Many moons ago I used to write a monthly round-up of all the happenings in the Nest & Dressed household but for some reason I got out of the habit. Probably because for most of last year I was pregnant & miserable so there wasn’t a whole lot to tell you! But I will attempt to keep it up from now on because it’s a great way of keeping track of our lives for both myself & for you lovely readers. Unfortunately this month I’ll have to start things off with bad news…

The hardest decision…

At the end of January (a few days after my birthday, no less) we had to say goodbye to a much loved member of the family. Our beautiful white Boxer Sasha was 7 years old and was our first baby. She came to us from a rescue centre as a scrawny 16 month old and completely took over our lives! When we lived in Yorkshire she went to work with The Other Half and spent her days playing with the resident Labradors/frogs/leaves/anything that moved. When we moved to Scotland 4 years ago she stayed at home with me & became my partner in crime (although I don’t think she ever quite forgave us for bringing kids into the mix!).

We found out in July 2015 that she had skin cancer and that it had spread to her lymph nodes. She had the lumps removed but we were told that it was just a matter of time. She was given 3-6 months to live and our hearts broke. I was nearly 5 months pregnant at the time and the thought of her never meeting the baby was truly awful. She was so much a part of our family & we really wanted her to meet her baby ‘brother’. Thankfully she held on until the new year so Thomas got to meet her and we got a couple of photos of them together.

For 6 weeks our perfect little family was complete. It soon became clear that she was struggling, though. Her breathing was laboured, she was finding it difficult to swallow food and she was extremely lethargic thanks to steroid-induced weight gain. She was no longer our crazy, bouncy girl full of fun and character. She was tired and sad and in pain. It was time to make the horrific decision to put her to sleep. In the end she went peacefully in her Dad’s arms with a waggy tail & a tummy full of Schmackos. If you’re going to go that’s the way to do it, I reckon.

2 months on and we are slowly getting used to the Sasha-shaped whole in our lives. I feel like I’ve lost a child and my heart aches whenever I think about never seeing her again. The house is so lonely without her. Madeleine often talks about Sasha and asks why she’s not coming home. She doesn’t understand and I’ve no idea how to help her.

Madeleine…

The poor girl has had so much to cope with over the last few months. Her whole world has changed with Thomas’s arrival, starting at 2 different nurseries and then losing Sasha. I just want her to be ok but I know she’s not. She’s struggling to cope and it’s affecting her behaviour (and therefore mine towards her). She is jealous, frustrated and angry which is causing her to lash out. Three year olds can be truly hideous creatures!

Many a day has ended with us both screaming & crying. I’ve found myself saying some truly horrible things to her and I even smacked her bum one day. God, I felt awful. Still do. Motherhood is just one big rollercoaster of guilt, isn’t it?! Our relationship was bound to change when Thomas came along but I miss my sweet, polite girl and the closeness we shared. I hope we can get it back one day.

She also seems to be struggling with her hearing which adds to the frustration on both our parts. If I hear “What did you say, mummy?” one more time I will explode! The doctor says it could be the after effects of a cold in which case it will clear eventually but she has referred Madeleine for a hearing test to make sure. Fingers crossed it is nothing more serious, that’s all the poor kid needs.

Thomas…

The Boy on the other hand is nearly four months old & is an absolute breeze! He is so chilled out and as long as he is fed at regular intervals he is happy to ponder & snooze his days away. Sounds like heaven to me! He is being a bit of a git during the night at the moment though and only seems happy to sleep if he has some part of my anatomy in his mouth. I’m hoping it’s just due to a Wonder Week and things will ease up soon. Mama needs more sleep!

Blogging…

You may have noticed things have eased off on the blogging front lately. I realised that I was putting far too much pressure on myself to post at least 3 times a week and keep up with the social media promotion. As a result I was rushing & publishing things that I really wasn’t happy with. The combination of 2 kids and very little sleep does not make a happy blogger! So I’ve decided to take my time and not give myself silly deadlines. I’m sure you guys will forgive me if I miss the odd Weekly Wish List, right? Quality not quantity is the name of the game from now on.

I’m also planning on a slight change of direction for Nest & Dressed. I seem to have got a bit waylaid over the last year and found myself wandering into in ‘mummy blogger’ territory.  I originally started blogging as a way of sharing my love of interiors (Nest) & fashion (Dressed) when Madeleine was tiny and I needed somewhere to be Adele, not just Mum. I have previously written about why I don’t stick to a particular niche but I’d like to take the blog back to it’s roots.

Fashion for all…

I’m hoping to include more posts on vintage style and ethical fashion for both me & the kids. I still don’t have a camera so there won’t be any #OOTD (outfit of the day) style posts just yet but I’d love to do that eventually.

Crafting a Home…

There will also be a much bigger focus on interiors as I concentrate a little more on crafting & upcycling my way to a colourful family home. I have a huge to-do list including at least half a dozen pieces of furniture to paint, sewing projects to finish and rooms to decorate. I’m also keen to get back into mosaicking (is that a word?!) and rag rugging amongst other things. It’s been so long since I did anything creative. In fact, the only things I’ve done in the last year were Madeleine’s curtains & her light shade. I really need to make the time to get crafty, I miss it.

Food Glorious Food…

I’d also like to share more recipes with you. I’ve been experimenting a lot with low sugar baking lately (not always successfully!) so I’d love to include more not-so-sweet treats as well as our favourite quick & easy family meals. I’m all about the slow cooker nowadays!

Family Adventures…

I recently wrote my Argyll Hit List of things I’d like to do & see locally over the course of the next year so I’ll be sharing these experiences with you as well as trips further afield. We’ve nothing set in stone yet but we’d love to take our mini adventurers glamping & skiing and maybe even to sunnier climes if finances allow it.

Social Media…

Another change I’m planning is with the way I use social media. I’m predominantly found on Twitter as a rule but I find it very impersonal. It’s a great way of promoting new blog posts and contacting other bloggers & brands but there’s only so much you can say in 140 characters!

Facebook is much better for allowing you plenty of room to chat and upload pictures but those pesky algorithms mean that unless people like/comment/share it will only show your post to a small proportion of your followers. Very frustrating!

And then there’s my new love. Apart from the odd snap of the kids I’ve never really bothered with Instagram before now. But for some reason I have had a bit of an epiphany with it of late. I’ve found some really beautiful accounts that reflect the look I’m hoping to achieve on the blog and suddenly I just kind of get it. I’m now a fully paid up member of the Pretty Picture Appreciation Society! As for my own account? Well, watch this space…

So that pretty much brings us up to date! I’m looking forward to seeing what the next month brings.
 
It is the season of changes, after all. 

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