Why I love being a mummy blogger

It’s been almost a month since I started blogging again on the Family Treasure. It was back on 2013 when we moved to UK from Barcelona that I decided to share our family experiences on a blog. In the beginning it was hard to decide which language I would use, since, as you can probably tell, English is not my mother tongue, and most of all I wanted to involve both of our families, my husband’s, who are Portuguese speaking and my side, who are Spanish speaking. That is why you see on the menu the Spanish Version of my blog, which is basically a replica of the English one.

Almost a month ago, after experiencing the water birth of our second child and enjoying maternity leave I decided it was the perfect time to go back to writing and creating entertaining, and if possible, useful and uplifting content.  This time, I wanted to be more consistent, more committed and more open to other networks as well. I don’t know how many followers you’re supposed to have or how many views or posts you need to reach in order to call yourself a “mummy blogger“, but I like to think I am one because I am a MUMMY and I blog about it! 🙂

So here just 5 of the main reasons why I’m loving it so much so far:

1 Our families love it!

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Yes, they are our most faithful and encouraging followers. For them, all the posts we write are perfect and wonderful, so well written, so inspiring! haha and with such a Fan Club, you cannot stop doing it. Being away from them is difficult enough so if there is something that can bring us all together and get them involved with our ups and downs of living abroad we will take advantage of that.

2 Makes me have some “me time”

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This is a bit of a selfish reason, but the truth is that since I have started blogging more frequently I can enjoy some time to reflect on our family, on our adventures and experiences. I’ve always liked writing, it was a main tool on my career and now I can create my own content without the pressure of a client pushing you to a deadline or the challenges of running your own business. I have to admit though, that since being so involved in other social networks, I’m learning how to find the right balance as well, because it would be quite ironic to invest so much time in front of the computer or the mobile phone telling you how wonderful my family is while my children and husband are begging me to actually spend some time with them, don’t you think? 😉

3 It’s becoming a learning path

Little by little I’m starting to realise that blogging is not a piece of cake. It’s time consuming and you’ve got to learn how to create and edit good images, footage if you do videos as well, how to organise your editorial calendar, how many times you will post, what you will talk about, which other social networks you will use, what their analytics reports mean…but you know what, I’m loving it! It can be frustrating some times, but it’s pushing me to the limits. For me, it is rewarding when I put into practise things that I learn and I see the positive outcome of them. It has become the perfect hobby for this break and I wish I can continue doing it when I go back to work. And who knows, maybe one day I could even collaborate with brands and other bloggers getting our stories out there!

4 Connecting with minds-alike

It is nice to read and see other mummy or daddy bloggers, and how they love the same thing that I treasure the most, the family. It is comforting to read some posts about motherhood challenges and how they deal with them or feel that you’re not alone on a rough day after looking after your little ones. When I receive a comment, a follow, a like, from them or any other of our friends just makes me realise that no matter how far we are from home or how often we see each other you are not alone on this journey towards happiness.

5 Sharing the gospel, and if necessary, using words.

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As a Latter-Day Saints family we strive our best to emulate Jesus Christ and follow his teachings. Thus said, we don’t like to be “preachy”, we’d rather let you have a look into our lives and see how we cope with challenges or how we have a blast, how we fail and fall and how we stand up again, cause for us that is what the gospel is all about. It shows you the why, when, what and how to achieve happiness regardless of the circumstances. It works for us! and if any time you get curious about our beliefs you’re more than welcome to ask. We love sharing our ideas from a respectful and heartfelt point of view, and vice versa, learning from yours would be a pleasure.

Not that the main reasons why I love being a mummy blogger narrow down to just 5 but join us in our adventures and together we can discover many more.

I would love to learn what other hobbies help you in your parenting daily lives, so please, don’t be shy and leave a comment. 🙂

 

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How to make a cool tie knot

As an LDS man (Latter-Day Saints), you’re encouraged to dress smart on a Sunday, but the option for menswear are not that varied, white shirt and suit; so the other day Sam found this cool tie knot and many others on the Internet.

It’s called the Trinity Knot, and even though for me they all kinda look alike, it got the attention of many of the men in the family and at church. By the way, he was so excited of his “tremendous” change of outfit that we thought it would be cool to shoot a video tutorial.

And..ta-dah! Here it is, the first one in the series 🙂 Enjoy and learn how to make the Trinity knot. 

It looks quite good actually 😉  so don’t be afraid…give it a go and let us know how it went!

The Princess with Super-Hero’s cape

 

“The urge to create is equally strong in all children. Boys and girls. It’s imagination that counts. Not skill. (…)”

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A while ago I read about this letter that Lego posted back in the 70’s and it made me think of our little J. I used to think that there were toys meant for boys and other ones meant for girls. I should say it right, more than “meant” I would say “like”, boys like cars, girls like dolls. That was my thinking before having our first child. She has taught me better though. She has shown to Sam and I that there is no gender in “having fun”. She likes the tenderness and love for animals of Snow-white but also wants to be as strong as Hulk and as brave as Spiderman.

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However, society seems to work  from a different angle. If the girl is found running around in the store looking for a football or a truck she’s called a tomboy, if on the other side, she’s only into prams and dolls and loves wearing pink she is classified as a girly girl. I hate stereotypes, they will close all the doors of creativity and imagination. It’s sad to see sometimes when we go clothes shopping that most of the time, super hero themes and other animated characters, like the Minions, for example, are only on the boys section. When I was a child I liked pink, I didn’t like trucks or cars, and I loved drawing, dolls and make-up, and there’s northing wrong with that. We absolutely love J’s personality. She loves having fun racing cars, dressing up like a princess, like a witch, like a mermaid, or sometimes she will be a monster, superman or a ninja. For her, there’s no difference in playing, it’s the fun itself that counts. I’m pretty sure every stage will be unique but so far we’re so excited and grateful for every moment with her that cannot wait to see what’s ahead of us! The main thing is to remember not to fall into labels and get the most out of every memory you build with them.

Check what we mean with this little clip! J training to be some sort of Ninja (this was after watching “The Karate Kid” with Sam) haha

What are your children into? We’d love to read your stories as well! 🙂

The Family Treasure is growing…

Dear followers, family and friends,

Just wanted to drop a quick post to let you know what we’re up to lately. We are super excited with the idea to invest more time on our family blog and reach out to you in different ways. So please, bear with us, since we are learning along the way and sometimes you may see some strange posts with codes, just forget about them! it’s us trying to add some assets to our blog.

In the meantime, let us inform you of new ways to follow our adventures:

You can Like our Facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/thefamilytreasure/

and  Subscribe to our YouTube Channel

https://www.youtube.com/user/costatuesta/about

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Thank you for taking some of your time to share this journey with us!

The Costas 🙂

How the Brexit would affect our family

We try not to think too much about the IN our OUT question on 23rd June since there is not much we can do about it because as Europeans we are not eligible to vote, which I suppose it makes sense, since even though it will affect us, all of us would vote IN, don’t you think? who would kick themselves out anyway!

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But, hey! we can still give our opinion and share with you our thoughts on this, which as an Immigrant family we kind of have the duty to do. I’ve read the propaganda, I’ve read comments on Facebook and other sites for both parts and everything sounds so familiar…

We, ourselves come from different countries. Sam’s family emigrated from Brazil to Barcelona almost 10 years ago, and my family moved from Peru to Spain when I was a baby, over 30 years now! We’ve heard the same topics again and again: immigrants stealing our jobs, taking advantage of our benefits, causing problems, terrorism..all sorts of things!

For me, this is the first time it feels kinda personal because as a child in Barcelona was oblivious to all that, and never felt “attacked” as an immigrant, unless for a few times where closed minded people would say some inappropriate words. It is now, having emigrated as a grown up woman with my own family that these issues cause me some concern.

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Let me tell you to all those who want to vote OUT, I understand your point of view and you just want your country to be a better, safer, more successful place for you and your families. BUT, please, don’t blame it on US. As many of you, you will have people, British citizens who are working hard, who are successful in business, who are raising their children in good values that will contribute to the society. You also have the other side of the coin though, young people refusing jobs because they’d rather be on benefits, unstructured families, teenagers raising kids..So what makes you think that we are any different? We do have both sides of the coin as well. And let me tell you, if you start asking around you will learn many stories like ours: young families leaving their homes looking for better opportunities to be more self-reliant, to provide for their offspring, coping with home sickness, having to adapt to a new culture, making new friendships, finding themselves alone in many occasions.

I heard not too long ago that this country was built upon diversity, and I think that’s what made it strong. So it is not a matter of IN our OUT, it is a matter of HOW. How can we make this country strong again? When trying to point someone, look for a mirror and ask yourself how you can contribute in your neighbourhood to make it a better place. Don’t look to the side searching for that Rumanian or that Spaniard that  apparently is stopping you from achieving all your goals. So, How would affect the Brexit to my family? It would make us grow, as it did when we decided to come here, cause “we know that all things work together for good to them that love God”  I am not being naive, don’t get me wrong, but I think if people is unhappy with their government they need to choose better or propose other options. At the end, we are the “guests” here, but we just wanted you to know, that most of us are the polite type of guest and not the scrounge one.

Note: This post has been written more as a reflection than not a debate but we’re still opened to read any comments. 🙂

If you’d like to join us on our family adventures do so by clicking here for Bloglovin or at the end of this post for WordPress.

Life with 2 under 5’s!

This is the Step 2 and the last one on our series of Maternity Leave Posts. We’ve decided we’ll talk about how we are adapting ourselves to living with two children, which can be an incredible exhausting but rewarding experience! By the way, if you have more than two you are probably thinking “Oh yeah, wait until you get another one!” haha

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Sam and I have been talking about the main differences compared to when it was just the three of us, and maybe what advice we could give to those wanting to grow the family but in all honesty, we haven’t mastered it ourselves too much yet, so before giving any advice we’d rather stick to the facts, and when I say facts, I mean, OUR facts, not that everything of these applies to you..but, who knows! So here they are:

Number 1. Loving the sibling to death!

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This is when the Parent needs to keep watching ALL the time, cause it might be that Big Sister is “killing” the baby softly to kisses and hugs… and sooo much love can be dangerous.

Number 2. The Present competition

Why is life so unfair that baby E got a gift but J didn’t? What did she do to deserve such injustice! Luckily for us many friends and family thought of J when giving something to E, but when it didn’t happen like that..oh yeah, the DRAMA was on!

Number 3. Bath time or the time when mummy gets all wet and I get half cleaned

J will try to help with baby E before her bath is ready because obviously she is highly experienced on giving baths to dolls, little people and plastic ducks. So, what we usually do is let her rub some soap on him and wrap him in the towel at the end. She’s actually quite good on this.

Number 4. Priceless siblings conversations

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Apparently E tells J when they need to have some sweet or when they’re not sleepy and don’t need to go to bed, or when he’s scared of the dark, and many other things that just by “coincidence” will affect J in some way. By the way, the last conversation I heard was very cute actually: E was crying, I was in the bathroom so I couldn’t go there to comfort him, but there it was, his big sister giving him all the support he needed, telling him           -“E! Don’t worry, don’t need to cry! You’re not alone E! I’m here with you! don’t cry, everything will be ok!”- hahaha…you can tell she is quite dramatic.

Number 5. Multi-tasking x 2

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When it was just one, you learnt how to do 2-3 tasks at the same time. Now, you’ve got two, but you still have only 2 hands so this is how it works: if dad is home, he will be in charge of one of them and I will look after the other one, and then we’ll switch. If only one of us is home with the two of them…oh well.. “Let the Hunger Games begin!” haha, no, basically one of them will need to put up with the other one, and this is when your skills for learning to prioritize will increase immensely.

Number 6. House chores? What house chores?

I don’t know how other parents do it but while typing this post we have a huge pile of clothes waiting to be fold and put back in their places. Could I be doing that instead of writing this? Yes, Do I want to do it? No, I need a life as well! 😉

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We just try to keep doing all we can without getting too stressed. I like a lot being organised and I think it’s one of my assets but I have learnt that sometimes you gotta feel good with yourself even if you just did only one tiny task of all the other ones you had pending on your list, because again,… PRIORITIZE… Is E sleeping and J wants you to play with her? Clothes, bathroom, hoovering can wait!

Number 7. Blind Date

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That is what our marital relationship has become, into a blind date! not because we don’t know who we are meeting with, just because, in all sense of the word, we don’t see each other on a date at all! Time for just the two of us is hidden somewhere and it might give us a surprise in a near future but not for now. What we do instead? Every once in a while, we pause, look into each other eyes for a few seconds, smile, thank God for the person that we are sharing our lives with and keep going, one in charge of E, the other one of J, and life continues.

There are many more differences that we could list here, but we would get to the exact same conclusion, we wouldn’t change a bit. Life with two under 5’s can be demanding, exhausting and stressful but it is also a rewarding, learning, and memorable experience that you treasure every time you see them smile, grow and become the great people you know they are.

 

Hey! What’s your life like with two or more children? We’d love to hear and learn from your stories as well. 🙂

 

Mumzilla

Maternity Leave Step 1: Our water birth experience

It’s been two months since our little baby boy was born but you can tell by our latest post that pregnancy took most of our time cause we haven’t been able to sit down and write something till now. But, here we are now, back on track, with our enthusiasm and “lack of sleep” ready to keep sharing with you our “ordinary” and sometimes “extraordinary” adventures.

We know how scary can be for parents-to-be and specially for parents-to-be in a new country, having a baby. So many things to consider, so many questions and big decisions, so let us share with you why we chose Water Birth as our option and how we experienced it.

Being completely honest with you we decided water birth not because we are like the pro-natural-drug-haters type of family but basically because we wanted to leave alone our 4 year-old daughter the least time possible. When taking the hospital tour we were told that if you chose to give birth in the water and everything went fine you could go back home as early as just 6 hours after giving birth. For us that seemed the right solution to our problem and for me it became my main motivation when going through the most painful hours.

Birth pool

Wythenshawe Hospital was our choice and even though we had Saint Mary’s as an option we will never regret choosing the South Manchester hospital. We had read all sorts of reviews from both of them but as in everything in life there’s a point where you have to take that step of faith, make up your mind and go for it. So we did and everything from tests to care, from the very beginning till the birth date was absolutely fabulous. The team, specially the midwifery team at the Birth Centre were amazing! The senior midwives along with the student ones, all of them very supportive. They cheered us up in every stage, and on the final one, when it becomes the most painful moments of your life, they were there. They don’t do any magic, they’re just there saying the right words and you and your partner do all the work, but that is exactly what we needed.

Birth Suite

Regards the water birth experience it self, yes… it does help relieve the pain, but it will get unbearable at the end no matter how warm the water is or how much your partner tries to help. You won’t be able to go into the water until you have dilated at least 8cm but the suite is so nice that you don’t mind that. It’s a private suite for you and your partner. You can walk around, listen to some music, watch TV and have some snacks, not that you might feel for all that but for example in our case we spent some time listening to some music videos from YouTube, having some toasts and orange juice that they offered to us and basically enjoying one another’s company; when there was no pain we felt like if we were in a nice room of a hotel but obviously then… contractions started to really take me down and didn’t care at all about music, light, or toasts!

Giving Birth

I will skip the painful part, it’s just a lot of yelling and pushing, and every mum will live it on their own way, but after that you see HIM, they take him out of the water and put him in your arms, and yes, it’s true, all the pain is gone, that pain that felt like someone was trying to break your back has completely disappeared and it’s just you, and HIM, and him, looking at each other and thanking God that everything went perfect. No more explaining on this because I think the picture says it all.

Summing up, would we recommend Water Birth? Yes, Would we choose that over a birth with epidural? now that the pain is gone, I would say yes. The recovery has been so much quicker than with the first child, lost weight faster as well and for me, it just felt better in every sense and the right choice for our family at this time at this place.

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Here are a few links that you might find interesting and useful to help you decide:

Water Birth Live Video

What’s a water birth like and other questions

Wythenshawe Hospital – Maternity Unit

Pregnancy and Baby Guide – NHS