Sunday, 29 April 2018

Health | Why I Chose The Coil

Contraception after giving birth is so important but you know sex is the last thing on your mind. The midwives mention it, the health visitor quiz you on it. I think we can all safely say after pushing out what feels like a football out of our fannies, we are swearing by abstaining for the rest of our lives! In reality though, we all have needs so eventually we're gonna jump back on that horse and ride! With my mum being a midwife she offered some advise and after some deliberation, here's why I chose the coil.

When I got my first real boyfriend at 17 I decided to have the contraceptive injection, I knew I didn't want to go on the pill because I'm a scatter brain and would forget to take it. At first it was great, I just used to go to the doctors every three months for a needle in my bum and Bob's your uncle. A few months down the line and I was suffering from chronic abdomen pain, it felt like I was being stabbed and I would literally be doubled over from the pain. I went to the doctors, I had scans, internal examinations and blood tests but to no avail. I was undiagnosed. Nobody knew what was wrong with me. Eventually the lovely doctor I had been under recommend coming off the injection which I was quite reluctant about because I liked not having to worry about my contraception. I enquired about the impnat but she advised against that as well, something about it working the same way as the injection or something. I can't remember, it was 11 years ago! I told her my concerns about going on the pill and she said to me "stick a reminder on your phone" so that's what I did and it was great, I took it regularly every day and my pains disappeared. I don't know why I ever shrugged it off, I guess I just thought it was an inconvenience. 

I did start taking the pill again after George was born but then I got (stupidly) lazy with it (enter Henry). Not so much lazy but I hated taking tablets you see. I never used to have that problem, it actually started when I was pregnant with George, my antenatel vitamins turned my stomach, it was like swallowing a horse pill and on top of morning sickness. Not good. To this day I now struggle taking painkillers, I know it's all in my head but I can't help it okay? Anyway, after an unplanned pregnancy I knew my method of birth control needed to change. That's when my mum recommented the coil which I was 100% against at first. Is is just me that associated the coil with older women? Although at 28, I'm no spring chicken but I just think of my mum having it so it was a mumsy thing to me, again which is stupid because I am a mum.I ended up spending a lot of time thinking about it and doing my own research when I decided on the Mirena coil. I knew I didn't want the copper coil because the idea of metal irritating my body to stop me becoming pregnant just didn't appeal to me at all. So I just went for it and you know what? I haven't looked back. 

I'd booked my smear (seriously, I had my first at 28 so don't delay it for as long as I did - check your bits ladies) and had my coil fitted at the same time. Two birds, one stone. The insertion was slightly uncomfortable but nothing compared to child birth! At first I bled quite heavily for about 6 weeks and I thought to myself "what the fuck have I done?" but eventually the bleeding settled down and it has been a dream ever since. 

Having PCOS I used to really suffer with heavy, painful periods, I mean they were awful. I would be bent over in pain, unable to walk and having to change my clothes more than once a day. Since I've had the coil fitted I no longer get a monthly but in the beginning my periods were regular, light and virtually pain free. It's an actual life saver! 

I am so glad I opted for the Mirena coil in the end. Did you have any doubts about the coil?

Rachael xo
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Monday, 23 April 2018

Family | Henry Hates Sleep

 
 Henry hates sleep. Or me. Or both. Funny thing is on his first few days on earth he was an excellent sleeper, in fact he was that good of a sleeper I had to set an alarm on my phone to make sure he fed every three hours because he just would not wake for it. Fast forward a few weeks when we established feeding shit hit the fan. He just wouldn't sleep of a night, he hated being put in his cot (which come to think of it is fair enough really), but I tried white noise apps, rocking him, lying next to him and nothing would work. I was shattered and that's why Pete started sleeping downstairs with him because I'm a horrible bitch when I don't get enough sleep. 

Don't get me wrong there are nights when he does sleep all the way through (I think, there must be) but there are many a night (usually when Pete is away) and he is awake at all hours. The other night he woke up at 1am and did not go back to sleep until 4.30am and this has happened on more than one occassion. It kills me because that's me awake then for the rest of the night, I'm normally disturbed by Pete coming home from work not long after Henry has gone back to sleep, the cats jumping about and then its 7am and both boys are awake again. 

George was an excellent sleeper. God he was such an easy baby. I remember clearly the first time he slept through the night, he was eight weeks and I woke up at 2am shouting "shit the baby hasn't had a bottle!" making Pete get out of bed and we stupidly woke him to feed him. You panic with your first born don't you? Thank god I'm over all that now! Anyway, from then we never woke him for a bottle after that night and I felt like a new woman getting chunks of sleep. We did co-sleep with him for months but he would sleep through the night and the progression to the cot wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. He would go to bed at 7pm and wake at 7am. 

I was one of those parents that everyone hated. The one who was made to feel guilty that my child slept through the night. The one who didn't feel like they were allowed to mention that they had a good sleeper without being accused of being smug. The one who was old they were "lucky" despite establishing a routine. 

Now I am the parent that is jealous of the good sleepers. I am very lucky that Pete does do bed time and he does sleep downstairs with the children for the time being so unless he is working it doesn't fall on me but on those nights that it does, I struggle massively. No amount of coffee can save me. I end up being ready for bed around tea time because I just don't cope with no sleep. 

My goal for this week is to start decorating the bedrooms now they are 90% clear and as soon as that is done we can start sleep training again. I just can't wait to normalise our bed time routine and then hopefully Henry will start sleeping properly. 


Wish us luck!

Rachael xo
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Sunday, 22 April 2018

Family | Double The Tantrums

I thought as your kids got older the tantrums got better? I thought wrong, they just seem to get bigger. George is three and a half and although the tantrums are less frequent they just seem to be absolutely mega as of late. To make matters worse, we have double the tantrums now Henry has started to assert himself! Send. Help!

George has started this god damn awful cry when he is having a paddy. I wish you could hear it - no actually, scrap that, I wouldn't wish that on anybody. You'll have to imagine it, it goes a bit like this "waaaahhhh!" Imagine a pterodactyl on steroids because that is the only way I can possibly describe it. He's unrecognisable when he does it. You know as a parent you can recognise your own child crying? I couldn't tell you it was him if I heard him. In fact, we were walking back to the caravan last week, Pete and Henry were inside and Pete didn't know it was him even though he had heard him. I want to rip my own ears off whenever he does it. 

As if that wasn't bad enough, Henry (15 months) has started the tantrums already. Of course he is at the age now where he wants to do things for himsef, especially things his big brother does but naturally he still needs that extra bit of help. God forbid you help him or stop him doing something. We get smacked, he will kick and he just throws himself about. Honestly it's like he's possessed. His body contorts into positions I never knew possible. Regan MacNeil eat your heart out!

It is just so easy to forget how early the tantrums can start, you hear about the terrible twos all the time but nobody mentions that it starts nine months before they actually turn two. Nobody tells you how difficult it is to calm down a tantrum of a one year old who can't really understand a word you're saying. I can't ever remember George starting the tantrums this early but I guess my memory is pretty shit because they must have done. Both my boys are very strong willed and they definitely get that from me. When I had a second child I knew it would be challenging juggling both kids but it never even dawned on me that there would be double tantrums. You're probably reading this thinking "you silly cow " but it isn't something that ever crossed my mind. You worry about splitting yourself in two and getting out the house on time. 

If you follow me on Facebook, you'll see I uploaded a video of George's strop and loads of other people said they were in the same boat and said it doesn't stop. Even when they're five. Least I'll get many years out of my blog name ay? 

Send wine!

Rachael xo
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Thursday, 19 April 2018

Family | Hello, I'm Called George


My three year old is the most sociable person I know, he says hello to almost everyone he sees, and he will strike up a conversation with anyone who will listen. He certainly doesn't get this trait for me, I hate making small talk and children just seem to invite that don't they? Henry on the otherhand is definitely mine and hates talking to other people as well. George could actually talk the hind leg off a donkey given the opportunity, he's happy, confident, outgoing and friendly. While all of these are great traits to have, it worries me.

It worries me because he will talk to ANYONE, and I mean anyone. Man with dog, he'll say hello. Woman with baby, he'll say hello. Look at him, he'll say hello. He has even started walking up to people and saying "hello, I'm called George!" Earlier this week we were at a park, it was quiet, it was early and we had the place to ourselves for a while so we were in our element. At most there were about three families there, including us, throughout the whole time we were there. We met one of these families whilst they were in the maze, Henry and I were sat on a bench stuffing our faces and George told the family "I can hear my baby brother Henry!" As they all came out of the maze, George walked off with them asking "are you looking after me?" George really took a shine to their six year old son so we did end up having a little chat with the parents for a bit while the kids played which was nice despite my earlier claims of hating people.

While I am glad he feels confident to talk to people and has excellent social skills, I'm worried he will befriend the wrong person. It only takes a couple of seconds and he could be gone in a blink. He only has to approach the wrong person and that could be it. I know this seems irrational, but I watched a social experiment where a man showed parents how easy it was for him to coax their children to go off with them. George probably wouldn't even need coaxing. And it's scary. 

I'm not a helicopter parent and I never have been, I like giving the boys some independence, I like encouraging them to explore and I believe it has definitely helped them to develop physically as they are both excellent climbers and will happily tackle a climbing frame, but these days I am scared to take my eye off George even for a second.

He has never been a shy child even as a baby but all of a sudden his confidence has rocketed and he has become much more independent. Just recently in the ice cream shop he asked the woman who was scooping his ice cream if he could have the marshmallows from the top, and happily paid for a toy in a shop which is fantastic. I am proud of what an amazing little character he is growing into and it is my job to guide him. I won't teach him not to speak to strangers because he has witnessed me say "good morning" to people when we have been out and I enjoy seeing him talking to others. He can bring a smile to anyone's face and I love that about him. 

I just wish I could fit him with a tracking device! 

Rachael xo
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Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Days Out | The Ice Cream Farm


The sun has finally made an appearance in the UK and I am quite excited which is so unlike me but here we have it, I'm a changed woman, what can I say? I had some holidays to take in work so managed to squeeze them in this week before I lost them and I think I picked the right week for it. With the sun shining today we picked George up from school and headed to the Ice Cream Farm. It is pretty much our (and a hundred others) go to day out when the weather takes a turn for the better. 


Situated just outside Chester the Ice Cream farm is off the beaten track but definitely worth the long, windy journey. They advertise as being perfect for both toddlers and older children and I couldn't agree more, there is so much to do even for Henry! As soon as you enter, you're hit with Daisy's Garden, the cutest outdoor play area which closely resembles something straight out of the Teletubbies, with hills and tunnels covered in astro turf for the kids to climb and crawl through. In the centre there is a massive ice cream tree which blasts out snow every 30 minutes, cute right? It gets pretty busy though so keep your eyes peeled for your little one running through the snow with what feels like a million other kids. 

Speaking of your little one running off you can get a wristband from reception to write your name and number on just in case your unpredicatable toddler decides he no longer wants to play in the tunnels and disappears to a roundabout without your knowledge causing unbeknown panic to set in for his parents who then split up and run round looking for him... Thanks George! 


As well as Daisy's Garden there is the Strawberry Field's mini golf which George begged me to go in to today depsite me protesting that he would get really bored really quickly, but to my surprise he lasted a bit longer than I expected. Albeit, he did have a massive tantrum because he told me he needed the toilet then refused to go because he did not want to leave the golf course. We did only have one tantrum though so I consider that to be a successful day out. 


There is also the Fun Factory soft play and Honeycomb Canyon for when the heat gets too much. George and Henry both spent more time in the soft play today than anywhere else today which is typical when the weather is cracking the pavements but it kept them entertained for a good hour or so and it was quiet in there which was nice because it meant Pete and I could relax a bit. We didn't go in Honeycomb Canyon this time round but we have been in the past, it's water and sand play so if you do fancy it, I'd suggest taking a spare set of clothes and a towel for your little one. It is free to get into the Ice Cream Farm but there is a small charge for the additional activities. If you've had enough of the hustle and bustle of the play area and soft play, you can go for a walk through Fudge Farm where you'll see some cute little animals because of course no farm is complete without animals. Pete took Henry here today while George and I played mini golf so we missed out. 


No trip to the Ice Cream Farm would be complete without an ice cream! There are over 50 flavours of ice creams and sorbets which have won some awards apparently. It's pretty good ice cream to be fair. I try to get something new each time we visit but I normally end up queuing on my own while Pete looks after the boys outside and I get really overwhelmed (lol). I think my favourite has to be the white chocolate, raspberry and Oreo though but the Ferrero is pretty good too. 

The Ice Cream Farm is definitely one of our favourite places to visit, I think we have been three times this year already, but George loves it there and we get to indulge in ice cream so it's a win win.

What's your favourite ice cream?

Rachael xo






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Thursday, 29 March 2018

Life | Taking a Break



So if you follow me on social media you'll notice that just short of a week ago I made the decision to take a break from it all. I haven't deleted my accounts, I've just removed the apps from my phone. I make it no secret that I suffer really badly from mental health problems but I guess I have what you call high functioning depression. If you met me you probably wouldn't think I was depressed, the majority of the time I am quite well put together, I'm sociable, I take the boys out, visit family, go shopping. None of the stereotypical things you'd expect of a person with depression.I have good days and bad days. On a bad day, I will just sit on the couch and binge watch trashy TV, I won't do any house work and I'll possibly go to bed at 7pm. 

I mentioned a while back how Pete had become self-employed and how it has affected me which you can read here and five months later things are no different really. I am still struggling with lone parenting of a weekend. I feel like I can't make plans of a weekend due to him being away and last week he was working three nights in a row. It hit me that I didn't have a free weekend until mid June. The girls were trying to make plans for a London meet up and I just couldn't fit it in. I broke down. Completely. I ugly cried for about two hours on the couch after the boys went to sleep. I was texting Pete which I realise is completely unfair but it my way of coping. Give him his due he tried everything he could to try and make me feel better including inviting me to his clubnight in Liverpool on the Saturday. He even invited us all to Glasgow with him earlier that day before I started Cry Fest 2018. That's when I  made the decision to delete social media from my phone. 

You see, I'm a self confessed social media addict. I spend hours scrolling through Facebook and Instagram. I was finding myself jealous of everyone that seemed to be doing something I wasn't. Holidays. New cars. New clothes. Nights out. Why wasn't I doing any of that? I for one, know full well that people put the best part of the lives online and I have been guilty of doing it myelf but when you're in a bad place it can just make you feel like you are at rock bottom. Why was I torturing myself like this?  I didn't need it. I needed to concentrate on myself. I deleted Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I took my a Sertaline and an ibuprofen and I went to sleep. 

I woke up on Friday, took George to school then Henry and I hopped the train over to Liverpool to get out of the house and blow off the cobwebs.  I figured it would do me some good to get out of the house so I did a bit of shopping and took Henry to visit my colleagues before heading home for some lunch. I had a good heart to heart with the girls via Whatsapp and already started to feel better. George and I then had a movie night with pizza and chocolate then I had an early night. It was just what I needed.

Saturday morning rolled around, we went to Gym Bobs, went to visit my mum and then spent the afternoon watching TV. When Pete got home from Glasgow, I went for a bath and he persuaded me to go out with him and I had such a good night. I drank loads of prosecco and danced to pop punk and I was so glad I went out. 

Fast forward a few more days and I had booked a holiday to Barcelona with the girls for May. I mentioned it Pete and he pulled a few strings and arranged that he would stay at home that weekend rather than go to Milton Keynes. Result. 

Self care isn't always bath bombs and face masks, it's removing yourself from something that is making you miserable and also gaining a bit of perspective. I think last week I was just overdue a good cry and it got the better of me. I've checked in on social media a few times and am overwhelmed with the amount of love I got from everyone <3

Thanks for listening to me ramble! 

Rachael xo





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Mama Style | Spring Dreamin'




I am an Autumn/ Winter girl through and through, give me boots, hats and pumpkin spice lattes every day. I love candles, I love being cosy, I love eating a massive bowl of Scouse and being huddled up in loads of blankets. However, recently I am dreaming of warmer months, maybe I've had enough of the snow, maybe I'm sick of being cooped up inside with two boisterous boys who just want to be active all the time but I've said it, I am spring dreamin' 

I  bought a pair of these frayed hem jeans from Primark recently albeit in black (of course - it's pretty much uniform) and I love them. They're not for everyone though because my mum and brother hate them and call me shipwrecked whenever I wear them, but what do they know ay? I don't often wear colour so on the rare occasion I do, it's normally a muted tone and although I hate yellow, I love mustard, probably because it's the only shade of yellow I can wear with my pasty ass skin, so adding it as a little pop of colour with a cute crop, some DMs and I am inspired. I actually wore a mustard blouse recently for work and George told me he didn't like me in it. Cheeky.

There's nothing I love more than rocking a good grungey look and I'm off out out on Easter Sunday to do a bit of day drinking so naturally I've been planning outfits ahead of the big day (something my mates always take the piss out of me before). I only wish the weather was a bit warmer so I could  rep the denim skirt and Vagabonds but I might just throw on a pair of fishnets and get my beer coat on and I'll be sound.


Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking! I am a bit partial to the floral trend as long as it's not too bright and girly and I think this outfit is mega cute. Converse are my go to shoes these days especially as I'm normally running round after George who cannot be trusted to walk sensibly. See, I plan all these cute outfits and say I'm excited for Spring so I can wear them but the reality of it is, I'm gonna be sporting a mum bun and leggings the majority of the time! A girl can dream right?

Rachael xo
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