Sunday, 31 January 2016

Our family portrait in January 2016

January has been a nice month for us. Usually I kind of dread the thought as its always so dark and dreary, don't get me wrong it has made the mornings twice as hard to get motivated but the little ones have adjusted back to some normality quite easily (for the most part). A change of nursery hours for Halle has enabled me to have a better structure with them, able to do less with more focus some days & not feel like I'm constantly driving around in a mind numbing frame of mind (goodbye 6 car journeys a day, 5 days a week.) 

 I've been welcoming the frosty, cold and bright days (not so much when it puts us behind on the school run with de icing the car!) I just love the way it brightens up the house, especially those lovely cold afternoons with the stunning golden sunsets peeping through the windows, reflecting off the colours of my flowers sitting proudly in my windows or on the fireplace. We've been doing a lot more to the house as well seeing as the festive period has passed us by including putting all new doors on upstairs, flooring in the bathroom, painted, carpeted and almost finished Phoenix's room except from the curtains (he's still happily sharing with the girls at the moment so it's just another place for them to relax at the minute.) I'm going to be sharing more  about our home re-vamp as the process evolves and I've finished some drafts, it's been taking a lot of late nights to get stuff done particularly for Mr T working past the kids bed time but it's just fitting time in when we can. All I can say is that the little ones have been so well behaved around it all and even getting involved in the fun too! 

January is also the month where our little boy celebrates his birthday. On Friday he turned two and I still can't believe we're here already. We had a lovely simple day just Mama, Daddy and him (as the girls were at school and Daddy booked it off work) but we celebrated more so yesterday when we decided to take them all to the zoo, the first time ever for Phoenix and the second time for the girls as the last time was for Yves 2nd birthday and when Halle was only about four months old! It was like taking a memory walk and it was extra special as it was our first and last trip as a family of five as our sixth member of the family is due in just under ten weeks now.

I love these photos from our trip to the zoo yesterday, it was getting to the end of the day, the sun was setting and it was very chilly at this point but we still managed to capture our family in an honest way showing that were a little worn out from a whole day at the zoo but feeling so happy that it had been the perfect day. Mr T and I were saying over and over what a lovely day it had been and how proud we feel that this is our little family. 

Our family in January.


The Me and Mine Project
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Friday, 29 January 2016

Phoenix, you are two.

It sounds silly to say but wow, how fast have the past two years gone. Our baby boy will turn two at exactly 10:30pm tonight and I still remember so clearly, so happily about the night he was born in such a lovely and peaceful (albeit super fast) birth. I remember him being handed straight to my chest, to then be told we had a son. I was stunned and just giggled, in sheer amazement, I couldn't believe I was now going to say that I was the mama to not only two amazing little girls, but also a son. A little boy which I want to build a strong mama-son bond with throughout this journey of parenthood, a little brother for our girls, the fact our little boy is very lucky to have those two big sisters to look up to and to grown alongside. 

Two years old today.

The moment I held him I knew there was going to be the same amount of love yet a different bond to share, a little baby boy who has grown into the most loving, happy, friendly and adventurous little chap, and as I look into what the future may hold, I can see him growing into a wonderful young man with the guidance from myself, his big sisters, and his wonderful Daddy- who is such a gentleman. After having two little girls to build a strong bond with, I wondered what it would be like sharing a bond with a little boy, a son. And it's been such a wonderful feeling these past two years. He really is such a treasure to us and we couldn't imagine life without him, ever. He is yet to have another journey in the next few months when he will transform into a big brother as well, now it's a shock for me that he's turned two today let alone the fact he will be a big brother and will not hold the title of the youngest in our family anymore, crazy times but beautiful all the same. 

I believe that he will take on his new role with pride, watch how caring, loving he is, and his wonderful nature around people, I have no doubt that he will thrive.

His current obsession is anything to do with work tools, Bob the builder, tractors and diggers, and brioche. He loves to call after his big sisters and absolutely idolises his Daddy. He's at the age now where he loves to see familiar faces, family members and friends, it's lovely to watch. When around strangers in the supermarket, when he's not asking to be able to grab the stuff off the shelves (brioche) you'll usually find him flashing friendly smiles to anyone in sight, a little charmer. 

As your birthday falls on the girls school day, we are having the day tomorrow to do something fun, a day for you. As for today, it is most certainly about you, but I think as you're still unaware of what day it really is, for us as your parents its a day where we can really reflect on the past two years, soak up the simple day we will spend together just us (with Daddy as he booked it off work) and cherish spending it with you. Remembering the night you were born, and all the little memories we have made with you since you became our little boy. 

Happy 2nd Birthday to our little bundle of happiness.

We love you ever so much.

Mummy & Daddy.




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Friday, 15 January 2016

Our Siblings - January 2016

For a fair few months now I've been thinking really hard about where I want to take my blog. I'll have a lot more on this soon and theres plenty of changes to come, one of the things I wanted to carry on was documenting my little trio and doing our 'siblings' post once a month.

Now this year is going to be an extra special one as in a matter of 12 weeks or so we're going to have our new addition with us, their new sibling. They've all been fascinated with the shapes Mummy's tummy goes and adore watching baby bump kicking away and they shower my tummy with kisses & cuddles. The girls are super excited about baby arriving that they thought it was coming for Christmas, all the way through Yve's & Phoenix are team blue and Halle is team pink, so who knows!

Until then, I want to capture the true nature of my little trio's bond, relationships, squabbles, giggles, and all the things in between. As I've said many times before, they're are a very close knit little unit. Wether their age gaps has something to do with it I don't know, they just love having each other in their lives (this doesn't stop the little bickering over toys of course but you get what I mean.)

The first term of our biggest girl starting school did make me wonder if they would lose the bond they have a little bit, but in all honesty I don't know why I thought it. They have something so special, remarkable and unbreakable. I love how Yve's brings home letters crumpled in her pocket that she's done for them, or pictures of 'rainbow grass' for her little sister making sure that she gets it right away. She usually brings home a right collection of all her creativities and i just love to see the reaction on her face when she sees how happy she's made them. 

We miss her so much when she's in school all week, Halle has now changed her hours so its something new for them again as now she is having a bit more one-on-one time with Phoenix for a couple of days. To be, this is something so lovely yet completely bonkers as its like i've gone back in time to what Yve's & Hal were like at that age given that those three have the same age gaps give or take a couple of weeks. 

Little chap really admires his big sisters, he wants them to get involved, play with him and just have fun. When they're not there he does enjoy a bit of peace with me but will always ask where they are and gets all excited when we pick them up shouting "Halle-Moo Moo" as we approach the nursery, and when collecting Yve's he instantly asks for her drink bottle every single day. As if he's saying "I've got it now, you're not going back there!"

Over the Christmas break they played so nicely together too which was nice, they loved not having any time limits on their games, and just embraced it.


- Secret love notes & pictures from biggest sister.
- Giggles, cuddles, kisses.
- Little squabbles here & there - but with gentle guidance, they always make it better.
- Over all, enjoying having each other in life. 

The Me and Mine Project
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Thursday, 14 January 2016

Family balance: Spending time together plus more one to one time.

As a Mama to three little ones (four in April!), time can sometimes feel quite limited when trying to give them all quality one to one time, meeting their individual needs and interests. Since September when the whole school thing started, life has felt like such a fast pace, to the point where some days my head is spinning. With the ever so helpful additive of pregnancy hormones this has been harder some days than others. With me feeling like I'm not getting enough quality time with my three. 

With a change of nursery hours for H last week, this has seen time with my little chap increase a little bit plus less school runs (this was 6 car journeys per day from September until now) So now with Halle doing two full days and one morning, as opposed to every morning we now get two 'full' days together without the rushing about and trying to make sitting in a car seat 6+ times a day a fun thing. We still do our usual playgroups and the popping to the shop so he can 'help me' with getting food bits, popping it into the mini trolley, our Cafe Nero hot chocolate date where he has his mini espresso tub of marshmallows and steals my cream, or playing at the park. All of which on those two days where we have no clock watching makes it a lot less manic.

Its a more simple time together which we both really benefit from. Not only this, once we're home for lunch instead of darting off for the nursery pick up, we can enjoy food together before his nap, and when he does nap, I can now get on with stuff that needs to be done or even blog/photography work without feeling guilty that i'm catching 30 mins while Halle is usually home. So from now on Thursday & Friday nap time will be 'my catch up' (or quiet time for me to restore some energy!) - minus the guilt.

This coming week will see the full change as it's starting right from Monday which will also see that Halle is home with us on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. These two days will be our time as a three with Tuesday being our 'nothing' or 'odds and sods' day, and Wednesday she will be joining us at our weekly messy play that we all use to go to as a foursome with our Yve's.

This does leave me with guilt that our biggest girl isn't joining us in the week anymore but we know that she really enjoys what she does and we make up for it with our home time and cherish it all the more, especially weekends.

As i am grateful for spending better time with my little chap, I am also looking forward to having Halle joining us again as even though I see her in the afternoons, it was always seeming rushed or she was too tired from a busy morning to want to do anything, so having her back at playgroups and a day at home will be lovely. It will take me back to when I had my Yve's at home, then my two girls, and then my little trio. Man how simple those days seem now in comparison. 

I am always missing my biggest girl so so much during the week, So making sure we get our time is so important to me. We need it the most I would say. Scheduling time to have a shopping or hot chocolate date, walking hand in hand and connecting through conversation, crafting at home together, learning new things like sewing or knitting etc. These are the things I want to keep up and try harder with. 

The girls are only 18 months apart in age so have always been very close and love doing things together but I can see that they are craving time with Mummy or Daddy apart even if they can't always see it. Enabling them all the have one to one time with me or Daddy in their own right is something that needs to be a normal element to our life. It can sometimes seem quite tricky as they're all so close in age, have similar needs and interests and you don't want to leave any one out but also its such a healthy thing to do, and to show them that we all need a little time. We do the majority of our things together anyway and love it so much, something we will continue, but I think making the one-to-one time more regular will create a nice balance also.

So the next few weeks and months I am going to listen quietly to what they would love to do either together or individually and make sure we all get the time to connect.

Do you have three or more little ones?

Any in foundation stage or nursery? 

How do you balance out your one to one time with your littles?
I wanted to add these two pictures of my little chap (who's soon to be two!)
I can't believe how much he's changed since this photo was taken back in September 2015. Wild hair, less teeth but still those beautiful piercing blue eyes.
... My cheeky little boy, not long before his first haircut (sob!) I think this suits him too but it was a nightmare for knots and he still has it longish but tidied up! :)
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Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Pregnancy essentials: What I've found useful in four pregnancies in five years.

Throughout each of my pregnancies, I've found a wonderful selection of things that I've felt have helped and sometimes comforted me through each stage & journey. You hear about so many things that you 'need' when quite frankly you just need to keep it simple. Here's i've rounded up a few things which i've found very useful for different reasons in each of my four pregnancies in the past five years. All of these is obviously in my experience, but above all - keeping as relaxed as possible is the best essential in any pregnancy!

Health

Vitamins
At the start of each pregnancy I have always taken to recommended dose of folic acid, but as the weeks go on I have also tried my best and keeping vitamin levels higher too. In this pregnancy I have been taking Centrum Multivitamins. 

I also take iron in the later stages of pregnancy as anaemia can be such an awful thing for most people but when your body dips so fast it can really wear my body down. This was also a thought of a contributing factor for why I had a haemorrhage two hours post-birth with my first. Ensuring you keep hydrated when taking them as well otherwise this could lead to awful stuff up feeling!

Aromatherapy oils - I find having a massage with lavender oil can be so relaxing in pregnancy, but so much so that my sister-in-law did this when I was labouring with Phoenix and I almost fell asleep!  and the smell really helps to encourage sleep

Chamomile tea
I love most teas, the traditional is my favourite (decaf) but when I'm in need of a little relaxed drink in the evening I like to enjoy a hot cup of chamomile. Its really funny as in all three previous pregnancies I completely went off tea, but in our fourth, I find it really comforting!

Exercise
I've written before about my worries with my Diastasis Recti. So this leads me to having it when expecting too - not nice at all and making sure that i'm doing some easy stretches and nice walking keeps me healthier. I was doing my core exercises until last week when my back completely gave in on me so i'm trying to rest at the moment (in between seeing to the kiddo's) I will definitely make sure I do more soon, along with my yoga DVD and then the post natal fitness to strengthen my core. Having four littles in a short space of time has left me with this crappy diagnosis but I will never stop being thankful for being able to carry and birth my babies happily.

Keeping hydrated
An absolute must for anyone, especially expectant Mamas. This is something I struggle with but am trying my best to keep up with it as I know it benefits us both, and my energy levels for my little three.

Enough quality sleep 
if possible! This can prove almost impossible when you have three children already but when you can grab an early night, or even a moment to just rest when they're napping or playing nicely - embrace it, you'll feel much better.

Self care & Comfort

Pillows
I was bought a DreamGenii by my colleague when expecting our first and this did help and was also very beneficial when breastfeeding in those first few weeks. Its been very helpful in all pregnancies, but this time around I have found even using ordinary pillows a great help as sometimes having the DreamGenii around me and a kicking fidgeting two year old who's got into our bed can be a bit of a squeeze! 

In this pregnancy mostly so but also in my previous two I have suffered with very bad lower backand hip pain. With my last pregnancy & this time I have had/have SPD, PGP which is not only so uncomfortable when keeping up with the little ones but also when trying to get a good nights sleep. Having had four babies in five years has left me with a bad case of Diastasis Recti also so making sure I am keeping my core well protected is paramount.

Nourishing your skin -
I was lucky enough to not get stretch marks in my first pregnancy despite carrying a rock solid football shape on my front but I did use a lot of Bio Oil, aloe vera gel and olive oil. I did get marks from my second & third time and will predict that I get more this time around just because I have carried big babies in a small but tall frame in the space of five years. Or it may just be genetic! Who knows but i'm finding using coconut oil very helpful and soothing for my achy bump this time. Using a face & hand creams has helped wonders too as i've been getting quite dry skin as its coming into winter time. 

A good mouth wash: 
I'm not sure why but in all four pregnancies I have suffered with bleeding gums and even cracked teeth, very bizzre but what I find helps is using a good mouth wash to keep it healthy, i'm currently using Corsodyl.

Style

Bump support band -
 in my last pregnancy and do use currently. The only thing I would say is to not rely on it all the time as you need to train your body to keep your muscles tight and not let them hang loose or feel dependent on a support band. 

Comfortable underwear & maternity/nursing bras
Two completely relevant components when expecting and for the time when you're nursing your new baby. I've loved my bras from the blooming Marvellous range at Mothercare, M&S & H&M. I have a small amount of maternity bras as I feel buying the nursing bras was just a smarter move than buying twice!

Leggings & comfortable clothing (& shoes!)
I've not ever purchased maternity clothing other than bras but other than the comfortable clothing i already have, I like to update this if needed. Finding nice dresses that fit in the right places is good, those that will also be handy when breastfeeding our newborn. Leggings are a no brainer for me, especially now i'm a 'school-run Mama', they're easy to get on (ish!) and go with anything really, teaming them with a loose fitting tee or cardigan this time of year with some comfortable shoes. I've practically lived in my converse, vans or leather boots recently! 

I'm not sure what it is, somedays I find that i'm styling something really nicely, adding pops of colour or textures, then most days I find that I look very bland. I have a friend who makes anything look good in pregnancy, and I think maybe its just my confidence? I do believe in 'It's not what you wear, it's how you wear it', maybe I need to think more like this! I do however grow a very funny pokey out bump and don't seem to put on weight elsewhere, so fitting clothes looks nice - with the neat but poking out bump or those lovely baggy, flowing dresses that they make just make me look huge! 


Treat yourself once in a while too! 

After all, you're growing a human being in there! This is something thats new to me in some ways, but in this pregnancy, I'm hoping to get some fresh new pyjamas which will also see me through into the fourth trimester (breastfeeding friendly of course) as my others are still my special ones as they've seen my last three babies through, I just want a fresh pair alongside! ....and I would love to relieve my feet at the end of most days so a nice foot spa would be awesome! 
* I was kindly sent the products in a 'Mum-to-be hamper' pictured above to review. They are a wonderful bunch of products that I am using daily along with my ones mentioned above. Using natural products is something I like to do as my skin can be so sensitive at the best of times let alone in pregnancy, the hand cream smells amazing too!

All words, thoughts, & opinions are my own.




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Friday, 8 January 2016

Why I love capturing, documenting and preserving memories of our life.

I have always had such a huge interest is photography right back to when I used to watch my Dad photographing things, places or my brother & I. Watching how you can capture, freeze and preserve time in an instant was something that fuelled a passion in me.

 I then started to use up so many disposable cameras when learning how to capture moments for myself, only for half of them to come out blurred or just photos of a foot or something. It wasn't until my first proper digital camera that it really started in practice. I would always be the one who was snapping away, shying away from the camera mostly but wanting to capture people or things around me. Documenting school trips, friendships, my little dog, holidays, you name it, along with attempting to get to grips with my dads film camera which baffled me but I just found it completely fascinating. Then it went on to drunken nights out with friends, again pre-smart phones when I would be the one capturing all the laughs and jokes, silly poses then us all having a giggle at what had been preserved just through taking my little camera out with me everywhere. 

Being someone who was quite the introvert, very shy, especially being in front of the camera from being so insecure about the way I looked, I loved that I could capture so much without getting out of my comfort zone so to speak. That I could still project what I loved through the other side of the lens. Having that passion has always been there, carrying on the memory preservation through everyday life and holidays of course but I would truly say it wasn't until we found out that we were expecting our first little baby back in 2010 that it sparked something more in me.

I wanted to remember it all, so with the weekly and sometimes daily bump photographs leading to the day she was born, even if it was only on a little digital camera or blackberry phone at the time- I wanted to make sure this precious time in our lives was being preserved for us to cherish forever. When I was in labour with her, like in all three labours of mine I wanted it to be photographed. So I made sure my camera was charged and easily accessible for Mr T or my sister in law as they were my birthing partners and I will be eternally grateful to her for capturing these moments all three times and possibly a fourth time come April this year, unless I get a birth photographer (something I would love to do as well but to have my own photographed from a different and more relaxed perspective would be amazing.)


When she was born, it was like something had been awoken in me even more.


 Its only natural to want to take photos and show off your new baby but for me it sparked something incredible inside my heart. Throughout the new, wonderful and sometimes challenging moments of early motherhood I still carried on making sure I documented those moments that meant so much to me, then as the weeks went on, came the milestones which are so special and even more magical to look back on. The little things mean most to me, the tiny fingers, chubby thighs, cooing at Daddy, nursing to sleep cradled in my arms, our routines, places we would visit and so on. This little passion grew stronger and stronger each day and this remained the same when we welcomed our second and third babies - except this time I had the privilege of capturing not only new babies of ours, but also the special blossoming bonds between siblings, beautiful moments of interaction and our family that was ever growing.

I wasn't blogging at the time as I had no idea what it was all about, but one day I just wanted to put words to my photography, and to our life in pictures. I have wobbles each time I go to write a post, I worry about who reads my page, who looks at our pictures and it does make me think if i'm doing the right thing. I am changing the dynamics a little bit on here but ultimately I will continue to photograph our growing family, our life inside our 'bubble' and will love to look back one day and read all about it.

That takes me to the name of this blog of mine. 'Little Jam Pot Life'.

 To me this means that we live in our own little jar (bubble) like everybody else, except one of the most important things to me is being able to document and 'preserve' - hence the 'Jam', sounds cheesy I know but at the time it fitted and it suits to this day. I wanted this place to be my way of encapsulating it all through my words, photography and film.

I have also done some work in maternity, newborn and baby photography which is something I want to get back into more once life has a balance with four littles! you can see a little more here...
Onehappinessphotography.com

Back to the photography...

No matter how much I love doing what I do, I always look back and think 'ergh, why did I edit the image like that?' or completely cringing at complete processing of it all. Ultimately though, it's still the memories captured that count. and I believe that in life, you need to make mistakes, to learn from them, change the way you do things in order to move forward. Now i'm no expert and still have lots I want to learn, but I have progressed from the beginning and for that I am immensely proud. More than anything, I believe that if you're capturing a moment, any kind - thats something. Honest, raw, celebratory, simplistic, you name it.

If it moves you, and means something to you then you're on the right path.

This life we're living is no rehearsal, we get one shot and its there to be embraced and cherished. To be able to freeze time and look back on treasured memories is one of the best inventions ever made.

******

I'm going to be writing more in a little series called 'For the love of photography'.

I'm setting myself little goals in which to use my DSLR camera more, improving my skills, finding the inspiration in the everyday, photographing not only our family but for myself more too, the things that interest me alongside being a Mama to almost four.

Do you fancy joining me in photographing more in your lives?
Sharing tips with one another, encouraging each other to fulfil our passions to create a time machine through imagery and film?

I have no strategy for this at the moment, I just really needed to write it down and to be honest its been quite therapeutic. I will continue to blog for what I love doing, photographing and documenting. I'll put a little note/update out there to anyone who is interested too.

Thanks for reading. xo



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Thursday, 7 January 2016

Hello third trimester

So it's been a little while since my last pregnancy update at 20 weeks. It was around then that I also shared with you about our horrible scan experience - a first time ever throughout our four pregnancies including some very worrying news that thankfully came out the positive side and finally the not so gender reveal.
I've been keeping an 'at home' diary of my pregnancy just like I have done with my previous three as I find this very therapeutic to not only do, but to look back on.

Its lovely really as I've got notes, diary extracts, maternity notes I've copied, ramblings and thoughts from all four in one journal. I've found it quite helpful too to look back on things if i've felt a little unsure on something or just wanting to read what about waiting to experience in weeks to come etc. I've still been taking my bump pictures, trying to do weekly but my growth doesn't seem to change much, it's more the shapes it goes than anything. This time around, I thought it would be really cool to do a time lapse film that I will share at the end of my pregnancy, a little time capsule that I can keep and look back on in years to come too.

Symptoms wise; I've been feeling quite achy in my lower back - this is something I suffered with in my last pregnancy too due to the weakness in my core. Diastasis Recti is something I live with everyday and I'm taking small steps throughout this pregnancy to try and manage it but of course this is limited when you feel you have no control over your movement in your tummy area. I've had some physiotherapy sessions which have shown me more ways in which I can keep it steady, but also being told that I need to watch how I bend, and not lift heavy things - such as a toddler. This is hard for me at the minute as happen to have a little boy who loves to run, especially on the school run where I have two other little girlies to keep watch over. So it's just about doing what I can, when I can in reality.

I have another appointment next week where we will go through Progress & plan of action:
I suffered extreme SPD one week towards the end of Phoenix's pregnancy where it left me unable to walk for two-three days so this is something I want to try and prevent. I'm currently doing my pre-natal fitness/yoga dvd's at home on & off so i'm hoping this will help. They also want to get me into one of their ante-natal clinics to see if an extra class may help. It sounds silly as this is my fourth baby and I do know what needs to be done but being given an extra bit of help and motivation may work well considering I wasn't given any advice after my three previous pregnancies - again this could of prevented a lot but we're here and will work from now onwards.

With regards to my baby bump, I am carrying the same again despite having mix gender children so for me, that 'fact' is in actual fact a myth! I have carried them right on the front, like a giant football that turns into a gigantic pumpkin plonked on the front of me, when I turn around you can't tell i'm expecting and when I lay down it nearly disappears. I'd say our first was the most chilled baby in my tummy but even she was active, they've got more and more active the more we've had and also the midwife said its due to how split my muscles are at how much I will be able to feel. When I was in labour with Phoenix, I remember my tummy literally turning before all of us, he turned himself out of back to back position before I birthed him, and we saw him wriggling! This baby is unreal though, even Mr T is more amazed and a little squeamish at how lumpy and bumpy it feels. When my tummy goes hard and it's moving about, you can almost feel as if it's curled up in a ball and you can feel the spine rolled round, and not to mention the wacky shapes it throws. The littles are so excited to watch and feel it, especially the girls, giving baby kisses and cuddle at any opportunity, talking to it and saying "Are you coming out when we'll have Easter eggs baby?" - so cute.
I can start to feel the stretch now though where I don't necessarily put on weight anywhere else, it gets itchy, and feels heavy but i'm slathering products on including the trusty bio oil, and the best solution being natural coconut oil. I have got stretch marks from my others but thats something i'm learning to live with, after all my tummy has blessed us with three (almost four) babies.

Another symptoms which I have had from about the 19th week now is the wonderful 'Braxton hicks'. I actually like these sometimes as I know from experience that its my body's way of getting prepared (or so I've been told by midwives and it turned out to be truth in my case.) The only time I find them awful is when i'm driving, which they send shooting pains up my back, or when trying to get out of bed - not funny at all.

My mindset is okay at the moment, I do have my occasional worries but I think thats only natural. The thing I always find hard in any of my pregnancies is hormone imbalance. I can honestly tell you that I have cried about ten times in 2016 already, over the smallest thing but usually me feeling mum guilt or that i'm not doing enough when in actual fact i've been told that i'm doing a bit too much. I find writing things down, taking a moment to process things and to sometimes even just switch off from it all helps. This along with trying to get enough sleep (whats that?) and maintaining a better way of eating. (currently sat eating a Cadbury's Freddo bar.) Anxiety likes to play a part sometimes, where i'll be sat with my littles and will just find myself looking at them and wondering if i'm going to live a healthy life where i'll watch them grow up, grow up in this world that is going completely bonkers at the moment.

Gender-wise, If you'd have read previous posts you'll know that we have never found out what we're expecting and are carrying on this little tradition this time too. Theres something so special not knowing what you're having, and we're over the moon either way. This little baby was a wonderful surprise to us, and as long as it's healthy, thats all that matters. We do have a little tradition we do with each one when buying things to prepare is that we get one neutral babygrow and a couple of other little things, this time this includes a pair of knitted booties, and a super cool knitted onesie from the peanuts collection in gap. It probably would suit a boy but i'll work just fine for a little girl too. Our littles were all wearing neutral in the first few months anyway and we love to mix up their colours as they get older too. We're not a 'pink is for girls, blue is for boys only' kind of family!  I've also been really lucky to have been sent some lovely things throughout this pregnancy from some fab companies including lovely goodie bags of products.

I'm not sure if i've said before, but when it comes down to what we think the baby is I always have an inkling but more importantly I have kind of a premonition. Now this sounds bizarre to some but I believe in it as all three times I was right. When expecting our first, I just had a feeling my first baby would be a girl. When expecting our second, I had a vision that our little Yve's would adore a baby sister, then with Phoenix I had a vision that our little girls would dote on a little brother but also make fun of him in the bath for having a 'winky'. All came true! So this time, I've not got a 'feeling' yet but I did have a funny thing the other day where we were in conversation and I said "Oh the girls are going to be so jammy having the big bedroom, and the boys will have to share in the smaller one" - so whether this is my premonition moment I don't know.

At 27 weeks pregnant today I am feeling quite good. I am extremely grateful that our little baby bump is growing healthily, and i'm so pleased that my breathlessness/migraines and all the worries in the first and part of the second trimester have shifted. I'm going to take each day as it comes, slowing down as much as possible, and embracing this chapter in my life. Each time i've been expecting, I've counted my lucky stars that its been straight forward. And this is no different, forever thankful.

I have a few appointments coming up including physiotherapy, 28 weeks check with bloods (bleurgh) and a complimentary 4D scan at 30 weeks. Probably the last time i'll see baby before we meet him/or her face to face. I may have a lovely maternity session coming up soon with the photographer who did Phoenix's newborn photos along with doing some of my own again, and then finally our actual newborn photographs again, exciting!

Here's my recent bump picture (sadly i'm out of fresh flowers!)
and including my previous weeks so far.



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Monday, 4 January 2016

Fresh air, laughter and togetherness.

I've written recently about our time throughout December, and in particular the festive period including Christmas itself. One of the best days we had was after all the Christmas mayhem with a simple trip to the park, fresh air and lunch. Having fun with our littles is something we love to do, spend time connecting, laughing, joking, playing and just being silly. It's amazing at what some fresh air can do for the mind, no matter how lovely it is having relaxed days at home with them, with three kids aged just 5, 3 and a half and almost 2, it can sometimes get a bit overwhelming all round. Not only that its just something we generally love to do, get out and explore with them.

This year will see us add our sixth member to our unit and we couldn't be more excited, the girls are especially thrilled as it's going to be their 'Easter baby' and they get to paint my tummy when its officially huge. Yve's did this before but to get them all involved this time is going to be so much fun (and messy!).

Having three little ones close in age, with another on the way, a partner who works more than full time and me who is seeing to the kids and trying to make a business - Time can be short. Finding balance is really hard especially when you don't know what that is, or how to truly get there. We put our all into our family, and like anyone, we would love to be able to have the flexibility to offer them more one to one time, to know the way in which to meet all age abilities, but we have fun so far for the most part, they've experienced so much and so have we.

 This journey of parenthood we're on is only just the beginning, and its one we are learning from happily together each day, and face change in the face like we always have done, to embrace it all.

With everything in life there are tough times, these are good in a random way as they teach you to be grateful for all the good, it uncovered the mist that all the good times over ride the bad and equally both will guide you through life.

So when we get time together, it means the world to us.

In the future, we dream to both be running our own businesses, moving to a place where we can buy our first home together, have more time to give to our then four children and to also get the right balance to have our relationship, and own life goals met too.

For now though, we are going to continue to make the most of what we have, what we do and for that we are really thankful. Children aren't small for long at all, and I am already grieving for the time thats passed us by, I feel incredibly proud that I am their Mama and this is our life.

Happiness is handmade

Time together as our little unit is something very special to me. 
We may see each other everyday, but when life gets busy it's hard to see.
When I hear the laughter roaring from little mouths
I feel ever so glad that we decided to explore while out.
Spending time adoring interactions, connections and loves,
These moments don't come around too often and are to be treasured to the skies above.
So for now until our unit becomes a tribe of six
I'm going to grab hold of these times, cherish and never quit.
My family means to world to me
for this love I feel is what sets my heart free.

- Your Mama.



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