Everyday Magical
27. 03. 2014

My personal goals update march

March has whizzed by but I have still remembered to quickly mention the update for my personal goals for this year. I know these kinds of posts can get tedious really fast so I promise that I will keep it brief!

 

1. Lose weight/exercise more

I was doing so well!!! Then Miss E got a cold, the weather turned bad and I decided to start eating everything in sight… At least I know it can be done – not all of the weight has been regained and I have very much enjoyed eating for England. And I have taken Miss E out on the bike several times – she loves it thank goodness. Just need for the weather to pick up again.

 

2. Work on the house and garden

I have made *some* progress but, like above, warmer weather will get me on my way

 

3. Stop breastfeeding

Yes – so I wrote this, then this happened and now I think I’m still going to self-wean but there have been some days this month where she has only had breastmilk because it hurt her throat to eat anything else. This is both brilliant (for her) and not so brilliant (for me).

 

4. Post regularly on this blog

I am on fire – shorter posts means I post more often! Nt sure if the quality of the post is the same every time – do I overpost?

 

5. Work on some story ideas

Nope. I laugh at the idea I have time to do this. Maybe things will calm down over the summer? I like the idea of being able to make some notes when Miss E is playing – but that means taking my eyes off her for a more than a moment…

 

6. Be more creative with presents and celebrations.

Again nope. But I still have high hopes for Christmas (2015?!)

Thanks for bearing with me!

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26. 03. 2014

Creating a parenting philosophy peaceful parenting by Everyday Magical

While pregnant it never occurred to either of us exactly how we were going to parent, I didn’t even know there were different types parenting. I’m not sure if we thought we were going to make it up as we went along – or that we just had enough trust in each other to know instinctively what we were doing was right. To be honest -

We didn’t know anything!

We still don’t!

Not much more anyway…

To me being pregnant was a bit like being engaged to be married; it’s very easy to plan for the ‘big day’ without really thinking seriously what comes after it. We had been trying for a baby for three years before we were lucky enough to get NHS funding for one round of IVF – and even more lucky to get pregnant on our first try.

I think because we had been unsuccessful for three long years we were both a bit paranoid or neurotic about jinxing the future and having some frank discussions on what it would mean for us to be parents. Luckily M and I have near enough the same values and approach to life and so we are looking at parenting peacefully and gently – although we might not look like your ‘typical’ gentle parenting family in practise we are exactly that. You too can take the general guidelines of the movement and adapt them to suit your lifestyle.

We were already doing peaceful parenting albeit unwittingly and in a less than conventional way without even realising it. We co-nap, we sometimes carry our baby (in a back carrier rather than a wrap) and at 15 months I am still breastfeeding Miss E – although not always by choice. Miss E is a very spirited little lady and is not always responsive to our attempts at keeping a quiet and calm home environment, she has always been very busy and on the go from the very start. For example, a gentle birth was out of the question, co-sleeping was never going to work for us as a family, I only baby-carried her when we were outside and in a front carrier (big no! no!) until she was six months old and baby led weaning was a disaster! But we still parent Miss E with the ethos of gentle parenting in the back of our mind – I am still breastfeeding, we co-nap at least once a day and we don’t raise our voices at Miss E – and on occasion we still babywear.
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Peaceful Parenting

Also known as gentle or attachment parenting, the general examples (as inspired by William Sears among others) are:

- exclusive breastfeeding for (at least) the first six months, followed by extended breastfeeding – ideally until self-weaning

- co-sleeping

- baby led weaning rather than baby food

- baby wearing

- no raised or aggressive voices or smacking of any kind

We are learning as we go – we always will be as we grow together as a family. If you want to learn more you can read Miss E’s birth story here.

What is your parenting philosophy? Do you have one?

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24. 03. 2014

How we are trying to live more Green and Ethically (...and Cut our Bills too!) from Everyday Magical

When I was a child I was very eco-conscious and cared a lot about the environment and green living. I was a vegetarian from the age of eight until I met my chicken-eating Mr M fifteen years later. I was a member of the Green Party and used to fundraise for them and I belonged to Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth and spent a lot of time writing letters for Amnesty International UK. I was the very model of what a young eco-warrier should look like…

…annnnnd then I went to University – and later had a disposable income – and it all fell away as I raced through my hedonistic 20′s. I still voted Green – and I even had an allotment for a few years – but I found that as I got older my ethical compass eroded and other things took priority in my life.

Of course, there is nothing like having a child to make you feel responsible for the next generation’s welfare. So I am making a new effort to awaken my green credentials and along the way become more thrifty.

It’s win/win – so here are my aims for a more sustainable life:
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Cutting down our utility bills:

Our Edwardian terrace could do with improving the energy rating and bringing our outrageous energy bills down so I’m always on the hunt for hints and tips in staying cosy for less.

- M has used white caulk to seal any gaps in our slightly dated double glazing, especially the bay windows which have taken a battering recently. I also use blinds or heavy curtains at every window and porch door it’s amazing the difference it’s made.

- We have no intention of using our fireplace until Miss E is a lot older so have stuffed a few pillows up it to keep the heat in (be careful to remove them before using your fire obviously!)

- Before I go to bed at night I switch off any appliances that use standby and drain energy. And I always switch the coffee maker off rather than leave the warming plate on – it’s one of the most unnecessary expensive appliances to leave on.
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Shop less but more ethically and more green:

Food is a huge drain on our financial resources and as M works a very physically demanding job, meat and protein are high on the agenda. I love cooking and so want to save money but still make something delicious from scratch.

- There are some excellent budget cookery blogs from UK writers online including cheap but refined ones.

- I am on the (3 year!) waiting list for a local allotment and have a small strawberry patch in my garden so have begun taking baby steps in the right direction.

- This year I have my perennial herb patch in our tiny front garden to pluck rosemary, mint and sage from. And I will be keeping annuals basil, coriander and parsley in the kitchen.
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How to raise Miss E as ‘efficiently’ as possible:

Our greatest expense at the moment is naturally Miss E – I am ashamed to say that although we bought all the kit for reuseable nappies  she has never once worn them.

- Since becoming a mummy I have become completely addicted to Car Boot Sales; there are at least three local to Southampton and I have found some great quality stuff.

- I also use the saved searches function on eBay for gently worn clothes from Boden or Jojo Maman Bebe and I tend to go a bit mad during the big high street sales in July and January (I have bought some clothes for Miss E several years in advance … a gamble that will hopefully pay off)

- There are also some great baby and toddler occasional markets that happen nearby in Hampshire. Little Pickles is my favourite but there are others too!

- Another tip is to go to charity shops in posher areas: I have found some great bargains in places like Romsey, Winchester and Lymington.

What are your thrifty recommendations? Can you share your favourite baby frugal tips? 

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