Tag Archives: Mum blog

Valentine’s Day planning.

Before leaving on a work venture for the best part of January, Euan surprised me with news of a Valentine’s weekend trip to Glasgoe for some shopping, live music and good food. Perfect, I was..I mean,I am delighted.

As a couple, we love Glasgow and make time to visit yearly. It’s a City where we have so many memories and essentially fell in love in the first place. From drinking grappa at Jamie Oliver’s, to karaoke with strangers in a pub I’ll never remember – we always have a blast whike visiting.

Visits these days tend to be more tame than a wild night out but it suits our lifestyle just fine. We enjoy dining out, having a browse of the shop selection and going to music gigs. In this instance, we are off to see CHVRCHES which I am really excited for. A long time fan since the first album, I’m hoping for good things and have high expectations.

My Husband is pretty good with booking gigs for us to go to and even more so with his hotel selection, we’ve not stayed anywhere terrible yet and we have stayed lots of places over the years. I’m really keen to go back to Glasgow once more and look forward to catching up with all our favourite spots and shops (ahem, urban outfitters).

A trip away just the two of us on the most Romantic weekend of the year will be perfect. It’s so important to take time out together and remember why you fell in love. It’s nice to be able to get out from Parent duties, let our guards down and get a bit of time to relax and enjoy a nice cocktail or two.

To eat alone while at a restaurant without having to pick up spoons from the ground, wipe food from your clothes or have your child pull at your hair in a plea to escape from the high chair is something to take full advantage of. We don’t often head out for meals at home as the reality of having a toddler and sitting out to eat, is not a very pleasant experience. You rush food, you get stressed and all bothered and to be honest you leave wondering why you ever thought it would be a good idea, or at least on my case this is how it goes.

As we head to Glasgow soon , I’m looking for an insight on restaurants to try, pubs to spend some time sitting in and even cocktail bars to sample if the mood takes us! I don’t know how we will work out way through everything I would like to do in just a short twenty four hours but, I’m keen to give it a shot and make the most of the time we have.

Who said I can’t drink ten cocktails In ten minutes? Right? Well, that said I can barely drink one in a hour so yes, ten would be a push but who knows, of I’m feeling it, I’ll really make a go of it. Anyway, any recommendations of haunts to stop by for a nice meal or some leisurely drinks please do send your recommendations my way, I’d love to hear them.

We like anything quirky, something with a spin to it and a relaxed but plesant atmosphere. Nothing too busy nor too loud (I am not a teenager anymore and crowds bother me). Certainly no place where you spend half an hour queuing to get your orders in, we don’t have the time for that.

Here’s hoping I can pull together a light intinery or magical places to visit and enjoy some live music in the flesh. What’s on the cards for your Valentine’s Day?

Keren.

Making conscious changes; Life with anxiety and IBS.

Hi guys, I thought I’d share some information with my general health and a recent diagnosis I’ve had after several years of discomfort and flare ups. It’s been a confusing ride and trying to read what your body is trying to tell you isn’t always easy, especially not when every symptom you have, Google seems to diagnose you with cancer or heart failure. Real nice, huh?

Anyway after way too many weeks of suffering and losing sleep over horrifying Google searches, I booked in to see the GP and get some answers. It was decided that I have IBS, something which so many others suffer with and runs through my family. My diagnosis really wasn’t too difficult as I have most of the tell tale symptoms of IBS so when going to the GP , I already had a good idea of what was going on but wanted to be certain so that I could treat this best as possible at home and make the necessary changes to help improve my situation.

A diagnosis meant that I could stop stressing uneccesarily over my health and perhaps be able to sleep at night rather than lay awake worrying if I’ve had a heart attack or have tumours growing, not exactly great for my anxiety levels and definitely doesn’t help with the fatigue I suffer. With a diagnosis I can now commit to proper plan of action to battle the bloat and improve my health. What was suggested was to follow a low fod map diet – avoiding certain fruits, vegetables and gluten and to eat a healthier diet. I eat well generally speaking but I am ready to improve myself and do better in order to tackle my stomach troubles. Anything to get rid of the dreaded bloating.

Around three years ago I was on a gluten free diet as I had trouble with bloating, stomach pains and cramps but I was never diagnosed other than by myself. I ate gluten free and mostly survived on porridge oats and fruits, salads and gluten free pizza. As a couple, myself and my Husband tend to eat well and excercise a lot through walking. Euan has recently been diagnosed as having a gluten intolerance so I suppose we are on a similar page with regards to health and at least we can help to guide and support one another through this and live a gluten free lifestyle together . I suppose this does make the weekly shop a bit easier (if only more expensive). When Euan first stopped gluten, I was curisng him as it was a run around trying to think of meals to have, foods to get in and then of course the making of different meals for each of us. Now here I am, on the exact same boat and kicking myself.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to care for and nurture my family and I don’t mind making meals and organising the breakfast and lunches but what I do mind is the time that is consumed by doing so. Trying to be health conscious and really consider what I am buying is time consuming and it is very well time I could have with Eleanor or reading a book yet it’s time I now don’t have spare. To shop for three different people’s needs and get healthy choices, prepare good meals and try to be on top of my game at all times while running around after my wee girl is not easy. To stay on top of everything while working and running a busy schedule is tough as everyone knows I’m sure. Life is super busy and every year just becomes even more so, as they say; life won’t wait.

We are a health conscious family and we really try to be the best version of ourselves both mentally and physically, making changes when required. We are rather fit and try walk everywhere and pass on good habits to our Daughter with regards to her health and fitness. We live for the outdoors and fresh air. To be so active and on the move non stop yet feel blaoted and unwell all of the time really does bring me down and plays havoc on my self esteem and body image. Not exactly what you need when you are crippled with anxiety as it is and over think, worry non stop. The last thing I want to worry about is how I look but with my IBS I really do worry about how my stomach appears, especially at the end of a busy day.

I hate to look down and see what resembles a pregnant tummy, to suffer terrible nausea and migraines each day and struggle with fatigue. A mixture of stress and anxiety and IBS has really taken toll on my health and most days I feel miserable right now and my mood low. With a New Year and a fresh start I’m out to get on top of my health issues and start over. I am going to make more effort to practice beginner yoga – I’ve dabbled with this before during pregnancy but not a lot and certainly not since birth and I am going to revise my eating habits while working with a therapist to ease my anxieties and try to take back control over my mind and body.

I certainly aim to work on my anxiety and try to improve life for myself , I’ve never suffered anxiety until after a few months post partum which ever since I’ve been crippled with horrible thoughts, worries at all times and real bad palpitations. I break out in a sweat, become clammy and panic often so much so that feel that i can’t breathe at times and melt down. I have terrible social anxiety and I dislike social situations, I become nervous and jittery and feel like I can’t cope, I become agitated and visually distressed and can become quite rude and snappy. I can’t deal with busy places and will either not enter to leave when I’m faced with a busy place such as the supermarkets.

I once ran across the road without thinking while there was incoming traffic and nearly got hit by a bike, I was so wound up by this that I went to the local supermarket to grab some juice but the self scan wasn’t working, it wouldn’t accept the bar code, my heart was racing and in a midst of anger and panic I grabbed the juice and ran out of the store without paying. I had stolen a tin of juice while blinded by a haze of panic and palpitations, not a big deal on the grand scheme of shoplifting but I’ve never stole in all my 25 years u til this moment and I think I was always feel terrible for doing so. Anxiety got the better of me and continues to do so, so much so I avoid certain situations now.

I’ve only have anxiety since having my Daughter and I would really like to get ahead of the game and take back my life. This can become bad at any time, like everyone I’m only human and I have good days and bad days but lately most days are bad and I cannot sleep for stress plaguing my mind. My head races, my body aches and I am so run down I can’t be the best version of myself which is no good for me and feels like I fail my Daughter from time to time. I need to get on top of my health, listen to my body and get strong.

To aid my anxiety as mentioned, I have been to a session of cognitive behavioural therapy to help cope and have set out to have a session each second week to work on coping mechanisms for stress and find out what triggers my behaviours so that we can then learn how to prevent and ease behaviour. Between therapy, medication and my change of diet, I hope to see a Great improve with my mind and my health. I don’t expect miracles but they say that anxiety and IBS go hand in hand, if I can work on my stress and try to better my anxiety I would hope this would have a positive effect not only on myself but for my IBS, that’s the plan anyway. Fingers crossed, I’m real tired of having to feel so worried all of the time and have my moods fluctuate not even daily but sometimes hourly. It’s not easy to live in such a way where you lack control.

When I became pregnant In 2017 flare ups with IBS and bloat didn’t bother me anymore and my stomach was absolutely fine, no pain and minimum bloating. I assumed I was doing okay and allowed myself to eat most foods again, besides meat as I became a vegetarian. However neatly two years post partum, old troubles are creeping back, the bloating is fierce and the mood swings even more so. It’s time to say goodbye to all things gluten once again and try to replenish my stomach health.

I won’t miss gluten in honesty as I’ve done this whole diet before, I know what I enjoy and I know what I can and can’t have so it’s just revisiting old habits for myself and really trying to remain focused. With low fod map diets it is important to avoid certain foods that can trigger the IBS so as well as avoiding gluten,I will be skipping on certain other foods from each food group. It is always tough to change diet, especially while raising a young family but as mentioned Euan is too gluten free meaning we can share the same food and eat the same meals to save having to make three different meals, three times a day.

Eleanor will have most of the same food as we do, especially with the little amount she does eat but I won’t be giving her a gluten free diet as this could cause trouble with her body while it still develops and I’d hate to cause any disturbance with her health. What we have as gluten free such as pasta for instance, Eleanor will have with the gluten.

Has anyone else reading this suffered with post partum anxiety and IBS? The two go hand in hand as we all know but I’m looking to seek some help and advice from others who may be suffering too and to reach out to those of you who suffer in silence. I’m here to try to create a support network of possible and I’m available to chat all times, just send a message my way and I’d be happy to share more of my story as I would be happy to hear your advice and thoughts. If you happen to have gluten free meal recipes, coping mechanisms for IBS and ideas of what to do to aid IBS please do, fire away. I’ll always try to remain my most open and honest through my blog and if I can help someone reading this, that always means a lot too.

As always, looking forward to hearing from you all.

Keren.

New Year? New resolution.

Ah, Hogmanay, you came around fast! Yes, that’s right, we are at the time of year again where we make peace with the cards that were dealt, the resolutions we didn’t keep up and the diet we failed. Yet, here we are, making more resolutions we won’t keep, signing up to the gym we won’t commit to and making plans that won’t happen. 2018, you’ve been alright but it is time to wave goodbye and move on.

This time a year ago, I was sat on the couch with my young baby and waiting for Euan to get in from work, it feels as though the New Year was just mere weeks ago, I’m stunned to be seeing the end of 2018 so soon. I suppose as it’s the time of reflection and looking back, I will join in along with the crowds and share my cliche resolution, though this is something I don’t plan to quit on and I want to follow through, not just because of the New Year approaching, but because I feel as though I owe it to my friends, family and myself. I’m going to start the New Year not with a BANG nor great deal of excitement and ‘I wants’ but with a sense of giving, generosity and kindness. 

There won’t be no partying until 5AM here, I’ll be comfortable and cosy at home with my family, playing with my baby on the floor, drinking a hot chocolate with marshmallows and watching a Christmas DVD with the last of the Celebrations. Years ago, I’d be horrified at this idea of the New Year but I’ve come to be quite at peace to be at home and with my family because that is after all what makes my heart happy and I’d not have  it any other way.

My New Years resolution is to be more kind and generous. This year I have received a great deal of kindness and patience from those around me and now, I want to give back a little. No, this isn’t just another cliche or something to take lightly, moving forward with life as one must, I am stepping into a New Year with a new perspective. I’m going to consider others and act with kindness this year, It’s not that I am unkind, mean or greedy but I just want to give a bit more and to feel at peace doing so. 

My Mother is such a kind woman who thinks of anyone but herself and though this trait comes with it’s own faults and downfall (think disappointment for instance) I want to share just a glimmer of her kindness and to be more people orientated, to consider and cherish others more than I do of myself. I’ve come to realise I don’t need anything and that pleasure in life comes from the little things like making others smile, sharing a meal, taking a walk on a beautiful day, watching my baby grow and play. Happiness doesn’t come from things nor greediness, happiness comes from within to those who seek it. 

I’m moving forward into a New Year as myself but working on being a better version of myself and if I can bring a little joy to those around me in the process, I’ll treat that as having been successful in my resolutions. I don’t have many hopes, aspirations or dreams for the pending year, I just wish to become at peace with myself and to bring happiness and love to those who I love. Oh and Euan, if you are reading this, I’d like to have a baby and a Yorkshire terrier to add to our wee family…just saying. 

Please god let me have a teacup terrier. Alright, enough. Now that I’ve shared my resolution, how about letting me in on yours? Anyone have any hopes, plans or aspirations for the New Year?

 

Keren.

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

 

 

 

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.

Mum guilt; The real deal.

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It’s a funny old thing, you become a parent and all of a sudden you are no longer your own person, you are a Mother, a Father. You lose a sense of identity but gain a whole new realm of responsibility and love that you didn’t even know was capable.

The love for your baby, your child, is like no other. I have not experienced so much love nor emotions prior to the birth of my wee Eleanor. The best and the worst of myself has been put to light and I see the world from a whole new perspective.

I am not as easy going and care free as I once was and the world is now a scary place through the eyes of this over protective parent. I would like to focus this post on something that I have recently began to notice creep up on shopping trips or days out. A feeling that has rised from within and hits like a tonne of bricks ,a feeling that all you Mothers are well aware of.

Mum guilt. No matter what you do, it simply does not feel good enough. It is a losing battle where we are the sole contender.

Guilt, we all feel it, with the exclusion of active sociopaths, add a baby or child to the mix and guilt is suddenly intensified. What exactly is Mum guilt and where does it come from? It has seemed to appear out of the blue for myself and has prevented me from doing the things that I love and taking some time out for myself. Wether that be a half hour shut away to read, getting out for a lone walk or even (god forbid) having a day of pampering.

No matter what my intention lately, I always have a terrible feeling of guilt hang over my head, ready to exploit my mind with shameful thoughts whenever I dare put myself first. I feel that I have lost a sense of freedom and self worth since becoming a Mum, something which is quite hard to adapt to and take control of.

I no longer deem it acceptable to treat myself, not without fear that I should have treated my baby over myself. Do I need this? I ask myself this often. A shopping trip is short lived, and rather than taking items I pick out to the till, I return them to the rack or shelf which I plucked them from. I feel guilty for wasting money on myself no matter the sum. I could have utilised any spenditure on Eleanor rather than myself.

I find myself anxious of time and feeling bad for dragging my baby out just so I can pick up a carton of milk for myself or browse the stores when I could be at home, holding her, giving my undivided attention. I tend to get out but feel panic and pushed for time, I can’t relax for fear that she will want a feed or begin to get uncomfortable and cry.

Crying is perfectly normal for a baby to get attention and I know I have the security that she is always changed and fed before I take her out, I can’t help but feel unsettled at the thought of her crying in public. I always feel that it’s my fault for dragging her out and that I have led her to be unhappy for my own pleasure. Mum guilt.

I no longer indulge in any alcohol or nights out as I feel that my baby could need me at any time when I am apart from her. I just can’t leave her behind knowing that she is my responsibility and could need me at any time. I have reluctantly left her for no more than four hours with my Mother so that Euan and I can catch a screening at the cinema. This has only ever been around four separate occasions, a month apart at least.

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I can’t bring myself to leave her no matter who with or how capable they are. Knowing that Eleanor is so tiny and may need me at any time. I know that my baby is loved and nurtured and with that understanding , I must implicate healthy changes for the benefit of my own health.

I am not just a Mother, I am my own person with interests and needs that I need to fulfill every once in a while. It is important to take time for myself and my own sanity, i owe it to myself to give myself a break without feeling the need to explain and justify my actions.

With that in mind, I am off to the hairdresser next Saturday on a solo outing for a bit of me time and pampering. I am after a fresh dye job and cut, both much needed and long overdue. Oops, blame Motherhood on that one. Free time does not come freely.  A trip to the salon may not seem a big deal to many of you, I’d previously not have thought anything of it either but these days a little time out to spoil myself is a rare occasion.

Following this, we are going to see Stereophonics at the end of the month for a parents night out. How dare we? I’m absolutely looking forward to this and an evening out with my love, I fully plan to make the most of being child free, let my hair down and have fun. I have plans to go all out with a glass of wine in a plastic cup and greasy gig chips.

The last time we went to a gig together was back in July and I was heavily pregnant and spent most of the gig nursing a sore back. This time, I can make a better go at it and not retire early. I got this.

I’m sure that my Mum guilt will be in full swing but im going to really try to get myself into a good mindset and forget Mum duties for the night. It will be time for my partner and I to enjoy. Eleanor will be in capable, loving hands, I just need to let go, chill and live a little. If I can push the Mum guilt aside for even just one night, it will be a milestone itself.

I feel that as Mothers and Fathers, we put so much pressure on ourselves to be the best parents we can be, we get ourselves down when something doesnt go to plan or work out as we had hoped and we hold ourselves responsible for any setbacks, the guilt can be too much to take some days.It’s time to start pushing that unnecessary guilt trips that we love to drive down aside and putting ourselves first once in a while.

Book a pamper day, take yourself out for a coffee, set a date for a night out (and follow plans through) and for God sakes, buy the dress. Life is too short to spend it consumed with guilt, we all deserve a break once in a while.

Parenthood is hard, it is testing, it is wonderful. Let’s not be so hard on ourselves, our babies will still love us after a few hours without our company.

Keren x