A introduction to me.

A introduction to me.

Hello, for the benefit of you very lovely people on my blog/Wordpress I thought I’d introduce myself. The face behind my blog and life with the Hazelwoods! My name is Charlie-Jane and I am 24, I live in Suffolk with my little family. My son Elijah and his dad, my husband James. I’ve worked in healthcare and community care for many years and learnt a lot of things. I like to think one of those things is to try and be a good human being no mater how hard that may be. I’ve recently decided (with James wanting it too) to become a stay at home mum. James has very kindly decided he will be the working parent while I raise our son at home. While I miss working and the excitement my job brought me sometimes I do truly love being a stay at home mum and house wife. Since staying at home I’ve really been able to find my hobby which is blogging and I am really starting to enjoy it. My blog is about anything that pops into my head really from recipes to being completely honest with how parenting has changed my life and things like my mental health. I feel things shouldn’t be filtered and people should be able to see more of the real life that other mums and people go through too. From my struggle with some of my illnesses too things we get up to everyday I’ll be blogging and I hope you’ll be joining, reading and getting involved as I’d love to meet other like minded individuals like me that have had enough of these blogs that have one specific genre and only show the perfect side of life. So stay tuned and click the follow button for more!

The importance of adventuring the world with my toddler.

The importance of adventuring the world with my toddler.

Once they learn to walk there is nothing mote toddlers love to do more than explore. If you’re noticing your child getting increasingly more grouchy sometimes a trip out can be fun for everyone. One thing i find my toddler loves to do is explore. He loves to now pick up sticks and throw them and look for and point out all the animals. He also loves kicking around and throwing leaves in the air under a tree which has started to loose their leaves ready for the winter. Autumn is definitely my favourite time of the year and not just because of the return of gingerbread syrups and eating lots of comfort food. No i love autumn because of the temperature its cool enough you’re not hot or cold when going for a walk. You enjoy having a cup of tea after to enjoy where you’re warmed up and have that cosy warm inside feeling instead of being a hot sweaty mess. You get to wear cosy boots and wellies where you don’t get dirt under your toes of the sandels that look great on but have no practicality at all.

I always like to take my little boy for walks because that’s what me and his dad do. We always have loved walks and i want to teach him to love the world we are in. I like to go out and show him trees and wildlife. I like to point out pretty plants and views and tell him what they are. I want him to have a active life where we can instead of sitting around which we sometimes have no choice to do. I like to go to different places so we don’t get bored off the same view all the time.

Elijah loves running so we like to go and take him somewhere he can run loose and of course we chase as fast as we can to keep up with him. We normally take his trike with us so that if he is tired we can push him in his trike which he loves. We are quite lucky for where we live as there are lots of parks, nature walks, lakes, meadows and beaches short drives or walks away so we get to travel to new exciting places.

Walks are good for the well being and mind. Not only will you destress you’ll also feel more healthy. Its a activity of exercise for your toddler and you wont even know it! Talking toddlers through walks and pointing out things and chatting as you walk through is a great chance to learn. They’ll learn what things are and also chat to you as they go through with no distractions. It’s the perfect place for learning and taking in the full magnitude of the worlds beauty.

Sometimes we like going for walks to parks or places with play areas as there is nothing more our little guy likes more than completely going nuts. He loves climbing and going down the slide shouting “WEE” as loud as he possibly can. He giggles at high he goes on a slide and does a lot of exciting faces as he gets too excited using a toy stearing wheel on a model bike/ car or boat. We have one behind our house we try to go to regularly when hes good to have a run about and yes i mean behind my house i could jump my fence and be on the park. We like to spice things up tho we like to go to different parks so its different and the adventure is new. We like to try new places so it feels more like a day out and we will go with friends or weekends with daddy. The best thing about going for a walk is its a great bonding experience and memory making activity. Something ill always remember from my childhood is spending time in parks going for walks with friends and family. The fact that its free is just a plus!

What to feed a fussy toddler for lunch so they eat!

What to feed a fussy toddler for lunch so they eat!

As a mother I love talking to other mothers and getting advice on things, one of the most important things for me is what do you feed your fussy child? Every child eats different of course but sometimes you can pick up on what others eat and try and change it around to fit you and your child.

I try not to put to much pressure on meals as if he doesn’t eat or isn’t hungry I don’t want him to associate food with negativity when I want him to be a foody like his mummy and daddy! So today’s lunch was a dunker box. Breadsticks or crackers with spreadable cheese is always a favourite as he loves to dip! A cheese string. For little mouths cut up! A yogurt which is good for dairy needs! Hand full of raspberries and chopped mango. A glass of water to teach him we drink at meal times to get more fluid intake! And a slice of teddy bear ham he gobbled up earlier!

Some things I give at lunch time he enjoys.

  • Wraps.
  • Wrap pizza (outing tomato paste and cheese on a wrap and putting in over for three minuites to melt the cheese).
  • Toast
  • Toastier.
  • Pasta.
  • Rice.
  • Cous cous.
  • Shredded chicken.
  • Food that looks like things.
  • Breadsticks.
  • Cheese crackers.
  • Cheese straws.
  • Beans on toast or spaghetti.
  • Jam sandwiches.

We try to change it up everyday so he doesn’t get bored of what he’s eating which he seems to enjoy we do same for dinner times too!

Trip to Jimmy’s farm!

Trip to Jimmy’s farm!

We’re quite lucky to leave in a countryside town. They’re no shortages of beautiful countryside walks, farms and animals if you have a look about nature. We’re also very lucky to live quite near by (ten minute drive) to Jimmy’s farm! If you live in the uk it’s probably one of the most famous little farms there is. Jimmy the owner is friends with Jamie Oliver and has had a few tv shows.

It’s a lovely little farm that’s spread out. The animals all seem as happy as they can be at a farm and there is plenty to see and do. I would rate this probably one of the most toddler friendly places to go as there is so much for them and children to do. It’s not overly expensive either and there’s plenty of homey shops and cafes. The restaurant sells the best sausage and mash I have ever had! The pens are quite spaced out so lots of room to run around and no crowding on busy days. There’s lots of different pens with different animals. You can tell the farmers really look after their animals and clean up constantly as it doesn’t have that horrible farm smell you get when you go to a farm and you’re not having to watch your feet for animal poop!

The play areas are quite nice there’s a sandpit with a pirateship, sandcastle equipment, tires and a massive bouncy pillow for kids to jump on aswell as little slides. There’s also a really big play frame for kids too and more play equipment. There’s a little snack shed next door to play bits so can buy little bits for sitting round watching kiddos play. There’s also a little animal trail where you look for statues of animals and make dens with sticks. There’s a hobbit house complete with toy utensils perfect for little ones. The place is very inclusive aswell and has BSL signs for each animal to teach children the signs too aswell as hell those who are deaf! Plenty of space to run round too! There’s a little picnic area with pretend cars and tractors kids can get in and pretend to drive.

Some of the animals that we could see!

  • Ponys
  • Donkeys
  • Ducks
  • Chickens
  • Tortoises
  • Birds
  • Emus
  • Ostrich
  • Goats
  • Sheep
  • Wallabies
  • Pigs
  • Cows
  • Butterfly house
  • Lizards
  • Snakes
  • Crocodiles
  • Reindeer
  • Llamas
  • Bunny’s
  • Meerkats
  • Camels

Overall a lovely day out and somewhere we go again and again. If you’re ever in Suffolk and want to see a farm this is for you!

A letter to my little guy at 22 months.

A letter to my little guy at 22 months.

Sitting here in bed with you watching hey duggee for the millionth time I feel so lucky to be able to spend my mornings with you. I love that you insist on cuddling close or putting a foot or hand on me to let me know that you are still there when your lost in the tv world. I love how kind you are becoming, I love that you love to spend time with friends and family and share your toys without any prompt. I love that you are so eager to share your knowledge and show other children and people what you have found and learnt yourself. I so love watching how your mind grows everyday, how everyday you say new words and I am so proud of you for even trying. You’re favourite thing to do is play with yours jungle animals and include mummy and daddy in the play. I love how you throw your head back and shout roar and we have a animal noise shout off even at 6 am when you’ve just woken up (not even sorry neighbours).

I love that you tell me if you’d like to go out and tell me you would like to go in a car or a bus which means go out. I love that when we go out you’re always so happy just to if left the house even if just to go to the shops. You tell me what you can see and get so excited even by the fat ginger cat that try’s to steal your buggy when we walk. You’re totally crazy and full of energy when we go soft okay or the park but you never want to be too far from me and I watch you look for me and happily shout mummy and run for me smiling when you get lonely.

Watching films and tv series something I’ve always do with my own finally happens. You will let me cuddle you for more than a second and my heart feels full once more while we watch the lion king AGAIN or something else. I enjoy how you play with toys differently. We used to just hold and look at cars but now we race them and push them and their buttons. We colour together now and use stickers and different colours now too! We play with okay dough and you will make shapes and play with the tools and not get bored and want to run around holding a blue ball for a hour screaming if taken off you. We use your toy kitchen and make fake food together and then you share with your guests when the come over and show them how to cook too. Animals are now given voices and people and not just something to run and hold now.

Even now as I lay here planning you and your best friends joint birthday party for two months time I’m still in shock you will be two. You may be already exhibiting the signs of the terrible twos but even when you have rolled around screaming all day over a toy, I will always miss you the second I put you to bed and check on you several times just to watch you sleep and kiss your sleepy head. How I wish time would slow down so I could enjoy you a little more.

Mental health and being a mum.

Since having a child i have felt a strong need to be the brave one. To put on a brave face and bury my feelings. But that hasn’t exactly been the best thing for me. I feel like there will always be this stigma around mothers having to be responsible and always happy, in the real world though being a mother can be hard and struggling with mental health even harder.

My blog is my safe space so i feel like i am more able to talk about my feelings here without judgement. I have depression and anxiety and its common many people suffer and i should be able to talk about it and not feel like im boring people either. Since becoming a mother i think it has hit me so much harder and i have developed more anxiety related issues from having a child. Little things more like worrying about my son all the time, my ability to be a good mother, a good wife, to not be judged when i go out and to be able to raise a smart, kind child. It can all get a bit on top of me at times and i am not afraid to admit it. Theres days i get strong mum guilt because i think am i letting him down for feeling down or that i am not giving him the happy fun loving mum vibes that i should be giving out. You know the ones the instagram mums who have a maticulsley clean house and bake cakes every morning while dancing round the house constantly.

Lately ive been feeling down recently and its been getting to me. I know i should be greatfull for everything around me but its caused a level of fear ill loose everything. Say for example some little thing will set me of and stress me out to the point i dont sleep for days or a reach for a bar of chocolate. I think the internet really has changed people and their perceptions of real life and i feel i struggle alot because of this i cling to my phone and somewhat base my life around others which i shouldnt do. We’ve grown up with this awesome tool which has connected so many people and been a monumetal part in our evolution as humans. However this has caused people to fixate on others. For people to only show the side of them that is happy 24/7 not the real life they have. We think do we have enough money, do we have enough friends, do we have enough fame? Does it really matter other peoples perception of us and how others are living their lifes.

Being a mum can be a real struggle because you don’t only have to deal with your feelings you have to deal with theirs. If they are being dramatic having a tantrum you have to push your feelings to the back of the que and handle their feelings when you can barely control your own. Being a mum you have more stress and more things to do. You cannot have days where you just lounge around in bed feeling sorry for yourself anymore. You have to get up early get them and you ready. You have to make them dinner when you don’t want to eat, you have to be happy and not let them see you sad as they may think its them thats making you sad. You also have to leave the house when tou want to just stay in and you socialise when you cant concentrate on anything else but your child and your feelings.

As difficult as it is to talk about my feelings writing this down has made me feel so much better. I’m struggling with my mindsets on so many things especially since leaving work I worry about letting my husband and son down. I worry am I screwing my son up by not taking him out everyday and being able to send him to nursery anymore till he’s three as I’m home now. I worry am I not tidying the house enough. I worry are my friends, family’s, neighbours, strangers going to hate me for no reason atall. I worry am I a failure, I worry about everything there is to worry about and I have no idea why. Maybe I need a break from social media and just to concentrate on me? My blog and those around me. Maybe I need to loose myself to find myself again.

Rosacea.

Living with rosacea can be difficult. It’s difficult to hide and it’s harsh to feel and control. What is rosacea? Rosacea is a skin condition of the face where your blood vessels don’t work as they should causing redness. This also causes pimples galore in certain areas around your face.

My nose is the main area I was affected and I spent years of my life calling myself Rudolph and being asked why my nose was so red. My nose had become so inflamed it looked bigger and bled with all the pimples that would form on it too. I developed it in my late teenage years but It normally affects woman in their 40s.

Being so young doctors Misdiagnosed me with acne for years and gave me cream and pill after pill which did nothing for me. In some cases it angered it it took several dermatologists to finally accurately diagnose me correctly and actually listened to me and changed my life.

Growing up I always had clear skin till I was 18 then the spots and redness came. The pain is something next level my face feels like it’s burning, It’s hurt so much I’ve had ice cubes to my face that hasn’t helped atall. The itch is next level there’s been times if I could I would of ripped my face of to cure the itch.

I still get a lot of stigma around my skin I have people telling me not to use bath bombs, not use products on my face, not to eat dairy, not to wash my face everyday you name it I’ve had it. I’ve had so many people think I’m unwell because my face had gone bright red when I’m flushed. Many people think they make me blush when it’s my rosacea because I’m hot or stressed which is causing the break out.

I find make up a real chore because I have to find a colour that covers the red without making me orange but also not too light you can see everything, it has to be light so I don’t breakout or sweat more causing more rosacea flare ups. I can’t go into the sun without almost bathing in suncream and protecting my face as I will almost always burn which wasn’t helped by previous doctors telling me the sun will help. The sun hurt and burned me so thanks for that guys!

My rosacea has become a part of me and people will always comment on either how clear my skin looks today or how bad it looks.its also spread to my eyes and they’re always red and dry and I regularly have to go to get my eyes checked with a specialist.

I’ve tried quite a few medicines and over counter bits and bobs which have really helped me which I’ll do a post on another day but for today I am Charlie-Jane and I have rosacea and it is a part of me and always will be and I accept that which has taken me years to admit.

Toddler talk. Parent comparison.

Toddler talk. Parent comparison.

Sorry I haven’t been present I had a sick husband and a tantrum fanatic child the last few days so we’re kind of hoping me and the kid aren’t next on the sickness bugs hit list.

Today’s topic isn’t really that different to my normal speal but it’s something I’m really noticing more and more is people’s competition between children. I was speaking to my friend today about it and she said it still happens in primary school! Now I ask, can you tell by talking to your friends which ones walked first, wrote there name first or if they where bottle or boob fed? Because I can’t. It doesn’t matter in the long run!

Milestones are only put into place so that developmental issues can be found not who’s child is better than the next. We all do things differently and we all learn differently. Children learn at their own pace and they will master things in their own little way way. You cannot just expect a child to hit 9 months and be running around singing a song!

Why do we judge others either? Why do we care if this particular child does something ours can’t. There’s been many times I’ve worried about my child because of others yet he has been advanced in many other things. I’ve worried enough to go to doctors over and over and to worry and not want to talk about my child because of it. I think people love to bost as they are so proud of their children, who wouldn’t be! But there’s only so much someone should do. For example I got a lot of parents asking me oh is Elijah not walking yet at 13 months like he was damaged or something? He was just deciding when he was ready! Because of this I wasted so much time worrying about his walking when I should of been enjoying him learning and crawling and the peace and quiet of him not getting everywhere quicker! It becomes something we all do. James tells me he’s started to judge other parents at times when we are out and about in public and he hates that he has. You just start comparing when they start comparing and sometimes you end up getting s but mad and comparing your child as if they’re better. Let’s remember they are children and so long as they are happy, paid attention to and healthy that is all that matters. And even if a child is behind it doesn’t matter. I think from now on I’m just going to stop talking about developmental things and just talk about what we’ve been up too and how much of a treat or terror he has been! Because tbh nobody really gives a shit and neither do I!

Developing a unhealthy relationship with my phone.

Social media and technology is a bloody wonderful thing! It connects us to everyone we know and also give us a look into other peoples lives. It truly is a incredible thing and something I am forever grateful for the opportunities it brings.

However as with all things there becomes a time when it can turn a bit sour. Recently I’ve noticed that my phone has become my safety blanket. E.g remember waiting for your friends in high school to meet you so you pretended to be scrolling through your phone while you stood there just flicking up and down. It’s my way of escaping reality sometimes and falling down the rabbit hole which is social media and YouTube.

Sometimes I feel it’s become something to do entertain me, to distract me from stress or to just use as a outlet for my boredom or mood. I’ve noticed I pick my phone up more and more and have noticed it’s something I’m so when I’m stressed to unwind and good on me for finding something easy to help me. However I notice I am not always present. I’m noticing around friends and family I pick up my phone when they are talking to me and end up not listening while I read some sort of article I’ve found on Facebook. I feel although it’s become my safety blanket my phone does cause me a great deal of anxiety and when I don’t have it I have a intensified spout of anxiety too.

When my phone dies I become worried and bored and can’t wait for the next charge somedays and will sit attached to my phone and wire so I can keep entertained. All though the obsession is real and I am becoming more vacant recently, sometimes I do put my phone down and try to take my kind of my phone and everything on it. I find that it is trusty wonderful to be able to ask questions, to find out lots of answers without a trip to a library. To save going shopping when my anxiety was high. To make plans and reach out to people quickly and with ease and through a method which is mobile and free too! Maybe one day I’ll put the phone down for the day. I’m trying I really am trying but my beautiful yellow sunflower phone stares right back at me!

Making time for your other half after a child.

Making time for your other half after a child.

Once you have a child it is so difficult to have any me time let alone we time as a couple. The offers of childcare dry up and sometimes your waiting months for time to just leave the house just the two of you and I know better than anyone finding childcare can be hard sometimes.

But something I’ve really concentrated on recently since I’ve stopped working is to spend more time as a we than a me when I’m tired from a busy day chasing after our child. Every night once the child’s in bed we both tidy up and I now try to be present. We’ll watch a tv series together and have a chat or a film. We’ll play games together or if we both want to do our own thing James will play on his phone and I will blog or I will watch tv and he’ll play on a game on his laptop while being in the same room and just enjoying the comfort of being next to each other. On weekends we don’t have ridiculous lay ins now so we can join the other two members of the household and have family time.

Don’t be afraid to ask others for childcare if you have in-laws or parents don’t be afraid to ask th to watch your kid or sometimes to sit round while your kid sleeps so you can go to the movies. Today we had an unexpected offer of childcare from family so we jumped at the chance. We where going to slob around the house but I decided no we would get dressed up and have a date day for a change. Be Charlie and James again. We went for a lovely Italian in the sunshine and then after we drove to the beach. We sat on the sand and had ice cream and then we went and wasted 7 quid trying to win a toy pumba and I’m very angry I didn’t win! We just enjoyed being in each other company without noses to wipe, tantrums to tackle and food to share. It was nice to go where we wanted when we wanted and not have to plan ahead (even if I had to pack a bag for my sons day out with his grandparents without us). So please just remember why you choose to be parents with your other half and remember why you fell in love as there’s no stronger team then you two. It’s important and your love is still as important as your Little one.