What's so Great About Florida Anyway? Part 2

In my last post about Florida I said there was lots more to talk about, so here I am again.

What's So Great About Florida Anyway P2 | Morgan's Milieu: Daytona Beach, on a sunny day

Daytona Beach

Daytona has to be my favourite beach in the world, okay so I haven't visited many but of the ones I have, it's my fave. Even when it's busy there's plenty of space for everyone and the sea is so welcoming.

Why You Should Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Being a stay-at-home mum can turn you into a recluse. You spend so long cleaning the house, tidying up toys, and taking care of your family that you forget there are other people 'out there'. The thought of having to interact with these people can make your stomach turn.

Why You Should Step Out of Your Comfort Zone | Morgan's Milieu: Black and white, moody photo of a loner.

That was me a few years ago.

I had two children and no friends to speak of. I had plenty of family support but friends? Not so much. 

The worst part was that I had no idea how to make friends. I'd forgotten what it was like to talk to people. I'd been living in my toddler filled bubble for far too long and didn't know how to interact with others.

When BP started school I kept to myself, dropped him off and picked him up from school without really speaking to anyone. He was very much like me, quiet and shy, so didn't like to spend much time with his peers. We were both comfortable with our situation and happy to continue in our hermit-like life.

Then LP started school and it was a different story, he has always been sociable. He had friends within hours of starting and suddenly I was thrown into a world of play-dates and after-school clubs. I had to talk to other parents, meet up with them, even go for a coffee!

Being forced to step out of my comfort zone did me the world of good. I made friends, found people I had things in common with and, more importantly, enjoyed myself. 

Lately I've noticed comparisons between being a stay-at-home mum and being a blogger. 

In December 2011 I started blogging, sharing only snippets of my life. I didn't write very often, or very well for that matter, but I'd started sharing. I lived my online life very much like my life as a stay-at-home mum; I kept to myself and didn't interact very much with others. 

Over the years I blogged more often, even started to chat to other bloggers (via a computer), and found that I enjoyed being a part of the community. However the thought of actually meeting these bloggers scared me to death. I didn't see myself as that kind of person, I couldn't go out there and talk to people. 

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to an event (info to come soon!), one that I really wanted to attend, but there was one problem...

Attending this event meant being around other bloggers, talking to them. 

I was terrified.

I decided to go, again stepping out of my comfort zone. 

The day before the event I almost backed out, my stomach was doing somersaults, but I'd already told LP that we'd be going to the event together and he was excited. I couldn't let him down.

I attended the event, met some amazing bloggers that I've admired for a while, and LP and I had a wonderful day. 

After these similar experiences I've learned that although I like my comfort zone it's nice to step out occasionally. Challenging myself to do new things is how I grow, how I become a better mum, a better wife, a better me.

Why You Should Step Out of Your Comfort Zone | Morgan's Milieu: Life begins with that first step!

Stepping out of your comfort zone is not easy.

The next step is meant to scare you, it's supposed to be a challenge.

I'm here to tell you you should take on the challenge.

Speak to the stranger.

Go to the event. 

You'll meet new people, make friends, and maybe start a new, exciting, journey. 

What's stopping you?

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep Review

I've never had much trouble with my boys and sleeping, they both slept through the night at about 12 weeks old. Apart from illnesses and the occasional nightmare our nighttimes are fairly quiet. 

BP has always been a heavy sleeper and can fall asleep anywhere, he once fell asleep while we were at a wedding reception (loud music and loud people). LP on the other hand is not a heavy sleeper and finds it difficult to sleep anywhere but his bed. Even when we're in the car and he's wiped out he struggles to get to sleep.

The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep Review | Morgan's Milieu: My boy enjoys playing in Seuss Landing, Universal Studios.
I'm sure LP thinks about Seuss Landing all the time!

At bedtime we wind down with a good bedtime story but it still takes him a while to settle down. He goes up to bed at 7:30pm but sometimes he can still be awake at 9pm. I've tried getting him to sit and listen to the stories, I've tried getting him to read some of the pages, but nothing helps. Once we've read the story he still struggles to settle down.

5 Ways to Feel Better When You're Ill

It started yesterday, around lunchtime.

The sore throat that scratched every time I swallowed, the headache that wouldn't go away, and eventually the achy muscles. 

The boys have been back at school almost three weeks and I've already caught a cold. 

By bedtime last night I was wiped out, I could barely walk up the stairs, but I slept. I slept so well that I couldn't even remember falling asleep. Once my head hit that pillow I was out.

Tips for feeling better when you're ill.

This morning isn't much better, my throat still hurts and my muscles are complaining. The headache is lingering too. I feel pretty rough and when that happens I tend to feel sorry for myself. I shut down, do nothing, and let the illness take me.

Dreaming of Retirement

On days when the kids have done nothing but bicker, my washing basket is over-flowing, and my to-do list seems never ending, I dream of retirement.

Dreaming of Retirement | Morgan's Milieu: Carpet filled with toys

I dream of a quiet, and tidy, house.
I dream of an empty washing basket.
I dream of sitting, with a hot cup of coffee, watching the world go by.

Becoming A Parent Is Momentous

Before becoming a parent life is simple.

You want to go out, you get ready and go.
You fancy a new outfit, you buy it (providing you have the money).
You want a holiday, you scour the internet, choose your favourite and book.

Life is easy, the only person you need to think about is yourself and everything you do is for you (or your partner).

Then you decide to become a parent.

So simple. 

I want to be a mum

And yet, do you really think about what you're doing?

I didn't. 
I had no idea that I was about to change my life forever. Deciding to have children altered my life in a way I couldn't possibly have understood at the time.

From the moment you conceive life is changed. First of all your body morphs, your breasts get bigger, your belly grows, and the smell of food you loved a few weeks ago suddenly makes you want to throw up. 

Inside something momentous is happening.

You are creating life.

You can FEEL it.

I remember early pregnancy well, I was so sick and felt terrible for the first 12 weeks, but at the same time I felt amazing. The little baby growing inside me was my baby, it was my son or daughter, and without knowing why, I loved it.

I was utterly devoted to this tiny person I'd never even met.

Pregnancy flies by and before you know it, after lots of pain and screaming (at least for me), you're presented with a tiny person who is completely dependent on you. In the first few seconds you hold that baby in your arms and nothing in the world is more important. Pure love flows through you and it's enough to make you cry. You vow to do everything in your power to take care of that child. 

You are a parent.

Just like that. 

Once out of the hospital you have to learn so many new things. Learn to dress the tiny person who doesn't want to get dressed, learn to change their stinky nappy, learn what their cries mean. The first year is tough, some entire days are spent crying (both you and the baby). The emotional roller-coaster is tiring. You don't even rest when the baby is sleeping.

You never realised how hard it would be.

Some days you wonder whether you're a good parent, if you're doing it right. You wander through the supermarket with a screaming baby, your hair looks like you've just rolled out of bed and your clothes are creased and covered in spit-up. You spy another parent in the same aisle as you, they're smartly dressed and smiling, the baby is sleeping soundly, and you wonder what you're doing wrong.

You didn't think you'd be so rubbish at this.

It certainly doesn't seem like it at the time but as a parent of a 6 and 11 year old I can tell you the first year of parenting is the easiest.

But what that first year taught me is to be prepared. 

Be prepared for projectile vomiting at 2am. 
Be prepared for bumps on the head and falls in the canal.
Be prepared for hating yourself.

Be prepared for tears streaming down your face as your child grips your finger.
Be prepared for beaming with pride as your child sings at the top of their voice when on stage at school.
Be prepared for unconditional love.

Be prepared for ANYTHING.

That first year was nothing compared to the ones since and I've seen my boys grow into wonderful human beings. My heart is so full some days I'm not sure I can cope with the love I feel for them. 

Nothing in this world could make me want to go back to life before I had children.  

No one can explain what it's like to be a parent to someone who doesn't have children. It's not possible to understand the complete devotion you have to your child without having one. 

As much as my kids drive me mad I wouldn't change a thing. 

They are my world.

Life will never be the same again.

And I couldn't be happier about it.

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows

Share the Joy linky at TheJoyChaser.com

Thomas Sabo Charm Club Freshwater Pearl Bracelet Review

I love Thomas Sabo, their collection of charms is large and they have a range of necklaces and bracelets on which to display your charms.

Thomas Sabo Charm Club Freshwater Pearl Bracelet Review | Morgan's Milieu: A pearl bracelet, available from House of Fraser.

I own a necklace with a charm carrier and five charms, the necklace and a couple of charms were a Christmas present last year and the other charms were gifts throughout the year. The charm carrier can really only hold three charms at a time so I've had to put two charms away. I do swap them around when I fancy a change though.

Then I found this...

What's So Great About Florida Anyway?

As a family we love Florida but not just because of Walt Disney World. We love active holidays, not ones where we sit on a beach all day and do nothing.

The Monorail exited the Contemporary Resort as we drove a boat on Bay Lake

In Florida there is a never-ending list of things to do.

Walt Disney World is one of them, with four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, and Epcot) and two water parks (Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon) the place is huge. With rides, restaurants, and street entertainment to keep you happy, plus the "Magic" that everyone talks about, Walt Disney World is amazing.

Jellycat Bears from Say It With Bears Review

Meet Bashful Bunny, one of the Jellycat bears from Say It With Bears.

Jellycat Bears from Say It With Bears Review | Morgan's Milieu: Bashful Bunny, a cute teddy bear suitable for all ages.

Bashful Bunny is a 30cm high soft toy, all of his limbs are floppy and he will sit unaided. He has small black eyes and a cute pink nose, both surrounded by soft beige fur. The fur covers his entire body and is so soft and touchable. He's sitting on my desk right now and I can't stop cuddling him, he's so cute.

5 Reasons Why Tweens are like Toddlers

My eldest, BP, turned 11 in August but I've noticed subtle changes since the beginning of the year. Occasional outbursts and crying for no reason are just some of the things I've had to deal with. Lately I've been comparing my life now to when BP was a toddler and realised that not much has changed.

5 Reasons Why Tweens are like Toddlers | Morgan's Milieu: Pinnable image saying 5 Reasons why tweens are like toddlers

How NOT to Talk to your Friends

The other day I was in a restaurant and happened to overhear a conversation between two women sat at the table next to me. 

One woman, let's call her Sue, was talking about colouring her hair. Both women were in their late 40s, early 50s (I'm guessing). Sue was saying that she'd found grey hairs and wanted a good colour to cover it. She'd looked around and decided that red would be a good colour and thought it would suit her.

The Dinosaur that Pooped the Bed Review

Since being asked to review The Dinosaur that Pooped Christmas in December last year LP has fallen in love with this series of books. When I was asked to review a new book in the series I jumped at the chance, I knew LP would be over the moon.

The Dinosaur That Pooped the Bed Review | Morgan's Milieu: Pictures of the Dinosaur that Pooped the Bed and The Dinosaur that Pooped a Planet Sound Book

How Another Woman's Stare Empowered Me

Back in June Honest Mum posted a photo of herself on holiday, she was wearing her bikini. The photo got attention from other blogging mums and we were all moved by Vicki's strength. 

As a result Vicki wrote a blog post and prompted us all to join her, posting photos of ourselves in our bikinis and tagging them #proudinmybikini

How Another Woman's Stare Empowered Me | Morgan's Milieu: Morgan Prince, in a bikini, at Daytona Beach
At Daytona Beach soaking up the rays - still no tan though. Bikini from Tesco, F&F.

It was a great idea and I watched as other blogging mums posted their bikini photos. I liked, shared, and retweeted their photos and thought about sharing my own. I was due to go on holiday for the summer, the perfect opportunity to get a few snaps of me in my bikini. 

That Fleeting Holiday Feeling

On Saturday 29th August we returned from six glorious weeks in Orlando, Florida. Tired after an overnight flight and eager to rest in our own beds that holiday feeling disappeared.

That Fleeting Holiday Feeling | Morgan's Milieu: Walt Disney World Entrance
The welcoming entrance of Walt Disney World. 

Just 1 week ago we were enjoying the Florida sun by plummeting down water slides, diving in wave pools, and relaxing in lazy rivers. 

And yet it seems so long ago.

The Prompt over at mumturnedmom's blog this week is 'fleeting' and it got me thinking about that holiday feeling. It soon disappears doesn't it?

If your holiday is one week long and you return home after a relaxing week by the pool the memories are nice but they don't seem to last long enough. Before you know it your routine has returned, the washing mountain is higher than ever, and the kids are still driving you mad.

A two week holiday extends that feeling a little, at least while you're there. After the first week is over you can still enjoy another 7 days of blissful holiday. The sea, happy children making sandcastles, and a cocktail or two. But again you return home to normal routine and, BAM, that feeling is gone.

Three week holidays are rare and when you leave for your destination of choice the end of your holiday seems ages away. You may not think about home at all. There'll be plenty of restaurant meals, your children's excitable screams as they splash in the sea, and opportunity to enjoy time as a family. Day trips, learning something new, perhaps even trying something you've never done before. Inevitably though home calls and once you're home those wonderful days are soon just memories. 

Within a few days the holiday feeling has evaporated, dissipated, gone. The weight of daily chores, work, school, is back on your shoulders and the holiday is a distant memory.

Oh Daytona Beach how I miss you!

How long do you need to be on holiday before the holiday feeling lingers long after you return home?

I'm here to tell you it's longer than 6 weeks!

We spent six weeks going on rides, meeting characters, watching our children have the best time of their lives. The Hubby and I had nights out, drank alcohol, and even did karaoke! We forgot about home, not once did daily chores enter my head, and it was a welcome break.

When did that holiday feeling disappear?

The day we were due to leave before we'd even left the country.

This may be because our flight was delayed and waiting around in an airport with two bored and irritable children is no fun. That holiday feeling might have lasted until we got home, maybe even a day or two after that. One thing I know for sure is that it wouldn't have lasted a week.

The boys are back at school, the Hubby and I are both working, and normal routines have resumed. The holiday feels like it was years ago.

A fleeting holiday feeling can make your return home feel so much worse. Remembering your holiday and wishing you were still there brings you down.

There is a way to beat the post-holiday blues.


That holiday feeling may be gone but I'm concentrating on everything I love about being back at home. Wonderful memories fill my head, the break was fantastic, but being home brings with it a whole host of reasons to be cheerful.

Being proud of my children as I see them take on new challenges in school, watching the Hubby work hard and achieve goals, and my sense of achievement after writing a great blog post - these feelings are not fleeting.

They're the ones I'm clinging to.


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What I Love About Being Back at Home

This is my first post since getting back from Orlando on Saturday, I needed a few days to recover from the holiday and jetlag. It was an amazing trip and none of us wanted to come home, but it was tiring.

I often hear of people having 'the blues' when arriving back at home after a holiday. The sadness of leaving the lovely resort, the wonderful people and that holiday feeling behind, can linger for a long time. I won't let this happen.

I was prepared.

What I Love About Being Home | Morgan's Milieu: A view of a sunny garden and green fields in the distance
I missed this view!

A few days before returning home I started to think about the things I'd missed. I began to look forward to being home and saw the bright side of the end of the holiday.