Tag Archives: holiday

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Signed and sealed. Our first family holiday has been booked!

22158112_346803399104363_471383024492085248_n Booking a family holiday , or any holiday for that matter is always super exciting and brings something to look forward to. Last Sunday, we set ourselves the challenge of finding and booking a family holiday – our FIRST family holiday. Squeal.

Euan was set the task of finding someplace that we could all enjoy, a place to relax for a week and take that ever important time out together, just the three of us. Now, we usually enjoy a City break and holidays that involve lots of activities and walking however, with a baby in tow this time around we had to keep it tame. We didn’t want to be exploring a big City with a baby quite yet. As much as I am taken by Rome, Budapest and all the popular European destinations, we fought against it and opted for a more sensible approach.

The thought of pushing a stroller through big crowds brings a great deal of anxiety, going to the local shopping center on a busy weekend with a stroller is bad enough. The carnage of a busy City would have been too much and we want to have a holiday that we can enjoy and remember. It will be our first family holiday after all and I am all for making memories.

DSCN0231 Having ruled out a City break and anything too manic we decided to look towards finding a package holiday, someplace suitable for families with facilities for a baby, an all inclusive food package just in case we can’t get out and explore too often and local places to explore. Of course we looked to find a hotel with a good pool and evening entertainment too, I suppose we will be spending the most part of this holiday in a complex, lazing by the pool. Taking our time in no particular rush. Hell, that is fine with me. A break will be so welcome.

 

We researched the typical package holiday destinations; Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Malta, Majorca and finally we came across Paphos; a small harbor town with lots of ancient history in Cyprus. A destination neither of us have been to. Having explored the area online and read up on hotel reviews we took the leap and made our booking. Cyrus had us sold. Paphos, a family friendly area not too far from the airport hitting around 23 degrees in the month of April, not too hot for a baby yet not too cold for us either.

There seems to be much to do in the surrounding areas and a lot of interesting history, if we do get out to explore a little we have a choice of activities to choose from, Turtle bay, Pafos Zoo, visit a local Archaeological park, take a trip to an ancient Monastery. The list goes on therefore we won’t be stuck for choice. I also ensured that there was a local shopping mall close by, who doesn’t love to shop??

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We will be staying at Mayfair Gardens hotel, a three star holiday destination that supplies us with all that we were looking for. We didn’t want glitz and glam, we done all of that back in Vegas at the beginning of the year. We simply wanted a clean hotel in a central location with a good choice of entertainment, a sizable pool and some scenery outwith the complex. Having checked out reviews on trip advisor and holiday sites, it seems most travelers were happy with their stay, that is good enough for me. When it comes to holidays, I don’t make a fuss, I am simply happy to be away from home and taking some time out.

The holiday is set for April 2018, just a little over six months from now and we couldn’t be happier. It is timed perfectly for being away when Euan turns 30 and celebrating the end of my maternity leave from work as I will be due to return to work in May 2018. This holiday is to celebrate 2017 and 2018, there is so much for us to celebrate right now, 2017 has definitely been my year and I only hope that 2018 shapes up to be just as great. Passing my driving test, becoming new parents, getting engaged and Euan reaching the milestone that is 30.. it sure has been a busy one and will continue to be so. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

DSCN0241 Travelling abroad and enduring a five hour flight with an eight month old may be a bit optimistic on our part but people do this all of the time, it cant be that bad, (can it?). Even if we don’t have a great travel experience, it will be something to embrace none the less. We will never get this time back as the three of us and to make the most of each moment and each day as it comes, good and bad, is so important to me, to us. After all each day is a learning experience and we each learn more and more about one another and our baby girl as the weeks go by.

This holiday may be our last for a very long time as I will be back to work and we will be looking to try to save as much as we can for other commitments, it is so important to take what may be our last trip for some time and live it up to the full. I am certainly ready for a week in the sun, taking some well deserved time out with my loves and drinking the ice cold pina coladas that I crave by the pool.

I may not be beach body ready quite yet (or ever again for that matter) but I definitely feel that I will make time pre holiday to squeeze in some all important holiday bikini shopping. An essential to any beach holiday.