Sunday, 16 April 2017

We Have Moved!



Hey lovelies,  if you have landed on the page it means you want to read some Lucie and the Bump content!  Our blog has now moved over to lucieandthebump.co.uk so come on over and catch up with whats going on lately!

Lucie x
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Saturday, 1 April 2017

3 Ways to Feel Happier | The Self Love Club




I made a promise to myself at the start of this year and it was to love myself a little bit more.  I am joining the self-love club.

It is easy to lose a bit of yourself when you’re a mum, your YOU-ness if you like.  Of course you gain this awesome nurturing caring strong person but you can forget the carefree happy selfish side.  Parenting is all-consuming at times and it really shouldn’t be, it should be ok to have some “me time” and to give yourself a break.  You are more than just a mum.  I am way more than just a mum.

Self love is about sitting back an analyzing what went well for you today.  What made you smile?  Did you eat like you should, did you drink enough water!?

It is also about discovering what truly makes you happy.  It is so easy to believe that material things can make you happy but often the feelings we have for physical things are short lived, however much you are in love with your new Adidas Gazelles!!
Sometimes its easy to fall into a trap when browsing through Instagram of thinking you need all the stuff that everyone else is buying, because they look happy.  Valencia filter, remember?!  



The Love.Yourself.Lean wellness journal was created by the lovely Kelly Terranova, after hitting what she likes to call her "rock bottom", where she was deeply unhappy and had little self worth (more on Kelly's story here).
She believes that the journey to being totally healthy is way more than just eating clean and exercising, it is about being happy.  Her journal can help to guide you to be the happiest healthiest version of you.

With that in mind I am embarking on a little bit of a journey using Kelly's Love.Yourself.Lean wellness journal.  I'm going to fill in the pages everyday, documenting what went well, what I ate and what I want to focus on for my own happiness whether its my family, health, mental wellness or something else.  I am also going to colour and decorate the pages with pretty doodles because that makes me super happy too!!





My happy most certainly won't be the same as your happy but there are definitely things we can all do every day to make us feel a little brighter and ultimately more smiley.


Write a list of good things
This is one of my favourite things to do when I'm feeling anxious or down in the dumps.  I like to write a list of every single good thing in my life, so things like I have a beautiful healthy family, a roof over my head, the sun came out or I had a success at work.  Writing those small things down and reading them back to myself when I have had a bad day makes me realise things aren't all that bad and i feel really grateful again for everything I have in my life.


Set a goal for the day
Try to set yourself a end goal for the day.  It doesn't have to be anything massive or life changing.  It could be that you clear out your old clothes, or give to charity or simply call a friend to have that long overdue chat.  You will be surprised about how good you feel after just achieving one small success.


Have an hour to yourself

It is so important to have some "me" time, especially if you have a lot on your plate, kids to look after or a hectic career.  Set aside an hour every week to do something that you love.  It could be as simple as taking a bath, going for a walk or it could be going to a dance class or even shopping.  You will be amazed at how refreshed you feel after just taking an hour out of your busy schedule to revel in some self indulgence.


I can't wait to update you all in a few months time to let you know how I am getting on with my Love.Yourself.Lean journey!  You can pick up a LYL wellness journal here, and Kelly has kindly given you guys a 10% off code (just type lovelucie at the checkout)

What makes you happy??




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Monday, 27 March 2017

Why I Made My Home My Hobby | Guest Post from Hayley Stuart

Before I was a mum I spent most of my time shopping, I was a self confessed shopaholic. But who cared right? I was in my twenties, care free and enjoying life. 
When I was 27, 3 months after I married my husband I fell pregnant with our now four year old boy, Rex. 
During my pregnancy I wondered what he would look like, organised all his gorgeous unworn clothes, planning what he would wear first and dreamt about visiting friends and cooing over my new born baby whilst on maternity leave. 
Boy o boy was I in for a shock. 
On July 20th 2012 after a very painful three day labour, Rex was born. He was the most gorgeous thing I had ever seen, and I couldn’t take my eyes off him. 

That night whilst he slept I just watched him. My anxiety levels were so high I couldn’t sleep after the birth. I had already been awake for three days and I was exhausted from the birth, why was I wide awake? 
This continued for days after to the point where I was getting hallucinations. I felt like I’d never sleep again. To add to this I had a problem with my hip and was readmitted to hospital (with Rex) whilst they tried to identify what was wrong. After doctors played guessing games I was sent home, still in pain with no diagnosis. Finally I went to a chiropractor who told me I had damaged the muscles in my back during the birth causing pressure on a nerve in my hip which was sending a lightening bolt pain down my leg every time I stood on it. After a few sessions I was fixed. Thank god! 
Shortly after that Rex was diagnosed with Colic. Very common I know but the inconsolable crying is something else. For a new mum to try and comfort a baby that has screamed for five hours solid is a shock to the system. I couldn’t cope. My husband would come home to find me crying on the kitchen floor because I felt like a failure. Why was this nothing like I thought it would be? Why isn’t motherhood like it is in the films? 
I’ve always been hormonal before I had children but my hormones took a big hit postpartum. 
I eventually let my parents know I wasn’t coping and they came to my rescue. I felt ashamed and completely incompetent at this point. I hated to admit that I was failing as a mother. 
One thing I struggled with was the loss of my identity. I didn’t know who I was anymore, my life had completely changed and I felt so alone, even though technically I wasn’t. 
I never saw a doctor about how I was feeling as it was only afterwards that I was able to admit I that I had suffered from post natal depression. 

Just before Rex was one I fell pregnant with our youngest son Mack. I was scared but feeling much more confident about what motherhood could potentially throw at me. 
One thing we now needed was a bigger house. 
We found a lovely cottage in the next village on from where we were living and moved in as soon as we could! 
I started to visualise our future in this house as a family of four! I had something to look forward to… a project. 
I immediately set up Pinterest boards and planning what I wanted to do with the house. We rent our house so we are slightly limited to what we can do, however I knew I wanted to make it our own for as long as it was our home. 
I’ve always been interested in interiors but never had the opportunity to do what I want to do until now. 
I have completely transformed nearly all the rooms and had great fun doing it. 



By making my home my hobby I have found myself again. Not the old me, but a thirty something, interior obsessed, wife and mum of two boys, me! 


I’m still a shopaholic but with a smaller income. I do a lot of upcycling and room makeovers, because for me, it’s so important to have an interest along side being a mother. 
Another thing I have discovered a passion for is photography. I bought my first DLSR camera last year and I use it everyday. 




My boys do and always will come first, but I put a lot of my spare time in to our home, because I enjoy it. My next plan is to make my hobby my career. 
Wish me luck! 
Hayley x
You can follow Hayley over on her popular Instagram page here and on her blog here!

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Sunday, 5 March 2017

Deaf Kids Rock | 2 Years of Hearing




When I fell pregnant with Harry, I was so naïve.  I had worries of course but they were for all the “normal” things, would he have all his limbs, would he even make it all the way to 9 months gestation.  I never ever ever considered that my baby would be born without something I consider to be one of the ultimate senses.  I could not have guessed in a million years that my son would be born profoundly deaf.


Being told something as significant as that can really shatter a person.  We felt broken, I felt broken.  I was absolutely and utterly terrified for what Harry’s future would hold.  Would he have a fulfilled life, would he struggle at school and the ultimate question for me, would he ever hear me tell him I love him. 
I spent an entire 42 weeks growing this little person inside my tummy, talking to him and telling him all of our hopes and dreams and the thought that he didn’t and possibly wouldn’t ever hear any of that split my heart right down the middle. 

However, we had to pull ourselves together and focus on our boy wholeheartedly and without fear.  We had to make decisions around surgery for Harry that could have put his life at risk, a decision that meant he would either hear or he wouldn’t.

Little did I know that Harry being born without hearing would be one of the most incredible experiences we could have ever endured.  It completely shaped our lives as a team of three into something really quite special. 

Harry really is like any other three year old lad.  He is a boys boy, he’s happiest when surrounded by cars, trucks and dinosaurs.  He is confident, loud, stroppy and completely pushes all of the buttons.  But he is chatting away more and more every single day and each time he comes out with a new word or phrase my face completely lights up and I couldn’t smile any wider.  The feeling of not knowing if my baby would ever hear, to him “blessing” me after I sneeze really is like no other feeling I have ever experienced.

It sounds so cliché but he really does light up something inside of everyone he meets with his charm and his baby blues.  I never look at him and feel sad or sorry that he is deaf, or has to wear equipment on his head to be able to hear.  I look at him and feel inspired, empowered and most of all insanely proud.

People like my son Harry show the world that there are miracles.

I’m forever grateful to be your Mama little bug, Happy 2nd Hearing Birthday  x
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Sunday, 19 February 2017

The Threenager.



Yeah he looks cute, but as I type this, my three year old is laying screaming at the top of the stairs because he wants to stay up and play. 
But of course this isn't the first argument of the day, no sir.  Let me list the things we have battled over with sir Harry since we woke up this morning..

  • turning our bedside lamp on way before 7am (its Sunday)
  • breakfast.  What he wanted/didn't want.
  • how the toast was cut
  • I gave him a broken biscuit
  • I gave him the wrong water bottle
  • he spilt some porridge and shouted at me for it
  • his iPad ran out of battery and shouted at me for it
  • he wanted to play with a coral red nail polish
  • he wanted to watch grandad have a wee
  • he covered his face in bum cream and didn't want it wiped off
  • he wouldn't eat dinner
  • he was really hungry
  • he didn't want a bath but wanted a bath
..actually that's probably only the half of it but I pick my battles.

Threenagers are the most confusing little people I have ever met.  When our kids hit three we get all smug and we're almost tricked into thinking that crazy year of terrible twos is well and truly over.  Don't be smug.  The minute Harry turned three he became like a teenage/baby hybrid and on some occasions i may ever describe him as devilish.

Someone wise once told me that boys get a surge of testosterone between 2 and a half and 4 and it pretty much sends them a little cray cray.  If this is true then to be honest I can sympathise as I can be an emotional wreck when hormones hit!  It kind of makes sense as my boy can be bouncing off the walls with happiness one second and in floods of unhappy tears the next over the absolute tiniest of details.

I was so unprepared for three.  I wasn't ready for the opinions they have, the almighty tantrums they throw or the physical strength they have! 

I have made a little video for Channel Mum's "Why did no one tell me" series if you fancy getting an insight into what the threenager is really like!

Do you have a threenager??


 
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Friday, 10 February 2017

ASOS Valentines Day GIft Guide

When I was at school Valentines Day was all about writing "I LOVE ...." over books, and up my arm in pastel smelly gel pens.  Whilst I still love the odd doodle I'm going to bypass graftti'ing my body and get my loved one a gift from ASOS.  They have such a lovely range of gifts this year for girls and guys and I have rounded up some of my favourites below...
















What are you buying gift wise this Valentines Day??
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Sunday, 22 January 2017

Our Wedding | Wish List & Inspirations

Scott and I have been engaged now for three months (catch the down low on his amazing proposal here!)  Which means that wedding planning has finally begun!  We have even set an actual date!!!  August 2018 I will become Mrs Houchin and I couldn't be more excited about it!

Firstly we have booked the most beautiful barn wedding location.. more about that in another post!  I knew from the offset that I wanted to get married in a barn.  There is something about the rustic, in formalness of it that I really like and I think it really suits mine and Scott's relaxed style.

Of course I have been scanning Pinterest like a cray cray person, if you follow me over there you are probably sick of the constant wedding pins!  I have chosen a copper/rose gold/nude sort of colour palette with wild flowers galore!  I want all 7 of my bridesmaids to wear different styles and shade dresses with a couple of them wearing some sparkly sequins.  

I thought I would share with you some of my favourite Pinterest finds so far...






Dress/Flowers: Not only do I LOVE these wild flowers this beautiful boho bride is holding but I actually love the dress too.  Those little sleeves are really different but cute.

Tie: Of course my man and his tribe need to match my girls and I reallyyyyyy want him to wear this exact tie!

Sequins: As I mentioned I love a bit of sparkle and I would love a couple of my bridesmaids in dresses like these!




Ceremony: This is an actual photo of my venue!!  How beautiful does it look!  I want tons of lights like in this photo so make it feel really cosy and magical

Pimp your Prosecco:  I'm going to make a cart exactly like this one as I love adding different flavours to my prosecco!

Wooden Pallet:  This is such a cheap and easy wedding DIY.  I am thinking I will do a couple of these pallets, one for an order of service and one for a menu.

Giant Lightbox:  I feel like I simply MUST have this giant lightbox in my life!!!  Think about how many different messages/song lyrics you can put on it.

Naked Cake:  Naked cakes are all the rage now aren't they.  They are so much less formal and fussy than traditional wedding cakes and I personally would much rather eat a vicky sponge than a manky fruit cake!

Place Names: I am 100% making my own name cards for our tables.  I really like these simple card ones.  I just need to learn how to write properly now!!

Centrepieces:  Wooden logs, glasses jars and bottles - I am all about that life.

Beer Barrow:  This is one for the men, and again a really simple idea for a wedding where you are able to supply your own drinks like ours!

Chalkboard:  You all know I love a chalkboard so my wedding wouldn't be complete without adding one of these!  I think its a great idea to let people know what hashtag you want them to use so they can capture your day for you on social media!



Are you planning a wedding??

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Friday, 20 January 2017

Deaf Kids Rock | An Interview with Daddy Knott

Hi you lovely bunch,

Welcome to a new series of blog posts here on Lucie and the Bump.  I have realised that Harry’s hearing journey has gone a little quite on my personal blog as I seem to write so much about it over on Phonak’s site Hearing Like Me.  So I am going to start posting more about Harry’s progress with his magic ears as well as sharing stories from friends who I have made along the way.

I’m kicking off this series with a little interview with my online friend James (Instagram DaddyKnott)
James started following our journey after his own son Nelson was diagnosed as deaf and he is such an inspiration to me with his positivity and his willingness to raise awareness for the deaf society amongst us.  Him and his wife Becky have fully embraced learning British Sign Language and are at the very beginning of their journey to possibly get cochlear implants for little Nelson.


Hey James!! Tell me a bit about you and your family..
I’m  James Knott, I am 32 years old and married to Becky.  We met through a mutual friend 7 years ago and have not looked back!  We got married in September 2013 and our daughter was born the following July.  Prudence is now two and a half.  Our son Nelson came along on the 9th June 2016.  Becky also has two older children from a previous marriage so a very busy house indeed, there is never a dull moment!



How did you find out about Nelson's hearing loss?
We knew something wasn’t quite right the day he was born, the new born screening test came back as non-responsive twice and a further test with some tiny headphones also came back the same. From here we got referred for further testing with the West Kent hearing hospital. The test was when Nelson was only 3 weeks old with a lovely doctor called Frank, who would turn out to be a regular face over the upcoming weeks. At the appointment Frank did a good 2 hours of testing and at the end we came away knowing that Nelson’s hearing loss was permanent and quite severe in both ears.   But we didn't find out that he was profoundly deaf until the end of July. 

How did you feel?
I am not ashamed to say I had a little cry in the hospital, but luckily I have an amazing wife who quickly picked me up.  Nelson is 100% healthy but his ears don’t work, it’s not the end of the world and we knew we would both embrace his hearing loss.

Did you find it hard telling your friends and family?
No, I wouldn’t say we found it hard telling anyone family or friends.  Some took the news in different ways and had different emotions.  It is a shock at the end of the day, but we both have fantastic families and a good group of friends. The support and reassurance has been brilliant.  At the beginning before our diagnosis was confirmed, people would try and reassure us by telling us that Nelson has jumped to a dog bark or startled at the sound of the hoover, but we always knew deep down that he wasn't.  I took the words of my wife "it's just ears, it could be so much worse" and we found ourselves saying this to a lot to people. 

Finding out Harry was deaf changed our family dynamics but it brought us all a lot closer.  How has Nelson being deaf affected yours?
I don’t know if it has changed the dynamics as such. We are a very close family anyway.  It has prompted other members of the family and friends to learn British Sign Language. 



Have you learnt any form of sign language or makaton and how has it helped you to communicate?
As a family we had a bit of a cheeky head start with knowledge in BSL, as Becky has been studying it for 4 years and has completed her level 3.  This gave her a good insight into deaf culture, deaf awareness and of course sign language itself.  Becky has been doing weekly classes with both of our families, so we can all communicate with Nelson.  We have been told so much that it is never to young to sign with children.  We have a weekly prop bag that has ten items in and we all try to sign them to him as much as possible. We have a family and friends Whatsapp group that we post videos and signs on, and at Christmas Becky and I learnt Merry Christmas by Shaking Stevens and posted that in the group!  That one didn’t make it onto social media…

Does Nelson wear hearing aids?  Do they work for him at all?
Nelson has two Phonak hearing aids that he has had since he was 11 weeks old.  They have now been turned up the highest level.  It is clear that he is not getting any sound from the aids, but we are encouraged to keep them in all the while he is awake for nerve stimulation and he gets a good 7 hours a day with them in.

Harry was constantly pulling his hearing aids out, chewing them and throwing them.  Is Nelson good with his?
He is now getting very good at whipping them out with one finger and yes they go straight towards his mouth!   It is a battle and we use toopay tape to keep them in place and this helps a lot. We also have a few headbands that hold the aids and these have been a godsend at times.
He hasn’t got to the throwing stage yet, we are looking forward to that.. haha!

At what point did you decide to go down the route of deciding to get a cochlear implant?
This is something that was spoke about at quite an early stage when we found out the severity of Nelson’s hearing loss.  It’s something that we have spoken about as a family and I think at the end of the day it is a no brainer, but not a decision that was made easily if that makes sense?

What stage of your cochlear implant journey are you at?
We have had one appointment at St Thomas’s to meet our audiologist and speech and language therapist, we also had a group session that was very interesting, they spoke about the procedure its self and the different cochlear implant models available to us.  Our next appointment is on the 13th February again at St Thomas’s. I have made a vlog of our trip to London if you are interested and you can find it on our very new You Tube channel Daddy Knott.  

If Nelson is a suitable candidate and gets his cochlear implants, what are you most looking forward to telling him? 
I think we are very lucky that with sign language, we can communicate well with him and haven’t really put too much thought in to what we would say to him.  I guess I’m looking forward to small things like will he be able to hear the birds in the trees or the waves crashing on the beach.

Sometimes I worry about Harry going to school and fitting in with the other children. What are your biggest worries for Nelson's future?
School is a worry with our daughter Prudence and I’m sure it will be with Nelson when we cross that bridge.  Luckily we have a good main stream school very close to us that have a fantastic unit for special needs, and has other deaf children attending that thrive.  I hope that Nelson will want to tell stories about his special ears and makes lots of friends.

What would be your best piece of advice to parents who have just found out their little one is deaf?
My advice would be to embrace it, stick with it and try to enjoy it. They are still our babies at the end of the day.  Learn BSL or other forms of sign language as it will help massively and also take all the help and advice that is offered. It is out there even if you have search for it. 

Having a deaf child is no walk in the park but there are positives in every situation, so let's end on a positive note! What's the best thing that has come out of your journey with a deaf child? 
 This is true, but having a hearing child is no walk in the park.. ha!!  However every single day we embrace the challenges that it gives us, stopping ear moulds into mouths, feedback from hearing aids, teaching family and friends a whole new language. But the most positive thing is the love that we show him and he shows us. He is who he is. We aren't religious people but someone up there gave him to us for a reason. And boy are we glad they did. 

















You can follow James and Becky’s story on Twitter (@daddyknott11), Instagram (Daddyknott) and their YouTube channel (Daddy Knott). 


If you would like to share your story on Lucie and the Bump, feel free to contact me on any of my social media channels or email me at lucieherridge@hotmail.co.uk
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Wednesday, 4 January 2017

A Review | Bepanthen Nappy Care Ointment



Bepanthen is a brand that my family knows and trusts.  It is pretty much the only nappy cream brand I consistently used on Harry’s delicate little tush and we still use it now if hes a little bit sore “down there”.

Bepanthen Nappy Care Ointment works by forming a transparent layer on your babys skin which can help protect again rubbing and irritants.  Its water-in-oil formulation also contains pro-vitamin B5 which aids the skin in its natural recovery meaning you really don’t need to use it for every nappy change.  It doesn’t dry out or clump like other creams can and we find a tiny amount really does goes a long way.



Bepanthen have recently changed their tube design to make it more accessible and easier to use than ever before, which I LOVE.  They scrapped the metal type previous tube with the screw on lid, for a nifty plastic one with a flip up lid that can be opened with just one hand!  I'm sure you will agree, this is a definite necessity when trying to pin down a wriggly baby!

We have been really lucky in terms of nappy rash with Harry, he has never suffered badly but of course occainsionly gets a little sore and I find this stuff a miracle worker, its like an instant relief for him!  I would 100% recommend it to new mums and dads, or if you’re current nappy cream isn’t quite up to scratch give Bepanthen a go and see if it makes a difference.



I’m also very excited to share that Bepanthen has teamed up with parenting expert Lisa Clegg (author of Blissful Baby and Blissful Toddler) to write this handy little e-book called What the Parenting Manuals Don't Tell You.  The e-book is full of tips for expectant parents which were crowd-sourced via social media.  I love the illustrations in the book by Alyana Cazalet who is also a mother.
I love Lisa, I have gone to her for advice before as well as reading her books cover to cover varous times for her tips and tricks for new parents.  You can download their e-book for free here!


What nappy cream do you use?



*this post was written in collaboration with Bepanthen.  My views are, as always, completely honest and are my own.

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