own person and encouraged to be the best version of themselves.

I think it is something quite powerful yet saddening when you send your first born off to nursery care. I know I will feel an element of guilt that I can’t be there with her each day forever and I will definitely see tears but it will be a proud moment all the same and I can’t wait to watch her grow into the most perfect little human.

I know that I still have time to cherish and treasure with Eleanor for now as she is only just five and a half months or twenty two weeks if you’d rather. I’m due to be back to work for mid May but will stretch it out to June if possible through use to annual leave. I’m desperate to hold onto the time that I have with her. I don’t want to let go. This is the first time and only time I will ever have with her to myself for such a long period and I’m not ready to wave goodbye just yet.

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Waving goodbye to baby will be tough and finding routine again – another new routine will take time. My return to work will be such an emotional rollercoaster. I will be once again, stepping into the unknown and I won’t have my daily companion by my side, she will be in day care or with her Grandmother and I don’t know how I will cope being at work and not at home raising her by myself.

It’s a daunting feeling that will hang above my head until the end of my leave period but I am certain that I have found the right day care for her and knowing she will be well cared for puts me at ease (a little). I’ll have to stop myself from calling my Mum or the nursery every few hours to check up on her,i just know it. With time, I’ll adapt as she will and it will get easier.

Until then, I’ll just hold her close for as long as I can. Unwilling to say goodbye to the newborn stage and those first months, those first moments that are, oh so precious.

Has anyone recently went back to work after having a baby? Any coping mechanisms for this new Mum who is afraid to let go? I feel guilty and fear to be leaving her,  I don’t know how I can work to get over this fear and just embrace this whole new and ever changing lifestyle that I have taken on?

This family life. My family life. My family.

Keren x

 

The hunt for the perfect dress. Diary of an unconventional Bride to be.

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I’m a self confessed shop addict with a love for the High Street. I favour the likes of Topshop, Urban Outfitters, ASOS, Mango and Free People to name a few.

My wardrobe and clothes drawers are bursting at the seams and refuse to close, this is no exaggeration and I boast a collection of probably around sixty dresses in a variety of shapes, styles, prints and colour. All hanging on top of one another in a big mess of clutter.

The thing is though, I’m all for casual wear and dresses you can team with boots, or trainers taking you from day to night. I don’t actually have a clue about wedding dresses or dressing for a wedding. Heels are also a no go, I own countless pairs as I can’t refrain from buying them, aren’t they gorgeous? but,  I can’t walk in heels to save my life. It’s shameful really.

A wedding dress, It’s never something I had plans for or thought about. I’ve never had the illusion of my dream dress float above my head. I didn’t expect I’d ever marry so I didn’t have to worry about the planning aspect that comes with a wedding or decision of choosing a dress to wear. Formal wear let alone Bridal wear is an unknown territory to me and where I know what styles look good on me causally, I don’t know what to picture myself in as a Bride.

I thought that I had the perfect dress tucked away but one look from my Mother’s face and I was instantly uninspired with it. With that notion and a look I will never forget, the hunt for a dress began. A new dress that I will be keeping all to myself until the day comes to get up and put it on. If I were to go by different reactions to different dresses and styles, I’d never settle on one that I like. It’s too off putting having the input of others.

Now, this is something not to be taken lightly. Where I want a small and intimate wedding event with a mere few family and friends, I still wish to wear a dress that flatters me and my personality but without the expense of a bridal dress. I want to look pretty and wear a dress that I can feel good in, a timeless item that I can return to and wear again and again. Much alike Keira Knightley and her wedding gown, only I won’t be rocking Chanel couture (and I don’t look like Keira either, sigh).

A wedding dress is certainly a dress that you want to remember for the rest of your life, hold so many memories of the special day each time you look at it. Now, that leaves big shoes to fill for any dress you buy that follows. Wether full on gown or simple pencil dress, it has to be perfect for me and our special day. I don’t want to look back in dismay for the dress I wore.

I’m a fashionista, I love clothes and putting outfits together, it comes easily to me and I find it fun but with the whole aspect of wedding dress hunting, I am struggling. I can’t find a dress that suits my shape or style.

A long gown is too long for my petite frame not too mention a little too formal for an otherwise informal ceremony. I think long gowns or long tuelle skirts just make me look frumpy and awkward. A short gown on a bad leg day could be a disaster and leave me looking more like a sausage roll than a glowing Bride. Not ideal.

Tuelle can be difficult to style and if you buy cheap, it looks cheap. A dress too white could look well, too white yet a dress with colour poses an issue with what flowers or shoes to match with, patterns can be too busy and aging. I don’t mind mis match, in fact, I quite like putting fabrics and patterns together that clash but for this day in particular I just want something that is one all over style and is easy to dress.

Two pieces, I like but it’s finding the perfect two piece. A satin skirt with a sequin crop? Too glamorous. A paper waist midi ball gown skirt and a cropped cardigan? Too 1950. I have seen real nice two pieces online from searching but the price can be crazy high, I’m excited to find the right style for me but I am not easy to please on this one. I don’t want to pay more for a dress than my whole wedding day, that would be silly, I’ll take the expensive shoes instead!

A drop waist I do like but the wrong style of drop waist could leave me looking shapeless. You have to be careful with length with a drop waist. So here is my issue,you see? What does the modern day Bride wear to her informal wedding day?

I don’t hold a budget specifically, but I don’t want to be paying crazy money for a dress that I may never wear again. A dress can be just as special without the price tag. As soon as you search tag with the word ‘Bridal’ you see prices increase.

I want something different yet acceptable to wear as a Bride, I don’t want too much glam as I’d feel really silly, it’s just not me. I need to wear something that feels like ‘me’ only a slightly more formal vision. I’ve scrolled Debenhams, Ghost, Zealand, ASOS bridal, Etsy and more.

So the hunt continues to finding the perfect dress. So far, I’ve returned two that I have been unhappy with, and I have two on order, waiting to test out. With that said, onto the next one, and the next one…

and the next one. Wish me luck, let’s see what I can come up with in the coming months. Here’s hoping I can find my dream dress and don’t end up looking like a glammed up sausage roll. Here’s to hours of hunting.

Keren x

 

Diving into the realms of a vegetarian diet.

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I’ve never been a big meat eater or a fan of meat. Growing up my family were not vegetarian and we were taught to eat what was given to us, whatever that may be. My Mum was big on home made, hearty meals. Mince and tatties, stews, stovies. All the classics.

However into adult life, and especially post partum my diet has changed substantially and I no longer opt to eat meat through choices and opinions of my own.

In recent years, I’ve come to not really enjoy cooked meals, meat included. I much prefer to snack through the day and eat foods such as pancakes, Cereals, fruits and nuts for meal times, skipping out key nutrients that my body requires.

Now that I have my Daughter and we are beginning the weaning process, I can’t stress to myself enough how important it is that she can see myself and Euan eating a healthy varied diet and take on good habits.

With this notion in place and keen to change my own dietary habits, I have decided to live life as a vegetarian. This will be of no difficulty to myself (and I’m not bragging by the way) I just mean that I would often opt for the vegetarian option when out for a meal or have something other than what Euan has at home when he eats a meat based meal. I love fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds, breads and a variety of beans and lentils.

With the variety that is out there, I don’t think I’ll struggle to find foods to eat and have been living a vegetarian diet most days as it is, without the title of vegetarian over my head.

I really went off meat when pregnant, it was the icing on the cake to give the push to become a vegetarian. The smells, textures and tastes. I remember the nausea that came with the smells and I couldn’t bring myself to chew through certain foods. I realise I can’t live my life eating merely fruit, Yogurt and Bran flakes so through a vegetarian diet, I hope to gain nutrition and strength that my body lacks.

I am keen to make this dietary change a fun experience. To begin to cook more often, especially from recipe books. To pick a recipe, gather the ingredients and cook with Euan on a weekend. I’m quite excited to get stuck in and embrace the culinary experience.

I’ve never been a good cook and meals are kind of just slap up and quick plate fulls that you can’t really call a meal. I didn’t have a child to protect and tend to before now and so diet was not something I took good care of,  I mean, if I could get away with eating porridge oats and pancakes three times a day, I would!

Now, it is changed days and I find it so important to show Eleanor good habits and have her set for life and nourish her body through healthy eating. Of course a meat based diet is just as healthy as a vegetarian diet if followed with a good range of other foods, and I’m not against people eating meat but I just feel it is not right for me and I don’t want to raise my Daughter as a meat eater.

Getting busy in the kitchen is an inexpensive yet fun way to pass the time, especially with having Eleanor at home. The opportunity to go out and do as we please does not come so easily anymore so we need to find good habits and hobbies that we can have at home. I think cooking weekends are a great way to get back into the kitchen, learn to love food again and all the whole, teach Eleanor about food, balance and living a healthy lifestyle.

If anyone has good vegetarian recipe books or recipes, please add a comment at the end of the post. I’m keen to hear from you on this and take on board any ideas and help available. I want to make this a fun experience and have a good range of recipes and foods to try. Build up a bit of a portfolio on the kitchen o suppose. I know that not everything I make and try will be a success, there will be downfalls, disasters and foods that I hate but it’s all part of the fun. Of you would like my journey to be documented, let me know. I’m happy to share with you all.

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I am hoping to raise Eleanor as a vegetarian too, Euan is on board with this and keen to try living the same lifestyle of I can incorporate filling and nutritional meals without the need for meat. I think it makes sense to be in this together as a family and discover a whole new healthy lifestyle as a family and give our daughter, Eleanor the best start on life that we can offer.

If she later in life wishes to dabble into foods and try meat, I’m happy for her to try and to find her own feet, discover new tastes that she too can love. At this stage of her life though, I’m keen to take control and offer her as much nutrition and variety as I can without the addition of meat. With there being so much available at the markets in this day and age, I don’t feel that meat will make or break a diet. There are so many other alternatives that you can draw balance and key vitamins from to supplement the lack of meat.

I encourage the use of daily vitamins and have through my whole life. Currently I take omega 3, vitamin D and a multi vitamin. As I’m breastfeeding right now, Eleanor too gets the benefit of the vitamins but when she is not having her breast milk, I’d be keen to supply her with vitamin supplements suitable for her age. If anyone can recommend a good vitamin for children under two, please, fire away. I’m. Happy to take some ideas and advice.

So far we have made vegetarian pizzas from flat breads and added our own sauce and toppings. Sunday evenings cooking experience was Halloumi fajitas which I will be keen to make again and again. Fajitas can never get boring either, there’s a variety of sauces and vegetables that you can throw in the mix to keep them fun and new. Like I said, fire away any recipes you have that are vegetarian friendly. I’d love to hear from you all. I’m. Happy to try most things and have a strong love of fruit and veggies. If I make meals that look presentable enough, I’d be happy to share the results on my blog and give a wee review.

Remember, keep it simple, I’m new to this gig.

Keren x

Taking time out for friendship.

It is the weekend! Hurrah. I know every day is kind of the weekend for me right now but a Monday never brings the same feeling as a Saturday though, does it?

My partner is off with his good friend, all suited and booted to be wined and dined for a hospitality package day at the football, courtesy of his work (gotta get them perks in). With an early start, I waved goodbye around 10.30AM and set about my own day. Not one to waste a day away, especially not a weekend. I needed a plan of action.

To save from feeling like I have missed out on steaks and a free bar, I decided to meet up with my old friend for a coffee date on this sunny Saturday. It just so happens Euan was off to the football with her partner so it seemed like a great idea for us ladies to have an excuse to catch up. As if you ever need am excuse when it comes to a good friend.

Sunny but super chilly, it was a faux fur and hat day! Ready to venture out for a catch up and grab some coffee and a muffin while we were at it. I got myself and Eleanor all sorted and we went our travels to meet my friend Elaine. We headed up to her home as it was a short walk away and I wanted to see her cat, Molly as I hadn’t seen her yet.

After a quick stop in past, it was off for a coffee trip and when it comes to coffee, I am a woman on a mission. We opted for a pit stop at muffin break, a small and local chain with excellent coffee and treats. Eleanor slept the whole three hours we were out so there was plenty of opportunities for conversation and chit chat. From everything to work chat, child chat, holidays and wedding talk, we squeezed a whole lot in and could have went longer had conditions allowed. It’s so good to get a good talk with a friend, you feel like a weight is suddenly lifted and almost get a whole new lease of life afterward?

Or Perhaps that’s just me right now? Too much baby, not enough adult interaction. Seems rather likely, nevertheless a good talk with a good friend can work wonders for the mind and soul. I spend most of my days right now at home in my own company, caring for my baby. Don’t get me wrong, we get out and I see my Mother often but it’s not the same.

Anyway, it was great to get out and catch some sun, have a walk in the fresh cold  air and enjoy the company of a long time friend all while taking in the local sights. It’s not all that often we get the opportunity to get out and meet up so when the opportunity arises, it’s always quite special. Hell, it’s not often I get the chance to enjoy a day out right now as it is, especially not without difficulty or stress. If you can’t tell, I’ve become a bit of a stress head since having my baby, everything comes with a drama so much so that I sometimes wonder which of us is the baby. Myself or Eleanor?!

There always seems to be some sort of obstruction in the way of having a nice time. Today I was highly anticipating a struggle but actually, couldn’t have had a better day or a more content baby. Phew. I think our minds go into overtime from time to time and like to cause havoc, cause make up scenarios to shy us away from doing things.

I think when you have a good friend, it is always important to hold them close and make time to see each other.Life gets so busy and you lose track of time, all to often we don’t get the chance to see people we would like to see more often and sometimes even sending a simple message can become a long overdue task on the to do list.

I suppose this post is just to mark a lovely day out and to reflect on friendship. It feels good to get out and catch up with a close friend, to hear their stories and have a laugh together. Ideally, I’d have much more time on hand for friends but right now, that time is so very strained. I’m no longer fourteen and have the ability to go out to a friends uninvited at any hour of the day. A day out now has a while lot of planning behind it but you should never forget to take the time out for friends as sometimes they are the only people we have.

 

Keren.

Motherhood. Finding myself through creativity and balance.

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As you will be aware, I have began preparing and planning for my Wedding day. Upon doing so, making up lists, gathering material and fabrics.. It has all led to some new found and very welcome creativity. Who knew?

Having finished the whole seven seasons of Gilmore Girls, I was on the hunt for a new past time. Something that involved a little less sitting on my ass and a little more thought. Man, those first few months of Motherhood were well spent if I do say so myself but you can’t stay in a newborn bubble forever. It was time to grow and nourish myself now that I had the whole parenting thing under control.

I have began to enjoy nothing more than taking a day trip out with Eleanor and hunting for cute craft supplies and fabrics. Putting ideas together and creating. It’s nice to get busy and to produce something that you have created by yourself from just ideas is really quite thrilling. It brings a sense of achievement and joy.

Having become a new Mother recently, I got a little lost and almost became just a Mum, forgetting that I, too am my own person and need some time to myself for myself. It took a while to figure out some sort of balance and to find happiness from within in every aspect of daily life but I think I’m finding my feet at long last and beginning to suss out a balance between being Mum and yet being myself.

I have come to conclusion that life really is too precious and much to short to waste and wish it away. I can’t remain a prisoner in the home for fear of stepping out and I can’t stop time, rather I can get out and enjoy it. To make the most of each day and enjoy special moments in each day. It is time to start living and appreciate life for all that it is.

I still get anxious going out alone and I do struggle when faced in some situations, especially social events, but it’s never as bad as I come to imagine. I don’t know what triggered such anxiety build ups, I’ve ways been shy but ever since labour I have been having almost mild panic attacks, mood swings and feel as though I will burst out crying at times for no specific reason.

You can’t control the world and you certainly can’t have everything you want but with a little positivity and creativity I think you can do whatever you want and live in the way you wish to live. Happiness can be found from anything, it’s different for every one. For me, I have my beautiful baby, my family and a busy mind to keep me strong. I couldn’t have wished for a better family or to be surrounded by more love. I really am very fortunate.

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Something which doesn’t come easy, after having Eleanor, I would say I sort of shut myself off from the outside and didn’t take any time off. I was in full baby mode all day every day and it began to drain me of me. I needed a release and a relief from Motherhood but  couldn’t figure out what it was. I couldn’t even figure out how to get dressed with a newborn around, never mind find some form of hobby. I guess you could say that Motherhood didn’t come to me as naturally as I would have hoped at first.

With a new venture, I began to plan and prepare for my Wedding day. A small and intimate affair but that doesn’t mean I don’t have just as much help to plan as any other Bride. Through the use of glitter notebook pages, confetti hearts and paper butterfly’s, I suppose you could say I’ve became quite the crafty dab hand. By no means do I mean that my work is a piece of art, I simply mean that I enjoy this crafty business. I think that it suits me well and is good for my soul. Keeps my mind busy and my anxiety at bay.

Lately, my mind doesn’t seem to shut off. I try to drift off to sleep and ideas pop into my head. Both a blessing and a curse. Damn you, insomnia.

As a bit of a magpie, (self confessed and glitter obsessed) I have an eye for all things pretty, I always have and I love putting together looks and ideas that I have planned in my head. Wedding planning has given me a sense of freedom back. This has become a hobby and an escape, something that I would have previously laughed at and not taken serious but have fully got into and can say that I am really enjoying this whole busy business. It really is good to get up off the couch and get out again. I now have something to look toward other than the TV screen.

Although, I will admit, I do still find myself losing hours staring at and holding my baby close.  The most gorgeous little lady I have ever laid my eyes on. What a truly lovely soul.

Back to it, before I turn all proud Mum gooey – the table arrangements, the favor creating, decoration hunting. It’s totally keeping my anxiety at bay and giving me a focus. I used to enjoy nothing more than arts and crafts as a child, that and writing. It seems having grown older, these old hobbies have come back to me..with a vengeance. Old habits die hard they say. Now I can fully vouch for that.

I am happy to say that through finding a balance and getting busy with a hobby, I have really discovered happiness and unleashed a creative spark that I don’t think will be ending soon. I can now again be at peace with my mind and my body. I am much happier with a focus and have started to feel content as a Mother and realise that I am in fact good at being a Mother and with that, I can again return to being myself. Slowly but surely I will get back into my old skin, only it will be new skin and better. Wiser and happier.

This latest creative spark has had me thinking about creating a small business on Etsy. I am not sure what I could sell yet, or if my creations would sell but I’d like to venture into this throughout the year and put my busy mind at work. I think that a hobby has been just the thing my mind was screaming out for and I’m glad that with getting out there, and getting busy I have also become a better version of myself. This reflects well not just on myself, but on my family. Happy mum, happy baby..right?

I have many ideas running ragged in my mind right now. Everything from wedding crafts to creating a local etsy store to getting experience in a florist. I think 2018 will bring a new experience and a sense of peace. I have a few travel plans coming up this year, if I’m lucky I can draw some inspiration from these trips and the travel experience.

Now if you dint mind, I have a wedding to plan. Must get back to work. What would you like to see from Etsy?

Keren.

 

In Brugges.

I have some super exciting news and could use your help and advice. We have set our Honeymoon plans into action and booked up not one but two City locations in the heart of Europe. I am simply here to look for advice of things to see and do on our short trip across Europe. I’m looking to you guys for the advice and recommendations!

Here’s the thing, as we don’t have the time for a full Honeymoon with a child back home, we have just three days to get around and see as much as we can. First up, Amsterdam!! A City I have dreamt of visiting from my teenage years, finally making it across the pond and for good reason too.

Now we have a good idea of what we wish to do and have booked at hotel in a central location. What I’m on the hunt for is the museums you favour, any food haunts that are a must try, breakfast bars, cocktail bars? As this is our Honeymoon and most likely the only time we will have alone to holiday without our Daughter for many years, we are keen to get stuck in and make the most of our trip away together.

Next up, Brugges. Yep, another one to tick off the list and once again another City I’ve favoured ever since watching the movie ‘In Bruges’. What a beautiful place to explore and walk around. I’m really excited about this one. So romantic and dreamy. Get me there now.

The plan is, to hire a car from Amsterdam and to drive the journey to Bruges, we escape the hassle of public transport and can see more of the world in this way, go at our own pace and have a little more freedom. Perhaps step in past Delft on the way? When we hit Brugges, we have booked to stay in a suite on a boatel. Yep, a boatel. We have checked it out and done our reading, it just seemed the best place to spend our one night. It is romantic, central and more so, on a boat. Not something you can say you have done every day, huh?

Has anyone been to Brugges and can recommend a restaurant or activity for two? We are happy go lucky, enjoy culture, history and moreover just walking around and taking in the sights. If you think there is anything particular we should go see, fire away. Open to all suggestions.

We will be doing our own research and creating an itinerary as such bit it’s always nice to hear from others and find out about hidden gems around the world.

Keren x