Sex Talk – So, you’re not having it like you used to?

Hide your screen from your mama, this one is about sex. REAL talk.

I know when you’re a teen sex is this exciting, experimental part of your life. And this is probably true lifelong if you want it to be. But for many of us in long term relationships, or with kids, or even just full time work, sex can sometimes fall in line with the “task” category. You know, along with writing the grocery list and hanging out the washing… And recently I’ve had an open discussion with my instagram community about WHY that is.

Most of us lead quite busy lives. Yes, even us stay at home mums. And SO many of my followers agreed that to them, finding the time and energy for physical intimacy is a task. Why? Because we are spending so much energy elsewhere, on our kids, our job, the housework. And the problem is, that is energy we have to spend. We can’t just suddenly not rock up to our job, or decide to stop feeding/bathings/soothing/nurturing our children. It’s just the busyness that is life. And it can be totally exhausting.

In one of the polls I created over 80% of people stated that they aren’t enjoying sex as often as they’d like to. The key words in the question; They’d LIKE to. See, none of us are out here not wanting to. It’s just when push comes to shove, we’re too tired or too touched out. But what if we changed the way we looked at it? After all, sex isn’t a task, it’s a feeling. A place you can share with your partner to get away from the daily tasks and busyness that is life. And I KNOW that changing your mindset on the matter can be difficult, but if you don’t you risk being stuck in the struggle of balancing intimacy and real life, which can have a profound impact on your relationship.

Remember the first time you kissed your partner? Or the way you felt when you got a text from them in those first few weeks before you “made it official”? None of those feelings were forced, they were totally non-intentional, blissfully consuming feelings. Undoubtably you felt them for a reason. The physical chemistry between you and your partner exists, otherwise you would never have come together. There is no denying that a relationship will never feel as electric as it does in the beginning, however making the effort is something you are capable of taking control of.

I know a lot of advice I hear is “alone time”, like organising dates or weekends away. Which I will admit, are definitely important. Though I truly feel that working on the daily things can have a far greater impact. In my poll I asked about all forms of physical intimacy (like holding hands, hugging, kissing etc) NOT including sex, and how often people engaged in it and whether they thought that it was often enough. A large majority said “not enough” or “not as much as we used to”. And while work and general life can get in the way of things, this daily intimacy stuff that isn’t sex is almost more important than the sex itself! If you find it difficult, set yourself a small daily goal, even if it’s just five minutes of undistracted conversation about your day. Make the effort to give your partner that undivided attention, you’ll be surprised where that can lead. I HAVE to stress that your phone will be the biggest culprit in taking away from this on a day to day basis, so make sure you put it down to dedicate that time to yourself and your partner.

Let go. I know for me, as a mum, I find it SO hard to relax. I flinch away from intimacy a lot because I feel stressed out and high stung. I always find that taking a breath and taking in the moment for what it is helps. Forget about the washing or the dirty kitchen for a bit and take the moment for what it is, time with your partner. And remember you deserve to have those moments together, the washing and the dishes will be there later.

I think sharing the fact that we’re all in our own ways facing this struggle with intimacy is important to note. No one has a perfect relationship, and the people with great relationships have them as a result of momentous effort. Comparison, however, is the thief of joy. There is not a single relationship that exists that is the same as the next, so I think perhaps the best advice I can give is, don’t compare, look for the individual good in what you already have, and build up from there. Is it the way he can make you laugh? Or maybe the way she comforts you when you’re feeling overwhelmed. There IS something special about choosing to share your life with someone, its sharing the load of the mundane and still having someone to flop onto the couch with at the end of it all.

It is so easy to neglect our relationships. Especially when we are so wrapped up in our lives. We love because it feels right, not because it’s easy or effortless. I’m not saying you should jump into bed every spare chance you get, but I am saying, look into their eyes a little more, hold their hand when you get the chance, ask how they are and actually listen to their answer. You both deserve to feel some of that magic from the beginning of your relationship. The secret is in realising it hasn’t really gone anywhere, you just may have to dig a little deeper to reach it.

xx Emily @ LovingLittleOne.com

Beautiful Photo from our engagement shoot by Jocelyn at JC Photography Services

A Light at the End of the Tunnel (of morning sickness)

I’ve chosen not to document the past few weeks, mainly because they’ve been very very challenging for me. And also because I’ve certainly shared my fair share of doom and gloom on this page about morning sickness. Lets just say that this time around was a LOT worse than what I experienced with Vi and we’ll leave it at that.

Here we are now at around about the ten week mark and my days are certainly more joy filled then they have been for a few months. Violet is always a happy little girl, so I do feel like she has made this journey as easy as it could possibly be for someone struggling to keep any food down at all for a number of months.

Our close family and friends are now in the know and have been for a couple of weeks! I really do think that sharing your news makes dealing with the difficult things easier to manage. My parents were overjoyed when Violet handed them her book “You’re a big sister”, Mum gave me this look of confusion that almost immediately turned to squeals of joy, and Dad gave me the smirk he often gives people when he’s trying not to seem too excited (when he really is).

I’ll be honest, it all doesn’t seem real yet. Even though I’m throwing up and not really fitting into my jeans anymore. I guess it always seems to be one of the things in life that don’t really feel real until you’re holding your little newborn in your arms… And sometimes it still doesn’t feel real after that. Heck, some days I look at my one year old and think… “holy sh*t, I’m your MUM”. But there is joy and happiness all the same, regardless of realism.

My biggest challenges at the moment always seem to be the most simple tasks. Changing Vi’s bottom is a real struggle, especially when she conveniently seems to poo directly after I’ve eaten, meaning I lose the entire meal I just had the minute I finish changing her nappy. And the little things like going to the park or taking the washing off the line really steal a lot of my energy. With that follows the bit of guilt that I’m not able to keep vi fully occupied all the time. She is a great little independent player though so again, she makes things that bit easier for me.

We’ve nicknamed this little one Bean and I’m keeping up with Bean’s size on the Baby Centre app once again, and a new app I’ve found called Ovia. Ovia has much the same concept as baby centre (size comparisons, articles etc) but offers a little bit more insight into the actual size of your teeny tiny baby by showing you exactly how small their hands and feet would be if you could see them. It’s all a bit novel, but it reminds me every day to take a little time to think about the little one inside of me while we’re so busy being a family on the outside.

I am really relieved that I’m starting to feel a lot better, being more motivated and positive is so much easier when you’re not throwing up hourly.

Week 2 of knowing, week 5 (or 6) of growing

If I had to describe this week in one word, it would be “nauseating”. From about the 3rd day after we got a positive, I started vomiting, and I haven’t stopped. Morning sickness and a toddler are two incredibly full on things, things that put together I’ve dreaded for a very long time.

I’ve probably already spoken about the joys of ALL DAY SICKNESS. A lot actually because 1) In my last pregnancy I was very sick for the better part of about 3 months and 2) I am a total and utter sook when it comes to being sick. So naturally I have had a good old whinge on my blog about it. But this… this is next level.

I’m normally a pretty rock solid stomach. I mean… we do cloth for Pete’s sake. You know, the nappies people have to WASH. Yeah, those. Poop scraping included. So I’d like to call myself pretty strong in terms with dealing with poo, pee and all of the other general messiness that comes with toddlers. But when you struggle to keep food down WITHOUT looking at/smelling/touching poop, this becomes… testing to say the least.

Gross things aside, Vi really has been such a joy these last few weeks. She’s always a joy, bless her little heart. And she’s capable of making me smile no matter how badly I feel like I’m going to spew… or makes me smile while I’m spewing by joining me at the toilet door yelling Sim language words of encouragement “TEE MA MUM!”. And after I flush my sorrows down the toilet along with my lunch, she’ll often greet me as I open the door with a LOUD re-enactment of what I just sounded like (but cuter).

I’m still coming to terms with what is actually happening inside of me. Despite my sickness it really still doesn’t feel real. I suppose because Vi has been the centre of my focus for more than 2 years now (including the pregnancy) so imagining a tiny little someone, completely different to vi is almost otherworldly. I often feel moments of guilt where I realise that I’m so preoccupied with what’s happening outside in the world, that I’m almost forgetting there’s another whole world growing inside of me. But I do trust my body to be the nourishing, loving home for this little one, just as it was with vi.

I often find myself questioning how one person can hold enough love inside of them for two children. Because one is all I’ve ever known. But I do trust it will come in a wave of emotion, just as big and just as powerful as the one that overtook us the moment we laid eyes on our Violet. My only hope is for her to feel that love just as we do for her little sibling, even though he/she may preoccupy us in some moments in time.

I’m not sure I mentioned this in my last post, but we’ve decided we won’t be finding out the gender this time around. Crazy right?! There are very few surprises in life like being told the gender of your newborn baby, and we’ve decided it’s something we absolutely have to experience. If I’m honest, I’m not worried about “stocking up” we have plenty of neutral newborn clothes, and if it turns out to be a girl then we’ll be set! If not, boys can wear pink right? Hahaha! No, but in all honesty. They grow so quickly, I’m not too concerned about having everything colour coded that he/she needs before they join us earth side. Won’t I be dying to know?! Yes! But that makes the wait even more exciting.

For now, I am just SO excited about my mum and dad joining us this coming weekend! I’ve held off on telling them because I really wanted to do this in person with them this time. Last time was, stressful, to say the least. And I really want to show them just how happy we all are about welcoming our new addition. And what better way to then in person while they are all here with us. I am a little stressed that mum might be offended that we kept it from her, but I’m hoping that when I tell her why, she will understand and still be excited with us anyway (I know she will be). I also really just want to stop throwing up everything I eat 😩 but patience and time will give me that eventually. And good things await us on this long and beautiful journey to becoming a family of 4 (7 if you include the cat, dog and my boarding brother 🤣).

I can’t wait to share this with you all in a few months. But I’m glad I decided to start blogging (on private for now) until I can share this wonderful news with you all.

Here We Go Again!

So today, on the 26th of March 2018 (my best friends 21st birthday) we found out that we are in fact, expecting our second child…That honestly feels so strange to type.

For a couple of months now we have been thinking about a second baby. Seeing so many of my friends almost arriving at their due date for their first child and even a few announce the pregnancy of their second, it has definitely been on my mind. My hesitations were all laid within superficial things really, like wanting to get plastered for my impending 21st at the end of the year and wanting exactly 2 years between babies for no particular reason other than it sounded nice to say.

I think Dan has been ready for a while. And by a while I mean, at least 4 or so months. But if i’m honest I only really became okay with the idea of it within the last couple of months. We’ve never been about ‘trying’ obviously, so we’ve just taken the “if it happens, it happens” approach.

Ultimately I really want to bring a sibling into the world for Vi. I feel like she would be an amazing big sister. Though a little voice inside my head has been saying “maybe it’s too soon”, I feel like that little voice would probably have reached me regardless of how long we waited. And there are always going to be emotions of self doubt and even a little fear… it is a huge thing after all. But I know we are ready. We’ve had a plan in place for a little while, and now it’s time to implement it.

It is honestly weird to start this journey all over in a different mindset. I remember this moment with Violet, alone in the doctors surgery being told I was pregnant. It rocked me to my core. But this time it was so simple and so much less scary.

I’ve been feeling off for a couple of days, nothing hugely significant but still, different to my usual self. (TMI Warning) I noticed about 2 weeks ago that my nipples were a bit sensitive, I kind of just pinned it down to Violet teething again but still thought it was strange. And around the same time I noticed a bunch of really painful bind pimples on my back and chest which is abnormal for me and also happened in my first pregnancy so that was another little sign.

Something completely different to the first though I have noticed is my mood. I shrugged off the other signs because I have been SO incredibly grumpy, which is usually a huge sign for me that my period is on her way. But even more so than usual. I’ve been an emotional wreck, crying over silly things, getting infuriatingly mad over others… I just thought I was having bad pre PMS. But I was wrong, and here we are. Starting this incredible journey all over again for the second time.

Am I worried? Yes and no. I mean, pregnancy is such an unpredictable journey, and of course there will be ups and downs but I don’t doubt our ability to pull through it all just like we did with the last. My biggest concern is probably Violet, our precious little Vi. Of course I have been told that the love that comes for the second is just as prominent as the first, but of course right now that is hard to imagine. She is my world. But I also can’t wait to give her the absolute joy of a sibling. I just worry over her confusion and possible jealousy, but I am really hoping the love she will have for her sibling comes through stronger than any of the other emotions she will go through.

Our precious Vi really is growing up, and to think of her as becoming a big sister is so hart warming. I’m still in awe. In 9 months we will become a family of four. Hold on tight  guys, it’s going to be a rollercoaster that no one wants to get off.

Our experience with bedtime and crying

Notice how the title doesn’t say “controlled crying” or “cry it out”. Yeah, I did that on purpose. Mainly because the method we use doesn’t have a name, we just did what felt right and what worked for us. If you read this and think, hey that actually is a method written about feel free to let me know! I’d love to read it.

Now this is a touchy subject. I’ve seen MANY heated discussions on bedtime methods and what people think is right and wrong for children. And I won’t deny the science or the methods out there in books and in documentaries but we decided quite early on that we would take parenting as a day to day thing, do what feels right and if and when it stops feeling right for us or our baby, we’d stop.

Until our daughter was 6 months old we had a pretty easy run, she would fall asleep in our arms and then we would move her to her cot and she would stay asleep until the next feed, whenever that may be. She never slept through but this is something we were and are still ok with. She would wake up at night, have a feed and nod straight back off to sleep. I’d either shift her back into her cot or enjoy a bit of co-sleep cuddles for the night, whatever felt right at the time.

After 6 months we started noticing her “bedtime” was getting later and later, because no matter how hard we tried, if she was being held around a light or tv or conversation, we was too curious to fall asleep. This posed an issue for us, because it meant I either had to go off to a dark room in silence and hold her until she fell asleep OR switch up our method. I endured 4 months of the first option before I’d decided enough was enough. And that’s when we introduced a proper, scheduled night time routine.

Kids LOVE routine. And we’d always had a rough routine of what order things are done in but never really set times. So we decided, start cooking dinner at 5:30, she eats by six, bath time by 6:30-7, book and bed before 7:30. “Bed” was into the cot with me beside her but not touching or talking to her.

The first few nights were tough. She sat and cried and cried at me, every 10 minutes or so I would give her a short little pat on the back and a reassuring “I love you” but I wouldn’t pick her up… she was tired and me picking her up would only prolong sleep. The first few nights it took about 30-40 minutes of crying. Not terrified crying, not hurt crying, not hysterical crying, just whingey tired crying.

Slowly but surely, the amount of time she would spend crying got shorter and shorter. After about 4 nights of the new routine she was only crying for 10 or so minutes. And by a week and a half I could walk into her room with her in my arms, place her down in the cot, pat her quietly for about 10 seconds or so, say I love you and leave the room with absolutely NO fussing or crying.

I was astonished. This was a child that hardly ever self soothed, now going to sleep almost entirely on her own, no fuss, and almost HAPPY to be going to bed.

Now I’m not here to preach, every baby is different and every parent will do things differently so I’m definitely not going to tell anyone what to do or that it will work for them. And I didn’t walk into this new routine thinking we’d see that much of a difference but HOLY, it has changed our lives. Our night times are almost completely stress free, beautiful in fact. My partner and I can enjoy alone time without fear of having to listen to tears, or trying to be quiet so she would go to sleep in my arms.

She doesn’t sleep through. She never has, but she’s easy to get back to sleep, so that’s never been a problem with us. I am just so surprised at how well this has worked for us.

I’d love to hear stories of bedtime success! No judgement from me either as to how you got there! It’s a long and tough journey but such a feat when you finally reach it. So share away in the comments!

5 Thing I would tell my 14 year old self

We’ve all had those moments where we think… “If I could turn back time”. When I think back to when I was 14 there are certainly some cringeworthy moments that come to mind. However despite everything those years brought to me, happy and sad, I don’t regret a lot of things at all.

2011 was the year I turned 14, all of the telltale signs of angry adolescence hung directly overhead and I had absolutely no idea the kind of effect it would take on me, nor did my parents or anyone I knew really. I was now a teenager… totally unpredictable, right? Well I have a few words of advice for the newly 14 year old Emily.

 

Black eyeliner and a side-fringe never really suited anyone

I get it, everyone is doing it. You figure if everyone is doing it, it must be cool right? wrong. So wrong. Your almost 20 year old self recently debated the whole fringe thing again, then looked at photos of you and laughed and laughed and laughed and then didn’t get a fringe. It’s not that you aren’t pretty, it’s just the world likes you so much better when you can see your eyes without dark pencil lines and hair dangling half over them. And trust me, the world of makeup deserves so much more respect than what you’re currently giving it.

 

Most boys are assholes

And it’ll take more than one to figure that out. AND might I add that just because you might never officially date doesn’t mean you don’t have the right to feel hurt by them. It’s just the age honey, they have too much testosterone than they know what to do with. When the right one makes his move you’ll know it, trust me.

 

STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHER PEOPLE

For gods sake. Honestly, I don’t need  to elaborate. You do you perfectly well, your friends do themselves perfectly well, so do strangers and people you’ll never meet. The longer you spend trying to justify in your own head why you’ve done better then them is just time that could be better spent worrying about what you’re going to get from the tuckshop for lunch, and god it better be a fresh chocolate chip muffin because let me tell you, you’ll never find anything like it again.

 

Your endless love for squash still inspires me

This thing that you’ve got going, all the training and the healthy eating and the focusing. It is time well spent! I can’t tell you how many times you’ll look back at what you achieved and be so damn proud of where you let it take you. Don’t even second guess the parties you won’t go to, or the apparent “bad choices” everyone says teenagers need to make in order to grow, you won’t make those choices because you will be doing what you love. And it will be 100% worth it, I promise.

 

Don’t let people tell you these are the best years of your life. ALL your years should be

I don’t know how many times throughout high school you’ll hear people say that to you, but it’s a lot. And don’t let that freak you out because, yes, they’re great. But every year after school is great too. And I can’t even begin to explain that your perspective of what “great” really is can change in a nanosecond. Sure times get tough and things test you all the time, but have a look around you, what are you really leaving behind when you finish school? Certainly not your family or your friends, and lets be honest here, those things are really that makes life beautiful.

 

Most of all, stop worrying so much. Everything will work out beautifully, regardless if it was what you expected.

 

xx Emily

Violet Rae Cook: 6 Week Update

Don’t ask me how we are already at 6, nearly 7 weeks… I simply can’t answer it, and it makes me quite anxious to think just how damn quickly time is passing. 

Every day that passes we see more and more of Violet’s personality shine through, and god, it only makes us love her more. She’s curious, happy, and bloody strong! I didn’t think it was possible but for such a small baby she can pack a kick, and a head butt, that’s for sure. 

At 4 and a half weeks she ROLLED! Which initiated the transition from her cradle to her cot, like a big girl in her very own room. Of course, she’s not slept through yet, but is adjusting impressively well to self settling and waking up in her own room by herself. 

At 6 weeks we got our first real social smile. And let me tell you, that brings tears of happiness to any new parents eyes. After weeks on end of changing nappies, feeding all hours of the day and soothing a screaming baby, to finally see their little smile, it wells your heart. Somehow making everything you’ve been through so much more worth it. And I’m probably a bit biased but that smile is absolutely gorgeous. I’m living for the cute little gurgling baby sounds she makes as she watches our faces intently, taking all of the world in.
And great news! She’s absolutely loving her baths now, if you’ll remember in my last post I said she hated them and would scream bloody murder every time we tried to get her in there. But I can happily say she had about a half hr bath with me tonight and loved every minute of it.

It’s safe to say that we’re adjusting a lot better to this whole parenting gig. You don’t believe it in the beginning when they tell you that you’ll get used to not having enough sleep, but you really truly do. I feel fully functional on 6 hrs of broken sleep a night, and I’m damn proud of myself for it. Nappy changes happen in under 2 minutes these days, and we haven’t had a poo-splosion in weeks, which I nail down to the fact that we can actually put a nappy on properly! 

On Monday we had her 6 week immunisations, and if you’re a parent you’ll share my pain, I honestly think it hurts more to watch than it actually is painful for Bub. But it’s comforting to know that she’s more better equipped to deal with all different types of bugs the world could throw at her. And that she can now socialise with other babies! Which I’m hoping to get happening in the next few weeks by attending lactation groups and mothers groups.

I feel like she’s very easy on us, I mean obviously she has her moments but every baby does. She’s settling in so well to being a little human. And god, I never knew how much love you could hold in your heart until now, and I tell you what, it just keeps growing and growing.