Welcome to the Lylia Rose UK money and lifestyle blog. My name is Victoria Sully. I'm a busy mum of two, wife, full-time blogger and online money-maker who’s always trying to make and save more money. I’m passionate about making money online, healthy living and blogging. I’m a mama on a mission to be healthier and wealthier! Please join me on my journey.
Oh my goodness. Reuben is going to be a ONE YEAR OLD this Saturday. It’s gone so fast in ways, yet the whole birth and being in hospital for 10 or so days when I had him seems forever ago (thankfully). Perhaps it’s because I don’t dwell on it too much as life is always so nonstop busy.
He is soon going to be toddling around and our baby days will be behind us *gulps and holds back tear*
February has been an exciting month as Reuben started standing at the sofa and cruising. I actually wrote a whole blog post about it just recently if you fancy a peek here. I’ll no doubt post photos of the birthday boy, so thought I’d squeeze in a quick photo post and update of his eleventh month.
Here are the most memorable dates:
13.02.16 - Reuben stands up at sofa by himself for first time!
22.02.16 - Reuben can climb whole staircase (with Mummy behind him the whole way of course)
23.02.16 - Reuben waves and says 'bubu' to Mummy when she leaves!
He says bubububu quite a lot, so I’m not sure if it was just coincidence but Reuben has started waving when we say bye and he couldn’t have said ‘bubu’ at a more perfect time! Both me and Ben looked at each other in total surprise!
He’s also been hugging me lots saying ‘aaaaaaa’. It’s so sweet. He’ll come over to me if I’m on the sofa, rest his head on my knee, look at me and say ‘aaaaaaa’. I’ll of course pick him up and we’ll do lots of aaaaa hugs with each other! He’s a total Mummy’s boy and a big softie! He lies on the cushions on the floor saying aaaaa too! So cute.
It’s the 9th February already. The NINTH! It feels like we were only just planning Christmas and New Year and now we are settling into our second month of 2016 already. I definitely feel like it should be the middle of January and not Feb!
I always feel nonstop, so this is probably why the days whizz by. Bella, Reuben, the house and my business all keep me super busy. I always have something to do. Every room in the house always has something to do in it, be it tidying, washing up, cleaning, organising, rearranging. My website always needs tweaking, there are always networking hours I could be doing, emails to check, Twitter to check, stock to list, blog posts to write. My reading list is always big and I constantly find more articles to read on nutrition, marketing, child development and not enough time to read them all. Plus I like to cook homemade food from scratch so this is also pencilled into each day’s tasks somewhere! I usually don’t leave the kitchen from after playschool pick up until dinner time. Oh and did I mention I’m running again? I’m running at least every other day and jump on as soon as Ben is back from work until our dinner is ready, so usually 10-30 minutes depending on when he gets back. Every day is filled with so much to do and before I know it I’m in bed trying to switch off my mind to rest before doing it all again! I’d love to get on top of everything (fat chance) and sit down with a cuppa with a mind of nothingness as there is nothing to do and everything is ticked off. I’m curious to know when this will happen. Maybe 20 years from now? 30? 40? I feel like a holiday is needed more than ever now and would love to ‘switch off’ for a week this summer and take a much needed break. I’m not sure if this will happen this year as we’ve still been doing up our new home (1 year and 9 months in), so all spare cash has been going to our house. Plus I’ll be getting my braces in one month, so need to find the money for these! If we don’t manage a week away this year, I definitely want a good bunch of days out enjoying ourselves in some lovely weather, rather than spending all our spare time doing work to our house or garden!
But as much as it feels nonstop and this can make every day feel quite hectic, I think I do love life being like this! I love setting myself challenges, having deadlines and feeling a little pressured. It keeps me motivated and gives me a buzz. I’m definitely never ever bored! I also find it quite hard to sit and do nothing. If I do I quite quickly start yawning. I need my mind to be active constantly. I wonder if anyone else can relate with all this?! So as much as I feel I need a break and it’s crazy all the time, I also quite like it like this?! I think that’s what I’m concluding.
Anyway… January was the month I finally started getting back to ‘myself’. I stopped breastfeeding at Christmas time, so January was the first month I could start getting back to being me. I treated myself to a massage and morning shopping in town. I needed an outfit for the upcoming Theo Paphitis networking event (eek), so it was the perfect excuse to pop into town. By MYSELF! It felt quite strange to go off and do something on my own, not having to worry about Reuben needing a feed. I could actually relax and have an enjoyable massage beforehand too. I had a couple whilst I was still breastfeeding and Ben traipsed round town with Reuben, so I couldn’t fully relax thinking he may be stuck with a screaming hungry baby! I look forward to many more adventures on my own now and have already booked dates to visit friends in February.
I could also start running again. I stopped running when pregnant and breastfeeding. I’d read your body produces relaxin hormone when pregnant which ‘relaxes’ the muscles and ligaments for childbirth and this effect can last whilst breastfeeding. I’ve no idea how true this all is, but I didn’t want to risk damaging any ligaments or muscles through exercise, so I was happy to wait just to be safe. I’ve now been running for over a month and it feels sooooo good! I feel so much more energised and I’m already getting that great runners buzz after each run. The most I’ve done is 5k so far in 30 mins and I think I can get that down a lot more. But I’m very impressed with my efforts so far after not running for 19 months! I’ll be doing a 10k Race for Life in July and my aim is less than 60 mins. It’s also going to be great to tone up all my loose bits. Things seem a lot looser after having my second baby and hitting 30! Time to get things pinged back in!
I feel even more like me just for wearing my clothes again. Whilst breast feeding I could only wear clothes I could feed from, so lots of loose tops over vests. Now I can explore my wardrobe again and wear whatever I like. I forget this some days as I’ve been so used to wearing clothes to serve a purpose for so long. It’s nice to really get back to normal.
We’ve enjoyed eating out this month at some great places, including two which have entire vegan menus! I’m not vegan, only vegetarian, but interested in one day cutting out cow’s dairy and I mainly eat a wholefood plant based diet, so such menus always excite me! It’s also great to see such choices as it must mean more people are requesting it and hopefully more people are embarking upon a healthier lifestyle. I enjoyed a delicious nut roast at The Golden Heart Inn in Birdlip and a scrumptious salad at Portivo Lounge at Gloucester Quays. We’ve since been back to Portivo Lounge in February and I sampled some Tapas which was equally scrumptious!
The weather was a bit all over the place in January. There were days where I felt warm in just a cardigan and others where I was frozen cold in a thick coat and scarf! One day would be glorious sunshine, the next torrential rain. We even had some flooding and closed roads around Gloucester!
I’ve started thinking about what veg I’ll be growing this year. Mainly because we found these ‘veg trugs’ reduced to only £25 each at B&Q! I was eyeing up the official Veg Trugs and was preparing to spend over £100 on one, so this was such a bargain. I got two! Ben set to work as soon as we were home to build them and they are just great - so deep and a great size for lots of home grown veg. It will be so exciting to get Bella more involved this year. I think I’ll paint them green and as soon as the weather is warmer I’ll fill with soil, our compost and get planting!
I’ve just recently blogged some Bella and Reuben updates, but didn’t mention how well they started interacting together and playing. Bella is so good with Reuben and will share her toys and help him to use them. He’s still not pulling himself up or walking, but I’m excited to see how they play together when he does. A friend said to me recently her children really started interacting much more when her youngest started walking, so it will be even more exciting when he walks to see this!
In house ‘doing up’ news, we finally did our kitchen floor! Whoop! It’s whoop newsworthy as it’s the last floor in the house that needed doing! We now have the same floor flowing throughout all of downstairs and we were very lucky B&Q still sold the same one! We had childcare for the day so I persuaded Ben we had to do the kitchen floor. I think he’d rather have enjoyed a day of rest, but it’s rare we’re childfree and can rip up a kitchen floor! It was also great for me to get stuck in as when we did the bulk of the downstairs floor I was heavily pregnant and couldn’t help. This is why we didn’t do the kitchen floor at the same time as I couldn’t help move the white goods out, so it’s been a long time coming!
It looks so great and brightens the kitchen up. The owners before us had almost black tile effect laminate which just added to the dinginess of a small north facing kitchen. We have also purchased a new sink, tap, tiles and worktops, but are yet to fit. The weather has not been on our side and we need a full weekend of dry weather just to oil the kitchen worktops 3 times and dry between each coat! Hopefully we’ll be able to do this soon as we’re getting a bit annoyed with squeezing past it all in the hallway! It will also make it feel so much more like our house once we’ve completed the kitchen. The current worktops and tiles are nothing like what I’d pick so it doesn’t yet feel like my kitchen.
Hope you’re having a wonderful Pancake Day and National Pizza Day today! I’ll be back with another monthly roundup at the end of Feb/start of March! (Spring, yay!)
This year is going as fast as last year and we are already, can you believe it, in the second month. Reuben is exactly eleven months old today! Only one more month of him officially being my baby. Yikes!
Here’s what’s been happening the past month with Reubs:
He can high-five us! And low-five. Very cute and a great party trick to show guests!
He seems to have stopped exclaiming ‘gah’ so much, but I have heard ‘mamama’ lots more. I’m certain he means me and isn’t just mumbling…
Reuben can blow and can also blow raspberries, continuously, for ages, he does not get bored with it, just don’t start him off or you’ve had it…!
Back on cereal for breakfast, bored of bananas now. He’s actually become a champion eater at the moment. Before he could sometimes take it or leave it, especially with pouches and cereal, but now he wants it all and opens his mouth so wide ready for every mouthful! He can easily polish off a savoury and a sweet pouch in one sitting. He also eats a lot more of what we have and loves pasta with veg in particular.
He’s still crawling everywhere, sometimes with one knee and one foot. He raises his right leg up and uses the foot to speed around the room. He’ll only stand if we make him stand and hasn’t on his own yet. (No rush though Reubs, stay a baby for as long as you like!)
He’s now drinking cow’s milk! Well, only for a couple of days, but it’s so much better. I stopped nursing at Christmas and he started formula which totally blocked him up. We tried three formulas and even got sugar solution from the doctors but it made no difference. We decided to try cow’s milk and he’s finally ‘cleaned out’ today, such a relief. So although it’s a little early, we’ll stick with cow’s milk from now on. He was just in too much agony before.
Reuben has two more top teeth, so 4 top teeth in total, plus 2 bottom teeth, so 6 teeth altogether. The two new top ones snuck through without me even noticing! He had a few red cheeks, but he rarely lets me look in his mouth so didn’t see them until they were quite far through.
Knows to shake instruments and if I say ‘shake, shake’ he’ll shake! Can also put his rings on his ring stack.
Will give me cuddles and say ‘aaaaa’
I cut his first lock of hair! Quite a mini moment as we’ve never even cut Bella’s hair yet – it grows so slow and is quite curly so we’ve not needed to yet. Reuben had one very long piece of hair behind his ear. It grew from when he was a newborn and never fell or rubbed out. It was so much longer than the rest of his hair I thought it was beginning to look silly so I snipped it today. Sorry Ben, if you read this!
Bella is now three years and eight months and coming out with all sorts of amazing vocabulary and curiosities. She’s also mastered certain skills, such as hide and seek! Before now she would always reveal where she was when I said ‘where’s Bella?’ A little voice from behind a door would shout ‘I’m here, behind the living room door’. Now, she is deadly silent. The complete opposite extreme! So much so that she has scared the life out of me a few times recently as I’ve ran around the house panicking, wondering if she has quietly snuck out the front door without me realising! Then I’ve found her stood perfectly still and quiet under a curtain (which has no child sized bump visible and doesn’t look like it’s moved!). Once she was only under a large sofa cushion in the corner, but I couldn’t see her for ages! She really has started to outsmart me.
I’m not sure where she’s picked it up, but ‘just again’ is one of her most common phrases. ‘I’m hungry just again’ or ‘I need a snack just again’.
She’s started being a little mischievous with Reuben. Lying down flat in front of him when he’s trying to crawl somewhere to block his way, bopping him on the head with a cushion, turning toys away from him that he’s playing with and so on! The sibling rivalry begins! She’s also very keen on Reuben’s fruit pouches, so will insist he does not want it if I’m going to feed him one, as she would like it for herself!
We counted to 30 together recently which was fantastic. I could see her working out that in the twenties the numbers go upwards from 1-9, just like she already knows. I was impressed she knew the next set of numbers began with thirty without me telling her. I think she’ll be very academic as she’s loved to learn her numbers, alphabet and shapes from a very young age and continues to impress us. She can now write and spell her name with no help. Go Bella!
I know preschool had recently tried a rhyming exercise and they were surprised that she didn’t understand the concept of rhyming (because of the above), as was I. But just the other day she exclaimed ‘Mum, Mum, pyjamas and bananas, they sound the same!’
Bella has played ‘playgroup’ at home and laid out activities for the pretend children to play. This was so sweet to watch as she went around the table helping the pretend children with their pictures!
Bella has drawn pictures a lot more recently, favouring animals, treasure maps and even dinosaurs! She has also been keen to draw Nana with a sparkly bottom (?!) and drew a funny Aunty Jess octopus!
The funniest Bella thought recently:
After flushing the toilet, Bella looks at the floor and says ‘does all the poo go under the floor and under the house?’ Mummy – ‘no Bella, it goes outside the house and underground through the pipes’ Bella – ‘and then to the sharks so they can eat it because sharks eat poo?’ (!!!)
Hello and Happy New Year! It’s 2016, wowee! 2015 was a pretty awesome year, so I hope it continues through to 2016. We had quite an eventful 2015 which included our wedding, me turning 30 and having our second child, Reuben. Quite a lot really! It was also a very bittersweet year as we discovered Reuben had a heart condition (pulmonary stenosis) a few days after his birth and he has undergone two heart procedures already in his little life. Luckily he is perfectly well otherwise and you’d have no idea his little heart is struggling. We expect he’ll have open heart surgery this year, but until it happens we won’t dwell on it and shall continue to remain positive and just get on with things as though nothing were wrong!
A bit sleepy Reubs?
December was a fast and fun month. The build up to Christmas was very exciting both business wise and personal. I loved the buzz in all the networking hours leading up to Christmas. It made it even more exciting talking about the festivities every day and knowing people were buying lots of Christmas gifts from my little shop!
Bella was so excited too this year. She was three and a half in December so really understood what was going on this year. We took her to see Santa Claus and she asked for a wishing well! She was asking for this for weeks, so my Grandad made one! It’s about 3 foot high and will go outside her garden playhouse. We did look around a few shops and couldn’t find anything, so I’m glad we couldn’t as it’s even better than I could imagine and super special as my Grandad made it. The first thing Bella did when we came down to the living room was squeal with delight and joyfully exclaimed ‘my wishing well!’
We unexpectedly stayed at a friend’s house on New Year’s Eve. We were going for the day anyway and they kindly asked if we wanted to stay, so Ben was happy as he could relax and have a couple of celebratory drinks! Bella was also happy as she always wants to have sleepovers now (thanks to Peppa Pig!). We managed to stay awake to midnight too! It’s the first time in at least three years we’ve seen the New Year in! We usually get to 10.30pm and start getting really tired so give in. I was absolutely amazed by the London fireworks on TV – incredible!
The big Reuben event in December has to be crawling! Yay (and oh no)! He was bum shuffling and crawling backwards in November so we knew actual crawling was close. It was so cute when he started – really careful, slow and jerky. Now he’s whizzing around and trying to pull himself up on the sofas!
I stopped breastfeeding Reuben in December, so that was quite a big event for me. I’d been thinking about it for a while and once I started introducing bottles I decided I was ready to stop. It’s still strange to think I can leave him and do things on my own. I keep forgetting! I’m hoping to have a day out with a friend soon which will be so strange. I’m also going to have a massage at the end of the month and do a spot of shopping, by myself! Crazy I know!
Reuben enjoying his Yorkshire pud on Christmas day!
Bella amazed us the other day by counting backwards from 10 to 1. It’s the first time we’ve heard her count down from 10. We were so impressed! We then practiced counting with her and she did to 30! Go Bella! She’s also obsessed with time and days at the moment. She’s really trying to understand the concept and tells us she’s doing things ‘next week’ or at ‘half past six’. She suddenly seems really grown up and her language is so much better. She doesn’t stop talking and will chat all day if she gets the chance! She likes to tell us everything she is doing all the time, as she’s doing it!
2016 looks set to be quite an eventful year already, thinking about it! Another bittersweet year as we may have Reuben’s operation, but also very positive. I am meeting Theo Paphitis in February to collect my #SBS award so I’m super excited about this. I’m having braces fitted in March which I’m dreading, but I’m excited for the end result in a few years, you can follow my braces at 30 journey here (http://www.lyliarose.com/blog/categories_34332/braces-at-30.html). Bella will start school in September, eek! I’ve visited five schools and sent in my application listing my top four. Hopefully we’ll get our first choice – it’s an outstanding school currently and just a five minute walk with Bella. We loved it when we looked around and she’s already at the preschool there. We’ll be very disappointed if we don’t get it, but we just need to forget about it until April when we find out or else I’ll worry too much! We have a couple of rooms to finish in our house which I hope we’ll complete this year. I’m dying to do our kitchen and furnish our bedroom. We’re also hoping to go on our first family holiday this year. We want to go to the Lake District which is where Ben was born and lived as a young child. I’ve never been so I’m very excited as it looks a beautiful place!
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