Tag Archives: home

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

 

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.

When I became a Mother.

Ahead of Mother’s day, I have followed the trend of the #whenibecameamother having been nominated by a friend. This tag line got me to think about that first evening when I met my baby girl and held her for the first time. That first evening that I lay awake watching her adoringly.

The day my baby came into the world was and will forever be the best day of my life. Though exhausted, afraid and weak, my body pulled through and I felt the strongest I had ever felt. I now, have to be the strongest I have ever been for you and to lead the way as you reach developmental milestones and offer a helping hand when you have a set back, no matter how big or small.

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In the short time since becoming a Mother and taking on a role so powerful and rewarding, I’ve never had so many highs and lows in my life. Each day is met with a new challenge, some days trying to thrive with just a two hour sleep is testing. I always do my best and push on through as best as I can.. with the aid of around twelve cups of coffee.

In all seriousness, I love my new found role as a Mother and being part of a community of Mother’s all around the Globe. Here’s to each Mum and Dad out there, it’s a tough role to play and can be relentlessly hard from time to time. We are all doing the best we can and raising our children with hope and love in a world that can seem very unhopeful at times. It’s a scary place this world that we live in, and parenthood is a scary job. Let’s build each other up and support all the parents out there, through the struggles and the achievements.

Let’s recognise each other not just on Mother or Father’s day, but every single day. Parenthood should be celebrated and cherished. After all, bringing a child into the world is one of the best things that we can do. There is so much hope and love that surrounds a new baby, something so precious, so special. No other feeling quite cuts it once you hold your baby for the first time and feel all of the feelings in that moment. When you cry all those first happy tears mixed with excitement and exhaustion. Those whole first moments can’t ever be relived but they will stay with you forever.

Oh, Eleanor. Your first steps, I will be there. Your first words, I will be there. Your first sickness bug, I will be there. Your first heartbreak, I will be there. Your first let down, I will be there. I will always be there for you my dearest baby girl.

#whenibecameamother

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With this post, I wish you a very Happy Mother’s Day where ever you are around the World, let us hold our children close and raise a glass (or sip a mug of hot coffee – that is my jam). and while we enjoy our day, let’s share some love for every Father out there too. Who hold our hands when we cry, work hard to thrive and provide and glue the Family together with strength, support, goals and companionship.

 

Love, Keren x

Helping local business. A home photography session.

I recently stumbled across a photographer on the local Facebook blog page for Aberdeen City who was looking to take some photographs to help build her portfolio.

The post instantly caught my eye and before I knew it I had sent the woman a message to request photographs of my baby girl, now six months. We had some photographs back when Eleanor was two weeks old so it would be great to have some at six months as a memoir of this stage in her life.

Time is so precious right now, we wanted to capture Eleanor in her essence as much as possible and in as many ways as possible. Her wee face changes each day and her personality grows along with every little change.

The development is so rapid to catch Eleanor at every stage and every milestone can all be quite the challenge to keep up. We thought with some semi professional photographs in and around the home,we could mark the six month period with some true prints of candid moments. An opportunity much too special to refuse.

I was a little anxious about this as the photographs take place in the home, with us just having the one bedroom, I feared there would be a lack of space, however, the photographer had mentioned this would be no issue. We arranged for a Sunday morning session to be booked and set a date to meet.

The session lasted around forty minutes and we all felt so at ease. I wasn’t aware, I had to get in the photographs too, had I known, I’d have wore something more elaborate than a grey tshirt and sweat pants! Too bad. The main focus was on Eleanor and any photographs I was featured in, I found a way to hide away.

The photographer (Eni) was so lovely and happy to be around us in our family home setting, she made sure we were all at ease. We got some shots in the lounge and the bedroom with only the aid of natural light. Eleanor was in a great mood with high spirits which made for an awful lot of great posing.

I found being at home rather than a studio was much less posed, more candid and caught us in our essence. The photographs caught moments, precious moments, not just standard posing which can be typical to studio photography.

Below, I’ll share some of the shots which we now have copies of to treasure forever and mark the six month milestone. We now have a special momento to keep forever of this stage and reminisce. We are so thankful for the shots and how we were captured together at home. The images turned out to be perfect and we can look to have some prints framed of the favoured images.

I was sceptical with this just being an amateur shoot and how our prints would turn out to be, more over anything we just wanted to help someone out who was looking to build up a portfolio, I didn’t expect anything so powerful.

I didn’t expect so much from the shoot as it was just for portfolio building but I was intrigued to see the outcome nonetheless. I was shocked when I received access to the photograhs and just how well that they had turned out. The images were beautiful and caught every inch of Eleanor perfectly. Euan and I scrolled through the Dropbox files which such delight.

There is very little more precious in life than your own child and to see them grow is something so special I can’t quite comprehend. You fall in love over again each day and find a whole new appreciation for life and this little soul to call your own.

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The early Sunday morning session of photography at home has left we with lasting memories and lasting images which I can hold close. On days that I feel down or not so great about how life is going, you know, one of THOSE days?

I can look back on this day and reflect. I now have a constant memory to remind me to take a deep breath on and appreciate a the little moments in life. I will be forever grateful to Eni for the  images that she has created and presented my family with.

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No matter how tired, how stressed or how awful you can feel, Motherhood really is a gift and family is forever.

Images by Eni Groner.

 

Keren x

Sunday family baking.

Hey guys, first of all, I am sorry for being so inactive lately, I’d like to call the busy card but actually, I’ve just fallen victim to the lazy bug. With the dull weather, the cold and post Christmas come down, I’ve not been feeling too motivated. Can you blame me?

Back to it now, and to begin, I am back with a treat for you all. I’m going to share my recipe for cornflake crispies. A childhood classic and a favourite for any sweet tooth. I hope you enjoy and this inspires you to test out the recipe for yourselves.

It’s late Sunday afternoon, it’s snowy and dull out. With little to do around home and not wanting to venture out with our baby, we looked for some easy entertainment that we could participate in together and keep a beady eye on Eleanor too (who watched us faff around with such interest)

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(My wee Easter bunny**)

The answer was an easy bake recipe to mark the coming Easter period. Cornflake chocolate crispies, both homely and nostalgic for this cold and wet day.  Just the sugar fix needed to perk us up and brighten out spirits.

With the method so easy, we were certain there would be no risk of any kitchen drama, disagreement or even stabbing.. The recipe I have went with makes twelve crispies.

 

Ingredients:

100g cornflakes

100g chocolate (we opted for milk chocolate but you can choose what you please)

30g Raisins (optional extra)

Mini eggs to dress

50g butter

3 tbsp golden syrup

Cupcake cases

 

Method:

Melt the butter, chocolate and syrup in a saucepan on a low heat. Leave to cool.

Meanwhile, measure the cornflakes and raisins in a large mixing bowl and add to the chocolate mix. Mix well with a wooden spoon.

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Lay out paper cases onto a muffin tray or any sort of baking tray variation. Spoon the crispie mix evenly into the paper cases.

At this stage we dressed with mini eggs but you can choose any sort of topping or none at all. Place in the fridge to cool until set.

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Enjoy, Keren x

 

 

 

Things that go bump in the night.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Keren.

Learning to be thankful and lead a minimal lifestyle.

I will be the first to admit that I’m very used to getting my own way and getting the things I want. A lifestyle that tough to maintain and keep track of online orders. Lately, with a whole new family life, a rather large wage cut and a whole lot to pay out for, (ahem, adult life) it has made me start to change my ways, my habits and begin to live as quite the minimalist. A change of tune you could say.

I was never privelaged by no means. However, growing up, I was always provided for and gifted treats and shopping days. Nothing lavish, but enough to keep a gal satisfied. I had a whole lot more than some but always wanted more. When I turned 16 and began to work, I made my own money and got used to having little ties, a monthly income and weekly treats.

My shopping habits increased from odd treats here and there to weekly packages from Topshop. I didn’t care, I had no concept of adult life, bills, the cost of living etc. I took much for granted and lived reckless. Nights out, consuming too much alcohol, shopping sprees, cigarettes. You name it.

I dread to think of what i could have saved had I been more aware of the daily cost to survive in this climate and been less greedy. It was all too easy and made for temporary bouts of happiness. There is nothing that a new pair of shoes can’t fix, right?

Wrong. Since moving from home and beginning my own chapter in life, I have come to realise that the shoes in my closet don’t Infact bring any element of happiness. If anything, they are a danger hazard as they collapse from the wardrobe on a daily basis.

I suppose what I am getting at, is that I now realise how foolish I was to have such ludicrous spending sprees. No material will find you happiness, something I have soon discovered. Happiness comes from the heart, feeling good and a sense of well being. I’m trying to be more grateful of what I have, than cry over what i don’t have. I still have the ability to buy treats but I don’t necessarily have a need for treats any more. A blue sky and a dose of fresh air can provide so much more thought provoking feelings than any material item may bring.

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Treats are my family: My baby girl, my fiance. The life we build together surrounds me with hope and joy. Five years from now, I don’t know where we will be, I know we will have to work damned hard to get there and to live cautiously for some time in the process and I am OK with that…That is of course that I don’t fall victim to a shoe collapse and rot under a pile of black boots and Nike.

In all honesty, learning to be more frugal is a bit of a struggle. I am very used to having my own funds to spend freely. I have gone from daily shopping and trips to the store for some goodies to returning items to the shelf, making cuts where I can in weekly shops and letting online shopping baskets remain filled with items now “out of stock”

I miss the freedom of having no ties with money and having a lifestyle where I could get away with being a little lavish, treating others. Now, as a parent and a wife to be, there are more important parts of my life than shopping. Cutting past habits is tough and feeling the strain and the stress of money is tough.

Im working to find a better health and well being, a better balance and a stronger version of myself. So long as my baby is always provided for, my partner is happy, I shall be happy.

It is funny. Life really does change you when you become a parent. Everything is seem so differently. Worries grow, your mind works around the clock, you get by on a lack of sleep but most of all, your heart grows and you grow with it. My daughter has brought so much happiness and given so much purpose. I suddenly feel everything and every emotion.

I am most absolute in love, not just with Eleanor, but with Euan, with life. I am in love with our future plans,the idea of more babies, the thought of a new home, a new City. Life, there is so much on offer.

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As a child, I would always wonder why my Mother would always treat my siblings and I but never dare splash out on herself, now that I am a Mother, my perspectives have changed and my motives of happiness differ, I can understand why my Mother never put herself first. She was a Mother and a child’s happiness is what brings  happiness all around.

Today, I feel thankful.