Monday, 9 December 2019

Well hello...

I really really can't believe that it was nearly twelve months ago since my last post!
Life with a baby and as a Mum of two has been really full on which has left me with next to no time at all to update this blog which I have missed doing.

Life has been full on and although this year has been truly magical in welcoming my second-born into the family at the same time it's been a heartbreaking and gut wrenching year in terms of having to make decisions in relation to DS. I will talk about this in another post but first I thought I would update you on whats been happening since my last post.

Well easily the most excitable thing to happen since my last post is the birth of our beautiful daughter! The baby bump was a little girl! Her birth was completely different to DS's birth but at the same time labour and giving birth to her was very familiar :)

DS acknowledged his little sister during the first few weeks but that was it. As predicted, it has taken some getting used to having to share my attention with his sibling and I have been sensitive to that.
I was confident that if I gave him the space, reassurance and love that he would come round to her and the massive change in his own time and he did :)
It's only in the last month or so that he's taken more of an interest in her and he's just starting to display love and affection towards her in his own way which is heartwarming to watch as their Mum :)

As for her, she absolutely adores her brother! She forever stares at him, smiles and giggles with excitement when he is nearby, crawls after him and reaches her little arms up to him. She has so much love for her handsome brother :)

Life with two children, one with autism and additional needs and the other a newborn has been full on, tough at times attempting to juggle the very different needs of them both and absolutely exhausting with cluster feeding throughout the night. I've somehow managed it though and at 11 months old my daughter still breastfeeds which in a way forces me to stop, sit/lie down and have a rest whilst she suckles usually to sleep. It's such a peaceful experience.

I will refer to my daughter as DD (Dearest Daughter) for blog purposes going forward.

We celebrated DD's Baptism on a glorious and sunny Summer's day in July. Her Daddy and I were so proud to show her off to all our friends and family.

I'm not sure yet whether to try and carry on blogging in between the piles of washing, breastfeeds, cooking, baby groups etc or to maybe change direction with the blog and concentrate on other areas, I haven't decided yet but I do have lots of ideas so we'll see and of course I will keep you guys informed on my plans :)

Thank you for reading after sooooo long :)

Much love,

Amanda xxx

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Pregnancy and Life Update...


I thought I would do a mini update with what has happened since my last post and where we are up to with everything.

First of all, I am very excitedly 38 weeks pregnant this week and I am huuuuggee! I was sure that my bump is much bigger with this pregnancy than DS's but comparing these two pics at exactly 37 weeks with pregnancy with DS on the left and current pregnancy on the right, I think I was bigger the first time round.
So I am now full term which means that baby can make his/her arrival into the world anytime now :)

Christmas events are now well underway. We have been to a few children's Christmas parties with DS and last weekend, we went on a Santa steam train in Llangollen complete with dancing and singing elves up and down the carriages and of course a visit from Father Christmas with a present.
It was a great afternoon and we all enjoyed it :)

Christmas is all sorted as I have made a conscious effort to be extra organised this year with not knowing when baby is going to make their entrance :) so Christmas cake is made, presents all wrapped and Christmas Eve boxes packed and wrapped!

I have been enjoying a vegan friendly homemade Cacao hot chocolate in the evening - I think I may be a little bit addicted to it as it's soooo yummy!

I'm running out of room in the car so hoping that baby doesn't keep us waiting too long :D
This week is DS's last week in school and possibly my last week as a Mum of 1! So after a very busy year, I have planned some nice treats for myself before I embark on those sleepless nights.

I have booked a pregnancy pamper spa day with 'Yummy Mummy' treatments and massages and a healthy lunch - I can't wait!

I have also booked a hair appointment as well as a manicure and pedicure this week :)
I am looking forward to slowing down a bit and relaxing before baby arrives.
Also it will be good to show my body and skin some love after the amazing things it has done this year with growing a healthy baby - it will be like a little thank you :)

I'll always be amazed at just how super dupa women's bodies are!

I also had a maternity photoshoot a few weeks ago and am really pleased with the pictures.
I wanted some nice shots of my baby bump to look back on in years to come and I certainly got them :)

Love Amanda xx

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Burnt Out Mum Break...

As I type this we are just over halfway in the school Summer holidays and already I am burnt out.

This is partly due to the fact that I am pregnant! (sooo happy and excited!!) and partly due to the fact that DS's behaviour has become more challenging these last few months.

I have no idea why DS's behaviour has changed practically overnight. My thoughts are things like puberty (as he is now in the puberty window!) and hormones are flinging themselves around his gorgeous little body and he doesn't know what it is happening to him or maybe he's not happy that I am lacking in energy and am unable to do as many things with him as I used to before I became pregnant.
The truth is I'm not entirely sure but I have a few thoughts on it.

We are trying to work on this with as much energy as I can muster up.

I have the classic 'Mum Guilt' that we haven't done or been as many places this Summer as we usually would have done. 
I am still suffering from morning sickness and fatigue even though I am well past the point that sickness should have subsided by now.
My pregnancy is very similar to that of DS's but just that bit harder this time. 
I'm not sure if that's down to this time I have another child to care for compared to just having to look after myself when I was pregnant with DS or it's because I'm that little bit older this time.
Either way, this is my last baby for sure! :D 

We are really excited about having a baby :) 
I am in the process of looking for relevant books to help prepare DS for baby's arrival.

As I am having a bit of a sicky and tough pregnancy as well as caring for DS, the boyf decided that I was overdue a bit of a 'burnt out Mum' break as he called it.

We arranged care for DS, then drove to one of my fave nearby pretty historic towns. 
We wandered around artisan stalls, shops, drank coffee, ate bacon butties and cake, people watched and simply enjoyed each others company without any sort of agenda - it was bliss!

From there, we went to a our beautiful hotel to check in. 
I love buildings and places full of history and the boyf certainly did good here!
The hotel was a beautiful hall with the most amazing staircase that we climbed up to our room.
The boyf then surprised me with some gorgeous smelling Lush bath bombs as he knows I love relaxing soaks.

From there, we went to one of my favourite restaurants for dinner. 
We I talked about loads of stuff  and laughed until we we're stuffed from all the yummy food! :)

From there, we headed back to the hotel to climb wearily into the huge bed.

The next morning, I ran a bath with one of my bath bombs, closed my eyes and just rested in the bathtub. Baby decided to have a good wriggle at this point which always makes me smile. Everytime, I feel him/her moving around, I can't help think what a miracle life is and I feel very very lucky to be carrying and growing this little life inside me even though I am a bit impatient to meet him/her! :D 

After breakfast, we drove home all rested and relaxed :) 
Of course, I had missed DS and couldn't wait to see him.

The boyf and I have decided to make this more of a habit especially before the baby arrives so we have already booked our next one! :) 

Hope you are having a lovely Summer and if you can, you too can get yourself on a 'burnt out Mum/Dad/Grandparent/Carer break' 
I highly recommend them ;) 

Love Amanda xxx

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

I'm back...

So sorry that it's been a while since I updated this blog but life has been mega busy lately......but in a good way :)

I'll try and re-cap some of what's happened since my last update.

First of all, DS is going to be part of an autism study. I am mega excited about this!
The study is going to be conducted by a Cambridge University student.
I accidently stumbled across the information and as I read it I was thinking 'Wow! DS would be perfect for this' so I put us forward for it.
The study is a language and communication focus and I knew he would fit the criteria for it straightaway and he has! :)
I'll update the blog on this as we go along :)

We've had a few mini breaks away which are always fab! :)
I had an adult walking break (without DS as it was term time) in the Peak District. We would walk/hike during the day and would always finish up in our favourite country pub with a roaring fire, delicious food and lovely wine - bliss! :)

Then at Easter, we had a family break in our fave cottage just outside York.
DS absolutely loves this place! The jacuzzi bath is a massive hit with him and he asks for one everyday :)
We visited York's Chocolate Story for the first time and as DS and I are serious chocoholics (it's in the genes!) we were in our own kind of heaven with lots of chocolate munching and chocolate smells everywhere <3

I'm still cooking from scratch and knocking up healthy fakeaways on the weekends :) I haven't had a proper takeaway for yonks now and I don't think it's any coincidence that I have lost another half a stone in just 3 weeks! :) :)

Speaking of cooking......I have been baking my little family fresh homemade bread using my 'new to me' breadmaker.
I have baked my own bread by hand for ages but it is time consuming.
Last week, I spotted that someone was offering their unused breadmaker on my local Freecyle and I jumped at it!
It's brill! I love how I just pop all the ingredients in, switch it on and it does everything! :)

I have also been making my own natural beauty products :)
This week, I whipped up a sugar & thyme bodyscrub and a shower gel using coconut oil and tea tree oil - I think I might be a bit addicted to the smell of this - so divine!

I'm so loving this warm weather this week and hosted my first BBQ of the year which was amazing! DS loved everyone around chatting and eating in our garden and even sat with us to eat :)

This week has been lots of sunny days out in parks on his scooter and then stopping at pretty little cafes for a cool drink and a sit down :)

We have also made a few trips to the local garden centre to buy some pretty plants and flowers.
DS has taken quite an interest in these and will help me water and care for them :) How super is he?! :)

Hoping we will see a bit more of this weather as I'm quite enjoying this view :)

Speak soon,

Love Amanda xxx

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Happiness Revolution...

So yet again, we're at the end of the month which means my happiness list :)

Just like everyone else no doubt, I am really looking forward to seeing the signs of Spring and the temperature warming up a bit. It won't be long now :)

Okay so here are the big and little things that made me happy and smiley during February :)

Here we go...

1) Reaching my 2 stone award! :) I feel so happy that I have lost 2 whole stones! :)

2) Having a lovely and fantastic girly night out with the best, uplifting and feel good women ever!

3) Celebrating Chinese New Year in China Town in Liverpool with DS. We went to my fave Chinese eatery which he thoroughly enjoyed :) though I suspect the train ride was his highlight of the day :)

4) Having a gorgeous and pampering manicure at my local salon :)

5) Enjoying a relaxing and cosy half term break in Chirk with DS and my family. It was slow paced which was perfect! :)

6) Absolutely loving lounging in front of the open fire in the cottage on our break in the evening. I would have a glass of wine and happily watch the flames flicker all evening - it was bliss!

7) Re-connecting with a special and dear friend who I had lost touch with. It's been lovely to meet up again and catch up. Really lovely :)

8) Dragging my butt to my local community centre to try and get back into some exercise classes. They have been hard but I am really enjoying them plus I'm already feeling great after working up a sweat from them :) Zumba is my absolute fave! :)

9) Baking and cooking. I have been busy baking to use up foods before they go past their best before date. I have had a few sorry looking Plums last week so I made a Plum & Apple Crumble.
I also had some left over Almonds which I chucked in a loaf of bread I was making.
I hate food waste and do feel down if I have to chuck something out that I didn't get to use.
To be fair, chucking food out very rarely happens in my house but this month NOTHING has been wasted as I have been extra clever at using it for something else :)

10) Hanging washing out to dry!! Yes really! This is making me happy! :D
I have been hanging our washing out for the last week and it's been drying!
I am fed up of having clothes airers indoors everywhere and the tumble dryer is soooo expensive to run so this has had me smiling for sure :)

So there it is, my happy list.

Keep warm as we are warned that we are going to have another cold spell towards the end of the week.

Speak soon,

Love Amanda xxx

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Fakeaway Magic...

So recently I suppose I have given myself and my little family a lifestyle overhaul.

Towards the end of last year, I took a long hard look at my our habits and thought about how I could change them to make them healthier or just better for us.

One little sneaky habit that had crept in was regular take aways.
Those days where I fancied a night off cooking or I felt that there was 'nothing in' the fridge or cupboards to throw a half decent meal together would have me reaching for the phone to order out.

I then started to look at the nutritional value of my favourite regular take away foods. I looked at the calories, fat, salt and sugar content and it was an sobering realisation!
My fave Chinese dish contained the calories and fat for a whole two days of food alone!

Also at over £20 a pop it was also expensive.
£10 per person to eat a fat and sugar laden meal when I can make something tasty and healthy at under £1.50 per person!
It is no brainer.

So I've since introduced homemade fakeaways on a Friday or Saturday night - or even both sometimes! :)
It takes no time at all, saves calories, fat and also pennies :)

So far, I've rustled up Lamb Rogan Josh, Sweet 'n' Sour Chicken, Egg Fried Rice,Chicken Chow Mein, Red Thai Curry, Beef in Black Bean Sauce, Skinny Lamb Doner Kebabs and my all time favourite - KFC Chicken!
I have found the most awesome KFC recipe! DS's Dad didn't believe me that it wasn't actually from KFC when I used him as my tester! :D

I have made no secret in the past that I am a sucker for wine and chocolate :)
They are my all time weaknesses.
This year, I have really curbed this habit limiting chocolate to just one night a week and a glass of wine if I fancy it but to be honest, more often than not, I have opted to have a mug of coffee instead :)
In fact, I have had no alcohol since the end of January just because I haven't fancied it.

I think it's no coincidence that just last week I hit my 2 stone weight loss.
Two whole stones gone forever - I am so chuffed! :)

Cooking my favourite meals from scratch and making them healthier seems to be working an absolute treat! :)
Saving money on overpriced takeaways just adds to the beauty of it :)

Speak soon,

Love Amanda xxx

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Happiness Revolution...

I actually cannot believe that I am writing my January's happiness revolution list already!

Historically, the month of January has always been a loooong and dreary month but this year, to my absolute amazement, it has whizzed by!
Not quite sure of the reasons for that ...

I will be writing another post in the next week or so about the changes I have made at home this month and how they have impacted us :)

Okay, so here are the big and little things that have made me happy during January :)

Here we go...

1) Booking our family Summer holiday and cannot wait! :)

2) Going on lots of random train rides with DS :)
DS is loving train rides at the mo' so we crammed in a few train journeys before he went back to school. It didn't really matter where we went just as long as we sat on the train :)

3) Making a healthy and yummy fakeaway every Friday/Saturday night. It's saving money as well as calories and I really enjoy cooking them :)

4) Having planning permission granted on an extension to our house! Yaaaay! :)
The extension is going to a sensory/play room for DS.
It's been an hard and very long slog getting to this point as we hit snags at every turn so for most of the year it was one step forward and two steps back!
So glad that we have reached this point though there are a few things to do before we can start to build yet....

5) January is my birthday month and I was totally and utterly spoiled!!!
I was taken for a gorgeous Spa break for my favourite treatments, prosecco was on tap and I slept under the stars! Magical!

6) The view I woke up to on my Spa break and the 'posh' coffee I was left :)

7) The Peppa Pig birthday cake Daddy & DS bought me and DS blowing out my candles :D

8) Celebrating with my Mum on hitting her 4 stone weight loss!! 4 stone!!
She is an inspiration and has lost the weight so healthy, steadily and stuck at it!
Well done Mum :)

9) Spending chilly but awesome days with DS. We all love family days out together <3

10) The homemade soups and casseroles I am making. My slow cooker is always out at this time of the year and nothing beats walking in from a frosty day out to the smell of a yummy casserole or stew simmering away :)

Can I be naughty and add an 11th one??

11) Really enjoying and absorbing the Mindfulness course that I am currently doing. It is a free 8 week course for parents of children on the spectrum.
I'm finding it so beneficial - it's fab! Just this morning, I found myself practising the breathing techniques as well as a bit of meditation.
Also I'm meeting other 'autism Mums' as an added bonus :)

So that's my happy list :)

Promise to do another post very soon,

Take care & keep warm,

Love Amanda xx