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. 

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. 

Lifestyle

World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day

10. 10. 2018

As it is ‘World Mental Health Day’ I thought I would share my experience and thoughts as  I feel it is important to open up the conversation on mental illness in an attempt to end the stigma and together make a change for the better!

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With my first child, I suffered with long term post natal depression. I was terrified they would take my baby away and by speaking out, I’d only be adding fuel to the fire of the teenage mother stereotype. A little older, and dare I say wiser, I now realise that just wasn’t the case. People are there to help, in whatever way they can. I have come to learn that mental illness is not something to shove to the bottom of the pile and hope it goes away if ignored. It also isn’t something to be ashamed about. I am incredibly lucky to have such a strong, supportive and loving network around me that have helped me through my lowest and toughest times, and celebrated with me in my greatest.

But I’m aware that not everyone has this or feels comfortable sharing with close family or friends. It can be daunting speaking to loved ones, so perhaps speaking confidentially with a stranger/health professional could be the first step. There are so many other ways to reach out and receive support, you just need to know how. I have created a small list of websites and helplines at the bottom of this blog post for those that might need it.

There is so much pressure to be perfect and that just isn’t reality. Social media can be powerfully detrimental to one’s mental health as we constantly compare ourselves to others. What we sometimes need to do is take a step back and realise it’s not always real. No one shares photos of their bad days, but that’s not to say they don’t happen. However, the use of social media on days like today can be powerful for a good cause. Using our social platforms to bring important issues to light and share our own experiences in the hope that it helps someone else, even if it is just one person. The more people that talk about it, the more common it is to be heard, and hopefully the easier it then is for people to seek help.

Let’s spread awareness today for World Mental Health Day, but continue to do so in the days, weeks and months that follow.

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Where to seek help:

  • Contact your GP for advice and support
  • Visit http://www.mind.org.uk for information and support
  • Call the Samaritans on 116 123 for  free, 24hr, confidential emotional support

Thank you for reading.