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.

Health and Weight Loss Tips 31

My motivation is with me this week and I'm going to start my exercise. I haven't lost much weight at all but I'm thinking if I start being more active it'll start to shift.

11st 8.1lbs

29,089 steps

So again my steps are pitiful, I haven't been very active at all. All I need to do is start the exercise and I know I'll continue with it. That first step is so difficult!

What I Read 26

After going through my notebook this week I found loads of posts that I hadn't shared yet but planned to. Some of these posts are from back in May and June, I think with the holiday looming at the time I'd forgotten about them.

Even though they're a little older I don't think there's a limit to when you can share good posts. With that in mind let's get on with it shall we?

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

Health & Weight Loss Tips 30

I had quite a shock this morning when I stepped onto the scales. It's not that I didn't expect more weight gain, but the amount threw me and that voice in my head screamed awful insults at me.

11st 8.8lbs

30,706 steps

What I Read 25

So many posts have moved me this week, for varying reasons. My list is growing again, which is always nice, and I'm happy to be back sharing these posts with you.

What I Read 25 | Morgan's Milieu: Louisa, who writes at Life As We Know ItIf you're anything like me when you hear the word Cancer you cringe. It's such a scary word isn't it, and covers such a wide range of possibilities. For women it could be breast cancer, for men it could be prostate cancer, either way it's terrifying. I would hope that by now most women out there know how to check their breasts and know what to look for, but how many of you know the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer? 

Ovarian Cancer. Know the Symptoms. Is a post written by Louisa, who's mother has recently been diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer, in the hope that other women notice the symptoms and get checked before it's too late. Please read the post, it'll take five minutes out of your day but could save your life.

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.

Taking the Next Step

For months now I've been saying that I want to take blogging more seriously and writing every day has been a huge step in the right direction.

When I was preparing to go on holiday I was motivated to get on with it as soon as I got back. I wanted to step it up, work harder, and do better. I even said I might attend BritMums Live when it came around, or other conferences too.

Health and Weight Loss Tips 29

Not much has happened since last week, I walked LP to school on Thursday and my legs complained the whole time. 

11st 6.7lbs

54, 016 steps

What I Read 24

Welcome back to another What I Read. I've been working hard this week trying to get caught up on things, I've still not managed it but I'm getting there. I have been enjoying your posts this week though and here's a few of my favourites.

What I Read 24 | Morgan's Milieu: Leigh Kendall, Headspace Perspective

I haven't suffered the loss of a child and cannot imagine the pain and grief. I am in awe of Leigh's strength and whenever I read her posts she has me in tears. I have to build up to reading the posts because I am so touched by them. #SayTheirName and Eastenders: Helping break the taboo of babyloss is a fantastic post. Leigh shares her thoughts on the recent storyline and talks about her experiences. I wasn't in tears but the post moved me.

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. 

Health and Weight Loss Tips 28

I've been back from Florida for more than a week now and I'm still exhausted. I have gained weight (lots) and I'm struggling to find my motivation.

11st 5.8lbs

What I Read 23

I've been back from holiday for over a week now and as it's Sunday I thought I'd bring back What I Read.

What I Read 23 | Morgan's Milieu: What I Read Badge
I had planned on doing lots of reading blog posts on holiday but as it turned out any spare time I had was spent sleeping! 

Since I've been back though I've done lots of reading and am pleased to say I have six great posts for you to check out.

What I Read 23 | Morgan's Milieu: Jayne Crammond
The first post I want to share I actually read while on holiday and took a screenshot so I wouldn't forget about it. Weight is a big issue for some of us, many obsessing over calories or weight gain, but when is it okay to tell a pregnant woman that she is overweight? Some may say never but Jayne disagrees and in The Realities of Being Fat and Pregnant she explains why. All women have the right to feel amazing when pregnant but is there a point when health is a bigger issue? Pop over and tell Jayne what you think.

What I Read 23 | Morgan's Milieu: Zarouhi Grumbar, Mama and More

The start of the summer season is always a stressful time for us women as we strive to get our bodies 'beach ready'. I've always hated that term and never quite managed to have that flat tummy all the models have. I loved this post from Zaz who encourages us all to find three things we love about ourselves. Let's Love Ourselves! On self love and positive body image has a positive message to send out into the world and one that I hope all women can connect with.

What I Read 23 | Morgan's Milieu: Pic of Mum in a Nutshell

Written as a Curriculum Vitae this next post had me laughing and nodding along. Being a mum of two boys (albeit very different boys) I could sympathise with Mum in a Nutshell after reading A CV for a Mum of Boys. A few of the skills listed are going on my CV I can tell you!

What I Read 23 | Morgan's Milieu: Vicki Psarias aka Honest Mum

As always Honest Mum, aka Vicki Psarias, inspired me with her post Why it's your right to be Ambitious (at work and in the home). In the past year my confidence has grown and I know what I want to do. Blogging is a love of mine and has given me lots of opportunities. I am proud of what I've achieved so far and feel that I have what it takes to push my blog to the next level. Many posts from Vicki have inspired me, she is a talented writer, and I love watching her take on new challenges and do a fantastic job. Please head over and read the post, and prepare to be inspired.

What I Read 23 | Morgan's Milieu: Emma Day

This next post grabbed me with its title: Why I'm Going to Prison. When I saw that title on Facebook I wondered why on earth such a lovely lady would be going to prison. All sorts of things went through my mind so of course I had to read the post. Emma, of Crazy with Twins, has been sentenced to 24 hours in Shepton Mallet Prison in Somerset. To find out why head over to her post!

What I Read 23 | Morgan's Milieu:: Maria, writer at Collecting Moments

Finally a post from Maria warmed my heart as she embarks on her first day of being a Stay at Home Mom. She writes about what the start of the school year used to be like for her and how rushed she would feel. Giving up a job you love to look after your children is a tough decision to make but Maria sounds content in her decision. 

I'll be back next week to share more great posts!

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.

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.