Monday, 30 December 2013
I've been thinking for a long time now, and taking action, then stopping, then starting, then stopping, then... well you get the picture.
In a little under 12 weeks I'm hoping to have a mini me, of course it may be a little longer, but still, that's no time at all! Mini me needs a room of their own to relax, and a house which is functional, and can hold everything they need.
The house we're in is far from ideal for this, but until we can get it on the market and sold, we have to make do.
I've just spent the last hour moving items out of the room which is to be the nursery, and generally making the rest of the house an even bigger mess. In order to rectify the even bigger mess I have to crack on with putting stuff in the cupboard under the stairs, and in the loft. Bit difficult when the cupboard under the stairs is currently blocked by a pile of presents (with no allocated home), and a Christmas tree. That's my next job.... but first a cup of tea, and late lunch I think!
Still the sooner it's all done I can turn this:
into this (or similar):
Saturday, 28 December 2013
I spent the evening yesterday with family, including my brother, his partner and their two gorgeous boys. I only tend to see them every few months and I'm always blown away by how much the boys have changed and learnt in such a short space of time.
They're super cute, intelligent, funny and charming as hell. Of course, being an Aunty and not seeing them as often as I would like may mean that I only get to see the good stuff and that I am a little biased.
However, as a mum-to-be, I'm already starting to think about how my own child is going to turn out and how others will perceive not only my child, but mine and D's parenting skills.
Children don't come with an instruction book, and yes you can buy all sorts of parenting guides but your child is unique and the parents are the ones who know the child and what works best for them.
It's a challenge for sure and I can imagine how easy it would be to see only the things that you perceive you've failed on and occasionally forget just how much you and your child have achieved. It's a learning curve and there will be mistakes along the way, but if you accept this and learn from them, there is no failure.
My brother and partner have so much to be proud of with their boys and I can't wait spend more time with them all again today before they head back home.
Saturday, 21 December 2013
This morning my mood is matching the weather. It's dark and gloomy, and a bit damp.
It's the time of year where social activities are everywhere and for the first year in my life I'm being a bit of a hermit. It's not that I don't want to do anything but I don't want to be the sober companion to all the drunkards.
It's not the alcohol I'm missing, it's that happy, social, festive atmosphere. The affection and care everyone shows each other. Sitting home on your own drinking tea just doesn't cut it. Nor does waking up on your own knowing your other half will return at some point in the day hungover and no good to anyone for another 24 hours.
It's a bit dark in here. Time for a new light bulb. The weekend is ahead of me and I have lots to do. *flicks the switch*
Wednesday, 18 December 2013
It's not helped by people I meet having an opinion on my size. I can't tell you the amount of times I've had people tell me how small I seem, joking that maybe I'm not even pregnant; and then others who say how big I am and joke there must be more than one in there.
I laugh it off, and just focus on how I feel and what is happening to me. This is my body, my pregnancy, and it would be stupid to try and compare myself against others experiences. Every woman's pregnancy and body changes are different, they're unique. They're hers.
It's weird how my perception changes depending on what view I'm seeing myself, and what wrigglebum is doing to me at the time.
I'm fat. As I spend most of my day sat at my desk, or wandering the corridors of office life I only get to see my body looking down. I no longer have feet. I have a set of larger than ever boobs in an unflattering bra, and a bloated belly.
I'm pregnant. Occasionally during the day I get to pass a window and catch a glimpse of myself in reflection and it never fails to bring a smile to my face. I'm pregnant. From that view I can see the clear outline of a baby bulge. It's not bloated, it's not fat, it's a wonder. It actually makes me feel good, happy, content, and weirdly I feel kinda sexy!
I'm fat. As I relax at home, and lay on the sofa, I look down and see my stomach. It's all I see, and I regret eating that packet of Galaxy Counters the other night. I'm so fat.
I'm pregnant. Then I feel wrigglebum on the move. It squirms, it stretches, it pushes and lets me know it's there, it's growing, and it's a baby. I'm pregnant. I'm so pregnant.
So, the long and short of it, for the first time in my life I actually wish I owned a full length mirror. One that I could carry with me all day, so that in those moments where I can't see my feet, I can look and see my baby.
Saturday, 7 December 2013
I'm only a short little thing, fondly referred to as a Hobbit by D (no, I don't have hairy feet), and find it hard to find clothes to fit at the best of times.
I spent the best part of today desperately trying on various coats in various stores which all made me look varying degrees of ridiculous.
Finally in Tesco, we spotted a coat, just as I'd given up, in a size that I knew would accommodate wrigglebum. It shocked me today that I'd had to buy a size 18. Of course if I'd bought a proper maternity coat I could have got away with a much smaller size, but maternity clothing is so expensive in comparison, and I only need it to see me through the one winter. So my normal size 12/14 has been forgotten, and my belly requires an 18. At least it's comfortable gives me room to grow, and more importantly will keep me warm!
In other exciting news, well exciting to me at least, wrigglebums movements have been much stronger today to the point that I can sit and watch my belly moving. Freaky, but fabulous!
And just for that I'm celebrating and treating myself to a little festive mulled wine tonight.. stop panicking it's alcohol free!
Thursday, 21 November 2013
Monday, 4 November 2013
Unsurprisingly a baby of mine and D's is an awkward bugger and we had to do the scan in two stages because baby did NOT want to stay still, making it difficult to get a proper look at it's heart. Baby is now fondly known as wrigglebum.
Wrigglebum appears to be doing fine, nothing obviously wrong, and growing at normal levels. I couldn't ask for anything more! Can't believe that the next time I see wrigglebum may well be in my arms!
Friday, 25 October 2013
I was catching up on a few blogs this evening and found an entry on Confessions of a single mum which kind of prompted me to make this post. I suppose all the things in my mind have been connected by one thing..... money.
Yes, the thing we would all like to have a little more of, and there never seems to be enough no matter how hard we work.
Since my return from holiday in September I've done overtime most Saturdays, and tomorrow is no exception. Christmas is coming, a baby on the way, and it feels like it won't be long before I'll be going on maternity leave and we then not long after that reduced pay for a while.
I've never been brilliant at making the most of my finances and getting the best deals, not on services anyway. I'm cracking at grocery shopping and finding things I need for the house etc either free, or for an absolute steal. But services, and dealing with people on the phone, not so much. That's where D my other half comes in. He's come to my rescue in the past, most notably with BT for my phone service, and Sainsbury over an incident in their car park.
Recently we talked with someone about their water bill and discussed how much they paid. On return home I decided to check how much I was paying. I was shocked to find that my bill was nearly 3x their's. D rang them for me and queried it, and got a rebuff. We did some checks on our water meter and established that despite the stop tap being off, and no water getting into the house, the meter was still turning. On that basis the water company agreed to send someone out to investigate. Lo and behold there's a leak, and if our sums are right there;s been a leak for about a year now! We rang them tonight and asked to cancel our direct debit while we're waiting for the repairs and they persuaded us to reduce our payments instead. We said we were happy to do that, but only on the basis that they understood we would be making a claim for reimbursement and compensation once the repairs were completed, and that once our average usage could be worked out the payment would drop again. We're by no means at the end of our journey with them yet, but definitely on the right path.
It got me thinking about what else I could change, and like Kairen at Single Mum I hit upon gas & electric. It's a basic service that I just take for granted and never really question. I've been exceptionally lax about it to the point I rarely submit actual meter readings, and until this week wouldn't have been able to tell you what I actually pay for it. After looking into it I've managed to get my current provider to charge me approximately £30 less a month, and I'm looking at moving elsewhere as they are no longer able to offer me the cheapest package. I'm in credit to them and am expecting a fairly decent cheque off them which will go straight into the baby fund. One provider I'm looking at is not the cheapest, but it's still cheaper than my current provider and gives me cash back 3 months after joining them, with no tie in on contract or fee to leave. If I don't find a better option within a day or so I'll be making the move.
I've made the switch to more showers, less baths, running the dishwasher and washing machine only once a week where possible, and the only thing left that I think I can easily change is my gym membership. My gym doesn't have a pool, and in my condition I'm not lifting weights, running, or rowing etc, so there's no point in going. I am already paying nearly £5 a week just to go use a pool once a week somewhere else, so really why am I wasting my money there? I've got my fingers poised to send that cancellation email just as soon as I've hit post here.
So in the current climate where wages are not increasing in line with the cost of living, what changes are you making to keep your head above water and still be able to relax and feel comfortable?
Tuesday, 15 October 2013
- M&S one rather plain and unappealing style at £28 for a two pack;
- Figleaves lots of choice and prices ranging from £24 - £34 per bra, and some even have an underwire;
- Mothercare at £28 for a nursing bra, while they don't do double cups above the D, they do go in single cups up to a J;
- Debenhams have a few styles to choose from across a wide range of sizes and have a good value double pack for £22.40 in their Blue Cross Sale at the moment;
- John Lewis offer a FF in an Elle Macpherson bra which is gorgeous but is a rather frightening £40, but very little else available in those bigger sizes
- Bravissimo - they have four styles in my size, not too bad, prices from £28 - £34 per bra, with no double packs on offer - so not exactly great value.
So all in all it ain't cheap and it ain't particularly pretty. For the sake of a matter of months of wear pretty isn't essential, but the price needs to reflect that! No-one buys a single bra - they have at least 3 or 4 day wear ones, and a couple of sleep bras. Retailers and manufacturers have got a long way to go to making mums to be and new mums comfortable on a budget. I think I'll be scouring ebay for secondhand!
Friday, 11 October 2013
Friday, 4 October 2013
So far we've got a cot bed, the car seat and isofix bars, and that's it, but we did get absolute killer bargains! The cot bed is secondhand and will either be varnished or painted to match other furniture. The car seat was a steal and includes rain covers etc, and will fit the travel system we intend to purchase.
We're off to an open night with Mothercare next week which will give us the opportunity to order anything we want from there and put it on a payment plan so that we can budget easily. I'll also get a little a goodie bag, and some vouchers too which will no doubt come in handy!
We've just started putting together a list of everything else we need, and we're going to start researching to see where will give us the best deal, including second hand where appropriate. I'm really keen to find out which things parents bought and actually wish they hadn't wasted the money. For example, the item I'm not sure we "really" need is a nappy bin. OK they're not mega expensive, but every penny saved is a saving, and really, what's wrong with just putting the nappy in a nappy bag and placing it in the bin? If the bin gets emptied everyday, surely it's not a problem?
What have you bought that you wish you hadn't bothered?
Saturday, 28 September 2013
- Some research links the use of dummies to an increase in recurrent ear infections in young children.
- Using a dummy may affect your baby's health in other ways too. Babies who use dummies seem to be prone to more chest infections and tummy upsets. The exact cause hasn't been established, but using a dummy has been linked to an increase in vomiting, fever, diarrhoea and colic.
- If a dummy is introduced too early, there’s the risk of nipple confusion for a baby who’s just learning to suckle. When a baby is being breastfed, it’s best not to give a dummy until breastfeeding is well established, usually at about one month old.
- Parents can mistakenly offer a dummy when the baby really needs nutrition-based sucking.
- Babies who overuse a dummy for long periods, may have problems as their teeth grow and develop.
- Overuse of a dummy can also hinder speech development, which is why it’s recommended that you try to limit the times your baby uses a dummy, and to wean your baby off the dummy completely by the age of one.
- Dummy use can affect long term nursing patterns too. One theory is that a baby can spend so much time enjoying those unproductive (yet satisfying) sucks that they lose interest in the ones that maybe take a bit more effort but actually fill their tummy. And because milk supply is dependent upon their sucking, those misplaced efforts might mean that milk production stops far earlier than it needs to.
- Being dependent upon the dummy can mean mum or dad getting less sleep as a fussy crying baby demands the dummy put back in it's mouth when it drops out in the night.
- If a baby gets attached to a dummy, the habit can be a hard one to break — especially once your baby turns into a stroppy toddler!
- It can also become a real temptation for parents to use dummies as a mean to quieten their child when they're grumbling, meaning that cues can be misread for a tummy ache, uncomfortable nappy, or just missing Mama.
Saturday, 21 September 2013
In a month or so I will be having my 20 week scan and can potentially find out the gender of our baby.
D is adamant he wants to know. Nay! He needs to know....
Me? Meh... All my life I've said I didn't want to know, that whatever I had I would be happy and as such I just don't need to know. In fact, waiting 9 months to find out what we're having just adds to the excitement of finding out.
D however is very impatient in all aspects of life and needs to know at the first possible opportunity. I can't see why it's so important to know as I don't believe in traditional gender attire and decor. Girls do not have to wear pink. So whats the benefit to knowing really?
Someone recently suggested to me that we could just go down the beige route... *shudder* I couldn't think of anything worse. I need colour in my life, and our baby will be surrounded by colour.
For me, I want bright colours around our child, greens, blues, reds and oranges. And really, in those first few weeks as they grow so much does it really matter what they're wearing?
The whole argument may well be redundant however if baby keeps it's legs crossed!
Did you find out? Would you find out? Why? I'd be interested to hear other people's experiences...
Wednesday, 18 September 2013
Well, until now!
At 13 weeks and 4 days, D and I went to the Women's Centre for my dating scan. I was incredibly nervous, excited, apprehensive, and desperate to see what was in there. I wasn't, and couldn't be disappointed. I was also keen to know how many babies there were as my Grandma was a twin, so you just never know....
I guzzled two pints of water before heading over to the hospital, and hoped I wouldn't need to disappear to the loo before we were called in. The waiting room was full of lots of other expectant mums and their partners. There was a real quiet in there, hardly anyone talking. I doubt I was the only mum there who just wanted to see that everything was OK.
The ultrasound technician was lovely, kind, reassuring; and D and I both had big smiles as we saw our baby for the first time. To D's huge relief there is only one baby, and although I would have been absolutely thrilled to have twins, practically and financially I know we would have really struggled with that.
The due date has been confirmed as we originally thought for 20 March 2014. Although it seems a long time away, I know we have so much to do before then that the time will just disappear. It's all so exciting!
Friday, 13 September 2013
I've spent the last 10 days basking in glorious weather, lazing about and eating far too much of the good things. .. not necessarily good for me however but very enjoyable!
Now despite my pregnancy and the fact that my weight will now go up somewhat, I've decided to continue to attend Slimming World in order to try and manage my weight gain and keep it to sensible and appropriate levels.
Given how rounded my tummy appears to be in contrast to a fortnight ago, and the fact that my baggy trousers now sit very comfortably on my waist I am puzzled as to how my weight gain is only a pound and a half.
When my body appears to have changed so much I can't help but expect my weight to change significantly. I am somewhat confused.
I'm now lying awake at 4am trying to work or what the heck I can wear to a very impact event tomorrow that is appropriate and that actually fits. ...
Monday, 2 September 2013
I'm currently 11 weeks and 2 days pregnant. Sounds weird when putting it down like that as apart from a massive increase in my boob size, and some bloating there's no physical evidence that there's a sproglet in there.
Those who have known me a number of years will know how happy this makes me. A child is something I've always wanted and in recent years I had genuinely started to believe that it wasn't going to happen. Just goes to show the best things come to those who wait.
Obviously it's early days and I've a long way to go and a lot to learn, but I've no doubt that before I know it I'll be on maternity leave and counting down the days for our arrival.
Tuesday, 27 August 2013
I had an appointment yesterday and I thought everything was going swimmingly well. Answering all the questions with no hesitation and providing relevant information. It was only while we were chit chatting that I realised there was so much I'd forgotten to say.
Cue much back peddling and scribbling in extra notes.
How is it when these things happen at the time they seem huge, like the biggest obstacles you've ever dealt with but within a relatively short space of time they're pushed back?
Huge lesson learned. If it's not going to matter in a year or two, just get on with it, accept it. If you can't change it just do it and move on. Also, make a record of these things otherwise in future appointments you'll have forgotten everything!
Wednesday, 21 August 2013
I'm doing a lot of moaning at the moment and really making D suffer a bit in the process. I don't mean to but it's a natural by product of having the cold from hell and not being able to take anything for it.
I "can" take some paracetamol but not too much, but my brain is telling me I really shouldn't. If there's any chance taking paracetamol could cause a problem I'd rather soldier on without. Obviously I'm shooting myself in the foot here, but I keep telling myself it's not forever and it's for the best. I still feel like crap though and repeatedly tell D who obligingly encourages me to rest. Probably so he can play more Call of Duty in peace with his boys though!
But....The worst thing has to be this cough from the deep dark recesses of hell accompanied by the razor blades which have been fixed in my throat.... For those, I haven't yet found a safe relief. Doc is checking it over this morning to make sure it's not an infection and I shall ask what my options are but I'm pretty sure I'll be told gargle with salt water. ..... *shudder* but whatever is best not for me but the little one right?
Wednesday, 14 August 2013
I don't know how anyone could be expected to look at their entire gallery of photos and pull out a single one as their favourite.
Each photo I've kept speaks of memories that I love.
My most recent is this one taken in Carlisle in July with some of my best friends on what is becoming the rare occurrence of time together. I love these people.
Tuesday, 13 August 2013
After a long and dull day in the office, and what felt like an even longer journey home, the best part of today awaited me at home. This is normal for most people right? Today was different though.
As I walked through my front door and looked down the house to my bathroom I could sense the difference. As I got closer and closer the warm glow become more apparent and the smile on my face started to spread.
Today, my mum painted my bathroom for me. She is a star. Three weeks earlier the bathroom had been plastered. Two weeks before that all the tiles had been ripped off, and all this time I've been without a toilet cistern and a washbasin.
Tonight D came home from work and reinstated the long lost and desired items. The bathroom is still not finished, but I'm finally feeling hopeful that things are getting done ready for the next big change in our life.
Monday, 5 August 2013
My D was adamant he didn't want anyone to know until I'm 12 Weeks. Not uncommon, but....no-one?? Not my best mate, not my mum, not other friends who I know can provide useful advice? No...no-one.
Argh. Keeping mum is hard to do.