Tag Archives: Birthday

Eleanor’s First Birthday.

IMG-20180831-WA0013Firstly, I’m going to apologise for my lack of online presence, it’s been such a busy eight weeks and to round it all off, the past two weeks have been full of celebrations and joy. Celebrating all things family and all thegood in life. With a lot of blogging to catch up on and some spare time to kill on the drive back to Amsterdam from Bruges, I’ll begin with the first in the run up of events. Eleanor’s first birthday, one of the best and most exciting days I have ever had. What a buzz around a First birthday, we had an absolute blast and I’m now more in love than ever.

Yes, you read correct, on the 31st of August my baby Daughter turned one and I don’t quite know how to handle that. A year has past so soon, so sudden and I’m not sure that I am ready to let go a little more. Motherhood, It’s a process and it’s an emotional challenge. It can be lonely, it can be scary but most of all  it can be so, so rewarding and the love that consumes you is something quite euphoric. My baby girl has brought so much to the World that I live in within in such a short year and had made the process of becoming a Mother so very easy for me. She leads the way, and I follow.

There are few words to explain just how Eleanor has changed my life in such a short space of time, all for the better. This tiny little baby appeared and suddenly everything becomes so different and the life you knew is no more. We have to change and adapt, grow and nurture, it’s not easy to get to grips with but before you know it parenting is second nature and I wonder if we need these tiny babies more than they need us. Or at least in some respects. What a crazy year it has been and I can only thank Eleanor for the life she has brought to me and the joy she has filled me with.

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As a new Mum, I’m so grateful to have the time that I do with Eleanor to raise and watch her as she grows. Keen to capture it all and document her firsts, her achievements and her happiness is just so important for myself and my Husband, Euan. Oh, yes, you read that right.. Husband. I’ll elaborate later.

To celebrate the first year of Eleanor’s life and the good she has brought to us all, we decided to have a morning of present opening followed by Eleanor’s favourite breakfast, pancakes and Yogurt. Messy but absolutely delicious, she is a girl after my own heart and our love of pancakes will bond us forever more. I picture life with Eleanor ahead and can see us sitting around a cafe table washing down our favourite food with different juices and coffees, it makes me smile to have all of these images and ideas of happy family life full my head and I feel warm.

My baby has brought so much to our lives and her soul is just so alive and pure. Charismatic, friendly, loving, cheeky and more, Eleanor really does make for quite a special little girl. I’d be lost without her and life would certainly not be half as bright. I can’t believe how such a small person can have such a big presence, Eleanor lifts and lights the room, I love her.

Looking like my big little girl, all dressed in her pink Birthday dress which I had purchased the day prior, what follows was a family day trip to a local family soft play center and outdoor play area, den in the Glen. A coffee stop on the way was essential however as without coffee i wouldn’t have made it.

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A place familiar to myself from childhood play dates. We walked around the grounds as it was a lovely and sunny day, pointed out each artefact and piece of nature to Eleanor and just went at our own pace taking it all in. I think I was trying to digest my baby being one to be honest, something that I am still trying to get my head around.

After a walk around, I nursed Eleanor in the car before heading into the soft play area for a wee seat, a spot of lunch and a play in the open space that was suitable for both babies and parents. The hall was busy, families were enjoying lunch together, babies were nursing or snacking and of course, the play area was full of small children and adults, running around, splashing about in the ball pit and having a good day to themselves.

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Having not been to soft play previously, I didn’t know what to expect really. A lot to take in and afterward Eleanor was so exhausted that we went out in a drive to Stonehaven to kill time and allow for a car nap. If left without a nap and over tired it can be an absolute nightmare and I wanted Eleanor to be able to enjoy her day as much Euan and I were, after all it was a day all about her.

In the evening we heading up to my mums to enjoy a birthday tea full of everyone’s favourite snacks and nibbles, Eleanor included. There were sandwiches, pizza, chips, falafel. You name it, we had it. An exceptional spread hosted by my Mother. I brought the birthday cake which I had baked the previous day, a lemon sponge cake in the style of a Victora sponge with buttercream..

The whole family had a great day of celebrations and feasting and Eleanor had a blast. Turning one hasn’t ever looked so good, our baby was spoiled rotten with love and attention while being catered for with all of her favourite foods. I’m usually quite strict with treats and snacks but a birthday is an exception and an excuse to go all out.

To wind down at the end of the day, we headed home and it was straight to bed. Yes, 8.30pm and my baby and I were off to enjoy a cuddle and a snooze together while Euan sorted out some bits and bobs. I don’t know how much longer my baby will nurse from me, accept my cuddles and hold my hand as she falls asleep but for now I’m not ready to wave goodbye to those special moments. I’ve let go of our first year together and that’s quite enough for right now. It’s been challenging, hard work and an emotional roller-coaster.

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There’s been good days, bad days, days where everything just falls out of place and goes wrong but I would do each day all over again if I could. As they all say, blink and you miss it and I can fully say that the statement is so very true. A moment will pass at the blink of the eye but a memory can last a lifetime. That’s what I’m keen to continue to do as Eleanor grows, to make memories and capture as much of our time together as I can.

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Happy birthday baby girl, for I love you so.

A week in the life – Cyprus.

 

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Hey guys, sorry it has been a wee while since I have posted, as mentioned I was taking a short break from blogging to enjoy a family holiday with Euan and Eleanor.

It has been a busy old week or two and there have been a whole lot of blood, sweat and tears. Literally, but you will be glad to hear that we survived our first family as a three and two plane journeys. I’d like to mention I’ll not be rushing back to holidaying with a small human but I will share the experience that we have had.

I plan to write a detailed blog on my favourite day and activities but on this post, I’m going to do a day to day guide of how we spent out time. To the best of my memory that is. We have had a great trip and it has been a great bonding experience for the three of us. I have loved being away in the sun and enjoying down time with my family and I loved to watch Euan with Eleanor and the bond they have grow.

Eleanor has come on so far the past week. She will now roll, wave and clap her hands. Mimicking the behaviour of others and taking in her surroundings seems to be her favourite thing to do right now and she has an obsessed over my hairbrush. Not to mention that she has picked up on the classic screaming, you know.. That high pitched, give me what I want type of scream? Yep, she has perfected it, much to my dismay and I’m trying to fight a way out of this habit. Goodbye hearing! Anyway, I’ll get to it and give you a daily break down of our holiday.

Day 1 – Euans birthday (30th) so we decided to get out and explore we had a walk along the shore front and explored the main tourist area.

Hallomi pittas by the beach with a cocktail in a local restaurant for lunch which was divine. We had the good food and a view, what more could you want!

Day 2 – Euan had a diving trip in the morning, I shared a girly morning with my baby at the resort, we did try to venture out alone but the roads aren’t great and the cars don’t always stop at a red light. I played it safe and returned to the hotel until Euan got back for an adventure. It is a lot easier to navigate your way around someplace new when you have a companion.

In the afternoon we explored a different part of the island and had a trip for iced coffees (much needed with the temperatures hitting up to 28 degrees)

Day 3 – Saturday – The sun was shining and we opted for a walk to the tombs of Kings, a local tourist attraction where the rich were once laid to rest with their riches. We explored the grounds, got some photographs and enjoyed the peace and quiet from our surroundings. The tombs weren’t busy as we heeded out early which was nice as we got a whole lot of time to ourselves to explore and take it all in.

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In the afternoon it was getting a bit hot so we mulled around the wee tourist stores and markets,keeping to the shade and making sure that Eleanor was comfortable.

Day 4 – a trip to the zoo with Eleanor who slept through the most part however did wake up for the journey back to the resort. A grizzly experience that I’ll not revisit in a hurry. The zoo was fine but we went especially for Eleanor and she did sleep through the most part, comfortable in her stroller as Euan and I got bitten by ants all over our feet. The zoo was rife for bugs and was exceptionally hot, even Euan struggled. We ended up sitting and having an ice cream in the shade to get a break from the walking around.

The bus back to the resort was painful, picture a screaming baby on a real hot bus full of people and judgemental stares. We ended up stripping her off on the bus but noting was really helping her and she didn’t even want the comfort of breastfeeding.

It is safe to say that we had a chilled evening and ate separately as Eleanor was so upset, bed time was around 8pm and Eleanor slept right through as she was just totally knackered. I think we were to be honest, I didn’t anticipate just how stressful one bus journey could be.

IMG_20180415_174655_584.jpgDay 5 – Stopped past the shopping mall for a browse of the stores and an iced coffee out on the malls balcony to cool off a little and enjoy a caffeine fix.

We got tattoos. I know, silly huh? Seems to be a year of firsts so to follow the trend we got our first tattoos. A little bit of fun and letting our inner youth come out to play. Who says 30 has to be boring, eh Euan? I’ll give a we post on the experience at a later date and be sure to upload photo evidence. I kept it small and cute, a but of a novelty tattoo on my part where Euan went for something a bit bolder.

In the evening we went for a stroll and an ice cream trip before dinner. I thought after a wee bit of pain we deserved a yummy treat. I had a coconut cone and Euan had erm.. I don’t recall! Sorry!

Day 6 – Our last day, Tuesday spent down by the beach front having a long walk and eating gelato from a little parlour which was really sweet. I had a raspberry cheesecake flavor and Euan went for pomegranate. Delicious. This holiday was a lot different from usual holidays, I had perhaps six alcoholic drinks the whole trip and favoured the snack bars over alcohol. Times have definitely changed as have our priorities.

Spent the afternoon at the complex, just kept it causal and chilled to prepare for the journey home and get Eleanor settled as best as possible. In the evening, we went for a traditional dinner of moussaka. We were torn over where to dine on the last evening but stumbled across a tavern which I’m glad that we did.

Moussaka seems to be the traditional dish over in Cyprus and we like to enjoy a traditional meal on each trip we go to. In Prague, for example we had a stew in a local pub. In Cyprus, we had moussaka.

We were stuck between an Indian or a traditional meal, it seems that Cyprus is not a great place to favor a vegetarian diet and we did have some issues trying to find places to eat and cater to our needs. For the most part, we lived on a diet of Hallomi, rice, fries and ice cream (hello extra rolls).

The dish we had was delicious and it was  enjoyed with a white wine, all while Eleanor sat and practiced her wave. We couldn’t have asked for a better last meal or evening, our baby was well behaved and the meal was gorgeous. I’ll definitely be searching for vegetarian moussaka recipes when I get a minute. It’s moments like these that you learn to appreciate the little things on life and family bonding over a nice meal is such a good way to get you feeling all fuzzy.

Day 7 – Morning lounging and a coffee trip before getting organised and sorted to leave for home. The bus pick up for the airport was at 3pm so we had some time to kill and entertain Eleanor before our travels. I won’t bore you with the details right now but I’ll share a post about flying with baby very soon.

Look out for a more detailed post of our time in Cyprus. I’m working my way through all the blogs I’m to catch up on, be patient with me as I prepare a lot of new content for my page.

Keren x

 

Eleanor’s holiday closet.

As we approach holiday season and count down the days until we set off on our first adventure as a family of three, you can imagine the excitement and the hype.. and nerves, that are flying around the household. It is like Christmas all over again, only with the added benefit of a wee break to the sun.

Now, one thing that is getting me super excited for the holiday, not just the idea of some vitamin D and a spell of t-shirt weather but the holiday packing. I have been working away on Eleanor’s Summer wardrobe and picking up holiday bits and bobs as I’ve been on my travels.

As a bit of a fashionista myself with a love for all things girly and sparkly, I can’t not share my favourite pieces of holiday clothing for Eleanor. I can’t wait to see her in some of the wee dresses and her little sun hat. Too cute, though I’m sure with a seven month old, nothing is destined to stay on long. Especially with meal times, often these days a meal time requires a stripping off and full change of clothes, some days even a bath. Ahem, how do babies get food absolutely every where, by the way? I am sure the energy provider loves us with all of the additional washes and hot water usage. .

As I have said, I’m going to share some of my favourite pieces that I have picked up from various stores and online markets. Baby girl shopping is simply irresistible, so many adorable pieces, especially for the Summer.  I am the first to admit that I have no self control when it comes to shopping and treats, especially not for my baby.

I favour what I call a pay day treat, each pay day that comes round I go out and pick up a treat for Eleanor. It is never much, but I always choose a dress or a wee cardigan.. you know, something pretty from my favourite baby store, Next. It makes me feel good to be able to go out and pick her up a treat at the beginning of each month. I think this is a ritual that will stick.

I’m a little jealous of some of the collections I’ve picked up for Eleanor, if I could fit into the dresses, you bet I would! So much gorgeous colour and quality pieces. Below, I will snap shot my favourite items and tag the store which they were purchased. Most purchases have not exceeded £15 and I have sourced many budget buys.

With a maternity wage and a pending Wedding to pay up, I am all for bargain over luxury. I mean, the most we get out of clothes are three months with the rate Eleanor grows right now so I don’t feel going all out and buying expensive baby clothing is necessary.  There is such a wide range of High Street baby clothing that is inexpensive and yet stylish, I love to snap up any pieces that I find pretty as soon as I see them. I hope you enjoy this little post and it gets you feeling in the mood for Summer.

 

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Dresses – both Primark.

 

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Cardigan – Next

Backpack – Cath Kidson

 

 

Dress – Next

Chinos – Next

Shoes – Disney @ Primark

 

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Swimwear – Boots UK

 

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Shorts and Sunhat – Next

As you can see, I’ve got several different styles and items to get packing. Along side this I do have a selection of baby grows, t shirts, leggings and a variety of other clothing pieces. I’ve only chosen to share my favourite items. Much of the holiday wardrobe is lightweight but still covers Eleanor up well to avoid any sun damage. We have picked up a stroller with sun protection and a light fabric and have plenty of products to aid with keeping Eleanor comfortable and cool.

Now that we are ready to get the suitcase out and get packed the reality hits, our first family trip and Euans 30th birthday. I feel some time in a new setting with new scenery will mark a milestone birthday and the end of maternity leave pretty well. I know it won’t all be fun and games, there will be challenges to overcome but I’m hopeful with the time that we have, we can make the most of it and make happy family memories.

Certain not to miss any of these little moments, I’ve got my digital camera and the go pro at the ready. I don’t plan to be active on social media during our time away as a family but as soon as we return, I will share all the details with you.

 

Happy Spring x

Travel essentials with a baby.

Time is passing super fast right now, the weeks all merge into one. With our holiday to Cyprus just one short month away, I’ve began to list some of the essentials that I will be taking in the suitcase for Eleanor.

I’m a little anxious to travel with her as she is just so young but I’ve heard travelling with a baby, is easier than a child at times. Throw colic and a fussy baby into that mix, I’m not so sure. Yes, at six months we are still having spells of colic. Usually from 9pm through to 11pm. Better than previous but still it exists and taunts us. Any chance of movie nights or snuggles are pretty darn slim.

Anyway, as I have said,  this will be our first family holiday and trip with a baby in tow. I was due to fly out to Malaysia last April when pregnant but was advised against this by health professionals for risk of contracting the Zika virus. Safe to say that I took the advice given and stayed put at home while Euan went out to spend time with his Father.

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Of course I’m anxious about travelling with my baby and keeping her safe in an environment that is somewhat out of my control, but I am also so very excited to make some memories to remember and to ring in my partner, Euans 30th birthday. A special trip and a special occasion, one that I’m sure will stay with us for a long time. I’m all for making lasting memories and documenting each part of family life, the good, the bad and every moment in between.

It’s so important for me to be in a loving family environment and to be able to capture that in the moment and for looking back on with happiness. Becoming a Mother has really made me appreciate family and think more of others at all times than I do myself. I am trying to be better every day and grow to be kinder and more openly warming.

You could say I was used to having my own way, now I have to put Eleanor and Euan first and will always take care of them before I do myself. It’s a privilege to have my own family to care for in my own way and to grow with. Through the years I’m sure our bond will flourish and as a family we will be a strong and loving, support unit to each other. Building ourselves and our Daughter up and setting our sights on better.

This trip marks a milestone and also is a little wave goodbye to my maternity leave that is coming to an end. We are certain we want to make the most of this trip and have the best time together, time as a family will be tough to come by when I’m back to work, Eleanor is at day care each day is full on making family time hard to juggle.

I’ve been doing research online and sourcing information for travel with a baby. I’ve been reading what others advise, stories from parents and scrolling through lists designed for baby travel. From doing some light reading, I’ve come up with my own travel kit with baby which I will list below.

If you feel there is anything that I have missed that may be critical please add a comment. I need all the help and advice that I can get on this, as it is all very new to myself. I’m over organising for good reason, I want to be prepared fully for our trip and have everything and anything we could and will need. This will make for a smoother running holiday (or at least, I hope so) and more time to spend enjoying a break in the sun. Don’t worry, I’ve a good sun hat all ready to go and sun screen will be slathered on all through the day. With a baby, you can’t take no risks.

First up, I will share a travel guide for the journey. We have got a little back pack for our Eleanor to store the essentials she will need while making the journey. This will be so handy as al of her snacks, medication and change of clothes etc will be secure in one place and we won’t have to go digging around our own hand luggage to try grab what we need as we battle with little space.

Eleanor’s travel backpack:

– nappies, sudocrem, nappy sacks, hand sanitiser (for parents)

– water wipes

– medication required and calpol/teething powder and saline spray. A thermometer to monitor any change in temperature.

– comfort taggie blanket (very small) and teether

– muslin cloths and selection of bibs

– food pots, spoons, sip cup and food pouches. Varied snacks – I’m thinking rusks. Messy but effective.

– change of clothes

 

Now, for the suitcase I will list the added essentials which we will be bringing with us. Please remember, this list is just for Eleanor and I am new to this so I may have missed something out. Please share if you feel there is anything that will make the journey and trip a little easier.

– Mamas and Papa’s sun protection stroller with visor

– selection of clothing lightweight and durable, Pram shoes/sandals.

– beach towel and swim nappies

– bathing and wash supplies. Wash cloth and soap.Eleanor has sensitive skin so many wash supplies can bring her out in a rash or spots. I’ve just packed a simple multi use Johnston baby wash.

– toothbrush and paste

– pyjamas which are lightweight, sleep bag.

– various food supplies. Cutlery set.

– water sterilisation tablets for cleaning up etc.

– nappies and wipes, change mat, cotton wool. All the essentials for changing nappies..

– swim costume, swim all in one and a floating device for use in the pool.

– sun hat and sun screen suitable for babies SPF50+

** As I am breastfeeding I don’t require to take any formula or bottles, breast pump etc. Eleanor is EBF mostly and has around three meal times a day with snacking when necessary. Most of her nutrition is from her milk right now. I’ll be taking Muslin cloths a plenty and a breastfeeding scarf to remain covered up when feeds are necessary out in public.

The hotel is a family hotel and all supplies should be at hand if we feel we need anything extra or have missed something out. High chairs, cots etc are all provided and I’m sure we will be well looked after following the reviews.

I think that I’ve covered all bases and spent a small fortune at the same time. Travelling light with a baby is out of the question and I the best option for myself  is to be organised in this scenario. I’ll begin to pack next week and check before we depart that I have absolutely everything I need. Think I’ve missed something on the list? Let me know!

Keren x

 

 

 

Turning twenty five with my family,a smile and a whole lot of positives.  

 A few years back, I’d have never imagined myself to be in the position that I am on this day. October 4th 2017, my birthday.

 Today I turned twenty five. I woke up in a bed with the two love of my life’s and will end the day as I woke, snuggled up with my family. Yep, my own family. A family is something that seemed so out of reach to me just a few short years, yet here we are. To say I am loving life is an understatement. 

 Tired, lacking any personal time and living in a dressing gown, spending most of the day nursing my baby and changing nappies, but so relentlessly happy. 

 I woke up at 3.32am to change Eleanor, changed days from the years where I would be crawling into my bed following a crazy Birthday night out where much wine was consumed and a hangover was inevitable. In fact, to this day, it was five years ago on my Birthday night out that I met Euan. Life works in mysterious ways.  
 A few years back had you asked my goals and future hopes,  I’d not have had an answer. I simply didn’t know. I was pessimistic, lonely and I lacked motivation for anything other than hitting the town and losing myself to a few bottles of wine. A sad reality of my teenage years which followed until my early twenties. A waste. 

 Today, I turned twenty five with nothing but a positive mindset and a whole lot of creativity going on inside. I have a lot of ideas and plans for the future and I keep striving to do better. I finally feel as though I am living the life that was meant for me. From this year, my first year of Motherhood, I hope to achieve several goals:

I wish to keep writing and growing my blog. To channel my creativity through the personal space that I have designed online. My own space that was only just an idea held within an idle mind for several years until I brought it to life – with help and encouragement from Euan when I became pregnant. I finally felt that I had something to say and experience to share. 

I wish for this new found positive outlook and mindset to stay with me, not just for the year but for the long term. To see the good in all things and to work on zoning out negatives and being more of an optimist. I have everything that I have ever wanted, my own family and with that notion I strive to be positive and bright for myself, my family and the life that we share.

 and finally, I must get myself a wedding planner and begin to jot down all those little ideas and details which spring to mind when think about and picture my wedding day. A small affair, a good few years away as we are in no rush,  but I like to be organised. Nothing thrills me more than to be writing lists and ticking items off the never ending to do list. What can be more fun or more creative to a gal than to create the wedding of her dreams on paper and watch as she puts in the time and the working effort to make those ideas from paper come together and live those ideas on our wedding day when the day arrives. 

 It’s been the best Birthday yet, the first Birthday that I have shared with my own family and it sure won’t be the last. Here is to twenty five and for all that it will bring, I hope to do better and achieve more than I ever have or could have imagined. Finally, here is to many more birthday’s that I can share with my family. My loves and my life. 

 Keren x