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Category: Monthly Family Roundups

  1. Monthly Roundup – October 2015

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    red pink purple sky evening sunset pretty photo lylia rose blog

    Monthly Roundup – October 2015

    Goodbye to the last month of my maternity!  Time has flown and Reuben will be turning eight months already next Thursday!  I was originally going to take nine months off, but I thought it might be better to open in time for Christmas sales, so I’ve stocked up and reopened a little earlier than originally planned.  Things are certainly a lot busier with two children and I’m still breast feeding.  I’m unsure exactly how I’m going to fit it all in, but hopefully we’ll settle into a routine that works for us.  For now I’m planning on taking Friday and Saturday evenings off to make sure I spend quality time with Ben and have a bit of a break!  That might not always be the case around busy times like Christmas, but certainly in the New Year if I want to keep my husband!!

    lylia rose blog post monthly lifestyle - october 2015 (13)

    We went to Westonbirt Arboretum yesterday which was fab.  Check out my blog post and photos by clicking here!   We also went for a family walk in the Forest of Dean this month around a lake.  Bella loved playing with her cousins and spending time with her family.  She always protests at going home and would love to stay and play forever!  Both Bella’s Grandad and Uncle live in the forest and it’s a great place to visit for walks.  Bella loves nothing more than finding sticks and leaves along the trails.

    spoodles sweet potato noodles lylia rose lifestyle blog uk

    I received a spiralizer this month to review for Amazon.  Have you seen these?  They are so much fun. You can create noodles from all sorts of vegetables such as sweet potatoes, courgettes and carrots.  It makes a great alternative to pasta in a dish.  You can even make curly fries from potaotes!  I’m excited to experiment more, but Ben popped some sweet potato curls in the oven with a drop of oil and they were delicious.

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    We’ve been enjoying our log burner a LOT this month!  It’s so cosy and heats the room up beautifully.  We had it installed in February, so didn’t have it last winter.  We’ve now got an axe and Ben has been enjoying chopping wood.  I had a go, but I’m not great!  It’s quite satisfying to chop though.  It’s also so satisfying to light a fire and watch it roar away!

    lylia rose blog post monthly lifestyle - october 2015 (15)

    My veg growing season is pretty much over.  I really don’t enjoy the cold and don’t want to go outside in the garden in this weather unless I’m super duper wrapped up!  I dug up nearly all my potatoes and we’ve had 6 punnets of potatoes so far.  There are two sacks left to dig up.  We had the last of the tomatoes too, a few cherry ones and a couple of biggies.  I think that will be all for this year.  There are still bell peppers and sweet peppers growing, but they’ve not changed from green to red.  I think it’s going to get too cold for them so they might not make it.  Next year I’d like to purchase a VegTrug and have another go at growing some root veg, tomatoes and maybe some salad.

    Keep an eye on my blog tomorrow for a blog post first thing about my first trip to the orthodontist this month.  I’m thinking of getting braces and will be documenting my whole journey.  Talking of teeth, Reuben now has two teeth, both on the bottom.  He’s nipped me a couple of times so I’ve started wondering how long I’ll continue breastfeeding.  I hope to continue until he’s one year, but we’ll see.  With Bella I stopped at ten months for fear of a bite!  I’d like to try and at least breast feed for the rest of this year. 

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    Reuben can now spin a whole 360 degrees on his bottom and leans over like he’s going to crawl.  He’s happier for much longer lying down and rolling around, so we may have a crawler yet.  He didn’t like lying down a month or so ago so I never thought we’d see a crawler, but this has now totally changed.  I’ve been trying to get him to have water from a bottle at mealtimes and he finds it absolutely hilarious!  I’ve no idea why, but it cracks him up as soon as it’s in his mouth!  I think he’s going to take a while to learn to drink from a bottle!!

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    Bella has settled in well at preschool.  She’s going for 21 hours per week over 4 days.  It’s really tiring her out, so the half term was a welcome break.  She has been asking about ‘playschool’ lots though and wants to see her friends!  Here are a couple of funny things she has said this month:

    ‘Do you like those Dads, Mum?’

    (there are a few Dads on a TV advert)

    ‘Why do you ask that Bella?’

    ‘Because they are beautiful’ (!!)


    ‘Bella, what do you want for Christmas?’

    Answers so far:

    • A pink fishing line (?!)
    • A new teddy curtains (her favourite teddy – poor old teddy curtains!)
    • A wishing well

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    Reuben’s Pulmonary Stenosis Update - We had our post op appointment for Reuben with our specialist consultant on the 23rd.  I’d already attended an appointment in September with another lady, so we knew the results weren’t great.  We thought they would continue with the balloon dilation procedure to keep the pressure down until he was an adult (and needs a valve replacement), but we were a little shocked that this wasn’t the case.  As the last balloon dilation was so unsuccessful, and they’ve tried two times now, it’s basically not going to work for Reuben. 

    The next step would be to do a proper operation and physically cut the valve.  I didn’t take it in at first, but then realised what he was talking about – open heart surgery.  Oh my goodness.  Really scary stuff.  It’s currently moderately high and on the borderline of needing action.  So far no symptoms and you wouldn’t have a clue his heart is struggling at all.  I do wonder if we’ll notice any symptoms as he becomes more active, especially when he’s running around. 

    He’ll be checked in four months to see how the pressure is and our consultant is on call should we notice anything in the meantime.  Luckily it’s a slow process, so nothing dramatic would happen very quickly.  The consultants are always confident they will see changes and take action before anything alarming happened.

    We are obviously worried, but again, I’m not going to try not to think about it until the surgery happens.  I’ve a feeling it will be next year.  We will continue as normal and hope for the best at his next appointment in February.  I only wish I could trade places and have the heart defect instead of him.  If that was an option, I’d do it in a second.  The consultant reassured us that many people lead a perfectly normal life after two open heart surgeries, which is what Reuben will need.  It’s still terrifying though when it’s your own child!

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    I can’t believe it’s November and it will be Christmas already next month!  I’ll start shopping this month and will try to hold off on decorating the tree until December 1st...

    Happy November,
    Victoria :)




  2. Monthly Roundup | September 2015

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    Hello and goodbye September! 

    Oh my goodness – fastest month yet.  Days whizz by with kids, but now I’m doing a preschool run four times a week (one 9-12 and three 9-3s), time is going RIDICULOUSLY fast.  I think it’s because before now we had the whole day to ourselves, so when we woke it felt like ages until Daddy came home.

    lylia rose daughter bella rose cute new h&m coat toddler - september bl

    Here’s how the new routine for 9-3s goes:
    6am – Daddy up
    6.30am – Mummy, Bella, Reuben up
    7am – breakfast then play
    8.30am – start getting ready to leave – toilet, bags, shoes, coats
    8.45am – preschool run
    9.15am – Mummy home, washing, washing up, cleaning, tidying, blogging, emails, playing with Reuben, run any errands (food shopping, post office, etc), nursing
    11.30am – preparing lunch for Mummy & Reuben
    12pm – Mummy eat lunch
    12.15pm – Reuben eat lunch – can take up to 45 minutes and creates a big mess!
    1pm – tidy up and wash up from lunch, more of the 9.15am stuff
    2.15pm – make sure Reuben has had a feed and change ready to go out
    2.30pm – go for a walk
    3pm – pick Bella up
    3.15pm – home, wash up lunch bag, make packed lunch for Bella for the next day
    4pm – start dinner
    4.20-4.40pm – Daddy home
    5pm – dinner
    5.30pm – clean up, play, go for walk
    6.30pm – bath if bath night (every other night, unless very messy), story time, bed time
    7.30pm – hopefully both children asleep, sometimes this can take until 8pm
    8pm – time for more 9.15am stuff or me and Ben watch something together, or we’re so tired we just have an early night and don’t come back downstairs after putting both kiddies to bed!

    The day is filled with so many little sections and so much to do, especially washing – where does it all come from?!  I rejoice when I get to the bottom of our two laundry baskets and then magically in a day it will be filled again!  If I get through it all you can guarantee Bella will have an accident, Reuben will have an ‘explodapoo’, I’ll get food/sick all over me and the washing basket will be half full again in no time at all!

    bella rose sully first day week preschool cute 3 year old toddler - lylia r

    Bella is getting on well at preschool.  She went to playgroup last year, but only for three hours each Thursday morning, so the jump to 21 hours was quite a difference.  She loves it though and has even been playing ‘playschool’ once home.  It’s nice to hear her mention things she’s done, hear songs they’ve sung and hear names of children she’s been playing with.  Though she usually tells me she’s done ‘nothing with nobody’ all day every time I collect her!

    reuben sitting really well by himself 6.5 months old! lylia rose family blo

    Reuben is now (in the words of Daddy Pig) an expert at sitting up.  I had a Widgey nursing pillow, which I never got on with for nursing, but instead used to sit Bella up in it.  I did the same with Reubs at around 5 and a half months and he can now sit for ages without it.  Though I still pop it by him usually, so he doesn’t bump his head!  They’re really great for helping them sit up and if they fall back they have a soft landing.  Reuben started sitting pretty well straight away and I think his weight helped him a lot!  He’s always at the top of the chart in the red book, around the 91st percentile.  If he sits in his nappy I think he looks like a little Buddha!  He’s so cute!

    reuben sully 6 months old learning to sit up - baby boy - lylia rose parent

    Ben and I have enjoyed our first month of married life!  Nothing much has changed really except the change of my name which is ongoing.  Arg.  There are so many things to change!  I’m pretty sure I just have a couple left to do and I’m just waiting on my marriage certificate being returned to me.  I’m pretty used to my new surname as I’d had one of my emails like it for a while, but the Mrs is still so strange to me.  I must look so strange for a minute if asked my name as I hesitate and have to stop myself from saying my maiden name.  It’s so wonderful to have the same name as Ben and my children and feel like a complete family unit.  I’m considering buying a ‘Christmas at the Sully’s’ sign this year as I am rather chuffed!

    Work on the house has almost stopped this month.  There are a few odd jobs that need doing, but they are going to create a lot of mess.  All the door frames need sanding back and repainting.  This is a job we should have done when we first moved in and rooms were bare.  It’s going to create a lot of dust so everything will need covering/mess will need cleaning up for days/weeks.  Sanding dust seems to get everywhere.  I’d like to get the kitchen complete, but we need to save some money first.   I’m not sure we’ll get much more done to the house this year now. 

    (Since writing this, Ben has now started doing the door frames and staining doors at the end of September!  He attached the hoover to the sander and popped dust sheets everywhere he could, so it wasn’t too messy.  Phew.)

    We have lots of plans for the garden too so Ben has been measuring the garden and drawing up various plans and ideas.  One of the main things we want to do is get some chickens!  We’ve been thinking long and hard about it and also received a great book for our wedding, so we’re reading that to make sure we really want to do it!  I think it will be so magical to have our own fresh eggs from our very own chickens.  The children would love collecting them too.  It seems a big responsibility so I want to wait until Reuben is a little older so I have more time to devote to it.

    I’ve started prepping for my return to work.  I’ve decided to come back one month early and reopen the Lylia Rose Shop at 6am, Friday 30th October 2015.  I have a lot of new stock which will make perfect Christmas gifts so I think opening a little earlier than originally planned is a good idea.  I’m also missing it a little now, so I’m look forward to running my business again.

    panasonic breadmaker bread wholemeal homemade - lylia rose food blog

    One big purchase this month was a bread maker!  I went to a friend’s house whilst she was baking bread and it smelt (and tasted) amazing.  It totally inspired me to get our own.  I’ve also been pretty horrified at the lists of ingredients in shop bought bread and the preservatives.  Some of our shop loaves really start smelling chemically after a couple of days and this weird smell wafts out of our cupboard once opened.  It’s really been putting me off, so I’m excited to start making our own instead with the most basic ingredients.  We’ve only made a couple of loaves so far, but they were tasty and quite successful!

    giant wasp hornet kitchen close up photo - lylia rose lifestyle uk blog

    Have you ever seen a hornet?  Wow.  I jumped back and screamed as I went to grab a kitchen towel one day and this was crawling up the side of the sink!  I thought I was imagining its crazy size, but Ben came in and confirmed!  It was at least one and a half inches long and really in two parts.  It was so big you could see all the detail really well.  It was also very docile.  It didn’t make a fuss being transferred to the garden in a glass.  It was so ginormous I’m sure it was a hornet!

    bella lizard wooden sculpture gecko robinswood hill gloucester - lylia rose

    The sun has been shining here and if I remember correctly, we had a pretty sunny and warm October the past two years.  It’s great as we can enjoy the outdoors as much as possible before the cold weather arrives with darker evenings.  We’ve visited the Roman ruins near us, I popped up a local hill called Robinswood Hill which has fab carved sculptures near the base and some play equipment so Bella didn’t want to leave!  We also visited a food festival in Alcester which also had an awesome park including a maze which Ben got totally lost in!  The slides were ginormous and meant to be for ages twelve plus, but Bella whizzed down on Daddy’s lap and had a ball!  We also enjoyed a walk along the river in Tewkesbury where we came face to face with three cows on the path!  Last time we were there it was a meadow with tall grass and beautiful flowers, now it’s filled with sheep and cows so we had to share the walking path.

    Reuben outgrew the Amawrap so another great purchase this month was an Ergobaby Performance Carrier.  It’s so easy to pop him into and has meant we can easily go on hill walks.  I use it almost every day, even for the preschool runs sometimes.  It’s so comfortable to wear and does not pull on me, like one I had with Bella seemed to.  They’re quite pricey at £90+, but definitely worth it.  I’m certain I’m going to get so much use out of it for a good couple of years.

    Plans for October are filling up and I’m already starting to get a little excited for Christmas!  Have a great October!

    Victoria x

  3. Monthly Roundup | August 2015

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    yellow sunflowers pink flowers wedding - lylia rose - mrs victoria sully

    What We Did | August 2015

    …And breath.  August was a BUSY month.  As you may have read before it was a very bittersweet month.  The main events were my 30th birthday, Reuben’s second balloon dilation procedure to his heart (poor thing) and our wedding! 

    I didn’t make my wedding plans too obvious on my blog or Twitter as I was worried things may not have gone well with Reuben’s op the week before.  Then we’d have obviously cancelled everything.  We were expecting his second heart op to be in the middle of July and we’d booked our marriage for August 18th (before we knew he was having a second procedure).  Reuben’s regular consultant appointments revealed his heart pressure was quickly rising so they wanted him booked in to stretch his valve once more.  The appointment came through and it was the 12th August.  Of course I was trying to not fear the worst, but one in one hundred don’t make it through the procedure, so it’s hard not to think about it.

    reuben 5 months post balloon dilation op bristol childrens hospital lylia

    Luckily everything went as well as it could and we were released the next day.  Reubs is a little champion and you’d have no idea they’ve poked around in his little heart twice in his first six months.  We did find out his pulmonary stenosis is severe and the problematic valve is quite knobbly and thick.  This means they will never be able to fully relieve the pressure using this procedure, so the likelihood of him having it again, before he is old enough for a valve replacement, is very high.  I have three more appointments booked from tomorrow to the start of November so we should soon find out exactly how successful the August op was.

    Once home we felt we could relax and threw ourselves into the final week of Wedfest preparations!  We had the most fantastic day and I’m hoping the professional photographs will be great so I can share some on my blog.  Sadly we’re not expecting them until October as they are super busy, so we’ll all have to wait until then to view them! 

    Mr Mrs Sully Ben Victoria Lylia Rose Lifestyle UK Blog

    I’m still getting used to being called Mrs Sully.  I keep hesitating when I have to say my name as I nearly say my maiden name.  I already had to reorder a few cards as I’d totally forgotten to change the Miss to Mrs and just started changing my surname on everything!  It’s the Mrs part that keeps catching me out the most.  Mrs sounds very grown up to me and it’s taking a while to get used to saying it! 

    Married life is great though.  Well, honestly, it’s not any different yet.  It’s just so nice to have the family name which matches my childrens name.  It’s also great to be able to say ‘my husband’.  We are yet to buy our wedding rings and we are hoping to minimoon next year and honeymoon in a few years.  So, we still have a few exciting things marriage related to look forward to.  We certainly did things backwards – baby one, buy a house, baby two, get married, buy wedding rings, honeymoon…!

    bella beach lylia rose uk lifestyle blog family mummy blogger

    For my 30th birthday at the start of the month we went to the beach.  It’s becoming a bit of a tradition to go to the beach for my birthday.  It’s great though as it’s been the only time we’ve been the past couple of years.  We really should go more, but last year I was so sick with the pregnancy and this year any dry weekend means working on the garden/house if we’ve not got events to go to.  Hopefully next year we’ll make more trips as Bella had such a fantastic time.  We had thought of going to The Gower.  I was worried Bella would need more entertaining as it’s supposed to be mainly just beach there, so we opted for Weston Super Mare which has entertainment galore.  We needn’t have worried though as Bella would have sat and played in the sand all day if she could!

    reuben is weaning 5.5 months old - lylia rose family lifestyle blogger

    I started weaning Reuben in August at just 5.5 months (and I forgot how messy it is)!  I didn’t wean Bella until the recommended 6 months, and even then she wasn’t very interested until well into 7 months.  However, with Reuben, I now understand what the guides mean when they say a sign the baby is ready is if they take an interest in your food.  Gosh.  Reuben would start getting a little ratty when we were eating and looking like he wanted to dive into our plates with some lip licking and sucking going on!  We certainly didn’t experience that with Bella!  I was hoping to wait until 6 months, but he just seemed like he really wanted to get going so I thought a couple of weeks wouldn’t do any harm.  His very first tastes were a few sucks on apple and watermelon.  His first meals were sweet potato and carrot.  He gladly chomped away and opened his mouth for more as though he’d been doing it for weeks!  He’s now having breakfast, lunch and dinner, and enjoying every mouthful! 

    carrots tomatoes potatoes grow your own containers patio - lylia rose blog

    I seem to have not found much time to take care of my plants as well as I’d have liked to during August.  We did have a little harvest though - mainly some carrots and tomatoes.  The small tomatoes are constantly turning red now, but Bella keeps pinching them before I can get my hands on any!  It’s so nice knowing she’s picking them and eating them so fresh from our garden, so I don’t really mind.  We also had another couple of giant green courgettes.  My cauliflowers and kale became absolutely infested with black and also green caterpillars.  I’ve read up a lot about these now and will use fine mesh netting next year to try and prevent this.  I really want to keep my produce as organic as possible so don’t want to use pesticides.  It’s good to know what pests I’ll get and I’ll be more prepared for them next time!  Three of my cauliflowers are still growing though, so there may still be hope.  Bella absolutely loves helping me pick the caterpillars off too!  The potatoes have gone mad too.  They have grown so much - it is simply insane what can grow out of a potato!  I can’t wait until the end of October to start harvesting them.

    bella reuben lylia rose uk lifestyle mummy parent blog baby toddler

    September is a busy month already as Bella has started 3.5 days at preschool and I am preparing for my return to work at the end of next month.  As well as settling into the new routine, we will be visiting a food festival this month, having some much needed massages with my fabulous massage lady (yep, I’ve convinced Ben to try it) and starting the primary school research for Bella (we need to find FIVE schools to list…?!).