Tag Archives: Tips

Life in the fast lane.

_20180707_215439.JPG

Right, hello you bunch. I’m going to get real in this blog post and share what’s been going on with family life the past few weeks, there’s a lot to get through and I must admit, I’ve been having quite the time of it all lately, a time that has been overwhelming and most definitely stressful. My patience tested and my sanity questioned. Wait, what sanity?

Why is it that everything comes at once? It seems the past two years have been non stop, from passing my driving test, to a pregnancy, becoming a Mother, an engagement and now a move? I laugh that we have done this all in the wrong order, we are all muddled up with our relationship path and direction. Finally, it’s all coming together but the thing is, how much longer can before I burn out?

Trying to find the balance between being a working mother and spending enough time with not just Eleanor but with my partner too all while trying to keep up appearances with my family and friends can really be a great challenge. With Eleanor being so young and demanding such full on attention, I hardly have time with my partner, never mind any self time to just sit back and relax for a minute. If im not chasing after her every move, I’m trying to settle the constant wails of the dreaded teething. It’s tough, nothing really prepares you for welcoming a child Into the world and the challenges you face can get to be too much from time to time.

I amaze myself with how many times I have to repeat in a day “mummy just needs a minute” as I try to unload the dishwasher or give myself heartburn from having to shovel lunch into my mouth so fast. Yes, life with a baby really is life changing, believe it or not, it is true what they say. Even now, ten months on, I find a new struggle with every waking day. There is no day off, but would I have it any other way? Of course not. This is life now, and no matter how tired, how stressed and how unglamorous, I am living my best life with the people that I love.

Long gone are the weekends spent at the pub with friends or the endless shopping trips with my Mum or even just taking some time to enjoy a hot bath and a wine. Life has turned upside down and unfortunately time doesn’t wait for nobody. There is no catching up, all stations are go and on a 24/7 basis.

IMG_20180630_152223_172.jpg

Onwards and upwards though, and I’d not have it any other way. I mean, as much as I’d like to belive that I miss the partying, the friends that would come and go and the tireless walking around the shops I don’t miss it. Not for a minute would I change my situation, I can’t imagine ever not having my Eleanor, life before her was non exist ant. Sure, there are parts I’d do differently but that’s all part of learning and the journey into Womanhood, into Motherhood and my past mistakes make me grow to be stronger than ever and rise above issues (or crumble to the ground in a pile of tears – depending on the hormones).

With some further exciting news, the past week in our household has been filled with excitement, nerves and anxiety. We have recently received word of our application to rent a new property going through and depending on the status we take after a viewing we can move immediately. The property has two bedrooms, a balcony, and en suite. It provides us with the extra space that we need for our family right now all while being secure tenancy which means we can move without the worry of being left on the street at any time. The properties are not far from where we call home and ideal for a utilising as a family home for the future. Though not a forever home, it provides us with the steps we must take to get to that stage all while it buys us time to save and time to grow.

With the idea of a move to a family home, a fresh start all very exciting and new, it does bring a great deal of sadness and anxiety. I mean it’s great, yes and it is what we were working towards, only we thought we would have more time on our side. Walker Road has provided us with so many good times, it will be very hard to part ways but with everything in life, you have to move on and grow. It’s time for our family to grow into a new home, start over with a new chapter and really embrace those precious family moments.

IMG_20180628_091759.jpg

The surrounding buildings are full of families which will be great for bonding and making friends, Eleanor can grow up with children her own age around and can have the space she needs to express herself and play. There is a play park and a spacious area of grass where Fern can run around and play too. The homes look direct onto the river, a phenomenal view on a blue skied day. Everything we could want, need and more is in the palm of our hands, when we can let go of now and move on to a better future, I think our quality of life will greatly improve. After all, they say that change is good.

It is a busy time, but we can get through it together. A move, our babies first birthday, our wedding and honeymoon all coming in before the Autumn months arrive, time will fly. I have returned to work part time to get a break and to enjoy some adult company, to be my own person a few hours in a week, only it seems I’ve ended up with less time than I’ve ever had before and a lot less unsure of the person that I am. Go figure?

With all the nerves and the excitement, the fear of change and the huge lifestyle choices we have had to make, it really can become overwhelming and I’m looking for ways to still grab some time out for myself while I can, before I do lose my mind.

A coffee trip to mull over my thoughts alone, light breathing work to try to stay calm and practicing some basic yoga moves to stay focused and remember to remain positive in every situation, no matter how exhausting or stressful. To have a calm and a clear mind will always be better than having a mind filled with a tangled mess or worries, fears and stresses.

I do struggle to remember to breathe with all the crazy sometimes but I’m trying to remember to focus and keep a clear mind as with this busy period in mind, a clear head to think and a positive outlook is all very important. I like to reflect good vibes for myself which keeps my spirits up and can be especially good for Eleanor to pick up on.

IMG_20180628_084743.jpg

A busy time for sure but with the move becoming finalised, the wedding done and dusted, I’d like to believe we can move on as a family and work toward a better future for ourselves with time. Together we are able to do whatever we put our minds too and there is no right or wrong direction. We are going to go with the flow that life drives us in and to see the future with an open mind.

aaaand, breathe.

Tell me, how do you relax when times become all too much?

Keren x

Solitary sleep and the attachment risks with an infant.

Co-sleeping, am I doing it wrong?

Hello all, I’m onto a new subject matter today. One that is quite important for myself. For those for who follow my blog, you may have read my post about co-sleeping with my newborn and the uncertainties that I had with this issue. With this being a big issue of mine, I decided to do some further research into the topic to find out more about the pro’s and cons of co-sleeping. I’m ready to share my findings with you.

_20171107_162928

The act of sharing a bed with your child is said to lead to horrible results, this can include entitled and clingy children. However, with new research surrounding the topic,  there’s no evidence of this and studies have shown that bed sharing has been linked  with independence, less thumb-sucking and cognitive competence.

Independence is not something I actually had thought about when it came to co-sleeping and to now know that Eleanor could become independent through co-sleeping is great news as independence is very important and I want her to be able to rely on herself and grow to become a competent individual. Other studies around the subject have found no differences between children who bed share and those who sleep alone.

This should mean the question is left up to individual families to see what works best for them. Phew. II worried that I was n the wrong and not giving my baby the best chance so finding research that proved my theories wrong has been a pleasant surprise and put my mind to rest. Sure, I don’t want my baby bed sharing with us when she is past six months of age but for now, it’s good to know that keeping her close is causing no harm or affecting her development.

I find that bed sharing is just so much easier for myself, for the family at this time. Especially while breastfeeding, it is super convenient and makes the night feeds real easy and not a stressful event. I find that co-sleeping also soothes Eleanor. If I put her down alone, she can become very unsettled and upset which can be upsetting for myself to see, it really does break your heart when you see your baby cry. It is helpless. I have read that recent studies now show that with breastfeeding and bed sharing through the night, the shared contact with baby is essential for their overall development.

I thought that bed sharing and co sleeping was unsafe for my baby and feared for her safety but research has shown that bed sharing is perfectly safe, it all depends on the surrounding environment and the circumstances. I’m happy that the environment I share with my baby is fully as safe can be and she is secure at all times.

Perhaps, I’ve shot myself in the foot and come six months the transition for our bed into her own will be very difficult and trying but for now, co-sleeping works for us all and is what my baby needs.

I will continue to bed share until we hit the six month mark where I am then happy to move onto the next stage and get Eleanor sleeping alone in her cot. I have many tricks, reading material and good advice for getting to this stage and prepping my baby girl for solitary sleeping.

I’m sure if we take the right steps for us, get into a good feeding and bed time routine/pattern, we will get to the stage of solitary sleep and begin our next chapter as a family. Until then, I’ll embrace all of the night time cuddles I can get. A baby is only a newborn once after all and time is precious.

Baby steps, right? 

 

Lots of love, Keren x

 

 

My top five beauty picks for Winter.

Hello you lovely bunch. I’ve decided to do a post on some essentials I’ll be using this Winter. I have chosen to share my top FIVE picks with you lot. Now, don’t say I’m not kind.

Yes, it’s that time of year again. The days are long and dark, weather is cold, and the natural forces are ready to take their toll on our bodies. I love Winter and the whole Festive period, I can even deal with the darker days, what I don’t love about the Season is the condition it leaves my body in. That red raw, runny nose,chapped and sore lips, dry skin and dull hair. Sound familiar?

Well this year, I’m prepared. I won’t succumb to the cold. I’m ready to face it with some top products that I have been absolutely loving.

I have set out my top winter essentials that I use religiously each day and night with a little review of each product. I do hope you enjoy.

Simple hydrating moisturiser

I’m a big fan of the simple skin care range and always have been. It’s inexpensive and perfect the perfect match for my skin. As I have dry and sensitive skin I have to be careful with the products that I use.

Anything can bring me out in a rash or wash my skin out. I used to love Lush face masks and scrubs but my skin doesn’t take to them anymore and they bring me out it a sore rash. Especially since pregnancy, my skin has taken a turn for the worst, seldom products give me any protection without causing problems.

Trust me I’ve tried and tested a lot of products over the past year and Simple came out on top each time. Even beating the skin care professionals Clairns and Clinique!

All while being a great, kind to skin moisturising lotion it doesn’t break the bank either. Great if you are on a budget.

Simple is great and leaves my skin super hydrated with a dewy glow. Some days, I just slap on simple and a little concelor and I’m good to go. It’s hassle free and works wonders on my dry skin.

The body shop lip balm.
Born lippy

I used to be more of a lipstick gal and would wear anything from nudes to the most bold of brights. A MAC lipstick was my go to, I was forever rushing out on pay day to buy a new shade from the store. A purple lip was a night out essential.

I’ve recently toned down my look from day to day and now favor the more natural and dewy look for my lips without the need for lipsticks. Now that nights out have become a thing of the past, the bold colours have been stashed away.

_20171108_144706.JPG

I love the body shop and the range of lip balms which they have. Cruelty free too! The lip balms leave my lips super hydrated and protected not to mention that they smell good enough to eat and come in gorgeous packaging. You will catch the eye of others with one of these beauties. I’m not kidding.

I’m currently obsessed with the strawberry stick balm in the born lippy range. It has a slight pink tint to add a colour pop to the lips aswell as smelling delicious!!keeps lips hydrated perfectly for up to five hours without having to re apply. What more could you want?

Benefits Benetint (a classic)

I’ve favoured Benefit since I was around fifteen. The products are gorgeous and there is such a wide range. Something for everyone. Products are well worth the price tag as they last for such a long time. True classics.

During the Winter, I’ll be using my benetint for my cheeks and lips to give my face a little perk of rose. You can apply this in layers to build up from a light coverage to a bold red stain. Perfect for being on the move and taking you from day through to night as it’s quick and convenient to apply.

I love it and favour it all year round. Here’s to those party ready rosy cheeks and pouty lips this Winter.

L’Oréal Elvive hair serum

_20171108_144636.JPG

I find that the cold and harsh Winter days play havoc with my hair, especially having recently gone lighter, my hair needs a little extra protection to save it from drying out.

This serum is a God send, I use two drops morning and night and I’m good to go. It really makes my hair feel lighter, draws out any knots and adds a little shine. What’s not to love? In an instant I have super glossy locks.

Scent – Miu Miu

With a new Season comes a new scent.

I love this perfume by Miu Miu, it definitely comes with a price tag but it will last forever and in my opinion is worth the cost. All you need is a little spray and you are good to go. The scent hangs around all day long with no need to top up. Perfect not to mention easy convenience.

I’m loving this scent for Winter. It’s a little spicy and makes you feel super warm and cosy. The new Season calls  the time to mix up your perfume to something a bit darker and heavier than the sweet Summer scents of florals. I love floral and girly scents but with the darker days, I wanted something a little heavier. For me, this is the perfect go to. I have met my Winter match. Of course I have a few others on my hit list to buy. I’m looking out for a classic Chanel next. For the moment though, I’ll stick with this. What is your scent of the season?

_20171108_144619.JPG

I hope that you have enjoyed this post. I thought it would be useful to share some of my beauty picks for the Winter months. What are you using this Winter?

Keren x

 

Coping with acid reflux and colic. How do I help my baby through this helpless phase?

IMG_20171018_143617_036.jpg

For some time now, I have discovered that Eleanor had developed reflux. This began as silent probably at three weeks old and was quite difficult to diagnose. However by eight weeks old this soon developed into a more serious form of acid reflux where during and after feeds she would swallow relentlessly and become rather sick and thrash herself around in pain. This would be followed by comfort feeding which only added to the sickness and the pain.

A lose, lose situation you could say. One that there is very little coping mechanisms to help get you through.

Reflux is something which I’m sure no parent wants to see their baby experience and something that no parent actively wants to go through. The long days, the sleepless nights, the worry and the stress. Reflux is horrible yet it is simply passed off by health care professionals and as a parent you are told that it is a phase and that it will pass.

I was informed that with breastfeeding and burping often during feeds this can eliminate the issue, to feed little and often and to keep baby upright. Some ideas that would perhaps help to eliminate the issue and clear the reflux.

I have worked a lot on focusing with each of these methods. My baby is breastfed and has been from the get go. I keep her upright as often as I can and keep her upright as she feeds most of the time, I burp her religiously and most of all, I try to prevent her from over feeding. Not always an easy task to take baby away from the breast when she uses it as a source of comfort. Breast or no breast, be certain that she will cry. and cry. and cry.

Sigh.

Reflux and colic may just be a phase but when your baby is experiencing that phase and the troubles that go alongside it’s more than just a phase. It becomes so much more. No matter how common this may be, it’s horrible to watch your otherwise happy baby girl succumb to the discomfort and cry on repeat as she thrashes around and throws her arms all over. Grabbing and scratching.

The pain, the sickness, being unsettled and unable to rest easy, it’s not just a phase, it is everyday life and the pain it brings with it is real. It can be a struggle to cope with, especially on an extremely bad day. Reflux can affect everyone in the household. A few hours of a crying spell and baby wriggling around in discomfort, I tell you, It feels more like a lifetime and that it will never pass.

At first when the reflux was not so bad, we began to try infacol to help settle Eleanor, this alongside a good tummy massage would seem to aid her digestion and chill her out.

We began massage classes from ten days old and worked with techniques that help with colic and reflux in babies which has been helpful and beneficial for our family and my baby girl but there is only so much massaging that you can do and this doesn’t escape the underlying problems. She would settle to begin with but it would never last and after a few weeks of the infacol and massages, we decided to move on to something which I had heard worked miracles for other parents. Gripe water.

Gripe water is a herbal supplement which contains dill seed oil and can be taken from the age of four weeks old in babies, administered up to six times in a twenty four hour period to help relieve wind, colic and teething pains.

I believe that the water did help and it certainly allowed Eleanor to pass wind and burp well which did allow her to settle and get periods of a good sleep without much disturbance. However, once again, with a few weeks of trying this, of using gripe water the issue became noticeably worse and sickness was becoming more and more recurrent. We asked a local pharmacy if there was anything that we could use to give her but they did not provide much information and we were told that we could not give Gaviscon until Eleanor was one year of age. We simply had to go to the GP, who had already written reflux off as just a phase.

Eleanor was in even more distress and wouldn’t even lay down for a nap, if she napped she was interrupted by the discomfort of the reflux and would let out continuous small cries and whines as she slept. Arms would still be getting thrown about and she would try to wriggle her way to a better position that would provide more comfort. Eleanor cannot be laid flat or she will cry until picked up. I’ve found that she has to be kept upright and even having her flat in her Pram is a no go.

I’ve switched from using the Pram to get around with to a three way baby carrier that I slot her into and carry her on my chest as I explore the outside world. She seems to get relief from being kept upright and will eventually settle in this way, it must be soothing for her. If I don’t have the carrier strapped up, I tend to walk around the home with her in my arms and talking any sort of rubbish until she falls asleep and I can put her down.

This does mean that between breastfeeding and the unsettling, I have Eleanor attached to me almost 24/7. This can become extremely exhaustive and does take its toll. I do miss having some free time and having a little freedom but have come to terms with the fact that for now, this is how things are and that free time, me time is not to be taken for granted. Even catching a cup of coffee for five minutes before she begins to fuss is precious.

The past two weeks, reflux has become a very big problem and the sickness comes during and after feeds alongside the thrashing around and the crying. Or screaming rather. This has been horrible to witness and being so helpless there is little that I’ve found myself and Euan could do as parents. Sure, we walk around and talk with her to try to bring a sense of calmness. We massage her tummy until our hands are about numb and I allow her to comfort feed providing it helps to soothe her but really, there is no quick fix and nothing takes away the discomfort that she is victim to. I feel that reflux has robbed us of a happy little baby girl, she cannot be happy or even settle for any period of time as reflux causes too much distress. To watch her hurting can be overwhelming and induce my own tears.

Of course come years, she will not remember this time and how she felt or suffered but I certainly won’t forget and just because she will have no memory of this, does not make it acceptable to leave untreated and wait for the phase to pass.

With this notion and the sickness in full swing, I got onto the GP again and have been prescribed Ranitidine to administer to Eleanor. A medication that is used for intestional issues and stomach ulcers. This is also used to help adults as well as babies and infants. Ranitidine is delivered three times per day and will hopefully offer relief and long lasting results. I believe that once given the time to get into her system and kick start it’s work this should provide relief within an hour of each administration. I’m going to remain hopeful that this will help.

I’d do anything to have her out of this discomfort and allow my baby to settle. To be able to enjoy this time as a new family of three without the stress and the pain of reflux. To be able to get to know my baby girl properly, and to see her smile more often would mean so much for us as a family.

Right now, when I catch a spell of smiles it could bring me to tears, all too often I am used to seeing my baby grimace from pain and scowl. I want more baby smiles from my sweet girl and less tears. I don’t want her to have the discomfort of reflux and I want to be able to begin to form some routine and build on good habits to develop over time.

With colic and reflux, there is no routine. You simply have to go with what works in the moment and what gives relief of crying fast. I’m looking forward to winning back a little free time, some time where I don’t have Eleanor attached to me constantly, at least not while she cries helplessly. I’m hoping for us all to try and catch good sleep for the first time in a long time and I’m looking forward to moving on from this spell of colic and making happy memories as a family that we can look back on and enjoy. I want my baby and my family to be done with this horrible “phase” and to move on with nothing but joy.

If you have had a similar experience or are experiencing the same with your baby, please, share your thoughts. Share with me your tips and tricks. Is there anything that worked for you specifically and your baby? Do you have any suggestions that I can try with Eleanor? I’d love to hear your feedback and I’ll look to take on board any help that I can get for my baby.

Lots of love x

From breast to bottle. My baby can’t bottle feed to save her life.

The time has come where my baby is now seven weeks old. I am over having her feeding from my breast all day and through the course of a whole night. I am ready to have a little bit of freedom back. Some me time again, as far as that goes as a new Mother.

With a few events coming up, the festive season approaching there will inevitably be occasions where I might just fancy that glass of wine. Hell, after a long and trying day where my patience is pushed to the limits, I’m ready for a good glass of red.

I have began to express my breast milk. I use the medela swing electric pump, it may have cost me a small fortune but if it allows a little time and freedom back into my life, it’s a small price to pay. Maybe now, I can hoover and get the household tasks completed without having Eleanor feeding on me at the same time. Or perhaps I can sit down and eat meals with both hands once again. Rather than trying to eat with one hand whilst holding Eleanor in the other, all while spilling whatever I am eating down her front.

I have found that expressing is going great so far. The only issue is finding the time to express but when I catch a quick half hour I, go for it. I tend not to over do it and stick to five ounces at the most which I share between two bottles. I have tied feeding her just an ounce but I have one hungry little lady and this was simply not enough. Especially as she comfort feeds.

Since introducing a bottle into our routine – or lack of routine that the problem is, Eleanor will not feed from the bottle. Hungry and angry she becomes too fiesty and will not settle down for a bottle.

It is near impossible and heart breaking to watch as I try force her to take the bottle as she rages on and has tears rolling. She gets too stressed. When I finally get the bottle to her, she cannot or will not feed from it. Milk from the bottle runs down her neck and spills over her bib and baby grow. I don’t know if she even gets the taste of milk from the bottle. What I do know is, is that the milk running down to her neck makes for one smelly little lady.

I have been trying and struggling to working on bottle feeding, as she will have to know how to feed from a bottle, it’s quite important. Not so much right now but as I will be returning to work, I cannot feed her around the clock all of the time and it is important that she can feed from the bottle and be fed by others. It will too be good for her own sake and building her independence. Right now, she depends on me.

It takes much patience and can be extremely testing when she screams demanding her fill of milk yet shakes off the bottle and refuses to feed. All while thrashing around and trying to gef to my breast. Wether she knows how to or not, I don’t know but I’m starting to lose the will to live with the bottle battle. It is draining for all of us and I get upset when I see her so upset. I know it’s a case of persevering and tough love but if I can find a method to help and make feeding less of a struggle, I’ll take it!

We are trying to have Dad do the bottle feeds, she won’t smell the milk from him and it is a good excuse for some Father and Daughter bonding, the struggle is still there though. Trying to feed from Dad or anyone else for that matter is still mostly a losing battle and by the time she settles to take the bottle, she has tired herself out and is falling asleep, missing out on her feed.

I’m currently using Avent and Tommee Tippee bottles, these hold just five ounces at a max and are nice and small. Easy to hold onto. I don’t know if the teet on these is not right for Eleanor and her demands. Especially as she is coming from the breast as her only feeding method.

Is there another bottle that would suit better? I’ve trolled online for answers to which there are plenty. There is so much information available online it is almost overwhelming and hard to know what is the right option for myself and Eleanor is. I think it will a good few rounds of swapping bottles and brands but if I can find the right brand and the right bottle to suit, we will get there and it will become second nature.

I’m on the hunt for tips and advice from mums who have been through the same or may even be going through this now. What bottles are you using? What tips can you offer to this new mum?

My baby cannot feed from a bottle to save her life and the battle that we have each day when I try to feed her from the bottle can get too much. I am ashamed that at times I do have to give in and give her what she wants – the boob. I end up disappointed with myself but when you are tired, frustrated, and feel you are getting nowhere, sometimes the only road is the easy road.

Does anyone have any idea or experience of this and can they suggest a specific method? A certain bottle to make for easy feeding times? Do I persevere and wait for time to take its toll, hoping that time will help the issue, wait for Eleanor to grow a little and have a better feeding ability?

Will I be breastfeeding my baby until she is twenty years old? Trust me, at times it feels this way.