Things that go bump in the night.

I’d always said that my baby would never fall out the bed and how crazy that even just the thought of it was. That was until early Sunday morning, we woke with a crash, bang and cries from Eleanor who was wedged down the side of the bed.

Yep, you read that correct. Our first accident, not the last I am sure but scary nonetheless. You can bet that I grabbed her as fast as I could, filled with worry that she would be real hurt. I didn’t want to look, didn’t want to see her hurting. Thankfully it was all good and just a fright for each of us.

With babies, everything happens so fast. One second they are sleeping peacefully next to you, the next, they have made their way to the bedroom floor. With an almighty thud.

At near six months on, we are still co sleeping and though this was never a safety issue previously, I am now beginning to rethink our sleeping arrangements. I don’t think my heart could take the blame of a second tumble. I know accidents happen and there will be plenty of bumps and skinned knees to come but I’m not ready for that yet. My baby is so little, to see her hurts brings a great deal of upset.

It is not through choice that it was chosen to co sleep, it was more by Eleanor’s demands and need for constant attention that we came to make the decision to co sleep. We done the research, knew the pros, the cons and accepted the risks. Now, as Eleanor is a little more…a lot more mobile, the risks have increased and I know that it is time to get her into her own cot and into better sleeping habits.

Where I’m sure this can bring nothing but benefits and the security of knowing that she is safe from any potential risks and falls, I know it will be a struggle for some time. Eleanor is so attached to myself and can’t bear to be put down or away from my prescence, if left at all, she cries uncontrollably which breaks my heart.

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We share a bedroom right now with being in a one bed flat, a situation I am aware is not ideal and working to change. This has the benefit that Eleanor is still close and can seek comfort from being next to us in her cot. We can always keep a close eye and watch over her. However, it also comes with the downside that we are perhaps too close for comfort which brings her to not settle without being next to us.

I’m not weak by no means and have tried the whole self settling scenario, Eleanor does not give in or self soothe,her cries only grow louder. I am not against tough love but there are limits, for example, to allow her to reach the stage of painful cries and shaking with upset, I find cruel. We have tried, it just doesn’t work with us.

I am ready to begin to explore options and try to work with her to bring a sense of independence and get her into her own bed with confidence. We have a bed time routine in place with dinner followed by a cosy bubble bath and milk top up, but we don’t get to the whole bed stage, defeats the purpose. Eleanor falls asleep into my arms, any attempts to move her brings a mass panic and chaos.

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Just to report, though we had a scare and a whole lot of Mum guilt to follow, Eleanor is absolutley fine after her fall. Eleanor has been such a trooper, you wouldn’t have known she was hurt at all. We spent the day with a lazy morning, followed by a forest walk, naps and an afternoon of play and cuddles. I kept her close and gave her lots of love.

A close call which has given the push to find a new bed time system and a lesson learnt. I’m so thankful that having checked her over and kept her close for the day, she is perfectly well. My little wriggler is set for a lifetime of adventure and certified to cause me a heart attack any given day.

It is scary how anything with a baby can escalate so quickly, I need a second set of hands and eyes on the back of my head.

Does anyone have any tips for getting a baby to sleep in their own environment? I feel like I am running out of ideas and patience. Especially now after a mishap, I am more keen than ever to make progress and put an end to the co sleeping.

 

Keren.

Mum guilt; The real deal.

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It’s a funny old thing, you become a parent and all of a sudden you are no longer your own person, you are a Mother, a Father. You lose a sense of identity but gain a whole new realm of responsibility and love that you didn’t even know was capable.

The love for your baby, your child, is like no other. I have not experienced so much love nor emotions prior to the birth of my wee Eleanor. The best and the worst of myself has been put to light and I see the world from a whole new perspective.

I am not as easy going and care free as I once was and the world is now a scary place through the eyes of this over protective parent. I would like to focus this post on something that I have recently began to notice creep up on shopping trips or days out. A feeling that has rised from within and hits like a tonne of bricks ,a feeling that all you Mothers are well aware of.

Mum guilt. No matter what you do, it simply does not feel good enough. It is a losing battle where we are the sole contender.

Guilt, we all feel it, with the exclusion of active sociopaths, add a baby or child to the mix and guilt is suddenly intensified. What exactly is Mum guilt and where does it come from? It has seemed to appear out of the blue for myself and has prevented me from doing the things that I love and taking some time out for myself. Wether that be a half hour shut away to read, getting out for a lone walk or even (god forbid) having a day of pampering.

No matter what my intention lately, I always have a terrible feeling of guilt hang over my head, ready to exploit my mind with shameful thoughts whenever I dare put myself first. I feel that I have lost a sense of freedom and self worth since becoming a Mum, something which is quite hard to adapt to and take control of.

I no longer deem it acceptable to treat myself, not without fear that I should have treated my baby over myself. Do I need this? I ask myself this often. A shopping trip is short lived, and rather than taking items I pick out to the till, I return them to the rack or shelf which I plucked them from. I feel guilty for wasting money on myself no matter the sum. I could have utilised any spenditure on Eleanor rather than myself.

I find myself anxious of time and feeling bad for dragging my baby out just so I can pick up a carton of milk for myself or browse the stores when I could be at home, holding her, giving my undivided attention. I tend to get out but feel panic and pushed for time, I can’t relax for fear that she will want a feed or begin to get uncomfortable and cry.

Crying is perfectly normal for a baby to get attention and I know I have the security that she is always changed and fed before I take her out, I can’t help but feel unsettled at the thought of her crying in public. I always feel that it’s my fault for dragging her out and that I have led her to be unhappy for my own pleasure. Mum guilt.

I no longer indulge in any alcohol or nights out as I feel that my baby could need me at any time when I am apart from her. I just can’t leave her behind knowing that she is my responsibility and could need me at any time. I have reluctantly left her for no more than four hours with my Mother so that Euan and I can catch a screening at the cinema. This has only ever been around four separate occasions, a month apart at least.

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I can’t bring myself to leave her no matter who with or how capable they are. Knowing that Eleanor is so tiny and may need me at any time. I know that my baby is loved and nurtured and with that understanding , I must implicate healthy changes for the benefit of my own health.

I am not just a Mother, I am my own person with interests and needs that I need to fulfill every once in a while. It is important to take time for myself and my own sanity, i owe it to myself to give myself a break without feeling the need to explain and justify my actions.

With that in mind, I am off to the hairdresser next Saturday on a solo outing for a bit of me time and pampering. I am after a fresh dye job and cut, both much needed and long overdue. Oops, blame Motherhood on that one. Free time does not come freely.  A trip to the salon may not seem a big deal to many of you, I’d previously not have thought anything of it either but these days a little time out to spoil myself is a rare occasion.

Following this, we are going to see Stereophonics at the end of the month for a parents night out. How dare we? I’m absolutely looking forward to this and an evening out with my love, I fully plan to make the most of being child free, let my hair down and have fun. I have plans to go all out with a glass of wine in a plastic cup and greasy gig chips.

The last time we went to a gig together was back in July and I was heavily pregnant and spent most of the gig nursing a sore back. This time, I can make a better go at it and not retire early. I got this.

I’m sure that my Mum guilt will be in full swing but im going to really try to get myself into a good mindset and forget Mum duties for the night. It will be time for my partner and I to enjoy. Eleanor will be in capable, loving hands, I just need to let go, chill and live a little. If I can push the Mum guilt aside for even just one night, it will be a milestone itself.

I feel that as Mothers and Fathers, we put so much pressure on ourselves to be the best parents we can be, we get ourselves down when something doesnt go to plan or work out as we had hoped and we hold ourselves responsible for any setbacks, the guilt can be too much to take some days.It’s time to start pushing that unnecessary guilt trips that we love to drive down aside and putting ourselves first once in a while.

Book a pamper day, take yourself out for a coffee, set a date for a night out (and follow plans through) and for God sakes, buy the dress. Life is too short to spend it consumed with guilt, we all deserve a break once in a while.

Parenthood is hard, it is testing, it is wonderful. Let’s not be so hard on ourselves, our babies will still love us after a few hours without our company.

Keren x

We set the date!

Well, I must say that the year has been kind to us. The most special year I have had yet, the year we began the family adventure, the year we got engaged, the year life as we knew it changed forever. I have taken only the good from 2017 and will carry it with me for the rest of my life. It’s not every year you have your first child or get engaged!

To keep the trend going and end the year with a bang, we decided to take the plunge, set the date and book our wedding ceremony. We done this is all of two days may I add, with a baby in tow. Productivity at its finest.

With having the perfect date in mind, we already had a good idea of when we would wed, we just didn’t have the year in place. The fourth of September was our date of choice, already a special day for us as it is both our anniversary and the date of which we took Eleanor to have her birth registered. We thought to extend the day with another happy memory and add to it the day that we are to become husband and wife.

Euan called the office on Friday morning to check that the date was available for the coming year, 2018. They had the date free and we had the choice of time slot to attend. With it being a Tuesday, a funny day to marry.. we know, we went with an early afternoon slot. As the local registrar is a central location we wanted a time that it wouldn’t be rush hour so to speak and guests would have easy access to the venue.

Our ceremony will be small with only family in attendance. Euans parents and their partners, Euan’s grandparents and my parents. My side of the family will be outnumbered however, we decided that we didn’t want siblings or extended family at the ceremony. Small and sweet. Our witnesses will be our birth Mother’s.

To follow, we have booked a small room that can host up to twenty guests at the Carmelite in Aberdeen. We have a room from 5pm and will be greeted with some arrival drinks and finger foods for our wedding party before further guests arrive for the evening meal which will be a sit down three course job with drinks to follow for those who feel like having a few. We are aware it is a school night and people may want to leave promptly after the meal, we don’t expect a wild night by any accord. I don’t think I’d hack that to be honest.

Something I previously hadn’t planned on having however with the extended guests, we decided it would be best to host a meal where we can make special memories with our nearest and dearest. We have chosen specific finger foods and a set menu that will cater for everyone with a few minor adjustments to me carried out.

The room will be filled with just twenty of our guests with three children included. Though quite small, we will have just one rounded table for eating with guests and have decided to decorate the room with different chairs and a variety of colours and fabrics.

The room will have a quirky setting with lot’s of florals for the added bohemian vibes. I’m a big fan of anything floral and have even ordered myself a flower crown for the day rather than the classic veil.

I’m not giving too much away though, there are a lot of ideas out there and I’m still mulling over decor and styles without getting over the top or stepping into a territory of expense.

My dress is all set, it’s not a wedding dress by no accord and it is certainly not designer not expensive, but it’s a dress that was gifted to me several years ago that I have been desperate to wear, it just was never suited to a day trip to the shops or visiting my Mother. It’s a special dress that I have kept in my wardrobe with the tags still on waiting patient for the perfect occasion.

Come closer to the time, I’ll share a sneak preview with you all. Don’t worry. I’d love to share all with you bunch but I have to keep some level of suspense.

We did stick to our guns and keep it as a small affair as we have no need for a big day, all we wanted was a simple yet elegant day to cherish for years to come. I can’t believe when I marry I will be holding my baby girls hand the whole way through! What a privilege, I am certainly one lucky lady and a very proud Mother.

We have found wedding bands and sized ourselves up, with a click of a button we can have them ordered to suit. I have the fancy diamond band as an engagement ring, with a wedding band I have went as basic as you can go I want nothing more than a slim yet timeless platinum band to mark my commitment.

The invites are set to go and the venues are booked, now we just need to pull it all together and we are well on our way to celebrating our big day. There’s a lot of work going on with us behind the scenes and much planning to do – much more than I expected. The notebook is out, the ideas are in and I’m never off of etsy as I try to source ideas and material for the day.

Keep your eyes peeled for further posts and wedding updates, I’m sure there will be plenty and lots of big reveals on the way. Now, if you don’t mind, I’m off to plan for the big day and scour the net for some mini moon ideas. I’m thinking a City break for the three of us.

Lots of love,

Keren x

A family filled festive Saturday.

Alright, now we are into the beginning of December, time to dig out the old Christmas decorations from the store and get busy… decorating that is. As the first Saturday of the month, we had some time alone just the three of us to enjoy. What better a time than the first weekend of the month to get the decorations up and organised to make way for Christmas day.

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With a busy month ahead and such  little room to add to the calendar, we decided that it was a day to spend as the three of us and enjoy a whole lot of festive treats. First up? Coffee and cake from Starbucks and a trip to Ikea to check out the Christmas stock.

Ikea was a little disappointing, I expected to leave with a bag full of goodies. Tree decorations, chocolate galore, you name it. I already had set my sights on a mini haul of goodies but Ikea failed me. Not on purpose however, the stock that was in store was bland and not to my fancy. I wanted more sparkle and there was a good lack of that in store. Onto the next task.

Having left Ikea disheartened, we headed out to the Disney store to check out the Christmas baubles. Again, there was nothing to our taste and the selection was rather poor. Perhaps we were too late to the game but I felt online had more to offer. Having left the store we venture out to the Christmas Market with Eleanor in tow – she was sleeping soundly and missed out in the chaos of frantic shoppers rushing around.

I’m not a fan of busy. Busy makes me nauseated and uncomfortable, however for the sake of the day, I braved the market in the street. The market didn’t have too many stalls to browse and shop but there were fair ground rides to keep you entertained and an ice skate rink. The ice skating could have been a good way to spend some time but with Eleanor in the Pram, it wasn’t really the time. It was nice to watch the others on the ice for a little though.

There were a selection of huts serving food and drinks. Hot dogs, Pancakes, waffles, mulled wine, hot chocolate. Now we are talking. I opted for a mid afternoon tipple, warm mulled wine. Which left my body Just the right amount of fuzzy. Euan opted for a German hot dog with all the trimmings. Safe to say that we left with happy tummys and a feeling of Christmas cheer.

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Home and onto the main event. The decoration of the tree. Eleanor’s first Christmas,of course this had to be a well documented event. We spent the evening decorating the tree together, hanging decorations as we shined them around Eleanor, trying to introduce her to the idea and concept of Christmas. The tinsel came out to play and I spent some time trying to get Eleanor to grab the tinsel and play with it, she was more interested in her songs that were on the television than the tinsel but I’ll keep at it.

The lights were thrown around the tree and turned on and the Lego train set was put in its place at the bottom of the tree. What’s a Christmas tree without a train set? Especially a Lego train set! I’m not sure how long it will last with the dog running around and the overlap of baby supplies but we will see how we go. I’m feeling optimistic.

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Decorating aside, having had put the tree up, we spent time playing with Eleanor as she babbled away and told us stories. We sang songs together in the form of nursery rhymes, we danced around a little, played with soft and cuddly toys and the tree decorations. I’m super keen to have as much family interaction time that I can with my family and to introduce Eleanor to all of these special events such as Christmas. We had a really lovely time, there was so much fun and laughter from all three of us.

I live for the beautiful gummy smiles that Eleanor gives. Right now, we are seeing so much more of the smiles and hearing her tell stories as she interacts with us. The light in her eyes when you play and interact with her. I wonder what she thinks or feels. I hope she knows just how loved she is. I’ve never been more in love than I am with her. To see the world through her eyes. Ah, my baby.

I know that at just four months old she will not be able to grasp the concept of the holidays and the whole festive spirit but it would be wrong not to try and introduce her to the fun and teach her the ways. I have always loved the Christmas period, I think that this was inflicted on myself from my Mother over the years, she always made Christmas so special. I aim to do the same as she has done for me with my family. After all, what is Christmas without family and a whole lot of love?

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We finished the day with a festive evening spent cuddled up watching movies on the sofa with a hefty helping of popcorn. Jingle all the way and Hacksaw Ridge were the movies of choice before heading off to bed for some big sleeps. I think we definitely deserved the long lie that we had ON Sunday morning. It’s a busy life with a new baby to care for, I tell ya. This mana is tired.

The whole day was so great and to have the time as a family to spend enjoying all of the good things in life is so precious. Family time is the best time, I love it being the three of us and it’s a shame that we can’t get more time together than a few hours of the evening and a Saturday.

It’s certainly a busy life and I don’t know if we are headed for a break any time soon. I’m keen to embrace the time that we have together and to document as much of this time as possible for the times when we can’t be together, I can look back on these memories and smile. Family really is everything.

Hope that you have all had a lovely weekend and spent your time well with your family and loved ones. I wish you all a restful Sunday evening.

Keren x