This Girl Can

I realise I haven’t written a personal post for a while so here I am giving a little life update because in the blogging world it’s good to be consistent and of course write from the heart about the things that matter to you. Writing as I’ve come to realise is not only an art form, it can also be a form of therapy. This blog has always been a creative outlet for expression. I have been inspired by three lovely friends of mine  to get tapping away at the keyboard. Vicki, Lucie and Jess.

Motherhood is a lot harder than I thought it would be I still haven’t worked out whether that’s because I am a little older or whether it’s just that I over complicate things. My life in the past 4 years has drastically changed and I am a resilient woman who has tackled a lot during this time.  I think more parents in particular are turning to blogging and video blogging (vlogging) as a way of connecting with like minded people record memories as well as share the good and the not so good.  This guy is the main reason I started writing my blog on the 5th July 2014.

I love having a YouTube channel to run alongside the writing although it is quite challenging managing both at times.  Yes it can seem like over sharing but in my opinion a great way to help others and inspire. Becoming a sponsored vlogger for Channel Mum continues to be one of my favourite things ever.

I genuinely work with a wonderful team and I can really appreciate the power of YouTube working to influence and entertain many people. My advice to anyone thinking about starting a channel is to “just start”.  If you’re not sure or don’t feel confident then you can always record videos on your phone use insta stories get used to filming yourself, little steps which might just be the start of something amazing in your life!

For those that already know me I am devoted to my family.  I have been a stay at home (working mum) for a few years and  Jay starts Reception Class at Primary school next week. I am already beginning to get the butterflies, you know this thing called separation anxiety, I have it really bad.  He is my shadow  pretty much always by my side and September heralds big changes for us all.

We have had a busy active summer and Jay starts school next week. Some of you may know how much we love going to National Trust locations I genuinely recommend becoming members, it almost forces you to head out and take notice of the many incredible places that you have on your doorstep. Also good for your mindset and we all know how important that is to maintain.

As I also approach my 42nd birthday very very soon, I am preparing for a lot of change at home. We have a house extension taking place now which is to go on for a few more weeks yet. My intuition tells me it’s going to be tough and I trust my intuition a lot. I might be a little quiet on social media while I get used to the dust around me.  I must keep thinking of the end result, a brand spanking new kitchen with a utility room, a study and a downstairs toilet.  See I don’t ask for much. Mark and I celebrated 8 years of marriage last month and totally forgot to write the cards we had bought for one another. That’s how busy things are.

Last May we went to the beautiful island of Menorca our very first holiday abroad other than the time we visited my brother in California.  Contrary to what I thought we did relax with a few tantrums thrown in which was expected. I came home wanting us to travel and experience more together.


I have absolutely no regrets in staying at home raising Jay, after all we waited so long to become parents this is definitely what I wanted. I  have the upmost respect for the women and men who go to work and use childcare. I know for some women this is their choice and for others it’s not how they would like things to be but have no choice. We all need to do what we need to do and there mustn’t be any shaming in that.

Jay attended the loveliest Pre-school locally and this has been a wonderful experience.  From the moment I held him to this very day I have flashbacks to milestones and accept that time appears to move very fast.  Motherhood was something I was frightened of to be honest and now I take it day by day, trying my best to enjoy the present which inevitably brings it’s highs and lows. Exhausting as it is, there is something so magical about it that I feel very grateful for even when he is making me answer 100 questions in 10 seconds.

He’s at a fun age when he wants to know so much. Our bright boy who is ready for the next chapter in his life  amazes us with his speech and observations and I can’t wait to see how school education will take it to another level. He is 4 years old and often acts like a teenager which is funny and scary at the same time.  His latest interest is learning the Highway code signs which he has been viewing on various youtube videos. I have been driving for just over 24 years now and he seems to know more signs than I do! I reckon he’ll be ready for his theory long before his 17th.

There has of course been heartache in my recurrent miscarriage which I have written about here.  I know we all experience some form of loss or grief at some point in our lives but it is devastating when the plan doesn’t go to plan. We also recognise how incredibly lucky we are to have our son here to love and nurture. I  accept that life is full of surprises and joy and pain all part of this existence here on Earth. I recently read that something won’t go away until it teaches us what it needs us to know. I view life very differently now because things can be taken away from you in an instant.   I believe in turning negative situations into positive ones somehow something good can come out of it.

Working on media campaigns for Tommy’s the Baby loss charity and helping a recurrent miscarriage study at St Mary’s hospital makes these loses bearable. I advocate for more research on this subject to help prevent loss and suffering to people.  Baby loss is one of life’s cruel events. Despite the emotional battlefield I enter from time to time I am choosing hope over darkness. Life though will never be the same.

Society now is much more open to people talking about mental health breaking down stigma and working through issues seeking help because its okay not to be okay.  A positive mindset is essential to moving forward but also working on the things we perhaps might not want to face. Despite my many losses I vowed I’d never let it take me into a place I could not get out of because I have a very special mummy role to fulfill. In fact I feel stronger than ever before in my intentions to work hard and enjoy the free golden 24 hours we are all given each day.  I am currently reading a fantastic ebook by Turia Pitt about mindset. I set aside 15 minutes a day and work through the book.  If you don’t know who Turia is please take a moment to read up about her story I can tell you it’s definitely influenced me and pretty sure it might just get you thinking about your own life.

Recurrent Miscarriage recovery meant that I took the decision to sort my head and body out and began personal training in March 2017 3 weeks after I had surgery following the loss of my sixth pregnancy. I just went straight into it to help me focus through what was a really hard time.  I totally surprised myself  by training hard each week for months. I saw results I felt better lost body fat in the areas I needed to, and it has done wonders for my mind. Then in November I stopped personal training which was a mistake as I noticed I wasn’t feeling as positive and motivated. I kickstarted my sessions with new personal trainers Jacob Paul (400M Hurdler) and James Daly . I have said this before but Personal training has been one of the best investments ever. I have noticed a huge change in my physical and mental health. I’m not going to say this will be the best thing for everyone but movement is vital for us to feel good. Walking is hands down my favourite exercise.  Jacob and James are brilliant people and I highly recommend them if you are seeking personal training.

Through my work on social media I have been fortunate to work with small and big brands and use Instagram daily as it’s also a source of inspiration to me. Ever since I started posting 4 years ago I’ve seen more and more people engage with me and it’s been really wonderful having this platform to share content.  I have received lots of kind comments over the years and have formed wonderful friendships which significantly out ways any negatives from people who have unkind vibes. For those of you who read my blog and instagram posts and take time out of their day to watch my videos I thank you.  I think back to the time when I started using social media mainly Facebook and I was 32 years old. These days it’s all very different. The younger generation are exposed to so much. I do realise I am starting to sound very old but I do worry about the pressure young people face theses days all due to social media.

When I stopped working full time at 35 weeks pregnant in 2014 I had no idea what would happen to my career. My first priority was always going to be Jay no matter what but I also knew how much I loved working and I genuinely still feel very lucky to have had the oportunities that I have had since I became a parent. I will be focusing on my YouTube channel and business more once Jay starts school and be around to make sure I drop him off to school and pick him up after school.

I  started an online beauty business in April with an American Company as a distributor for their products and it’s been an exciting venture as I have an interest in beauty and helping others while at the same time learning and making income from home. I do have a Facebook group Belle de Beauté if you ever want to stop by to browse my posts and please feel free to contact me if there is anything I can help you with.  I hope to build this business and help others build a business from home to work around existing commitments, so please do send me an email if you’d like to find out more.

Despite me wanting time and financial freedom. Ultimately health and my family’s health is paramount. I am currently in a good place working hard and celebrating achievements.  They are usually little milestones but that’s fine by me, I’m not in a race.  I am working on a law of attraction planner which is something I purchased after reading The Secret. For me a woman in my 40s self awareness and discovery is becoming a huge theme as well as waking up each day with a grateful heart.So that’s really where things are at the moment with me and mine. Thank you for your kind words and friendship and to everyone who engages with me on social media platforms I am truly grateful you take the time to do so.

It doesn’t go unnoticed.

Love and Light Always

Bella

~X~

The Baby & Toddler Show Tickets Giveaway

 

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Whether you’re a parent to be or you’ve already got your hands full  with bouncing babies, or lively tinkers, the Baby & Toddler Show is the place to be! You’ll find everything you need to give your baby the best start with great shopping and expert advice on pregnancy, birth and parenthood. This year the North West Show will be taking place in Event City in Manchester (6th to 8th March) and the South East Show at Sandown Park (17th to 19th April). I will be attending the latter!

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The Shows attract some of the biggest names in the baby and toddler industry, showcasing their latest products at great prices and even offering you the opportunity to try them for yourself.  Brands include: Bugaboo, UPPAbaby, Quinny, Silver Cross, Maxi Cosi, Mamas & Papas, Cybex, bloom, Britax, Cosatto, Orbit Baby, Be Safe, Joolz, Meego and Baby Style.

There will also in attendance a selection of experts who will be speaking at the Expert Advice Workshops over the three days and they will be available to answer any questions you may have.

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Readers of my blog can get discounted tickets by entering these codes depending on which show you would like to attend. The 30% discount codes are NBT17 for Manchester and SBT15 for Sandown Park.

I’m pleased to say I have a pair of tickets to give away to the The Baby & Toddler Show. Simply enter below by midnight on Friday 27th February.
The lucky reader will be chosen via Rafflecopter at random and announced on this page. The tickets will be sent via email.  Remember to tell your friends and I  hope to see you there!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Who Knew!

 

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I love a good giggle and who doesn’t? but what fascinates me is how babies laugh at the simplest of things, and whether you’re a parent or not it sure does feel good to see babies having a ball!

 Who knew for instance that:

Flicking pages through a book

opening and closing cupboard doors

Peppa pig theme music

scrunching up an empty crisp packet

Self blowing raspberries

playing peekaboo in a makeshift blankie tent

sliding a spoon in between the sofa cushions

saying the word “wrestling”

the green octopus packaging that came with the walker

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would make my little man laugh

Take a look at this cherub

This brings me to the questions, can you remember the last time YOU laughed hysterically and what or who caused this? Scrolling through photos of hilariously misspelled names on Starbucks cups worked a treat on me. Have a look on the web for this I guarantee it’ll get your endorphins flowing.

What sends your babies into a laughing frenzy?

Laughter truly is the best medicine!

Thanks for reading

~X~

Make a Splash!

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I had a feeling my child of Pisces would love splish splashing around in the pool  and my assumption was correct. He is a water sign after all but to be fair all babies are born with the natural ability to swim and are perfectly adapted to immersion in water.  We all know that swimming is an important must learn life skill and unlike my other half who swims daily I’m not that confident in the water. I managed a swimming proficiency of 25m at school but that’s about it, if my feet can’t touch the bottom of the pool or the sea then it’s game over.

I was advised to take Jay swimming after his immunisations but I’ve since discovered that you don’t need to wait and can go anytime unless your baby is unwell.  Most pools start swimming classes at 3 months and many mums prefer to wait until then to take their baby for a swim. The decision is entirely up to you. Jay had his first official pool visit at 6 months old with Daddio and he took to it brilliantly there were no tears and although he managed to splash his own face with water a couple of times he didn’t cry. He was as happy as Larry whoever Larry is.

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Jay and his Daddio

If you’re thinking of heading to the pool here’s a couple of pointers that I hope will help:

  • Consider the timing of your visit. Choose a time when the pool is quieter some leisure centres have a baby pool and if it doesn’t probably best to avoid busy lane sessions.
  • You may find you need to sign a form at the Leisure centre if you or family/friend is going to take photos of baby swimming. This is the World we live in now.
  • Might be an idea to get your swimming cossie on underneath your clothes before you leave the house to save time when you get to the pool.
  • Try and grab a bay with a table  as it’s quite tricky trying to change baby in one without one basically!
  • We packed 2 towels for Jay one to dry him immediately after coming out of the pool and one to put him down onto after drying. It’s no fun getting changed on a wet towel.
  • We chose Huggies disposable nappies which worked really well and Jay wore his funky swimming shorts over the nappy. Regular readers of my blog will know the Jay bird suffers from reflux. I was more worried about the milk throw ups than the possible nappy leak incidents! I had to make sure we waited 30 mins after feeding him and then we made our short drive to the pool.

 

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  • The pool temperature should not be too cold it should be at least 30 degrees celsius or warmer. If you think it’s too cold then check with the staff.
  • When you get in the pool for the first time, smile and talk to your baby.  It’s really important that you are calm as they’ll take their cues from you. Get your shoulders under the water and hold your baby so the water covers their chests. Through the session, try alternating between holding your baby very close, with lots of reassuring skin-to-skin contact, then at arm’s length so they can move freely and feel a bit more independent. Singing songs and play gentle games with your baby, blowing bubbles and splashing water over baby’s tummy and baby’s head.
  • We restricted his visit in the water to 20 minutes and made sure he was warm and cosy afterwards as babies lose heat quicker than adults.
  • Jay usually ready for a drink  immediately after swimming, thirsty work! so I feed him before we head home. There is the added benefit that he naps for longer after a visit to the pool which means I can actually have a warm mug of coffee for once and even manage to eat a meal when it’s hot and you mummies know what I mean!.

 

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Kicking action!

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Do you enjoy taking your babies swimming and have you tried structured swimming classes?

WaterBabies.co.uk

Aquababies.co.uk

PoolBabies.com

LittleDippers.co.uk

LondonBabySwim.co.uk

PuddleDucks.com

Thanks for reading

~X~