Lifestyle, memories, Motherhood

Florence’s 6 Month Update

Our darling little Florence is six months old. How on earth has it been six months already? Now, I can already imagine your eyes rolling by what I just said, and I get it, it’s how time works… but when it’s your tiny little baby it just seems to go by so quickly.

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Florence is an absolute delight. Full of personality, and will quickly let you know if she wants something or if you’re not doing what she wants. She can sit up unsupported, and is now very comfortable on her tummy to play. She can move herself backwards whilst on her tummy, and has bum shuffled once or twice. She can get herself onto her hands and knees and then rocks back and forth as if she is dancing. All of this suggests it won’t be too long before she is on the move.

Her favourite toys are musical ones, however Florence will take every opportunity she can to get a phone or remote control, the toy ones just don’t cut it! She absolutely loves when Kaden comes home from school, as he usually spends some time playing on the floor with her. Both Kaden and Mitch can have Florence laughing in seconds, and it is wonderful to watch. She recognises voices and the faces of people in her life the most, and is always quick to give a smile. She loves the attention.

Now I’m actually writing this whilst she’s asleep in my arms, because she’s incredibly clingy and doesn’t like being put down for more than five minutes at a time. Don’t even try to put her down once she’s asleep, because the second she realises what you’re attempting to do she will pop one eye open as a warning, don’t even try it mummy! She’s still only little and will sort herself out when she is ready. Until then, we’re happy with how things are…

Apart from sleep. Or lack of, should I say! Since Florence was born, she has established and maintained a routine for sleep, which hasn’t yet improved (my fingers remain crossed on this one!) She sleeps for two hours at a time then wakes for a feed, then sleep for two hours, feed etc.

Although Florence is still exclusively breastfed, we have started to wean her with both puree and baby led weaning methods as she likes both. Her favourite foods so far are blueberries and sweet potato, but there has been nothing that she has not liked as of yet. More often than not, she wants whatever I have on my plate!

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In just six short months, Florence has made us a family of four, had a joint Christening with her big brother Kaden, learnt to smile and laugh, how to sit, play and interact. Mitch, Kaden and I have been overcome with love and emotion for Florence, as has everyone who has had the chance to meet her.

We have lots of exciting things ahead of us to look forward to this year, and we are so excited to watch you learn and grow.

Happy half birthday little one.

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Motherhood, Product Review

Essential Vie Skincare Review

I was kindly gifted some skincare products from Essential Vie, and have been trying them out from the start of January to see what I thought about them. I was sent three products, the Multie Purpose Anti Stretch Mark Oil, the Hydrating Moisturiser and Nipple Cream. Each and every product from the Essential Vie range is plant based and cruelty free, which is great. I made a change last year to only use beauty products that are cruelty free, so this review opportunity was a great fit for me.

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One of my New Year Resolutions for 2019 was to take better care of my skin, taking the time at the end of most days (every day would be a bit of a wishful thought!) to remove any makeup if needed, or to moisturise my face and body.

This was one of my resolutions this year as after having a baby, the last thing on my mind was ‘me time’. Now that Florence is 6 months old (I know- where has the time gone?!) I’m gradually getting into a routine, and am now able to make time for the things I enjoyed doing before the whirlwind of a new baby took over.

As I suffer with sensitive, combination skin it can be tricky to find the right skincare routine that works, keeping me moisturised but without making me too oily. I jumped at the chance to try out a cruelty free new moisturiser, and have been using it since the beginning of January.

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The moisturiser is rich and thick, which has been great for this type of weather as my skin really needs a strong mosituriser to keep it from getting too dry and flaky. In the summer, I tend to opt for a lighter skin care routine as my skin doesn’t need anything heavy.

I used stretch mark cream and oils from the moment I found out I was pregnant, and right through my pregnancy. Yet, oddly enough, it is something we completely forget about once the baby is actually here. I have stretch marks from both of my pregnancies that I have tried and tested a variety of products for. I started using the Essential Vie Multi Purpose Anti Stretch Mark Oil at the beginning of January, and have been using it since as I wanted to be able to provide a round view of the products I was sent.

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The Essential Vie Multi Purpose Anti Stretch Mark Oil is easy to apply, and whilst it is still an oil, it dries on the skin a lot quicker than other oils I have used and disliked as they felt too greasy for hours afterwards. There is no strong smell either, which is good for an every day (twice a day) product.

As I am still exclusively breastfeeding Florence, a good, trustworthy nipple cream is essential. I have used lots of different brands of nipple creams over these six months, but have used the Essential Vie Nipple Cream exclusively for the whole of January to get a real feel for the product. The Essential Vie Nipple Cream successfully receives any soreness I had been feeling from feeding Florence. With no strong smell or harmful ingredients, it is also completely safe to leave on and not have to wipe off before feeding.

Thank you for reading. 

Motherhood, Organisation

Baby Girl 3-6m Wardrobe

Florence is now 5 months old, and has only just grown out of all of her 0-3 month clothes! Which has come at a good time, since I like to have a good sort out after Christmas and New Year. So I’ve organised her wardrobe with all of her 3-6 month clothing and accessories. I was sad to put away all of her newborn and small baby clothes but also was excited for her to wear all of her new outfits in the next size up! We were kindly gifted some organisation products from the lovely ladies at BeloandMe, and will be using showing some of those products within this blog post as we are using them in Florence’s wardrobe.

Florence shares a big IKEA wardrobe with her big brother, Kaden, and they each have half of the wardrobe. I like to hang up the majority of Florence’s clothes, and pair them with their matching leggings or headbands if they came with any of those in a set. I also like to put them into sections, such as dresses, short sleeve tops, long sleeve tops and so on as it makes it easier to find what you are looking for.

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We use these wardrobe dividers from BeloandMe to separate the clothing into sizes. I have used the other wardrobe dividers to sort out her bigger sizes and store them correctly ready for when she needs them. Another product that has come in handy are the wardrobe space savers, which allow more items to be hung in the same amount of space, which is great for smaller spaces.

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Behind the hanging clothes, there are two small open storage boxes, one of which is used for muslins and bibs, and the other for Florence’s hair bows and clips. We have used the drawer / storage box labels on these boxes for added decor.

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Underneath this, the wardrobe has two wide drawers. In the top drawer we keep most of her miscellaneous items, such as her hats, swimming costume, socks and tights, as well as extra leggings or trousers and cardigans as all of these don’t really need hanging. We’ve used the baby drawer dividers from Belo and Me to separate some of these items into sections, so for example her socks are stored together. In the bottom drawer of the wardrobe we keep her vests, sleep suits, cot sheets and blankets.

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Now that Florence’s wardrobe has been sorted out, I’m on to Kaden’s and our room, wish me luck!

Thank you for reading.

 

memories, Motherhood

0-3 Month Update

Florence Grace Bradley-Herd

0-3 Month Update

An absolute cliche but honestly where has the last three months gone?! You don’t feel like a tiny little baby any more and you have changed significantly in three months. Gone are the worries of how our family would change, you have slotted in in the most natural way and it is as if you have always been here. Our darling little girl.

We all joked that you were holding out for your Uncle’s birthday when you hadn’t arrived by your due date… lo and behold you arrived four days overdue, the day of his birthday!

Due date: 22nd July 2018

Birth date: 26th July 2018

You still don’t sleep for longer than three hours in between feeds during the night, but I’m sure that will come with time. During the day you like to have a morning nap which can last anywhere between an hour to three.For the rest of the day you generally ‘cat nap’ which lasts about 20 minutes. We still haven’t mastered putting you down for every sleep (I say we, it’s me, I love the cuddles). We only have to move our arm slightly and one of you eyes pop open to check what we are doing lol.

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You seem to have an internal radar that must set you off just as mummy is sat down to eat, so I’m rarely able to eat a meal with two hands lol. You are quite nosy and love to be watching everything that is going on around you, and can get quite irritated if you aren’t involved! You generally love going out in the pram and the car, which is great because it usually means the school runs are fairly smooth running!

We had some small hurdles to get over during the initial weeks of breastfeeding, but we are both so much better at it now and it is such a lovely bond between us both. You now take a dummy for comfort and struggle taking a bottle for a feed.

The longest we’ve been away from Flo is an hour and a half whilst mummy and daddy go to play badminton on a Sunday, and your Nanna and Grandma have loved spending that time with you.

Florence has definitely found her voice, and even more so in the past week as she’s discovered a new sound she can make- a little squeal of delight! She is such a smiley and happy baby, who loves it when mummy or daddy sing to her. Her whole face lights up when she is babbling away in response to you, and it is so lovely. Florence holds her head really well, and loves to be standing on your lap rather than laid down being held. She likes comfort, whether this be holding your finger or a soft blanket. She has definitely discovered her hands, and often grasps at my hair or daddy’s beard (ouch!).

We have so many daft nicknames that we’ve just picked up along the way and I’m going to include these in each of your updates as a little memory.

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Thank you for reading. 

Motherhood, Tattoos

Tattoos & Breastfeeding

This blog post is about getting tattoos whilst being a breastfeeding mother. Although this is quite a niche topic, I found that when searching for answers myself there was little to no reliable information out there to help. Therefore, hopefully this will help someone searching for particular answers on this topic.

Mitchell and I had booked tattoos as part of my ‘pushing present‘ for having Florence. (If you know, you know lol) I didn’t have a baby shower, so thought I would at least make the most out of one of these American pregnancy traditions! However, when the time actually came I suddenly had a little panic over whether or not I would even be able to get mine done as I was breastfeeding. After a quick google I was left even more unsure about whether it was safe to go ahead or if I would need to cancel and have them done once I was no longer breastfeeding Florence.

It was only after speaking to my tattooist (and him speaking his partner who’s a midwife) that is was agreed we were completely fine to go ahead as long as I fully understood the information. I was told that getting the tattoo itself is absolutely fine as the ink does not transfer into the milk. Obviously choose to go to a respectable and clean tattooist to minimise any chance of infection, as it is only if the tattoo becomes infected and you have to go on antibiotics you will have to stop breastfeeding.

Thank you for reading. 

 

Motherhood

Top Tips for New Mums

Becoming a parent can be a daunting task, and even though this was my second child, it was a completely different experience to having my first. I’ve put together some key things to remember during this period of time with your family, in the hope that it resonates with some of you, whether you are in this position now or have been in the past. It is important to note that everybody is different, and whilst these things have been important to me, they may not work for everyone!

  • Accept the help that is offered 

I think we are all guilty of trying to juggle to many things at once and spreading ourselves too thinly. This is not the time to try to do everything on your own. Accept the help and support that is offered, whether this is family, friends or health professionals.

I love the quote,

 “It takes a village to raise a child” 

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No one is going to think any less of you as a mother if you reach out for help. Becoming a mother is hard, for anyone and everyone, at any age. You are not the first and you certainly won’t be the last. People are there to help, so take them up on their offers!

 

  • Filter Unwanted Advice

Now I can assure you that people are going to offer you advice left right and centre when you are pregnant or have had your baby. Whilst this is usually coming with the best of intentions, it isn’t always helpful or needed. This is your baby, and believe me, you know what is best for the both of you. Everyone has different ides and experiences, and whilst one mother swears by something, it won’t necessarily work for you. Politely listen and thank others for the advice, but don’t feel bad for not then doing as they suggested. Just like this blog post- not everything will be true for yourself, and it is okay to filter out the parts that don’t help!

  • Buy More Muslins 

You’ve probably heard people say you need to purchase a few muslin squares for your newborn. This is not the case. Rather, I urge you to accumulate as many muslins as you can, you will NEVER have too many!

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  • Don’t get caught up in the ‘Mum Awards’ 

Some mums would lead you to believe there are certified ‘Mum Awards‘ for the best mothers. This is not the case! There are no prizes and there is no such thing as the perfect parent, we all have our good and bad days.

So don’t feel you have to succumb to the social pressures of juggling to much at once, trying to please everyone but yourself. Go with your gut and trust your own judgement. What has worked for one mother will not necessarily work for the next. Each experience is different and nobody is perfect.

  • Enjoy Quiet Time 

The most important thing during this time is that you and baby are healthy, everything else comes second. So don’t feel guilty about just sitting back and enjoying those precious moments alone as a family with your newborn- as I hate to sound like an overplayed song- but it really does fly by and they’re not babies for long. The guests can wait, the housework can wait, no one will mind- and those that do mind aren’t worth the fuss.

So take the all important time to breathe in their newborn smell, stroke every hair on their heads and stare at the most amazing gift of life that your body has created and birthed. Motherhood is simply amazing!

Thank you for reading. 

memories, Motherhood

The Christening

16.09.2018 

Baptism of Kaden & Florence

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We celebrated the Christening of both Kaden and Florence last Sunday at St Thomas’ Church, followed by a small party afterwards. We had such a lovely day and cannot thank everyone enough for coming to celebrate our faith and our children on that special day. It was the first time the families had all been together, and was lovely!

The church service was short and sweet, with a really wonderful vicar leading the baptism. Kaden was brilliant and enjoyed having the attention on him, especially when the vicar let Kaden splash him with water too!

We had chosen Godparents for the children, and would like to thank them for accepting their roles in our children’s lives.

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Florence wore a beautiful white Christening gown, the exact one her Nan Lorraine wore for her Christening day years ago. Although she slept through the majority of the day, she was a little star and couldn’t be more loved by all.

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Kaden thoroughly enjoyed seeing all of his family and friends together for his special day, and was even more overjoyed at all the Lego he received as a result!

It was such a special day spent with the people we love the most, and will definitely be remembered and spoken about for years to come.

Thank you for reading.