. Wednesday, 17 January 2018 .

Oh, my sweet baby boy, how are you halfway to two years old, already? It's going crazy fast, and although it's been tough, I'm enjoying my time with you so much. I'm sitting here with you on my lap. In one hand you have an air freshener in one hand pretending to spray it in my hair while making a blowing noise. The other hand is covering my mouth and my nose, quite annoying but funny. Just as I finished writing that, you've walked away to see your sisters, while holdingdragging my handbag behind you. But I'm sure you'll come back to sit on my lap again in a minute (yes, you did!) For some reason this seems like such a big milestone, and It's absolutely crazy to think you're nearly two years old. I'm already thinking about what to do for your birthday - I'm so excited to start planning everything. But as always, here is your 18 month update;

Lots of love Mam xxx


16/01/17
FREDDIE'S 18 MONTH UPDATE

SLEEP
Ah, sleep. Right, it's been a bit up and down since last month. You were good sleeping last month but these past few weeks have been challenging to say the least. You've been waking up countless of times and then won't let us put you down, even though you will sleep in our arms perfectly fine. It's been stressful and pretty much exhausting, but it's not as draining as you were when you were a baby. However, you're older and much more tiring to deal with during the day. 

Nap times are still pretty much the same. You will sleep from 11/11.30am, for around two hours on average. 

SIZE AND DEVELOPMENT
He still fits into size 12-18 months and slowly going to 18-24 months, it all depends on which shop the clothes are bought from. Development wise he is coming along really well. He babbles a lot recently and constantly lets us know he has his own voice - it's adorable, though. He is able to put blocks on top of each other, do pretend play by making toys talk to each other and there are so many other things he's been learning recently too. Freds is also showing a huge interest in drawing/colouring and absolutely loves dancing too! 

FOOD
He's been a little fussy at times and likes to feed himself. Countless of times he throws a tantrum if I try to feed him, or if his Dad tries to feed him. It's funny but so stressful as it can take a long time to calm him down. But he still has his favourites, pasta, banana and bolognese! 

MEMORIES + THINGS TO REMEMBER
- Giggles so much with a lot of things
- Loves me making the 'train' or a 'car' noise with the spoon if he lets me feed him
- When I peel a banana for him, he wants to put the skin in the bin (lol)
- Still loves hoovering
- Absolutely adores holding hands with the people he is close too
- Still loves to empty the pots and pan cupboard, as well as the baskets in the kitchen
- Loves to make lots of noise
- Babbles all day, every day.













. Sunday, 14 January 2018 .

I've always loved Instagram since the moment I signed up. I've got a huge passion for taking photos, and I love looking at other people's photos too. Not only that but reading captions to see how people are feeling or how their day has been too. I've had a fair few favourite Instagram profiles throughout the years but many have either stopped or don't post as much, but then there are some who I still absolutely love. It's one of my favourite social media platforms. You can follow mine here if you haven't already done so (and if you want too, of course). But otherwise, here are my top 10 favourite Instagram profiles (in no particular order):

Rebecca Lamb
I absolutely love Rebecca's Insta feed. I love how honest she is with motherhood and her photos are stunning. I've spoken to Rebecca a few times and she is so lovely. She has a partner, Steve (who is really funny on her vlogs) and they have two little boys, Alfie and Woody and they're the cutest little boys.



MummyDaddyMe - Katie Ellison
I have followed Katie's blog for a long time and her Instagram for a while too. Her photos are so stunning and colourful. I absolutely love her Instagram, again, she is really honest and I like how many of her captions relate to my life. She has a little boy, Wren, who is so similar to my Freddie. She also has a husband and two little girls.



Life as our little family - Kerri-Ann
I am in love with Kerri-Ann's style. Her clothes are so unique and so lovely. A fashion style I wish I could pull off but never could. She is a lovely person and her photos are so beautiful too. She has a little boy and a husband. I just love the mix of photos and her outfit of the day posts too.


Treasure Every Moment - Helen
Helen is so supportive and super lovely. She has two beautiful little girls and her feed is absolutely stunning. I love her photography and especially all the pink! She has many adventure photos - which I love and she's just so lovely.


Hello Archie - Kaye
I absolutely adore Kaye's photography and her boys are just the cutest. Her youngest, Jesse, is a little younger than Freddie and I loved reading her updates through her pregnancy and I still love reading updates of Jesse now because he's such a close age to Freds. I love the mix of photos that she has, the boys together, the boys alone and even she is in photos with them too. She's also really lovely to chat too.


Our Enchanted Wood - Abbie
Abbie's photography is absolutely amazing. I absolutely adore her photos and her Instagram feed is one of my favourites. She has a beautiful little girl and the cutest little boy, Lily and Archer. They are so adorable and I love following their adventures and seeing a new photo upload each time.


This Mama Life - Sarah
Sarah's Insta feed is gorgeous, her photos are bright and clean. She has an adorable little girl and little boy. She is so down to earth and honest on her vlogs and captions of her photos. She's someone I have followed for a while on Instagram now.


New Young Mum - Alice
I love Alice's photos on Instagram. They're so bright and she shares many craft ideas and lots of mix of photos of her life with her beautiful daughter, Amelia. She is so lovely and I've followed her Instagram for a while now too.


Lets Talk Mommy - Jenny
I love Jenny's Instagram, her photos are so bright and she is so honest. She has two beautiful children and currently pregnant with her third child. She looks absolutely amazing and I'm so excited for her. She is so lovely and so supportive too.


Charlotte Taylor
I adore Charlotte's Instagram, she is so down to earth and one of the most honest people on Instagram. She is so lovely and she has a beautiful little boy Bill and the most adorable beautiful little girl, Daisy. She's also currently pregnant with her third and she looks absolutely amazing too.






. Friday, 12 January 2018 .

Today I ended up telling my partner to take Freddie out with him. Freddie was so excited, he gave me a kiss goodbye and even waved his hands to wave goodbye, with his little words 'ta-ta' as he was walking out the door with his Daddy. Only little does he know that I wanted five minutes to myself. I wanted to feel somewhat human for a moment. I wanted a few minutes where there wasn't a toddler trying to climb up on me every single second of the day. I wanted to feel free and be able to walk wherever I wanted to go, without a little person following me absolutely everywhere, or older children continually asking for a drink, a snack or anything else they wanted.

I wanted to feel like me.

My head felt like it was banging. I was feeling drained out. I could feel all these emotions in me, I didn't know whether to feel angry or if I wanted to break down and cry. Having to do the same things every single day is exhausting. You do the same routine, but it's just a different day. Although it's the same thing every day, you never really know how your day is going to turn out like. It could actually turn out to be a very good day, but recently, I feel like most of my days are exhausting and I feel like I just want them to end quickly - which is not what I want to feel.

Freddie is 18 months old this month, and I can say that he is the hardest one out of all three. People will say 'boys will be boys' or 'that's kids for you' and so on, but sometimes it would be nice for someone to ask you "what is wrong?" or "I'm here to listen, what's up?", Something along those lines. I guess when I sometimes say that Freddie is a handful, I guess I'm doing a cry out for help that I'm struggling. But you see, I'm good at hiding those kinds of feelings away. Put a smile on my face each time I go out of the house, and that is that - nobody knows.


Each day I wake up and think how am I going to entertain him and keep him happy before and after his nap times? Don't get me wrong I absolutely adore my little boy and two girls. They mean the absolute world to me. When the girls are in school, I do panic a little that I'm not going to be able to cope with Freddie if he gets bored or if he throws a big tantrum that I'm not able to control. It's crazy that such a little person - an 18 month old - can make you break down so many times a week, isn't it? But despite all the downs, my love for him is so strong, and he is my little sidekick. He does keep me going, even if he drives me crazy most days.

Then there is that horrible guilt you feel at the end of the day. You go and kiss your baby goodnight with tears streaming down your face wondering why on earth do you deserve them little ones? Those little ones look up to you. Those little ones need you. You may feel guilty for either not doing enough with them in the day, for giving them a row, it can be absolutely anything, but the parent guilt is one of the worst feelings you can have being a parent.

But remember, they still love you, no matter what.

Trying to keep the kids happy, feeding them, reaching their needs and on top of that is working from home and keeping on top of the housework. The only time the housework is on top is when Freddie is in nursery on Thursdays - my work day. There is always something to do, something to keep or clean. I tidy one room, the other room gets trashed, and it's a horrible stressful circle every day. There's never an end to it.


Up until one day, all three will be out living their own lives. Maybe one will move away, another will be at home for longer and another living in another country, you never know what's going to happen. One day they will all leave. There will be no kids at home anymore. One day they will be parents themselves, they will come and visit you with their own children. One day you will want that little person following you everywhere. One day you will want that little person shouting 'Mam, Mam, Mam!'

One day you will want them all to be your babies again.

One day you will wish you could replay all the years - all over again.

This is what keeps me going. The love of my children is so strong. Each time I have changed my views on parenting. I am not the parent I was the first or second time, but I do like the parent I am now. I am seeing that one day my children won't be this age anymore. I don't want to wish their years away, I am going to live the 'now' with my struggles and try my best to somehow enjoy it. I am going to give them extra cuddles if I want too, I will give in to them if I want too and I will do what makes me happy.

So despite all the breakdowns you have in a day or a week, your children love you to pieces.

To your children, you are their world.

It's ok to break down on the kitchen floor. Hiding yourself in the bathroom and cry is ok. Let it all out - it's the best way.

Parenting doesn't come with a guidebook - you do what is best.

If you ever need to talk to someone, go to your doctors or a close friend or family member.

It's ok not to be ok.

Because trust me, you're doing the best damn job being a parent.

This goes out to all those super strong Mama's and Dada's out there.

Whether you're a stay at home parent, work from home parent or a working parent.

You are amazing.

Keep doing what you're doing.


. Thursday, 11 January 2018 .

A few years ago I was pretty much obsessed with walking everywhere and eating normal/healthy. I lost nearly 4 stone and I was happy. I wasn't 100% confident as I was still learning to love my 'new body' and new figure. However, as years have gone by, with a third pregnancy and just being stuck in a horrible rut and suffering from depression and anxiety, I've gone downhill again. I don't like it - I hate it.

I remember all through my pregnancy with Freddie I kept saying I was going to stick to the Slimming World Plan, and although I didn't do too bad, I still gained and I was still extremely unhappy with how I felt and looked. As months went by, I kept telling myself I was going to stick to plan again and I was going to go out walking and so on, but it never happened. I did stick to plan now and then but not each week.

I kept making silly excuses for myself which stopped me getting up and going out. Either I had work to do, no time, Freddie is napping or I had the girls to pick up. When in reality I could put Freddie down a little earlier to have his nap and just move him from his pram that he naps in, to his other pram to go out for a walk. I did have time because I could go before picking the girls up from school and pick them up on my way on the walk. There's always a way around things. As for work, yes that can be difficult at times but during the day, I work when Freddie is down for his nap, so before or afterwards, again, there are no excuses.

On Monday the 8th of January I had it in my head that I wanted to go out for a walk. I was looking forward to it and looking forward to feeling good, feel healthy and start losing weight again. It could just be a phase of the new year, but I'm hoping it's the start where this year can be for me. This year can be my time to feel and look good. I am aiming to lose 8 stone and I will be happy. I'm not looking to lose all of that in this year, maybe it will take me 2-3 years, I'm in no rush or competition with no one. My journey is my journey and no one will put me down in that way.



I'm not rushing into the whole thing but I am setting myself a goal each week that I'd like to achieve. I'm aiming to walk roughly 4-5 miles per day on top of the 3 miles that I do each day by taking the girls to school and picking them up. It's crazy how good you feel after a good long walk. There are a few paths to walk around my village but they can be quiet boring at times and I am worrying already that I'll get bored of them but I'm hoping to do different walks to make it seem and feel a little bit more interesting.

On Wednesday, I decided to go for a walk after dropping the girls off at school. Half way back home, I decided to let Freddie run around - this shattered him out for nap time - I missed the afternoon walk but went for one after picking the kids up from school. The weather is the perfect weather to go for walks, although it is freezing, you warm up by walking so it's not too bad. Freddie and I had a lovely little walk back home, it was over 3 miles long, and the feeling when I reached back home was a good positive feeling.

Are you walking or running more this year?


. Tuesday, 9 January 2018 .

For a few months now, possibly over six months or longer, I've been thinking long and hard about my blog. Not that I want to stop blogging, but I want to turn this blog around, not completely but I want it to be different from now on. All my life, since I fell pregnant at the age of sixteen, my life has been around babies and children. I had to grow up quicker than many of my friends, I had to be an 'adult' when I was just a teenager. Not that I regret having my children, they are the most precious things in my life. I am so grateful that I have three amazing, hilarious (sometimes very annoying) and healthy children. I really am.

But in those years I have lost myself. I've suffered from weight issues, suffered from liver disorders through each of my pregnancies, suffered from depression and still suffering from anxiety. Having a baby, never mind if it's one, two or four, it changes your mind and body. You change, everything changes. Relationships changes and life changes. But we all get on with it like I have done for these years.

My eldest, Mia, is 8 years old now and it's scary to think I've been a parent for over 8 years. How crazy is that? I still have to shake my head sometimes to even believe that she is 8 years old. Having two other ones as well is very hard going. When I first started blogging the first thing I told myself was that this blog was going to be 100% honest. I did struggle to be completely honest through the years, but the past 2-3 years I've been honest on every post and every photo on here and Instagram/Facebook. I don't see the point in writing something that's not real. It's not something I would want to read myself, so I won't do it myself.

My blog has always involved my kids. It's been a parenting blog from day one. Then I started sharing more posts about us as a family. I've really enjoyed sharing as many family photos as I can, as well as our family adventures. I honestly love it. That I won't change or stop writing about. However, as I said above, I've wanted a change with my blog. I had considered starting a brand new blog altogether, but have now decided not too.


In the past recent months, I've had more of interest in make up, clothes and other related things. I've also had an interest in writing more about family meals - mostly Slimming World friendly meals as I'm on the plan now to lose weight. I've decided I'm going to bring them all on here and I'm going to talk more about my interests and any other things that I like.

You might have noticed that I've been writing more about clothing and even receiving a few pieces of clothing to review too. I have a few clothing hauls on my YouTube channel if anyone is interested in watching and I'm really enjoying filming pieces for my channel, especially when they include my children.

So this year there's going to be new topics, new posts and new me on this blog. Of course, I will still be talking about the kids, but this blog has always been my 'little space to escape' from motherhood for a bit. It's something I absolutely enjoy, and I'm so excited to be writing more about what I enjoy and my own personal interests.



Are you a blogger? Have you slowly brought in new topics and changing your blog around?

. Monday, 8 January 2018 .

If you follow me on Instagram or if you've been following me on here you may have read that I've been trying to make my wardrobe a little more exciting in the past few months. About a year ago, you'd never see me walk out of the house with a bright coat or a brightly coloured top. The same about 2-3 years ago it would be very rare if you saw me with my hair up. It's some confidence I'm lacking, and I am slowly gaining more of it. Huge help with this is my blog. The past few months though, I am absolutely loving changing and brightening my wardrobe up. I'm really enjoying finding new bits of clothing and shoes to make it more exciting, other than wearing the usual black tops and leggings or jeans.

I was contacted recently by the lovely people at LOTD - Look Of The Day to see if I'd be interested in reviewing a few of their bits. I took a look at their website, and the first thing that I instantly liked was their prices. Their prices are very affordable and very reasonable for their clothing. I must say first before anything else. Also, they only do up to size 16. I'm bigger than a size 16 but have bought a jacket and a top. More details about them lower down this page.

The first item that caught my eye was this beautiful mustard, and white/cream patterned scarf. There was something so lovely about this scarf that I just had to get it. Considering it's not a thick scarf, it's fantastic quality and perfect for this time of year. It's a long scarf too which I love. The next thing I chose was a flared sleeve mustard jumper which I fell in love with. If you haven't noticed by now, I am obsessed with the colours yellow/mustard. I have so many pieces of clothing in that colour but what caught my eye with this jumper was the oversized and flared sleeves. They accidentally gave me the smaller size, but it actually still fits me and because I'm in a middle of losing weight, I'm using it as one of my goals to properly fit into within the next few months. Saying this, they do offer free returns - which is great if anyone wants to return their items.





The next two items I chose were a jacket and some boots. I have been looking for a new jacket that I can fit into. I knew it was going to be too small for me because they don't sell the size that I am. However, it does fit on my arms, as you can tell in the photos. I honestly can not wait too fit into this jacket. It's padded and has a hood in the collar too, which is always great - especially if you're a school parent. It's stylish, a bit cropped and the colour and quality are fab.


The boots I chose were these stunning biker boots. I've had my eye on some biker boots for a very long time, and when I saw them, I knew I had to have them. I chose the Khaki colour, and I was just as pleased in person as I was when I saw them online. I'm always nervous ordering shoes online, whether it's a review or buying because I'm wide footed, not many shoes fit me comfortably. I decided to go for the size up from what I am, and they are perfect. A little bit too big, but comfortable and wearable. I absolutely love the quality and the design of these boots. They are great to go with some black faded jeans as shown in the photos.


















What's your favourite piece of what I chose?

* I was kindly gifted these items in return for an honest review.
All words, images and opinions are my own.

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM @lifeasmum_blog

MEMBER OF:

TOTS100 - UK Parent Blogs
TOTS100
mumsnet