Birth Story

Audrina Maria Cole

(Riri)

Our little girl is here and it feels amazing! I can hardly believe it’s been 10 whole days already since she was born.

Many of you know just how terrified I was of giving birth, since my last labour with Luca was so long and painful πŸ™ˆ. With Luca I was in labour for 25 hours, he was back to back, I had an epidural and 2nd degree tear 😳. I was so scared of experiencing that pain for that long again. Little did I know that we would barley make it to hospital in time for this little ones birth! πŸ™Š

21st January 2019

40 + 5 days over due

The first inkling I had that labour was on it’s way was I had a show early in the morning around 7am. Following I had mild period like pain that was totally bearable I had a bath, got ready, ate breakfast, even had a nap and then a big contraction came at 12.52. This was it, I knew something was defiantly happening. After that big contraction they came every 5 mins, I was unable to sit down, I knew I had to get to the hospital ASAP!

We arrived at the hospital.

The car ride was the worst! Having to sit down and unable to move around when your having BIG contractions was not nice. Little did I know I was actually going through transition in the car on the way. I remember saying I don’t want to do this anymore, I want to go home. Typical transition tell tale sign 😳… However I was in complete denial, with Luca’s labour being so long I thought this maybe was just the start of it and I had hours ahead. We parked the car in the entrance where you get 30mins free before you have to move it. Walking through the hospital and getting to the second floor maternity unit was UNREAL! It literally felt like the baby was going to drop out at any moment. We got to the triage reception and the lady behind the desk told me to take a seat in their waiting room 😳 the waiting room was packed! I couldn’t even sit down if I wanted too. I remember looking around at the women waiting they were calm, smiling, sipping tea and looking relaxed. Me on the other hand I couldn’t talk, the pain was overtaking every other sense in my body I stood in the triage corridor for around 5 mins before I started pushing, stood up right there in the waiting room. Anyone thats gave birth knows your body completely takes over, my body was pushing and this baby was coming RIGHT NOW! In this waiting room corridor full of people.

I shouted out that I was pushing, everyone in the waiting room stared at me, midwives ran over to me and took me into the triage check up room. It was so tiny you could barley fit us all in, it was just a basic little check up room, with a bed. Lay on the bed the midwives told me I was fully dilated and they could see the babies head 😳.

Baby is born 2.42pm

Two pushes later, no pain relief what so ever, 15 minutes after arriving at hospital, baby Audrina was born! Totally unbelievable. I was wheeled out of the little check up room back through the triage waiting room holding my baby within minutes. The look on some of the people’s faces were hilarious πŸ™Š. By the time we got to a delivery suit, we still had time left on the car in the 30min carpark πŸ˜„πŸ™ŒπŸ».

I still can’t believe how fast the labour went. After being so scared and worrying daily, it turned out to be amazing. Yes it was incredibly painful, but it was not prolonged pain, it was fast and thats the best that could have happened. We spent 2 nights in hospital, came back on the third day. Riri had to be put into a hot cot and monitored every 4 hours as she was not regulating her own heat. Thankfully after lots of observations we were able to come home on the third day, Ri was able to regulate her heat. ☺️

Reflection

After your birth you spend time thinking about the experience and I couldn’t be happier with how my birth went. I hardly felt contractions till near the end, it was fast and I didn’t have any pain relief that I had to recover from or that interfered with Ri Ri. I am so thankful for this birth experience and will hold the special memories forever. πŸ₯°

Go technology free for a free meal

Frankie & Bennys have recently introduced a new incentive for it’s customers. Hand in your phones into the restaurant and kids will eat FREE!

What do you think? As soon as I heard this I felt compelled to write about it. As much as I think this idea will be good for some families, I also think it’s incredibly sad that the restaurant has had to think of something to bring families together.

I have very traditional/strong views when it comes to this. I cook for my family most nights and I have one rule at the dinner table – NO PHONES! When we come together at the end of the day I think it’s important to give each other our full attention to reconnect and find out about everyones day and just general chit chat. This is usually the time my son Luca opens up to me about his school day, he tells me all sorts of stories and I would hate to miss out on that because I was too busy being distracted by some sort of technology. I could not imagine sitting at a table with my family or my friends with my head in my phone ignoring them.

Now maybe by unpopular opinion but my greatest pet peeve is seeing families out for a meal and their children have iPads shoved in their faces 😞. I understand it’s totally easier for the parents to do this, it enables the child to sit still and to be distracted therefore parents get to have a little adult talk and a minute to themselves I get it I really do but I think theres a time and place for technology and it’s up to us as parents to distinguish this. I don’t think dining out is the place for constant technology use.

Statistics research shows that up to 72% of children wish their parents would spend less time on their phones and 1 in 10 children have even gone as far as to hide their parents phone. This makes me so incredibly sad.

With that being said I think Frankie and Bennys move to bring in the no phone zone when dining out is GREAT! It will hopefully bring families closer together and help people engage with each other again.

Would you go phone/technology free ?

How waking up at 6am changed my life…

I don’t know about you, but I was always one for snoozing the alarm when the morning would roll around. Just 5 more mins pleaseee!

Doing this was a bad habit that I needed to break. It made me fly around in the mornings, be all over the place, forgetting things, being snappy, being irritated, unorganised, not having time for breakfast, being hangry and just a tornado of anxiety rushing around leaving a trail of disorganised mess behind me. (Which I would later regret as I would be the one tidying it all up later in the day πŸ˜„πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ)…It literally made no sense, I would swear to myself that I would go to bed at a reasonable time that night, so I wouldn’t be so tired in the mornings, Always thought of it but never did it πŸ™ˆ… this began to really grate on me so I finally decided to change something.

One day two years ago I set just one alarm for 6am, switched the snooze option off and fell asleep. Morning came around and the alarm went off. Now I knew this was it, no snooze, I rather get my arse up now or i’ll fall back asleep and end up late for work, late for taking Luca to school and just plain LATE for the day ahead. So with that one alarm I dragged myself up out of bed and began my morning routine. Luca still fast asleep so I was able to get ready in peace, which for a parent is one of the best things! πŸ™ŒπŸ» I was able to think clearly so I didn’t forget anything, I was able to have breakfast and even have a little tidy up before we left,?so I didn’t have as much to do when I got home. My day was already going well before I even left the door. I felt so much calmer, organised and motivated for the day ahead. This feeing was something that stuck with me. The feeling of being rushed is awful, it’s my absolute pet hate. It’s enough to make you throw your bags on the ground and say thats it i’m not adulting today. But this newfound having time to spare in the mornings and being able to leisurely get through my morning routine and chores was amazing. So thats how the 6am get up stuck.

Being up before your children works so well too. At the time it can be hard to muster up the motivation to get out of bed while they are still asleep, but it’s so worth it when you get your own time to get yourself and the house ready before they even wake up. It makes the whole day go smoother I promise.

A morning routine sets your tone for the day so heres how waking up earlier can change your life for the better :

β€’ You will become more organised.

β€’ Increased productivity.

β€’ You will become more motivated.

β€’ Have extra time to focus on yourself and your thoughts, gaining more clarity over your life.

β€’ Your days will go smoother.

β€’ You will gain a better bedtime routine – from waking up early, your bedtime routine falls into place much easier. Your too tired to watch one more episode on netflix.

β€’ You will be able to have your own time which makes you feel more fulfilled and content with your life.

β€’ Your house will become more organised.

β€’ You will be on time.

β€’ Reduce anxiety.

β€’ You will have time for things that make you feel good – e.g yoga/meditation/breakfast.

β€’ You become a better planner.

β€’ Better sleeping pattern.

β€’ Better concentration.

Why not give it a go? It took one alarm for me to change, and i’m so glad I did. My mornings have become easier and I feel happier.

Ps. I’m a firm believer in balance, so I only set 6am alarms during the week and I give myself a break on the weekends. I usually don’t have to be up and out early during then, so i’m able to enjoy a little lie in. As i’m a mum I class 7am on a weekend a lie in πŸ˜„ but at least i’m able to enjoy getting up with the children without rushing around. It’s the best of both worlds really πŸ™ŒπŸ».

As always thank you for stopping by ☺️

Frankie x

Things I quit to improve my mental health

Most blog posts on mental health, promote what we SHOULD be doing to create a healthy balance, but have you ever wondered what we could STOP doing to help ourselves? Small simple lifestyle changes can have a BIG impact on our overall health.

Here are some tips on things that I stopped doing to improve my holistic wellbeing.

Late bedtime

Sleep is so incredibly important, I see it as a type of meditation. It’s the time when our mind rests and resets. It rejuvenates us. I used to go to bed at anytime I wanted usually past midnight. The morning would roll around so quick and I would feel exhausted and irritated throughout the day. Creating an actual bedtime was paramount for me, it’s made me wake up fresher. I aim to be in bed before 10.00pm. This doesn’t necessarily mean asleep by then, but just in bed by that time. Read a book, write in a journal or just have some quiet time to think to yourself. (Little tip, when winding down ready for a good nights sleep don’t use technology). This leads on to the next bit of advice…

Social media usage

Don’t set a bedtime and then go to bed and sit on your phone or watch TV the light that our phones and TVs produce make us more alert and awake, making falling asleep much harder. Social media is addicting, we all do it, we all scroll through our social accounts. It can be great but theres another side that can leave you comparing yourself to people online. Comparison steals happiness and can produce a lot of unwanted emotions. Limit social media usage and watch how it changes your life for the better!

Alcohol

Now your probably getting to this bit and thinking she wants me to give up all my fun πŸ˜„. Not at all, I understand alcohol is a part of peoples lives, it’s a minority of people these days that actually don’t drink. All I advise is if your going to drink, do if moderately look at your consumption, alcohol is a well known depressant. If your not feeing your best self, take away the alcohol for a few days/weeks and just see how you feel without. I personally gave up alcohol completely a few years ago and I can’t think of one negative, towards doing so.

Coffee/Caffeine intake

Caffeine is a stimulant, that can cause anxiety. It has negative impacts on your health. Just be aware of how much you are consuming. I don’t drink coffee at all, but there is caffeine hidden in lots of different drinks and foods so just be aware.

Moaning, complaining and gossiping

What you give out into the world, you get back. By complaining and moaning about things you are actually attracting more of those feelings and situations towards you. Be aware of your words and what you talk about. No matter what sort of day you have had always look for the positives and remember theres ALWAYS something to be grateful for. Talk more about what your grateful for, and watch how your mindset will change. You will see your life in a different perspective.

Junk food and exercise

I feel these go hand in hand, now don’t get me wrong I am no where near a health fanatic or a clean eating machine. This is a point that I need to improve more on. But I am aware of what foods and their amount that I put into my body. I also ensure I do some kind of exercise everyday as I know just how important endorphins are for our wellbeing and how good they actually make you feel.

Now for a tip on what YOU should DO

Go outdoors

Being outdoors gives you all sorts of benefits, it’s something I need to do every single day to feel the best I can. It’s so beneficial to me feeling good that I had to share with you! I make sure I go on a walk somewhere in nature everyday. This is part of my self care, it’s what makes me feel good about myself. It’s a stress reliever for me, it helps to clear my mind and think more clearly. Try getting outdoors everyday for 5 days and see you feel.

Remember these tips are designed to help you. Don’t pressure yourself, I just want to be able to share some things that have helped me and may help you too.

You can’t keep doing the same thing and expect a change so why not just give one or two a try and see how it works. ☺️

Thank you for reading!

Tips on how to stay organised

Routine and organisation makes life a whole lot easier, especially if you have children. Here are a few helpful tips that I have found to be really useful when it comes to adulting and mumlife πŸ™ŒπŸ» Hope they help you!

β€’ Daily to do lists – tick of as you complete

β€’ Write appointments down as soon as you get them and stick on fridge

β€’ Have a calendar hung up somewhere you will see it everyday. (Mines next to the fridge ha)

β€’ Create morning and bedtime routines

β€’ Pack bags the night before

β€’ Create a meal plan on a Sunday for your week ahead

β€’ Put your phone down (excessive phone use decreases productivity and wastes time)

β€’ Attempt one task at a time, stop multi tasking all jobs at once

β€’ Declutter and organise your home/room for a clear mind

β€’ Have a place for everything in your home

β€’ Have a chore list – daily chores that need doing to keep your space organised

β€’ If possible have direct debits come out the same day. This allows you to budget easier, knowing how much you have left once all bills are taken out at the same time.

Is there anything you do that keeps your life organised? Id love to try them out πŸ˜€

Self care ideas

We are all so busy in our lives and taking care of others, that we often forget we need to care for ourselves too. So following on from an earlier post talking about the importance of self care. Here are some self care ideas, see if you can try and fit just one of them into your day today! You deserve it ❀️

  • DO NOTHING!
  • Take a walk
  • Read a book/magazine
  • Take a long bubble bath
  • Clean or reorganize a room
  • Go for a pedicure
  • Meditate
  • Turn your phone of and watch your favourite movie without any distractions
  • Paint
  • Tidy or declutter – I swear by this, it declutters the mind
  • Face mask
  • Have the courage to say NO to people
  • Put yourself first
  • Listen to positive affirmations (youtube)
  • Paint your nails
  • Write a bucket list
  • Write in your journal
  • Sit in a peaceful place outdoors
  • Start a gratitude journal
  • Play with a pet
  • Do yoga
  • Gardening – plant something new
  • Go for a spa day
  • Listen to your favourite music
  • Get a massage
  • Colour – I love my adult colouring book, it allows my thoughts to detangle. I find myself in a clearer head space afterwards. Try it! ☺️
  • Stay in your PJs all day
  • Listen to a positive/uplifting podcast
  • Light your favourite candles
  • Online shop – treat yourself!

Is there anything else that you do to take care of yourself? ☺️

Autumn no spend weekend

Autumn has to be one of my favourite times of the year. The air is becoming cooler and crisp, the trees are showing off their wonderful autumnal colours and I get to cover up with big coats and scarves. πŸ˜‚

We don’t need to spend money to have fun with our children. So here’s a list for your family to make memories this season without over spending πŸ˜€πŸ™ŒπŸ»

β€’ Leaf hunt – take a bag or bucket to bring your leafs home for the next activity down below ⬇️

β€’ Leaf picture

β€’ Nature walk

β€’ Bug hunt

β€’ Bird spotting

β€’ Pumpkin picking

β€’ Pumpkin carving/painting

β€’ Bake – cookies, cakes whatever you like!

β€’ Try a new recipe – get everyone involved in helping to cook.

β€’ Drink hot chocolate whilst watching hocus pocus/halloween town whatever your autumn favourites are!

β€’ Make a bird feeder – used toilet roll holder, spoon peanut butter over the roll then dip in bird seed. Hang up with string anywhere you fancy ☺️

β€’ Trampoline leaf jump – collect as many leaves as you can, scatter over your trampoline and jump jump jumpπŸ˜€

β€’ Colouring books

β€’ Rock painting – collect rocks, paint and hide them around your neighbourhood. You could even paint rocks with an autumn theme in mind πŸ™Š

β€’ Camp out in the living room watching all your favourite movies.

β€’ Go on a bike ride

β€’ Go on a picnic

β€’ Stargazing – we take blankets and pillows on to the trampoline, lie down and gaze up at the stars. You can do this from anywhere though!

β€’ Conker picking

β€’ Go trick or treating

β€’ Fly a kite

β€’ Chalk pictures outdoors

β€’ Visit your local library and take out some season books.

Is there anything else you like to do with your littles in autumn? Let me know ☺️

Fussy Eaters

Oh how I would envy people being able to eat out anywhere with their children, how people would tell me their child eats everything and anything, they only have to cook one meal a night, how they never have to pack a specific pack lunch as their children will eat food from anywhere, how varied their children’s diet was and so on…

Luca’s eating habits were getting worse by the day, my frustration was hitting boiling point and I knew something had to change and as his parent I had say enough was enough and do something different. I was always so scared of Luca going hungry so I would give in to him and give him the foods I knew he would eat, little did I know I was making the problem a whole lot worse. At the height of Luca’s fussy eating I didn’t know anyone who could relate to me so I put together this post of how I changed Luca’s eating habits in the hope to help someone else who is going through the same thing, If your at your wits end with fussy eaters I hope this post helps you, by sharing some tips that worked for us.

Something has to change – Start by slowly introducing your child to new foods on their plate. Then Once a week try and make your child a complete new meal, cut back on the snacks throughout the day so you know they will be hungry come tea time. The pace is slow but keep going, the key to this is consistency.

Give them choice –Β Pick out two meals you want your child to try, both meals should have or be new foods. This is a manipulated choice that allows a child to feel in control. Children thrive on decision making, it gives them a sense of independence which in turn builds confidence. These are the perfect ingredients for getting our little loves to try new foods. Whichever meal he/she has chosen is the meal you cook. You could even get your them to help you cook the foods for a bonus helping hand.

Sticker Chart – Build your child a sticker chat, get some really cool stickers of something they are really into. Anytime your child eats a new food let them put their own sticker on the chart. To make the chart even more appealing you could entice them with the promise of a new toy when they reach a certain amount of stickers, (we started at 5 stickers to make it reachable for Luca).

Patience not attention –Β I know first hand at how disheartening it is when you have spent over an hour cooking a lovely fresh meal in the kitchen for your child to refuse to eat any of it. Don’t shout, don’t force, don’t give into any negative attention. Carry on eating your own meal, and talking to your partner or friend about something of topic. Pay no attention to the fussy eating, only pay attention to the trying of new foods. If he/she refuses to eat any of the food just remove the plate when YOU have finished and try again tomorrow.

I would love to hear how your little ones get on or if you have any other tipsΒ  πŸ™‚Β IMG_7827.JPG