Tag Archives: travel

An Easter Bonanza.

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Boy am I tired. It is just past 830PM, Sunday and I am already tucked up into bed with Eleanor asleep next to me. I tell you, I don’t think I’ve ever had such a busy weekend in all my years. Trying to squeeze in visiting, birthdays, lunch dates and a whole host of other activities, all with a teething baby is not easy going.

I hope this post isn’t as dark as my previous. I am generally in better spirits this past week than  I have been, with holidays approaching and a general need to keep busy, I’m happy to say that I feel a little more like my old self. Long may it continue, it’s really time to enjoy the days and the moments that I have and share with family, there is no time to allow sadness to consume my thoughts.

Easter weekend started on a high, Friday night Euan had finished up work for the weekend and we had a wee Easter egg hunt around the home after dinner. Just a little bit of fun that killed a half hour and followed by a glass of red with some chocolate of course.

It wasn’t a late one as we had an early start on Saturday morning. I recall managing around three sips of my wine before retiring for the night. Days have changed, that is a given.

Saturday morning,  we rised bright and early (thank you, Eleanor) , got ourselves breakfast before heading out on a very, busy day. A bank appointment in the morning to open our first joint account.. Hello adult world. Followed by a drive through coffee stop while heading out to Stonehaven to visit our nephew on his birthday.

We said our hellos, passed Eleanor around and best of all, unleashed our inner child and played with all of Toby’s toys, train set included! Saturday afternoon at it’s finest. I really do enjoy visiting family, I find that you always leave feeling happy and refreshed. With so little time for visiting and seeing everyone that we would like to, it is nice to preserve that time and just enjoy being in the company of our family and loved ones.

Our nephew had a wonderful day and was in great spirits, full of excitement on his birthday which was lovely to see. We stayed for around two hours and headed home for a spot of lunch. A brief pit stop before doing the holiday shop which felt like a bit of a supermarket sweep. There were tantrums,  tears a plenty and there were moments where I was close to pulling my hair out. Have you ever had a domestic with your partner in a supermarket? My stress levels through the roof and patience thin.

Saturday afternoon as mentioned, called for a trip to the Boots store to gather holiday supply’s for ourselves and Eleanor. We needed to gather some bits and bobs to add to the suitcase, general health supplies really with some baby food pouches just in case. I can now happily say that I’ve finally packed my suitcase and I am ready to engage holiday mode and relax knowing that I have got all I need from my list. I am as organised as can be, on paper. That doesn’t mean come the trip this will be the case, I am sure there will be some bumps In the road. For now, time to zip everything up and forget about the enjoy the next week of chilling before we head off on an adventure.

In the evening, with it being such a crazy day we decided to grab some chips from the chip shop and have a glass of wine, the desire to wind down and have an early night was insane. What a busy Saturday, I don’t think we caught five minutes of chill time between us! At dinner, we had a bit of a shenanigans – the cherry on top, I believe. Eleanor projectile vomited her dinner all over and we require a full strip off and good hose down of the kitchen and ourselves. Yuck. With the stress of cleaning up a kitchen full of sick, to the teething woes and the days hustle and bustle, we gave up all hope on a sophisticated dinner.  Chipper chips drowned in vinegar and wine would have to suffice. Boy did that do the trick and there were no complaints.

Come Sunday we woke feeling far more relaxed and chilled after a good sleep. It was early doors again as Eleanor wakes around 630AM but this was okay as we had a fresh start and a second day of running around. In the morning we got ourselves sorted to head out for the day, with a trip to the Carmelite to pay off some of our wedding function  to kick start the day nicely. It is always a good day when we take a trip to pay some more wedding off, I suppose it gets the excitement flowing. With less than six months to go, we had better get making plenty of trips with payment or nobody will be getting their dinner.

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ZaraAfter this, we headed up to the local shops and had a nosey around the Disney store and of course my all time favourite, Topshop. We had a wee haul and then decided to grab some lunch, it was a nice day and the sun was shining. This called for Mackies ice cream parlour, it was Euan’s call and lunch was on me, an early birthday treat.

I opted for crepes with banana ice cream, smarties and peanut butter sauce, Euan went with a waffle, lemon ice cream and chocolate sauce. All very delicious and filling. If this wasn’t an Easter treat, I don’t know what is.

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I suppose you could say that we were rolling all the way home. Thank goodness that I had the pram to push and use as a support aid. On our travels, we stopped by the Waterstones store to get some holiday reading material then carried on our walk home in the sun. We definitely got the best of the good weather for a change.

Again, a non stop type of day, when we reached home, we did relax and wind down for a while before nipping out on a lidl run to grab nappies come evening. I wasn’t feeling too great,  call it a sugar crash or fatigue, I do not know but one thing is certain, I was done in. After some cheese toasties (with a side of pasta) for dinner, I called it a night and went to bed.

Although a poor sleep and a general feeling of unwell, today marks the beginning of a new week. This week my goal is to relax as much as I can to prepare for the pending holiday which I am sure will be pretty full on. We have a day up at my Mum’s tomorrow with little else on the cards. If I am lucky, it will be a week of napping, gallons of coffee and trash TV. Hello pawn stars repeats!

I Hope that everyone has had a lovely Easter and made time for family and room for some indulgence. Treating yourself once in every while really can make all the difference to your mood, besides who doesn’t love a sugar fix? I am off with Eleanor to nap, enjoy your week whatever you may be up to.

 

Keren x

Fighting feelings; mind over matter.

Storm in a teacup

Before I even begin to write this post, I already feel an element of guilt, concerned by how my words may come across. I even feel bad about thinking these thoughts and sharing them on a public media platform, for others to read and share. However, from the beginning of my blogging journey, I have always been open and honest, accounting each day, each moment as honest as possible. Every emotion, guilty thought or happy time, I write it all down and share this with you no matter how dark, I dig deep into my thoughts and I pour them into my writing when they are fresh and raw in my mind. My thoughts are very real and brutally unforgiving.

You know, I recently became a new Mother, something which came as a surprise and a very big shock to the system. Whoever said that all babies do is eat, sleep and poop lied. There is a grey area in between all of theses stages, an area that is not so simple to define.

Motherhood, its a whole different ball game to anything I’ve ever experienced, there are no rules and it can often be isolating. Yes, a baby is a breath of fresh air but the newborn phase doesn’t last forever and the bubble must burst at some point. With that, a baby can be a slap to the face with the force of a tornado when a storm is already brewing.

Is there ever a good time to fall pregnant and begin a family? Is there ever a good time to say goodbye to our own lives, our own person and to step up and become a Mother?  I for sure have lost some of my old self with this new transition, I don’t recall much of the person I was before ‘Mum’. A part of me will always miss the child free days, the days where I had time and I had personal space. I could do as I would please and had no routine and I was in control. I feel I have ventured into this journey perhaps too soon, there were things I had hoped to achieve, places to see, places to live, before settling to family life.

To admit struggle feels as though admitting defeat. To speak up and hear myself aloud say and write all of the thoughts from my mind, makes the struggle feel very real, makes my thoughts come to life, to be true and not just tucked away in mind. I’m going to get down to it and talk about my struggle with Motherhood and becoming a new Mother working to find a balance that seems non existent, working to fight a battle that seems endless, working to provide what she can’t provide physically or mentally. To be there not just for her baby, but for herself and her partner. Fighting the good fight against a healthy mind and wellbeing, if there is such a thing as a good fight. I struggle to know how I should feel or what I should feel.

When I discovered that I was pregnant in January 2017, I cried. Not tears of happiness, tears of fear, of unwillingness. I was not yet ready to be a Mother, my relationship was new, could it withstand a baby? I had high aspects and prospects for myself, I wanted to achieve and create but with the discovery of a baby on the way, I had to put on hold everything I wanted for myself, to try to be less selfish and more patient with my body and to wave goodbye to parts of me that now seem so distant. I was afraid, but I was optimistic and open to the idea of a baby. Family is everything right? A baby is all sunshine and rainbows… right?

To become a Mother and take those first steps into family life is one of the most powerful things that we can do. To create life, to raise young , to love and to nurture. It’s almost what is expected when two people come together in union, it is only a matter of time before we procreate. I can only wish that I had more control with when that time would be. I wasn’t ready, I still don’t feel ready and fear I never will be. I was barely finding my feet, how can I be expected to guide my Daughter to find her path?

Becoming a Mother has changed me in ways I can’t describe, not all good. I have become reborn as a lesser version of myself in some ways. I feel deprived of social interaction, I feel a great deal of isolation and loneliness and I no longer resemble myself in the mirror, I no longer even like to look in the mirror. With this, there is the counter argument, I may be a less version of myself but I have never been able to love as I do now, I see beauty in things I hadn’t previously and I have learned that the little things in life, have the biggest meanings. My baby has taught me how to feel and Motherhood has/is a whirlwind of emotions,skyscraping highs and rock bottom lows.

I find flaws with myself more than ever now, flaws that are much planted much deeper than the surface. This may be because I am set to lead by example and want to lead the best example I can but I fear that I will never feel good enough, not within myself or as a Mother. There will always be someone who can do it better. I shouldn’t compete with anyone but myself, I know this but from time to time, Motherhood and my lack of self awareness can all get on top of my mind, especially on those days that have been particulary testing. I should be kinder to myself, I know this . I hope that I am a good Mother, a good friend, and  lover.

I felt very alone during my time of pregnancy often, this is something which hasn’t changed, I guess it is part of my reasoning to blog, to find a community of my own and to connect. Loneliness can be quite harrowing, it brings with it a great deal of anxieties and worry. It’s not all magic and rainbows that surround a new born and Motherhood is tough. I’d say I find it very tough, especially in my situation..an introvert with a lack of social skills, and a great deal of OCD and horrific mood swings. With Motherhood there are feelings of worry, of isolation, of fear, defeat..they take over and consume my mind. The highs and the lows, I go through it all, every day.

My baby is not exactly a breeze to care for. Eleanor cries, relentlessly. She is a breastfed baby who will not take a bottle, who seldom gives me a break and cannot be left alone for screaming. I have to co sleep as I have previously shared.  This is not something which bothers me greatly as at least this way we all get a nights sleep, but it does affect my relationship and I miss having the closeness of sleeping next to Euan. Often, we are left on the outskirts of the bed as Eleanor stretches out in the middle. Talk about a bum deal.

This may seem funny, but please understand that I must take Eleanor to bed for 10pm each night, week night? Weekend? Yep, EVERY NIGHT , wether I’m tired or not, wether I’m busy or not. I have to retire early and can’t stay up to watch a show or have a mini date night with Euan. Co sleeping and breastfeeding have left me robbed of alone time with my partner. I know that I may be at fault of this, my decision to breastfeed at the beginning meant I had to be next to Eleanor, she fed compulsively and to catch any sleep at all, I would have to take her to bed next to me and sleep while she fed for comfort.

To battle with a screaming baby who only wanted comfort from feeding at all hours of the night with severe sleep deprivation was just not plausible and I had to take the easy way out, or in my case, the only way out.I too have to function daily to provide the best care for my baby that I can, to do so, I must rest. I will never feel guilty about my decision to breastfeed or co sleep as it was the option available to myself and the best one at the time, I do have regrets and would have liked to do things differently, get better habits in place, sure, but I don’t have guilt.

When you lack time for affection with your partner it can cause strain, and you do tend to forget about one another when a baby is thrown into the mix..not literally. Tensions arise and bickering occurs. It is tough to get the right balance and share time together as well as with Eleanor. Our relationship is on the back burner for now, we are more like colleagues just trying to get the days work done, than we are lovers. We are passing ships, it is sad and the reality does hurt. I miss my partner and I miss the alone time that we have previously shared. I can’t help but fault Motherhood for taking away precious time that I could have  with my partner. I do wonder if we had waited, got pregnant at a later stage, if I didn’t breastfeed, would we have had a happier baby and a healthier relationship?

Please note that I feel guilty that I think about this and I know that had I got pregnant later, there would be no Eleanor , I can’t see life without her. My little fireball of strength and emotion so pure. My Daughter has brought me life and a reason to be better, I feel guilty that I ever want to have a little alone time without her. She is mine and she deserves nothing shy of my best, my full attention. Some days, I feel I don’t have this to give and that can hurt.

Motherhood isn’t to be taken light, there are worries, there are boundaries that get crossed, the stress..the social anxiety that I have developed.. It can all get too much and there are days I don’t even want to get up and face the world never mind the list of chores to catch up with (seems to grow over night!. They don’t call Motherhood a full time job for nothing,.. if only it came with a salary. I can’t face the outdoors alone most of the time lately, a trip to the shop can feel like climbing Ben Nevis when Eleanor is in her Pram screaming blue murder and passers by or fellow shoppers pass looks my way. This happens often, most of the time if I am alone, I choose to stay indoors to avoid the blood pressure hike. I choose to settle and admit defeat. Can you believe I am twenty five years of age and a baby is ruling my life? Not something I thought I would ever be contemplating at this stage. I miss the freedom that I once had.

There are days that I don’t want to have to sit and try to play or entertain my baby when I lack the energy to do so. Okay, that’s a lie, I love to play and interact with Eleanor..but there are days when I just can’t do it. I don’t have the energy and I can find myself sitting in the floor just staring blankly into space as my baby lays on her change mat trying to catch my attention, some times with tears rolling. I sit and feel nothing in a trance like state, completely numb to the sounds or any sort of feelings. I ask myself what is wrong with me, how can I not be bothered? I snap out of my trance and rush to grab her as the guilt washes over me. How could I ignore her? I scoop her up and give her endless cuddles and know that she is mine and I am OK.

I know just how fortunate that I am to have been gifted with my girl, my beautiful, fiery girl, the girl with a hot temper and full of charisma. The girl with the smile I will always look for in a room first. I know how much love and hope that she has brought my way. Believe me, I know.. the sparkle in her eyes when she catches a glimpse of me could reduce me to tears some days. The smile she pulls each morning she awakes next to me. Each day she teaches me to love a little more, to be a little kinder and to grow more patient.

Each day I am thankful for this little spark of life that I carried and grew, this little soul that I can love and nurture to my best efforts, this little girl who has stolen my heart and taught me more than anyone ever could in such a short period of time. Each day, I wonder how I can feel so empty from time to time yet be surrounded by so much love? I struggle to know how am I supposed to feel right now, some days I feel everything, others there is nothing and I wonder if I am doing this whole existing thing well.

I wonder if I ever will find the pure magic of Motherhood, if I will ever be able to have and hold it all together as some do and I wonder if I will ever be able to feel truly at peace and comfort as a Mother. I hope that as time passes I will become more at ease with myself and my abilities. I know that I am a good Mother, I know my baby is loved and healthy, she is happy, nurtured and safe.

Honestly, you couldn’t find a baby more loved, it surrounds her and if I could, I would like to keep that love with her throughout her whole life. I want for her to be protected and sheltered, forever safe in a bubble of love. To never feel pain, loss or hurt..yes Motherhood brings with it a fierce need to protect and believe me, I will protect my baby for the rest of my life with all my might, it is my job and a privilege to be able to do so.

I just fear that with having to give so much of myself away to my baby, to others, to searching and finding a whole balance that seems unsustainable I will have nothing left to call my own. Nothing left of myself for myself but an empty and broken shell.  Those empty thoughts, empty feelings will take over and consume me and my mind will be swallowed whole, only functioning on a form of auto pilot with no real thoughts or feelings left to give or to hold sacred as my own.

Some days, some days where I am a tired, anxious and a broken shell of myself, I feel that I have lost everything. I feel that Motherhood came all too soon and with it took parts of myself that I fight to find. The feeling of emptiness and loneliness are feelings that I have to fight. A battle with my mind and a sanity that is on edge.

No, Motherhood has not brought me everything that is magic, Motherhood is so much more than I could have ever imagined and it is more powerful than anything I will ever experience. The emotions are raw, the exhaustion is real and the task of raising young and supporting a family is tedious. The want to do better is constant, the feeling of judgement is ongoing and the fear of doing wrong, of simply failing is all too real. Motherhood brings not just happiness and sunshine, it can bring a bitter pill to swallow and a new reality.

Motherhood has brought with it pain, it has brought worry and it has brought defeat but it has also brought a determination to do better, to be better. Motherhood is a force not to reckon with and so long as I can put up a good fight, I think that I can overcome consuming thoughts and find my happy place between all the chaos and mess. I’m fighting the daily fight for me, for my baby, for my family.

Babies first… Mother’s Day weekend.

Can you believe the time of year already? I am shocked at how rapidly time is passing with this new year, as we enter those Spring months. I haven’t seen much of Spring yet, though.

Snow, rain, sleet, wind..yep..the Beast from the East got that lot covered but no hints of Spring which is a little disappointing. Here is hoping that the flowers begin to bloom and everything starts to become a little brighter. I’m so ready to be over with the Winter, to pack away the heavy duty clothing and to see the World come to life once more. I’m ready to regain the spring in my step and to watch the lambs bound around the fields nearby.

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March marks the month of Mother’s Day, an occasion that is celebrated all around the World and for good reason. March brings with it my little Sisters birthday, Females all around celebrate International Women’s day. but most importantly, March also brings to us Mothers, Mothers day. May we celebrate the women in our lives, praise our Mother’s and feel a sense of pride as we Mother our own young. March is the month of girl power, for sure. An incredible month for celebrating strong women all around.

This year round, I had the privilege to celebrate my first Mothering Sunday which I will share the details of with you. My little bebe is now six months old and in her short time with us, I’ve never felt happier. Eleanor was meant to be mine and brings with her a daring amount of responsibility. She is a privelige to Mother no matter how tough some days can be.

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My journey into Motherhood has not been easy, I’ll never deny just how tough I’ve found this time. I had a difficult labour, the cluster feeding left me feeling drained, we’ve had the crushing effects of colic and reflux, a needy baby who wants to be held and will not sleep alone or even be left in the care of anyone other than myself without a drama. I battle with a feisty, breast fed baby every day who refuses a bottle point blank and screams each time I put her down or into her stroller. I can’t get a out alone often as it’s not worth the battle or the cries that do not end, it beings too much stress.

I have to go to bed at 10pm each night wether I like it or not. I cannot watch any movies or cuddle up with Euan, I have to lay in bed awake and nurse Eleanor to sleep. I could stay up, but she will scream, it doesn’t stop. Don’t even mention control crying, we have tried and I can assure you, there is nothing controlled about it.

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My little Eleanor, my Snugs, is full of personality, full of strength, full of temper, charisma and might. Each day with her, I learn more about myself than I could ever imagine. My baby girl has taught me true love, she’s taught me patience, she’s taught me a sense of compassion and flexibility. She’s taught me how strong I can be and how amazing the human body is. Not only do I teach her, but she teaches me.

I couldn’t be more honoured or grateful to be Mother to such a strong willed little girl. It is an exceptional privilege to hold her, to nurse her, to love her and to see the love and the pureness in her eyes as she looks at me. I only wish I could see the world through her eyes.

To watch her grow will be a whole new level of amazement and I’m sure there will be many challenges to come. After six months of playing Mum, I am now confident within my Patenting abilities (to an extent) and I know that as a family we can over come any challenge together and move forward through each stage.

It’s been a busy weekend celebrating and I can finally catch a break to have a coffee and write a post. On Saturday, I headed out with the females of the family for an afternoon tea to ring in my sister’s birthday. Saturday was pouring of rain and cold, I was dropped off by Euan and I met with my Mum, Sister, Aunt and Cousin at the City centre and we then headed off to the chosen venue for our tea and a catch up. Euan went to the cinema as he waited for us to finish and got us back home after. Eleanor was with me also, though sleeping in her stroller.. this didn’t last ten minutes once we got to our seats.

We went to the Carmelite.. our Wedding reception venue, only I didn’t make the call to go here, it was my Sister’s choice. The hotel was busy with parties of Women and families, I assume celebrating Mother’s Day. The table we were placed at was rounded and made for easy communication. The tea/coffee was served promptly and we all dined on a variety of sandwiches, cakes and scones. Lush.

I had a veggie option and had tomato sandwiches, a small mug of soup and snacked on the sweet treats. The variety on display was great and we all had plenty to choose from. My Sister had a great time and that was the main thing, it was her day after all. Eleanor was a grouch, mot untypical of her right now with an ear infection and teething. Nothing would settle her when she became feisty and tired, not even a feed. I had to call it quits and leave a little early.

Though most of my time was spent trying to entertain Eleanor and stressing over her cries, I still had a lovely time and it was good to catch up in a setting away from home.Besides, I am a sucker for an afternoon tea.If you haven’t already guessed, coffee and cake is my kryptonite.

Come Sunday, I woke in a great mood next to my two best friends in the World. Happy Mothers day to me! We had morning cuddles and took it easy before heading out for a latte to kick start the day. The sun was shining so we grabbed our dog Fern too who happily obliged to come along for the walk. I do love a slow paced morning where there is no rush and no plans to commit too. Just me and my family against the World.

We got back from the trip and spent the afternoon doing chores while working through a Wedding song playlist which we have created for the day. We will have no DJ or live band but can play music from our own device freely. With the wedding just months away, we decided to get going and create the playlist to have ready and adapt if necessary.

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Late afternoon, we headed  to Tesco to grab flowers before going up to my Mum’s house for a second birthday tea. Only, I left empty handed as the shelves were stripped of any flowers. There was nothing left, it’s a good job that I had already gifted my Mum with a print or she may have been saddened by this outcome. At Mums we had a full table of snacks and goodies, Mum always goes all out on a Birthday, no matter what age,

This time there was a huge cake for the taking. Homemade carrot cake? Don’t mind if I do!! We all tucked in to juice, snacks, pizza, egg rolls.. you name it. I’ve definitely gained the lbs this weekend. Thank god for breastfeeding and the magic calories it burns, otherwise I’d not be able to maintain a slim frame. Eleanor played in her bouncer that was set up and was happy to be passed around for cuddles..until she became grizzly and wanted nothing more than milk..typical. My Grandad had a hold of her and she burst into tears! Drama Queen.

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Heading home we left with a full tummy, a full heart and an even fuller bag of goodies that was packed up for us, courtesy of Mum (a serial feeder). I always love to spend time at Mum’s with my Brothers and Sister, it brings a sense of nostalgia and I always feel at home, it is as though I had never left. It is comforting for me to be back in my comfort zone and childhood hang out, only in very different circumstances. I love to see my Family with Eleanor and interacting with her as she grows, the more that I age and grow, the more precious I believe family to be.

Back home, we created the last of our playlist and had a brief listen before I went off to bed with my baby for a big sleep. A weekend well spent brings a week of content. I have had a superb, family packed weekend where I was certainly not shy of love. A truly great first Mothers Day and I look forward to many more years just like this, if not better.

 

Keren 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

 

 

 

Home is where the heart is. Valentine fantasies.

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Good afternoon guys! Okay, I admit that the title of this post may seem misleading, I best correct myself before setting you readers up for disappointment. This is no fifty shades of grey theme, you can keep your pants on. I am keeping things clean and talking about fantasies that as a family we hold for the future.

It is shrove Tuesday, pancake day as it is better known. A day to celebrate and eat my favourite food and just to mix things up, I recieved a Valentine bouquet from Euan a day early. With my favourite food day now combined with Valentins, I can only assume that this ought to be a good day.

I have woke on this day to some beautiful flowers delivered and a day is planned out with the main ladies in my life, my baby, my Mother and my sister. Galentines! With that in mind, I am feeling optimistic, high on love and plan to share with you bunch some recent topics of discussion in our household. Home is where the heart is.

Opportunities, higher wages, better quality of living, the great outdoors..we all strive and crave more. I mean, there has to be more to life than a 9-5 dead end job and British weather. Surely? There has to be a key to finding a happy work/life balance all while finding peace of mind too?

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We aim to find a place to reside that will bring us better prospects to raise a family and a place we can live minimally with access to a large variety of activities and opportunities. I would love to have three children one day, i grew up in a busy household and want to bring that chaos into a family of my own. A large family would mean a big move and many changes so that our children would have the best start that we can offer.

We hope to find a location with good education, health benefits and a healthy lifestyle, vitamin D on the occasion value for money and homes that we can only dream of. The grass isn’t always greener, no but in our circumstance,  we have nothing to lose in all honesty.

We dont seek much, nor do we have crazy expectations, we just crave a change that will bring something more, I don’t think it is wrong to want better and to do well and I think a fresh start would be welcome. I think we all want to start over from time to time. This time, we are willing to work to make that happen. No more pipe dreams.

During recent talks myself and Euan have decided that we wish to move away from home to raise our family. It’s been done many times by people in both better and worse circumstances and ther are plenty of success stories with regards to big moves with many folks saying once leaving home and finding settlement elsewhere, they have never looked back.

A move of any accord with a family is no small task, the way we see it, go big or go home. We have much research to do in regards to finding the right place for us to settle and see our children through school but with the information that is out there and the help available online, I’m certain we can come to an informed decision with location and area planning.

Once we are set with a base, we can then further explore our options and expenses. We can get estimates for the money we require to save and work our butt’s off to make life happen. I certainly feel it is time for big changes and a new climate. There is so much to life and this world away from this City.

As a family, we want and encourage new adventure, we want to live our best life together. I am sure all this planning and saving will be no easy task and bring plenty stress but together with the hopes of a better future in mind for ourselves and our family, we can achieve anything we wish.

Persevering and patience is key so it is a good job that I have left Euan at hand to do all the dirty work and the researching. I don’t cope so well with being patient, I only end up frustrated and upset. We don’t have time for that with all the planning and prep that must be done. I’ll simply take a back seat and advise on this occasion, the easy ride. No pun intended.

The Valentines hype has had us in a wee love bubble and brought us to some thoughts and new hopes. We have been thinking about our future and all that family life will hold, it has us both feeling motivated and excited which has led to this post and thought sharing with you all. We dont know where will be be five years from now but we have a plan to find a new place to call home and claim residence for the benefit of a happy family life. After all, family is the most important gift and to grow together with an ever flourishing relationship is what really matters. Happy Valentines everybody.

To you and yours, love always wins.

 

Keren.

Searching for baby day care as I prepare to ‘let go’.

The time has come for me to let go of that ever precious newborn stage and begin to shop around local nurseries to utilise when my maternity leave comes to an end. This is not something that I carry lightly as obviously, I wish for my baby to be in the best hands possible. If I didn’t have to return to work and could spend my time dedicated solemnly for her, I would.

Unfortunately, I don’t have the luxury of being a stay at home Mum, I have to go out to work to earn money and continue to lead a comfortable lifestyle and offer the best that I can for my baby.

Besides, as much as I would love to stay in my baby bubble forever, in order for Eleanor to grow and become independent and strong I need to get over myself and get back to it. To regain a healthy work/life balance.

Plus, I think I need to regain some sanity soon as spending my days alone and chatting to my baby has let this young mind get a little hazy and lost. Even more so than previously. I swear mum brain is a thing, a really bad thing.

My memory is not the same as it once were and I struggle to out sentences together some days. Wether this is a lack of a social life outside of those four walls or sleep deprivation, I don’t know. Regardless, I must return to work and live my life again. Come four months time, my spell of nine months maternity leave will be over and reality has to kick start. Staring with returning to work and having Eleanor into a care routine.

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I’m well aware that Eleanor needs to start living her life and interact with other babies of her age to learn from them. I can’t offer her everything that she needs on my own and I feel that interaction with other babies and children can only benefit her development and personal growth. I can imagine she will come on leaps and bounds from the day she steps into her first nursery session.

With starting back to work in the pending months, I thought it best to get stuck in early and begin the search for a local nursery that will cater to our needs. I wanted some place close to home and close to my Mum’s all the same, a care centre that provided healthy and home made meals, introduced plenty of play and interactive activities with support from staff around the clock.

I hope to be return to work for three days per week. My Mother will care for Eleanor some of those days and the other days, she will be on the care of a private nursery. I’d happily have my Mother watch her each day I work but I deem it unfair for my Mum as she too works and I would hate for her to struggle with Eleanor on a bad day then have to get ready to go to work in the evening for a twelve hour shift. That isn’t fair.

With that thought, I decided to look local and check out a nursery in Cove Bay. Close by and handy for my Mum should she do the pick up run for whatever reason. I went to view the nursery and meet with staff to get a better idea of the daily running of the centre and the care that the children receive. I must say, I left really pleased with what I seen and the information I received.

There are several rooms for the children, three outdoor play areas all of which were spacious and there were staff around wherever you looked. The manager met with myself and gave the walk around tour with the appropriate information and answered any questions I had. There is a kitchen on site where both a vegetarian and meat option of meals were cooked and snacks were home baked goods with limited salt, sugar and fat content.

I was really pleased with the whole home made food consensus and with Eleanor going to raised as a vegetarian, this too was perfect as it would suit her dietary requirements and I could be at ease knowing she was getting a healthy meal provided. I can’t stress just how important healthy eating is to me and I want my baby to be well catered for with a wide variety of healthy and nutritional foods.

I actually caught feeding time during my visit and it was good to see that the staff were at large and sat with the children, helping to feed when necessary. I also discovered that if Eleanor is still taking her milk, I can provide the nursery with breast milk for her and they would store a supply to give her as she wanted. It was really nice to see how the staff cared for the children and that the meal times were well organised and ran smoothly.

The nursery also has an online journal that is updated daily and gives parents the opportunity to check on what their child has been up to each day and of any news that is new to the nursery. There are day trips out to the local community and local parks and the children are encouraged to go out and play together.

Getting out is something which I too find very important and part of a healthy and active lifestyle. I’d hate to return to work and think that my baby was couped up inside all day, I do not feel that would provide a full release of energy and I imagine come time, Eleanor will be full of plenty of energy!

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I felt really content with the nursery and the whole running of it. I liked that healthy food was provided with plenty to choose from, there were staff at hand and the children can play outdoors and get on trips. It makes the day a bit more exciting and offers a little fun for Eleanor. The opportunity to meet and play with other babies will be real great for her and help with learning life lessons and her personal development,  such as sharing and kindness.

I have opted to register Eleanor for this Cove Bay nursery for the days in which she is not at the care of my Mum. I looked online for reviews and input from Mum’s for many nurseries, Clive included and this certainly came out near enough the top of my searches. I’m unsure where I will return back to work, the days of work I will be offered and what days my Mother can care for Eleanor but I’m happy and feeling a little more settled now that I have found a nursery for her to register with and attend for some sessions each month.

The nursery offers morning and afternoon sessions as well as full days, I think that to begin with, I may opt to have her attend for around three afternoon sessions per month. This will give a better idea of how it will all pan out before committing to any set plans and full days or weeks of care.

I will get to know how she is coming on with her sessions and if they are worthy for her development. If I were to think that her development was being hindered, I’d have to then rethink my plans and look to find a new replacement nursery.  However, I think that this could be a great day care centre for her and I felt really happy with my insight of the building and staff.

I’m thinking of it more as a taster right now, before devulgung in and going for full days right from the get go. I’d like to break her in easy, if not just for Eleanor, but for myself. I imagine waving her off to her day care will be a very upsetting experience. My baby will be growing up, drifting a little further from me to allow herself room to grow and mature into her own person.

Before attending her first session, parents are encouraged to meet with the staff and create a personalised profile for their child. This means that the staff will try to cater to your child’s needs and each child is seen as an individual with their own choices, strengths and weaknesses. The nursery work on the strengths and weaknesses of your child and allow them dedicated time to do the things which they favour. Your child isn’t seen as just a number, they are allowed to be their own person and encouraged to be the best version of themselves.

I think it is something quite powerful yet saddening when you send your first born off to nursery care. I know I will feel an element of guilt that I can’t be there with her each day forever and I will definitely see tears but it will be a proud moment all the same and I can’t wait to watch her grow into the most perfect little human.

I know that I still have time to cherish and treasure with Eleanor for now as she is only just five and a half months or twenty two weeks if you’d rather. I’m due to be back to work for mid May but will stretch it out to June if possible through use to annual leave. I’m desperate to hold onto the time that I have with her. I don’t want to let go. This is the first time and only time I will ever have with her to myself for such a long period and I’m not ready to wave goodbye just yet.

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Waving goodbye to baby will be tough and finding routine again – another new routine will take time. My return to work will be such an emotional rollercoaster. I will be once again, stepping into the unknown and I won’t have my daily companion by my side, she will be in day care or with her Grandmother and I don’t know how I will cope being at work and not at home raising her by myself.

It’s a daunting feeling that will hang above my head until the end of my leave period but I am certain that I have found the right day care for her and knowing she will be well cared for puts me at ease (a little). I’ll have to stop myself from calling my Mum or the nursery every few hours to check up on her,i just know it. With time, I’ll adapt as she will and it will get easier.

Until then, I’ll just hold her close for as long as I can. Unwilling to say goodbye to the newborn stage and those first months, those first moments that are, oh so precious.

Has anyone recently went back to work after having a baby? Any coping mechanisms for this new Mum who is afraid to let go? I feel guilty and fear to be leaving her,  I don’t know how I can work to get over this fear and just embrace this whole new and ever changing lifestyle that I have taken on?

This family life. My family life. My family.

Keren x

 

The hunt for the perfect dress. Diary of an unconventional Bride to be.

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I’m a self confessed shop addict with a love for the High Street. I favour the likes of Topshop, Urban Outfitters, ASOS, Mango and Free People to name a few.

My wardrobe and clothes drawers are bursting at the seams and refuse to close, this is no exaggeration and I boast a collection of probably around sixty dresses in a variety of shapes, styles, prints and colour. All hanging on top of one another in a big mess of clutter.

The thing is though, I’m all for casual wear and dresses you can team with boots, or trainers taking you from day to night. I don’t actually have a clue about wedding dresses or dressing for a wedding. Heels are also a no go, I own countless pairs as I can’t refrain from buying them, aren’t they gorgeous? but,  I can’t walk in heels to save my life. It’s shameful really.

A wedding dress, It’s never something I had plans for or thought about. I’ve never had the illusion of my dream dress float above my head. I didn’t expect I’d ever marry so I didn’t have to worry about the planning aspect that comes with a wedding or decision of choosing a dress to wear. Formal wear let alone Bridal wear is an unknown territory to me and where I know what styles look good on me causally, I don’t know what to picture myself in as a Bride.

I thought that I had the perfect dress tucked away but one look from my Mother’s face and I was instantly uninspired with it. With that notion and a look I will never forget, the hunt for a dress began. A new dress that I will be keeping all to myself until the day comes to get up and put it on. If I were to go by different reactions to different dresses and styles, I’d never settle on one that I like. It’s too off putting having the input of others.

Now, this is something not to be taken lightly. Where I want a small and intimate wedding event with a mere few family and friends, I still wish to wear a dress that flatters me and my personality but without the expense of a bridal dress. I want to look pretty and wear a dress that I can feel good in, a timeless item that I can return to and wear again and again. Much alike Keira Knightley and her wedding gown, only I won’t be rocking Chanel couture (and I don’t look like Keira either, sigh).

A wedding dress is certainly a dress that you want to remember for the rest of your life, hold so many memories of the special day each time you look at it. Now, that leaves big shoes to fill for any dress you buy that follows. Wether full on gown or simple pencil dress, it has to be perfect for me and our special day. I don’t want to look back in dismay for the dress I wore.

I’m a fashionista, I love clothes and putting outfits together, it comes easily to me and I find it fun but with the whole aspect of wedding dress hunting, I am struggling. I can’t find a dress that suits my shape or style.

A long gown is too long for my petite frame not too mention a little too formal for an otherwise informal ceremony. I think long gowns or long tuelle skirts just make me look frumpy and awkward. A short gown on a bad leg day could be a disaster and leave me looking more like a sausage roll than a glowing Bride. Not ideal.

Tuelle can be difficult to style and if you buy cheap, it looks cheap. A dress too white could look well, too white yet a dress with colour poses an issue with what flowers or shoes to match with, patterns can be too busy and aging. I don’t mind mis match, in fact, I quite like putting fabrics and patterns together that clash but for this day in particular I just want something that is one all over style and is easy to dress.

Two pieces, I like but it’s finding the perfect two piece. A satin skirt with a sequin crop? Too glamorous. A paper waist midi ball gown skirt and a cropped cardigan? Too 1950. I have seen real nice two pieces online from searching but the price can be crazy high, I’m excited to find the right style for me but I am not easy to please on this one. I don’t want to pay more for a dress than my whole wedding day, that would be silly, I’ll take the expensive shoes instead!

A drop waist I do like but the wrong style of drop waist could leave me looking shapeless. You have to be careful with length with a drop waist. So here is my issue,you see? What does the modern day Bride wear to her informal wedding day?

I don’t hold a budget specifically, but I don’t want to be paying crazy money for a dress that I may never wear again. A dress can be just as special without the price tag. As soon as you search tag with the word ‘Bridal’ you see prices increase.

I want something different yet acceptable to wear as a Bride, I don’t want too much glam as I’d feel really silly, it’s just not me. I need to wear something that feels like ‘me’ only a slightly more formal vision. I’ve scrolled Debenhams, Ghost, Zealand, ASOS bridal, Etsy and more.

So the hunt continues to finding the perfect dress. So far, I’ve returned two that I have been unhappy with, and I have two on order, waiting to test out. With that said, onto the next one, and the next one…

and the next one. Wish me luck, let’s see what I can come up with in the coming months. Here’s hoping I can find my dream dress and don’t end up looking like a glammed up sausage roll. Here’s to hours of hunting.

Keren x