Yay! we have made it to half a year round! A halfway trip around the sun around 1500 nappies and 4416 hours of you by my side. I mean these tiny people just become your whole being, and the way they ingulf your whole life is amazing and also pretty impressive. I feel like every month up until now I've written about this little person Ive been getting to know, and her milestones had taken me by surprise (typical first time mum). Now I feel like I know her better than ever, everything seems second nature. She is well and truly knitted into our little family unit. I dont know, things just feel as though they've clicked a lot more. Im feeling more and more like Emelia's mum and not just the owner of a fragile little being.
Our 6 month has been quite quiet. We haven't had any major events or outings so we have spent a lot of time going to our groups, meeting up with friends, taking long walks through the Forrest and playing at home with all those toys. Who knew there were so many different toys for babies. These are the best times and the ones I take millions of photos of so that I will never ever forget.
One of her favourite sessions is still baby sensory. The one that is local to us is ran by the children centre and is a free session to attend. I have been taking Emelia since she was 6 weeks old and its been great to meet other mums and babies, and also let Emelia play with and experience some different toys etc without having to have them all at home. It's actually really nice and sociable and a great excuse to get out for the afternoon ! Anyway so I was really worried that she was outgrowing the session when one week out of nowhere she was completely out of sorts, grumpy and just not interested at all. I ended up taking her home because she was so tearful and just really not enjoying the session. It didn't occur to me that the reason she was so unsettled was because she was cutting another tooth ! I spotted it when she was giving me a good giggle, and couldn't believe I hadn't noticed it before. So at 6 months we have 5 teeth, with number 6 looking very very close. She will literally have a mouthful of teeth before we know it!
So the weaning is going well, and with the added advantage of having teeth to chomp down on things, I have been braving a few more baby led eating food bits for her to try which have actually gone down really well. Its actually a lot less scary than you think and having a combination of purees and picky bits just means theres more variety too. I always said that I didn't really want to do a "hot meal" at lunchtime and then again at her evening meal because as she gets older she will mainly have cold food throughout the day. So when I introduced her lunchtime meal at 6 months I went straight in with baby led snack style foods. Cucumber, breadsticks, soft carrot sticks and humous are a current favourite. I did mention on my instagram stories about the difficulty of getting Emelia to eat breakfast at "breakfast time". She just became completely uninterested by anything I tried to offer her if it was served before 9 in the morning. I had so many different suggestions so thank you to everyones awesome advice. I also got some fab inspiration to try some different style breakfasts too so thats been extremely helpful. Any way so I changed her routine in the morning around a little. And we have a really good playtime, watch a bit of tv, and then I get ready for the day. Then around 10:30 we give her her breakfast. Fingers crossed this seems to be working! It just means I give her lunch to her at around 1:30, and if we are out in the morning I either take it with me or she has a feed instead. I'm just going with it and remembering that she's still only in month 6-7 and at this stage its still first tastes.
Her little voice is more and more chatty and I dont think it will be long till those sounds start to change into first words. She did actually say "mumma" the other day ! completely melted my heart in the process (Reggie also was here to hear it) and then hasnt said it since! That little preview came out of no where and I have been very patiently waiting for her to say it again but as of yet it just hasn't happened ! I'm not putting it down to a coincidence she said mumma !!! With her weaning we have also introduced a toothbrush and paste for her to use in the morning and evening. We use a mam brush and then the aqua fresh milk teeth paste. She uses it really well and lets me brush her teeth quite happily! A lot of people suggest giving the brush directly to the baby so they can use it for themselves, but at the moment whilst she's happy for me to do them for her its just easier, and gets the job done quicker.
I had every intention of moving Emelia into her own room this month, I am very ready for her to go into her cot and I think she will be happier with the extra stretch space. With it being so cold this month though, and the teething revving up again, she had been quite unsettled at night time so we've taken the next to me crib off the bed and moved it to the other side of the room, just so she's not going from being literally cm's from me to a completely separate room. Also, whilst she was waking more frequently again it was again easier to keep her in the same room as us. I really don't think theres a right or wrong way to get babies into there own sleep routine. Its what works! Nightime is very different to daytime and with one child I have no reason to not just go with the flow. This is what I always find works best. This little girl teaches me everything I know about being a mum!
This months Favourites:
Playing swing the cushion with daddy (she lays on her teddy cushion and daddy carefully swings her from side to side! cue Emelia in hysterics! if your seen my instagram stories you will know! ..)
Music and dancing with mummy around the house !
This is a dilemma that I think most parents will go through. It can be almost impossible to know what the right thing is to do when it comes to returning to work life after having children. Before your baby arrives, your decisions and thought processes are very much made on the idea of what life might be like with a child. However, this is very different once they are actually in your life.
I've battled with this dilemma since Emelia was 1 day old. When I was pregnant I was very certain that I would return to my job as a spa therapist, and that I would be happy to leave my little one after a year to go back to work part time. I would of course miss her, but would definitely be returning. From the moment she arrived that decision completely changed. To me it was just not something I really wanted to entertain any more, and the thought of returning to work became increasingly daunting and quite frankly sad. Whilst I was pregnant we discussed what we may do, and Reggie said to me that it would be best if I stayed at home and be there to take care of our child and that I probably wouldn't end up returning. I was adamant though that I wanted to keep my independence and that returning to work was something I really wanted to do. I have always worked and had my first little job at the age of 13, and worked ever since, so I never envisioned myself as a stay at home mum not working. I really really enjoy my job, and I also work somewhere in which I've never felt so content so the idea of leaving, once I became a mother was just not something I had considered. I loved the team I worked with, working with lovely brands, and going to work at such a beautiful spa. Yes, its hard work but I'm always proud to say where I work. Anyway, So when Emelia reached 5 months, me and reggie re assessed our situatuation and discussed options of work. I pretty much decided myself at that point I wasn't going to return! Emelia was more important than my love for my job. And my love for her and to want to spend every single moment with her is just paramount above anything else. I was loving my maternity leave taking Emelia to all her little groups and meeting other mums or just spending hours playing with her at home watching her grow and change. Also at this point I had no one that could guarantee any help with looking after her, and to be honest a nursery just wasn't something for us. The idea of worrying and feeling stressed about not knowing who would take of her whilst I worked was not something I wanted to feel on a regular basis. To me it was just the easiest decision and although money would be tight I would be happier and more settled. Even though I had made my decision I just couldn't sit still. I am one of these people that just has to always be doing something! I never noticed it as much until I finished work to go on maternity leave. I had an amazing 8 weeks off prior to the birth of my daughter and other than at around 37 weeks when my iron levels plummeted and I needed two Infusions I spent the whole time on the go! When I wasn't cleaning and getting baby ready, I was walking (like miles!). When I wasn't painting the fence in the garden, I was wallpapering our bedroom. I made the most of the time off and barely sat still. Since Emelia has been here Ive started my blog returned to fitness and I work very small hours at my friends salon when Reggie is not working. Ive realised so much how I need structure and something to do to keep my brain ticking! My little Emelia has her little routine too and I know exactly what we need to be doing at what time (with the exception of rubbish days!, illness teeth etc) poor child! This made me once again consider wether I had made the right decision about work. We wouldn't have those luxuries, people might think I'm lazy and I would also lose my trade I want to keep up my skills and training, from working in an award winning spa.( I know I need to read a book on how to make a decision) I told you this decision making with kids stuff isn't easy!
Major mum guilt settles in! Its real that feeling you know, and it pangs on those heart strings and plays a lovely little mellow tune just to make your life that even more stressing! You've brought this tiny little person into the world and of course you want to show them the perfect work ethic with Mummy and Daddy working hard to give them the best upbringing and give them everything and more. But then on the other hand you just being there to shower them with the most enriching love and affection, and watching all those firsts is priceless and no wage packet could compare to that. And on the other hand unfortunately bills dont pay themselves so the decision is sometimes taken from you without you even getting a say in the matter. It is a constant battle of pros and cons and there isn't a right or wrong answer its what works out for you. It really is tougher than you ever think and its so underastermated how hard it is to get back into work life after having children. I take my hat off to people who go back straight after having there baby, or at all for that matter. Not one part of it is easy. Childcare also becomes a major issue! When my mum was still alive she always would say that she would come to me to look after my child in my home so I could return to my job as and when I wanted. She had trained as a childcare practitioner and worked with little ones since she was 16 years old. I had no worries that she would be there to help us out once we had children. And of course she was my mum so the idea just didn't worry me at all. Obviously since losing my mum my anxiety over everything is heightened anyway, and I barely leave Emelia with anyone I just worry and dont enjoy myself. Its got absolutely nothing to do with not trusting people Its just that protective mama lion instinct coming out I guess. Something any mum will feel when they leave there child with anyone for work or social.
I guess its all about balance and just finding something that fits in with the new normal. I understand for some people, there really is no choice and returning to work is a must and unfortunately a decision already made. So in a way we have had a little bit more flexibility when it has come to deciding wether to return at all. Yes life has majorly changed for Reggie because he has become a father, and also the main income for our family. But I do in a way feel like the juggling and return to work stress mainly falls onto me. This isn't to say this is his fault, there isn't actually anything he can do to alleviate the "problem" so to speak Its just that I am Emelias childcare (obviously!) and so its down to me to juggle and fit in returning to work if he is to remain the main earner. It would be the other way round if he was at home with Emelia and I worked full time, its just one of them things.
So I have thought long and hard about what I want to do and whats going to be best for our little family. I am happy to say I think I have come to a conclusion! I am so so happy with my decision, I am going to go back. All be it very very small hours to begin with and my lovely sister is going to stay with us and look after Emelia for us whilst we work. I couldn't be more grateful for the help from her. I trust her completely with Emelia and they have such a lovely relationship. It kind of reminds me of when I was younger and she was a baby ! We both want more children so I know this will completely change the work dynamics again but for now I think this will work well for us. I am actually looking forward to going back (I say that now!) but as I said before I really do enjoy my job. I will of course worry no end but Emelia will be approaching 1 by the time I do go back so that little bit older. It will be a case of doing the most minimal hours and therefore a trial as to how I get on but I really think working the few days a month I will do me good. I will have my little bit of independence and be able to continue doing what I love.
I really would love to hear how everyone else has found juggling that work life balance and wether the decision has been as tricky for you guys as it has been for me. Speak soon.
Sorry its slightly late but, I thought I would do my December and January best buys together, as the majority of my december buys were christmas related and very much non relevant once christmas is over! All 5 things are still available too.
So I have spoken about this book several times on other blog posts and also over on my instagram stories if you follow me there. But, this book is invaluable, and I can't mention it enough ! I love annabelle Karmel as her information is so concise and straight to the point, and she's very much got your interests at heart when she delivers her fantastic information on all things weaning. As I have said before it is so so difficult to know when to introduce food or if you are doing the right things with regards to weaning however, this book will answer all those questions you want to know without confusing you even further. A great one stop book for all you pre weaning mummy! Its made me so much more confident with what to give Emelia too.
So autumn/winter 17/18 there seems to be a fair amount of checked patterned clothes about. I've seen plenty of skirts, dresses etc. I find it's a really easy pattern to style and can be easily dressed up or down. I was shopping in zara and found a gorgeous wool checked scarf. I love zara anyway but there scarfs are just beautiful and so was this one. I was very very tempted to get this one but decided to wait I am glad I did as Primark are selling one almost identical to the one I came across in Zara and for £4!!!. My sister actually tipped me off about this one and I was so pleased because there really isn't much difference between them. A scarf always finishes an outfit off especially in the cooler months and I looove this one because its so simple but looks really good.
Mam transition trainer cup
So these cups are more bottle like than anything to be honest. But, my fussy breastfed daughter will happily drink milk out of it so i'm happy! I never knew they did any such thing as a "transition bottle" I dont know why I was surprised to be honest they sell something for everything baby related nowadays. But when I came across it I had to get it to give it a go. Emelia Has never been a fan of any bottle not really ever taken to a dummy and just snuggles in to me and breastfeeds. This is fine. Unless you need to go out. Or leave baby for a considerable amount of time, during which they are likely to need a feed. So the bottle is aged 4 months up and has a very soft teat at the top not to dissimilar to a regular bottle teat just shaped differently it also has a measuring guide down the side too which I liked. The bottle has 2 little pink handles (or blue if you go for the blue one) that you can either leave on or take off. Emelia loves the handles though! I think because she is little miss independent it aids the ease of her using it because she can hold it herself! I have let Emelia use it at several different times throughout the day but to be honest I am quite unsure as to when to use it to help with weaning her off of breastfeeding so any advice is gladly welcomed!
Burts bee's lip balm coconut
Oh so good for chapped lips which is a common occurrence for me during the winter months!. This lip balm is so so good and feels really good aswell. I chose the coconut one and it smells amazing, almost edible. Obviously a lip balm is something that most people will carry around with them but this is a must! and I urge you to try this one! especially if you like coconut and suffer with dry lips.
So I actually picked this candle up in the boots sale. However, I'm pretty sure it wasn't meant to be in the sale but they had put it in the wrong section so still gave it to me for half price. Anyone who knows me will know I really love lavender! Lavender has got a terrible rep for being known as a "old person scent" but I love it. I think aswell as being relaxing its very fresh and delicate. Anyway so this candle is lemon lavender and its smells amazing and I'm so pleased I have it to use as we start getting better weather with its light fresh tone. I really like that its different to a lot of standard candle scents out there its yummy! think I was quite lucky to pick it up for half price. I do love my lavender though and I'm quite patial to the lavender and geranium diffuser in sainsburys. So if your a lavender fan too give it a try !