Too Much Information

Too Much Information

So I bet you’re expecting a tell all outburst of all that has been going on this last month that I’ve been too busy to blog, but alas this is not that post.  My brain at the moment is absolutely BURSTING with ideas.  There are SO MANY blog posts that I’m dying to sit down and write that sometimes I just don’t know where to start.  I have been struggling to keep on top of blogging whilst we have been experimenting with vlogging and trying to keep up with our YouTube channel whilst I was starting a new job, that involved 2 weeks of full-time induction weeks, and beginning my waking night shifts.

Also, we have said goodbye to our beautiful au pair Martina, there is a couple of posts in the making with regards to that, as we miss Martina lots and have appreciated all the time that she gave to us.  I will save my sentiments for the post that is coming especially just for her.  We have been busy sorting out the schools that the girls will be going to as the one that we were intending to send them to expected more fees than we had offered.  With having four children we had asked for help from the community fund for the girls as they technically don’t live with us, but they couldn’t match what we asked.  This was actually a blessing in disguise, as we were rebudgeting (we were still intending to send them but just would involve us being stretched to our limits for the next 7 years) I did some research and received a high recommendation from a dear friend for a little village school that is quite a distance away from us but all that we wanted for the children from the private school for free.  This is great news as it means the money we will save can be spent complimenting their education, with lovely holidays, horse riding, dance lessons, swimming and beautiful birthday parties.  We also have sponsored children in Uganda and Birkina Faso and it allows us to keep blessing them too and maybe take on a couple of more children (our aim is to have one for each child to write to when they’re old enough as pen pals).

I am literally full to the brim with ideas for our blog and vlog and I am looking at a complete rebranding.  I love our blog, and it is a beautiful space that I adore but I know that our blog name can seem exclusive and also have negative connotations.  I want to encourage Mum’s, Step Mums, Adoptive Mums, Foster Mums, LGBT Mums, Working Mums, SAHM’s, WAHM’s, breast feeding Mum’s, bottle-feeding Mum’s to see that we’re all just doing the best that we can.  We’re all in it together.

So watch this space, there will be a lot of catch up posts going up over the next week.  Please don’t feel obliged to read them all, they’re there for our memories as a lot has happened for us this past month, but if you’d like to follow us on our journey then please do.

Love to all the readers who are following us on our journey so far and thank you for your patience with me this last month.

Alexandra

xxx

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Blog Love, Zara Haul, Shopping Small and Child Growth Hormone Deficiency #LittleLoves

Blog Love, Zara Haul, Shopping Small and Child Growth Hormone Deficiency #LittleLoves

Hello, welcome to this weeks ‘Little Loves’ post hosted by the lovely Morgana over at ‘But Why Mummy Why‘.  I’ve had an eventful week and this round up is really helpful in making me remember to focus on the positives.  I love it, so here goes…

Read

I have been reading a lot of blogs this week.  I seem to have not done much of anything else.  Usually to unwind in the evenings I maybe watch something on Netflix, or even sometimes zone out playing *coughs* Minion Rush (I’m blaming Judah for this recent addiction), but this week I’ve barely left the world of blogging.  I’ve just been really enjoying discovering new blogs, Let’s Talk Mommy’s by DeleteAd” href=”#42734652″> ‘share with me’ blog hop is a great one for this, so many people come and link up maybe one or two posts.  I’ve found ‘Ghost Writer Mummy’s’ blog extremely educational this week.  I seem to learn something new everytime I head over there.  I particularly liked this post reminding antenal Mothers to be proactive in educating themselves and having CHOICE when it comes to their decisions for their baby.  I wish I’d read this whilst I was pregnant with Judah.

‘To the mother who is yet to be’ 

Also, I’ve been proofreading for our beautiful Italian Aupair, who I’ve encouraged to start blogging her journey, she intends to by DeleteAd” href=”#6486877″> travel the world inspired by ‘Eat Pray Love’.  I explained it’s an amazing way to keep her memories and photographs in one place, and will be something to show her grandchildren *winks*.  Please have a read by clicking HERE and sending her some commenting Blog Love.

Watched

As I said I’ve not been doing my usual Netflix rampage this week, but I have been watching a LOT of vlogs.  I’ve just started vlogging…. please check out our YouTube Channel and I’ve been watching lots of other vloggers.  Now I know I’m ridiculously late to the party and I definitely already knew her name but I watched this video from the beautiful Zoella last night and I was laughing so hard my husband didn’t know what was going on (he was trying to sleep, oops).  I genuinely cannot remember the last time I EVER laughed so hard.  James wasn’t sure if I was crying…. haha

Wore

Again, I’ve been mostly glued to a laptop most of this week, so I haven’t really been anywhere exciting to document what I’ve worn.  However, a couple of weeks back I wrote a post about Online Clothes Shopping for Children and whether it’s important for children to have unique clothes and shopping small at the likes of WAHM’s boutiques such as Little and Fierce Judah and Eden’s purchases have been arriving so they have modelled some toddler fashion for you…

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Trying some clothes out from his Zara haul

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Eden is marking her 18 month milestone by raiding our fridge and wearing new clothes that arrived from ‘Tui-B’ in the post the day before.  She has an ‘Anarkid Organic’ geo print top on (complete with an ‘I’ve been measured’ sticker from the hospital), the cutest ‘Saplings’ trousers that have a heart on her bum, the only shoes we could find small enough to fit her (watch our recent vlog [at the bottom of this post] to find out who makes them), and a cute headwrap by ‘Sunday’ the label.

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Heard

I’m so lucky that my husband shares random love of all things I find annoying with the children.  They keep singing this song and I don’t mind hearing the children sing it, but I would never watch the video with him and the children, but yet, I’m sharing it here.  Listen for a few seconds if you dare to see how annoying it is

I’ve also been asked to sing at a local hospital radio station and share a bit of my story, so I spent a bit of time trying to find a song I would like to do.  After raving about Brooke Fraser and her new album on my Little Loves post last week it reminded me of how much I loved her earlier work.  It’s a gospel show (as most of my readers know I’m a believer) and so I thought maybe this song would work, it’s called ‘The C.S Lewis Song’ as it’s written from his beautiful quotes.  I’ll also sing one of my own (but I won’t subject you to that here).

Made

As I’ve already said, I have spent a lot of time editing and making videos for our YouTube channel this week.  After some very disappointing news at the hospital this week I’ve decided to start sharing our journey about Eden’s potential Growth Hormone Deficiency.  I’ve called the series ‘Thumbelina’ as she was nicknamed by my cousin. She has grown recently and I was convinced they would sign her off, but alas that was not the case.  I have been struggling to find any relatable research on the internet this week, so I decided we would document our journey so that if others find themselves in our position they are not alone in learning facts and making the decisions involved.  The Endocrine Specialist did recommend the Child Growth Foundation to read up on, so that will be my mission for next week.  I have already contacted them and asked for some information to be sent out, so here we go…

and lastly…

Yay, it’s half term and I know a lot of you will be off on holiday, so have an amazing time.  I’m looking forward to stealing the girls for some extra days this week, and lots of fun.  We enjoyed a family picnic last week and I’m hoping for many more, come on sunshine!
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Vlogging, a New Job, Children’s Fashion and Once Upon a Time #littleloves

Vlogging, a New Job, Children’s Fashion and Once Upon a Time #littleloves

Joining in with But Why Mummy Why and  #littleloves again this week.  I love this linky and enjoy reading the other posts.

Read

As always I suck at this section, although I do read a lot of blogs.  been filling in paperwork for my new job, wuhoo!!!  I had to do a DBS and medical forms, various things like that.  I really enjoyed reading (and watching) Lucy at Dear Beautiful’s 4 months pregnancy update.  What a great idea.  If you haven’t read it yet then click here.

Watched

I have been watching ‘Once upon a Time’ on Netflix.  I lost interest really in this last season but kind of stuck with it.  I’m pleased to say that the Season 3 Finale this week has finally brought some excitement back in, and I’m now looking forward to Season 4.  I like it when programmes mix it up a bit.  I loved Season 1, but then it became just ‘ok’.  It’s something the husband likes watching too though as anything with villains and powers is his cup of tea.

I also have been watching a lot of vlog videos and have started getting my camera out again and filming a lot more of the everyday moments with the children.  I made space on my iphone by finally moving all my photos and videos onto storage, so I have been able to capture the children a lot more in the natural moments.  Being inspired by the Let’s Talk Mommy interview with Lucy at Dear Beautiful, and watching many other videos by other vloggers, this is something that we will be doing a lot more here at dontcallmestepmummy.

Wore

I finally found my Prada sunglasses again, yay!! The husband wasn’t impressed that given I paid a lot for them about a year ago, they had disappeared.  Oops (must keep house tidier).  Luckily, Martina found them for me the other day and they have been able to make an appearance again.

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Eden is deliberately in Martina’s shadow as she doesn’t keep sunglasses on

Heard

I’m a huge Brooke Fraser fan, and this week her ‘Brutal Romantic’ album was finally released in the UK.  One of New Zealand’s finest, I love her voice, and she writes so beautifully.  This is a different sound for her, but it’s very catchy and great for the summer.

Made

I haven’t been very crafty with the children this week, but I have been having fun editing videos of the children, as I’ve been experimenting with different software.  I’ve always used Adobe Premiere Pro as a former Media student.  However, after being recommended to try iMovie I had a go.  It was very frustrating trying to upload things from my camera and iPhone onto my iPad, but I guess if we invest in an iMac it would be a lot easier.  iMovie really does do so much for you that takes a lot more time on Premiere.  Ok you don’t have as much control over the niggly bits, but I’m not making feature films, I’m documenting our memories, and I can do this a lot more if it’s not going to take 9 hours each time.

I would put my video experiment here but I’m not happy with the sound quality, as I lost interest when I needed to download music that iMovie would allow me to use *ahem* can’t escape copyright as easily with iMovie.  Watch this space though as we will be having a lot more videos captured.  Which will be great for family members that can’t be with us all the time (Grandparents and my sister who works abroad most of the year).  Subscribe to our YouTube channel by clicking here to watch the girls ‘please subscribe’ video.

and lastly

I have been spending a lot of time looking at children’s fashion this week. I wrote a post about it and have bought Judah and Eden some much needed clothes.  I am excited for them to arrive.  They have both grown recently and have literally grown out of their clothes.  You can read my thoughts about whether it’s important to have unique clothes for your children or not if you click here.

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I have taken the plunge.  After reading a post by Jocelyn at ‘The Reading Residence‘ I decided that was it, dontcallmestepmummy needed to get it’s own domain name.  For those that are serious and in this for the long haul it was inevitable at some point.  I just was putting it off.  I’d read another article from Brit Mums about why brands don’t work with certain blogs ‘Why I didn’t pick your blog to work with our brand’ and I realised, it’s all well and good spending a lot of time working on this blog, but it just doesn’t have the same professionalism without it’s own domain name.

We’re not all about working with brands and we document our lives here for our own personal memories, I absolutely LOVE the idea of being able to reminisce and look back here in years to come.  To remember the little things and exactly how they looked at each moment.  To see the videos of how they’ve grown, to remember first steps and birth stories.  Also, those ordinary moments that we document each week that may not otherwise have been as memorable as the milestones.  Despite not blogging “properly” for a couple of months I have still been reading other blogs and have been so inspired by various bloggers, their tenacity, excellence, consistent contributions to the blogging world and  it has reignited the passion I had to blog in the beginning. I don’t want this to be another project I never followed through, I want this to remain the labour of love and great source of joy that it began as.

I get myself bogged down sometimes because, much like my housework, I can think of all the things I want to write about and it becomes overwhelming.  To blog every day as some bloggers do, just seems crazy, but the reality is, I spend so much time sat at this laptop in the evening just watching Netflix with the hubby there’s absolutely no reason why I can’t spend an hour putting together all the countless photographs that I take in to create a polished post.

I am feeling excited about a lot of things that are happening at the moment.  I am starting a new job next month (Yay!!! I was successful at my interview) and Judah begins nursery in September.  There is so much to be grateful for and I’m sick of looking at how much I can’t do due to my physical health and want to remember all the things I’m blessed to be able to do.  I live in a country where I have the freedom to just wander off to the beach for the day with my children, or the park.  Oh my goodness, how frighteningly aware are we these days with the internet making the world so much smaller, that this is not the reality for everyone?

I love reading all these beautiful blogs, I have many favourites… Katie at ‘mummy daddy me‘ is up there for me.  The beautiful and often so colourful photography, all these dream holidays, and the sweetest children I’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing (on youtube of course), she inspires me often to keep blogging and all that can be achieved through it.  I may never be a top blogger but I’ll be definitely giving it my very best from now on.  It is a joy and a privilege and I’m so grateful for the opportunities we have had so far.  We’re in this for the long haul, as a family and I am as an individual.

Watch this space!! We’ll be filling your twitter and facebook feeds I’m afraid.
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Between the Blogging

Between the Blogging

there's always something to be thankful for, feeling thankful, learning patience, being thankful, grateful, dontcallmestepmummy, blended family, step mummy, mummy blog

So much has been happening for us lately… I don’t know why I do this but when there is a lot of change or big decisions sometimes I tend to avoid blogging.  I stopped blogging when I was extremely depressed and pregnant with Eden and I have stopped recently for no reason at all…. I seemed to miss some of my link ups, even though I had so much to write about and then… just felt out of the loop very quickly and stopped blogging.

I sprained my ankle a few weeks ago and it’s been frustrating not being able to take the children out and about.  I think because of when I was depressed and bed bound whilst pregnant, when I’m not as mobile it brings back those memories and I start to feel down.  This is because… I’m bored… I’m stuck in… I want to take my children out to enjoy the sunshine but money has been extremely tight (more than usual because we are clearing some debts we’ve accumulated whilst James was studying) and now that James takes the car for work, it’s not so easy to go out and about with a sprained ankle and little money.

You’d think being bored I would’ve been blogging more, but I don’t want to write about negative things, not because I don’t want our blog to represent real life, I do, I know life isn’t always rosey, but also when I know it isn’t going to change for a while I don’t want to dwell on the present circumstance.

Writing this now I realise there were many positive things that I could’ve been blogging about, I should have set myself the challenge to focus on the positive and write about those things… goodness knows there have been many.  The girls were involved in a charity fashion show and were astounding.  I have finally seen a doctor and started a course of antidepressants which has resulted in my starting the process of HUGELY decluttering our home.  I am definitely back to my normal self and that has been great.  James is up for another promotion, I am looking at starting a job and have an interview next week… we’ve made a MASSIVE decision regarding the children’s schooling after seeing everyone’s joys and heartaches last week as primary school allocations were given… there has been so much going on… it almost makes no sense I chose not to blog about it.

I guess the truth is, we’ve been so busy doing, and I wanted to know that I was just doing it, for me and my family and not so I had something to blog about, which is an easy trap to fall into sometimes.  Especially when my PND was at it’s worst and I was forcing myself to take the children out to do something because I knew I should but I had NO desire to do ANYTHING.

So, if you’re an avid reader, or one of my most treasured blog followers I thank you for your patience but also please know that there will be many things unfolding in the near future, and I have many things to catch up on.  Some of these things you may not be interested in, but I come back again to the reason that I blog and that is so that we can have a record of what our lives were like, and so our blended family can stay connected the days in the week that we aren’t all together.

I am so blessed by our children all the time… they astound me… and I feel so grateful for our lives and health, we have had a really tough few years (not to complain I know others go through much worse) and it feels nice to be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I don’t expect things to ever be easy for us, they just never seem to be, it always is a battle to achieve anything in our lives, but I don’t regret that either because it’s about the journey, and man am I changing and learning a lot along the way.  Learning to be a better Mum (I hope), definitely learning patience, to be a better wife and hopefully a better person in the process…. this is a journey I know I will be on until the day I breathe my last breath.  Right now we are still in a rainy season but we are definitely over the worst of this particular storm and I feel really grateful every day.
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Two months of blogging

Two Months of Blogging

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the reason I blog

5 days ago, it had been 2 months since I started this blog.  I have been enjoying it and making sure that I remember why I started it…. for the children.  There have been moments that I have really struggled with things but I have chosen not to blog about them.  This isn’t because I want to give an unrealistic view of life, it’s because I believe in focusing on the positive, and also am aware of the permanency of putting something online.  I may have issues sometimes with school, with the way they run things, with the way the girls mum chooses to deal with certain situations, but those things are not the things that I want the children to look back and remember.  I may say we’ve been struggling recently, but there are no need for negatives and specifics for the world to see, always and forever if that makes sense.  Please understand that our lives are very normal, and just because I don’t always blog about wanting to tear my hair out, it doesn’t mean it isn’t sometimes true *winks*.

There are so many subjects that I want to cover, things that are in the pipeline, things we have consciously chosen not to blog about ie. Isis behaviour at school has suffered at points.  My brain thinks on one hand that this would be a great series for the blog as there are some really interesting and intricate issues at hand, and it would be great to get advice (I also feel when I blog it causes me to think/research more about/around a subject and helps with difficult decisions) but then again I remember, this is for them.  It is not just a space for me to blurt out my opinion on everything and anything that happens in our lives.  It is a way for us all to communicate between the two homes.  Isis likes to read this on her tablet at her Mum’s house and see what we’re up to, or relive the memories of good times we’ve had.  I don’t think she’d appreciate reading all about her behavioural issues and knowing that I’ve told the world.  Not that I’m saying those that do talk about it on their space are wrong to do so, it’s just not the purpose of our space, and I need to remember that.

I am definitely only beginning to find my feet with blogging.  There is so much to do, making sure all the tagging is correct, that all my social media apps are up to date and all fitting the same brand style.  I had a blog redesign recently.  My header and gravatar were designed for me by Helen Braid at Ellie Illustrates.  I will writing a review about it soon, once it’s live if you click here you will be able to read all about it.

I am happy with the blog design and feel it helps set me up to start as I mean to go on.  Investing into blogging in that small way encourages me to keep up with it.  This is something I want to be part of our lives going forward and although finding the time can be difficult, I remember to keep my goals realistic.

I would like to have my blog at a point where I am not needing to do any retrospective posts and just blog going forward in about 6 months time.  I feel it is good to have a goal in mind, but not for it to take over my life at the moment.

There are many bloggers out there who help new bloggers with many blog posts written about how to blog, and effective blogging, how to be recognised by brands etc.  I found this post from Honest Mum about Blogging Tips very helpful.  It is encouraging to find this available help.  I also love that Katie at ‘Hurrah for Gin’ blogged for Tots100 about the Blog/Life Balance.  I am a Mum first and blogging is part of my expression but I don’t want to forget to be a Mum because I’m attached to a computer screen all the time.

So I haven’t blogged as much this month without the daily series’ but I am still enjoying it and not showing any signs of letting up soon…
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A month of blogging

A month of blogging

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just one of the reasons I blog, beautiful Eden

So today is the 8th of the month, and this time last month I decided to start blogging for my children.  Blogging to inspire myself to keep going and be the best Mum I could be.  Blogging to get some routine and order back into my life as I focus on the children.  Blogging to keep our memories somewhere we can find them as the children grow and to remind them that they were always 100% wanted and 100% loved whatever else may come our way.

I tried blogging in the past but my motives were different.  I used it to try and vent where I was at as I went through two difficult pregnancies.  There was no joy in it for me and I couldn’t stay motivated and didn’t want to blog when I felt down.  This time it’s different,  I’m blogging for the children.  I also feel censored in the fact that I know they will read this, Isis reads it now, she can find it on her tablet whilst she’s at the ‘other mummy’s’ and she can see what her siblings are up to when her and Shayla aren’t around.  This means this isn’t my venting space, this is their space, for their memories and they are part of it.  Isis has written me some blogs bless her, I need to get them emailed from Grandad’s computer where she wrote and saved them.  I am excited for this to be a journey that we all take together.

I found it really difficult to blog whilst on holiday but this was a project that I started and the children wanted me to do, so they didn’t mind me taking the time in the evenings to post, usually because they were in bed.  It became a bit like a chore but I loved the challenge to keep it up.  I now feel a little bit addicted and think of things all the time that I could blog about.  I want to make sure that I don’t forget the balance of work, family, my relationship, and blogging.  I have read lots of tips about starting out and how people found it difficult the first year as they became engrossed in blogging, so I want to keep my eye on that.

Here’s to many more months of blogging, so much to learn, and so much to journey, enjoying it so far….
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