Tag Archives: Family travel

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.

My anxiety for flying with my baby.

 

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Okay, here is the deal, I’ll admit that I’ve never been a great traveller, so much so that I don’t even drive my own car anymore. It gathers dust and I wait patiently for the day I can return it. I don’t know why I ever put myself through two years of lessons, each worse than the last and sometimes ending the lesson in tears. I pulled through, got my licence and have yet to put it to practice. The fear inside is too great to allow myself to get in the driver seat. I break out in a sweat and become so nervous that driving would be dangerous.

I get anxious while in the car, almost everything is a hazard, bus travel makes me nauseaus and causes me to stir in my seat uncomfortable, almost waiting for something bad to happen, I could never cycle and flying, well that’s a whole new level of fear. I’ve never been great with travel, from bad experience as a child and growing up clinging on to the back seats through my dad’s spells of road rage you can safely say that I’ve been put off.

I didn’t always feel this way with travel, I was never comfortable but the discomfort was never dear as such. At least not to the extent that I struggle now. There has always been an element of unease when I’m not on my own two feet but from my time being pregnant, this is when the anxieties really built up and public transport even became an issue.

I think this could be from a protective instinct. As a Mother, I want to protect my baby to the best of my power but when putting our lives into the hands of others, that element of protection gets a little lost and I become vulnerable in a situation that is outwith with my control, as does my child. So, how am I feeling about flying with my baby in just a few short days?

To be honest, I am afraid. I’m excited to get away and have a family holiday to make lasting memories and cherish the last of our time together as a family of three before my return to work. I’m excited to ring in Euan’s 30th birthday on a high and ensure that he has the greatest birthday he has had yet and I’m looking forward to a much required break and a little time to reflect.

However, with the excitement comes the fear and the anxiety. The last time that I flew was during pregnancy, I was just shy of 12 weeks pregnant and we were headed for Vegas, a surprise trip that Euan booked (long before the pregnancy news) . Though I managed and was safe, the flight was daunting. The plane was delayed hours with a technical engine fault.. Just what you need to hear before flying and the turbulence was so extreme that I’ve never known anything like it. Euan slept as I held on for dear life with tears in my eyes. When we got home, I was suffering with extreme sickness for a few days and had a spell of time off work. Blame the pregnancy all you want, I’m sure it was something to do with that flight home.

Though this time around we have a short flight and have chosen to sit together, I can’t help but worry. The feelings of the motion sickness come rushing back and I have laid awake for the past couple of nights worrying about the flight. I am well aware of the safety checks and all that go on before boarding but what happens up in the air is out of my control, out of anyone’s control for that matter and this scares me.

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I’m travelling not only with my partner but with my baby and it is my duty to keep her safe, I can’t help but feel that while during a flight, there is little I can do to keep her safe, all I can do is hope for an easy journey and for my baby to remain content for the duration. I’ve taken enough supplies to keep her comfortable and fed, I’ve got all the medical supplies that I should need and I have a few toys, teethers and books to entertain.

I am quite certain though that Eleanor will just feed and sleep for the most part, especially as she takes comfort from feeding and if she does feel uneasy she will feed herself to sleep. Or at least this is what I hope for. We will keep to her routine as much as possible so that she doesn’t become out of sorts or mix up feedings and meal times.

Why book a flight when you are afraid you ask? Well, during the time of booking I didn’t feel this way. I’m never a great travel companion but I always manage, I didn’t expect to feel this way so close to the trip. I expected the highs to outweigh the fears and uncertainty that could form. Unfortunately, there is no masking my fear of flying and general travel with my baby but I will get by. So long as I can keep my mind busy and try to become as relaxed as possible it will be okay. We will arrive at our destination before we know it and I will wonder what all the fuss was about.

Euan is a great traveller and tends to keep me sane. Without him, I’d never stray far from home, never mind trips abroad. I hope that Eleanor develops his good sense of travel and lust for life, leisure and fun. All too often I let my fears hold me back and miss out on new experiences. Something that I have come to terms with as I’ve grown and deal with but I’d not like for Eleanor to miss out on anything that she would like to do or to try. I hope she is as fearless as her Father but will always remain sensible and not venture too far from her comfort zone.

Has anyone else out there flown with a young baby before? If so, how did the trip go? Have you developed a fear of travel or had your fear grow since you have become a parent?

I know that I may be being a little sensitive and Iver protective but as a Mother I feel it is my duty to remain sensible and responsible. I am responsible for my baby and I wish no harm come her way, or anyone else’s way for that matter. I just fear that when the situation is out of my control I get a little (a lot) anxious and my mind wonders, it can wonder into places and thoughts that I didn’t even know I had.

I’m off to stock up on some herbal calms and magazines for the flight. Anything that can help relax me and distract my mind the better. I’m sure come Wednesday morning the holiday mode will get turned on and any worries will fade away into the background, over shined by the thought of some precious family time in the sun. If all else fails, flights still offer wine, right?

Wish me luck, I’ll be sure to update you all on how we get on. I’m switched to holiday mode and the blog has to take a little break so that family time can take the top spot. Headed for some down time in the sun with my lives. Speak soon,

Keren x