Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Ladies wot shop

Further to my last post where I decided not to be a frumpy mum, today I ventured into a personal shopper experience in Debenhams.  It's a fantastic service and I wish I'd discovered it sooner.  It was so easy to book an appointment.  The website asks for very straightforward information.  I do wish it asked for a little bit more info though such as your dress size, style preference, height etc as this could come in useful for your shopper later.

Screenshots of the booking process:
  


I was 5 minutes early for my appointment and the girls at the paydesk called for my shopper to come down.  The lovely Sammy arrived about 10 minutes later. Sammy was lovely and welcoming and I immediately felt at ease.  The only thing that puzzled me at this point was being asked if I had booked my appointment.  I had in mind that they would be aware of all the bookings and know who they would be working with and when.  Very odd.

Despite the lack of awareness of my appointment Sammy was straight into business.  She asked me a few questions about the purpose of my appointment and what I was looking for.  Before leaving me to go trawling the racks, she made sure I had a coffee in my hands.



While Sammy was looking for clothes for me to try I decided to make Oscar and I comfy.  The dressing room had two very large cubicles, seating, mirrors and magazines.  The dressing room served as the perfect playpen for the wrigglebum.


Sammy brought back a good selection of clothes, some of which hit the mark straightaway, others either didn't fit me that well,or were just not to my taste.  Some of the things she picked for me I really didn't think I would like, but the minute I put them on I loved them.  The personal shopper experience is great for encouraging you to be a bit braver and try things you'd normally leave on the rack.

Now that Sammy had a better idea of what I liked, and what worked for my body shape she disappeared again to get more things for me to try.  I decided to take advantage of the privacy and feed the wee man.

Sam, clearly knows her way around the store as it didn't take too long for her to return with another good bundle of clothes.  

Again, there were things I loved, and things I hated.  After this I decided to take a wander around the store and try picking up some things myself that I wouldn't ordinarily choose.  While waiting in a rather long queue, for a standard changing room, with a pram, and a lot of clothes, Sammy collared me and invited back up to the dressing room.  I was very grateful!

After trying on the last lot of clothes, the 2 hours were nearly up and I had the very difficult task of narrowing down the items I liked to the items I could afford to take home.

I really enjoyed this way of shopping and will definitely be doing it again. There's absolutely no pressure to buy anything at all, and you get good honest and constructive feedback.  Sammy was great at talking me through how to finish off an outfit how I could mix and match items, dress them up and dress them down etc.  Of course it's even better if you've got a little one you need to entertain while shopping.

8 out of 10, could be improved by taking more information at booking and perhaps having a number of items ready to browse through upon arrival.



Saturday, 27 December 2014

Frumpy mum

I've never been known for being fashionable or trendy. I've always gone for comfortable with a twist. The twist for the last 9 years has been my hair. I've always made an effort with my appearance and liked to feel 'pretty'.

Since having a baby I seem to have lost my way.  My current day to day wear consists of leggings or jeans (which don't fit) either a vest and t-shirt/jumper layer because it's been nice and easy for breastfeeding on demand.

Nine months have passed since the baby arrived and for nine months before that my wardrobe was severely limited by a large bump poking out front.

I return to work late January, and as I look in my overflowing wardrobe I struggle to put together more than a couple of outfits I feel comfortable in.

One of my problems is that I lack confidence in putting together an outfit that works. I struggle to visualise how pieces can go together and really don't understand what works for my shape.

Holding my hands up in defeat, I've decided to enlist professional help. Next Monday I will be in the hands of a personal shopper who will hopefully be able to clue me up and send me back out into the world with all the knowledge I need to make myself look and feel good.

Here begins Project Less Frumpy Mum.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Making Choices

As a first time older mum, the minute I knew I was pregnant, I couldn't do enough research into all the options available, and all the choices and decisions I'd have to make.

Some of the choices I've made have raised a few eyebrows (babywearing and baby led weaning for example), but I've done my research and I'm comfortable and confident in those. So much so I generally don't even try to defend those choices when questioned.

The one thing that is repeatedly asked of me though is why I give my child the food he gets, or rather why I don't give him the food I don't.  I believe in encouraging a baby to try as many flavours and textures as possible, as long as it's healthy.  That's not to say I won't ever let him have chocolates, cakes, chips etc, but there's a time for those and that time is not right now.

The latest figures, for 2012/13, show that 18.9% of UK children in Year 6 (aged 10-11) were obese and a further 14.4% were overweight. Of children in Reception (aged 4-5), 9.3% were obese and another 13.0% were overweight. This means almost a third of 10-11 year olds and over a fifth of 4-5 year olds were overweight or obese.

As someone who was slim when growing up because of a healthy diet and lots of exercise, but who didn't understand nutrition and has ended up a couple of stone heavier than is healthy; I don't want to see my child struggle with his health because of his diet later in life.  What's important to me is to ensure that my child enjoys ALL foods and learns about a healthy, balanced diet. One which includes fruit, vegetables, fish and fresh meat, as well as nuts, seeds and CAKE!  Gawd, I can't imagine a life without cake and wouldn't dare inflict that on anyone, but it's important to learn what a healthy lifestyle is all about.  Of course once he's older he can make his own choices but at least they will be informed choices.

In the meantime I take my responsibility as a parent seriously. We have fun with food and exercise while nurturing and developing our bodies. I will encourage him to try all foods and learn to cook, understand where food comes from and understand the importance of food choices on your body and mind.

The basics are obvious, limited sugar and salt. The NHS website provides lots of useful information, but the key rules to follow are these:

Salt

Babies shouldn’t eat much salt as it isn't good for their kidneys. Don't add salt to your baby’s food and don't use stock cubes or gravy as they're often high in salt. Remember this when you’re cooking for the family if you plan to give the same food to your baby.

Sugar

Your baby doesn’t need sugar. By avoiding sugary snacks and drinks, you'll help to prevent tooth decay. Use mashed banana, breast milk or formula milk to sweeten food if necessary.

Honey

Occasionally, honey contains bacteria which can produce toxins in a baby’s intestines, leading to infant botulism, which is a very serious illness. It’s best not to give your child honey until they’re one year old. Honey is a sugar, so avoiding it will also help to prevent tooth decay.

Nuts

Whole nuts, including peanuts, shouldn't be given to children under five as they can choke on them. As long as there's no history of food allergies or other allergies in your family you can give your baby peanuts once they're six months old as long as they're crushed or ground into peanut butter.

"Low-fat" foods

Fat is an important source of calories and some vitamins for babies and young children. It’s better for babies and young children under two to have full-fat milk, yoghurt and cheese rather than low-fat varieties.
uts

Whole nuts, including peanuts, shouldn't be given to children under five as they can choke on them. As long as there's no history of food allergies or other allergies in your family you can give your baby peanuts once they're six months old as long as they're crushed or ground into peanut butter.



Sunday, 30 November 2014

The First Weekend Away Of A Breastfeeding Mum

This weekend was the first time I've been away overnight from my little boy. He's 8 months old today and it doesn't seem 8 months since he came into my life.

Ages ago however, in my naivety, I thought at 8 months I wouldn't worry about leaving him,  at 8 months he'd be sleeping through,  and at 8 months he'd be happily taking a bottle of expressed milk.

Guess how many of those things actually happened?  None!  To be fair perhaps I wasn't worried as such but I sure as hell felt lost without him and would have preferred to have him and my boyfriend with me for the weekend.

In the week leading up to the trip I have expressed milk like it was going out of fashion. On the plus side I now have a freezer of milk, which as a friend said, is probably enough to feed the street! On the downside, increased expressing means my body thinks there's increased demand when there isn't.  I planned for this and brought my breast pump with me and made sensible plans to express as soon as I got to my hotel and other key points during the weekend, but the best laid plans and all that!

We arrived at the hotel to find our rooms were not ready yet.  Not having gone this long before without feeding I felt my boobs were ok for a couple more hours. After a couple of hours I desperately needed some relief.  We didn't make it back to the hotel until about 4pm and as soon as we were in our room I expressed while mum made that all important cup of tea!

A night out for Chinese food and a couple of drinks were merrily enjoyed but before I could go to bed I needed to relieve the boulders resting on my chest.  I had thought they were pretty bad,  mmm, until I woke at 2am, again at 3, 4 and half 5. Each time the boulders getting harder and heavier.  At 6.45 I gave up and  headed for a hot shower to express a little in there under the heavenly hot water.

Disaster! At 7am in the Hilton, we had no hot water.. :-(

On went the pump and within 20 minutes I managed to get two full bottles.  Unheard of and incredibly uncomfortable.  The day ahead involved visiting the NEC and spending the day at The Good Food Show.  I wasn't expecting much in the way of facilities to be honest but decided to ask at customer services.  I was directed to the Parenting Room which really surprised me .  I can't praise the NEC enough for this.  The room had a big play area with toys,  a tunnel and a teepee for kids to play with,  two high chairs,  tables and chairs,  two changing tables complete with nappies and wipes,  and a private screened area with plug points for breast pumps. Amazing!

We had a great day at the show and about lunchtime I went and availed myself the facilities.  At the end of the day we found ourselves short on time and at the other end of the centre and I couldn't really make it to the Parenting room,  express and make it to our coach on time.

We were in the Wetherspoons having a quick refreshment.   We spied an empty table with a plug socket and with some sneaky shielding I actually managed to express both sides without anyone realising.

We're now on the coach home and I know my other half has done a very hard but great job of making sure the little one has had his milk,  but I can't wait to get back to feeding him.   I'm in no rush to spend so long away from him again.


Wednesday, 29 October 2014

The day we nearly met Pingu

After a terrible night with almost non stop crying and a morning of grumpiness,  I thought it would be nice for Oscar to meet Pingu.

We went with some friends and hung around waiting for Pingu to make his grand entrance. The crowd showed their appreciation as he worked his way round towards us. Oscar's pal Henry had a little stroke of Pingu's nose and then it was Oscar's turn.

Pingu held out his flipper to say hello and Oscar turned down his bottom lip and let out a huge shout.  Poor old Pingu pulled his flipper back so quick!

Poor Pingu.


Friday, 17 October 2014

A day in the life of...

The strange sound of an alarm woke me up. I've been so used to the yelling of the baby getting us up on a morning, that for just a moment I thought I was dreaming.  Then I remembered, today was the day we'd been waiting for and my other half was having surgery.

The sound of the alarm gave us half an hour to get out of the house and hit the road. I left the Poomonster asleep on the bed while I got dressed and packed his bag with his clothes and all the food and milk I'd prepped the night before. The poor dog was very confused by so much activity at such a disgusting hour and deservedly gave me a filthy look when I put her breakfast in her kennel and put her out for the day.

The car was loaded, toys were grabbed, and at the very last minute a sleeping baby was carried downstairs to be put in the car seat.  Operation Minimal Disturbance was activated. Poomonster woke briefly and looked a bit confused but happily settled into his seat and before we knew it he was out like a light.

On arrival at the hospital,  it was still dark and wet and everything loaded into the car had to be unloaded again and the baby (now not asleep and being very nosey) was transferred to his pram. As we sat waiting in reception Poomonster kept telling us how excited he was while we hid our nervousness and laughed with him.

After a short wait we were shown to D's room. As soon as we were in, it was a case of business as usual.  Poomonster was laid on the bed clean nappy,  clothes changed and toys given out.  It was only 0730 at this point, and the beginning of a long day.  Within 10 minutes a steady stream of professionals were in and out of the room and Poomonster delighted them all and made me so proud at how well he just went along with it all. Nothing much seems to faze him.

At 0845 D was taken to the anaesthetist and the long wait began.  It was just me and the wee one in a hospital room. We took advantage of being alone and the quiet and he had a great feed and a lovely nap while I drank tea and wrote letters to friends. So rare to have the oportunity and I pounced on it.

Once awake we left the hospital to buy some juice for the patient and in search of somewhere with a highchair so Poomonster could have his breakfast.  Half a bowl of porridge later and some toast I did a dash to get supplies and buy myself some lunch.

Back at the hospital, we had about half an hour to wait for the patient's return and the wee boy happily played on a blanket on the floor with his toys. All of a sudden it seemed I needed to clear everything up, and move things so that D's bed could be wheeled in.

The patient was back and the wee boy looked a bit confused but was soon gurgling away at his daddy and holding his fingers.  I spent the next 3.5 hours in a cycle of playing with the baby, giving the patient water,  playing with the baby etc....

I was really pleased at the breakthrough moment of Poomonster happily taking a bottle from me during the day.  Pretty sure it worked this time because he was strapped in the pram and boob simply wasn't an option. Whatever the reason I was happy,  he had lunch and pudding and plenty of milk in a very strange environment.

About half 3 we made a move and headed for home.  The whole rigmarole of packing up everything was done again and kisses goodbye given.  It felt strange leaving without D and even stranger walking in the house without him knowing that he wouldn't just be walking in later that night.

In the old days I used to really appreciate a few hours to myself but tonight it just felt strange. No rest allowed just yet though as Poo's evening meal needed to be made,  given and his bedtime routine done. Dinner tonight for the wee man consisted of some asparagus and seafood sticks, some creamed asparagus and kiwi fruit to finish.  Strange combo but he enjoyed everything so that's a success in my book.

With the little one finally down for bed I got on with the important job of ordering take away. As I opened the door to my delivery, the baby with his impeccable timing opened his mouth and screamed. Half an hour later I was eating my luke warm dinner. After only an hour staring at the TV, the early start and the prospect of another night of nightfeeds sent me up to bed.

I was awake at 10 to feed him. And again at 2. At that point my sniffling cold kicked in and I was wide awake.

Two hours later and I'm still not sleepy and suspect the wee one will wake within the next half hour anyway so what's the point in even trying?

Hopefully we'll get a couple of hours after the next feed and we can start tomorrow and whatever it brings.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Every baby is different

One thing I've learned as a mum is that every baby is different.  This seems like an obvious statement but there are some things that some people don't realise.

My little fella rolls, sits like a Champ, laughs,  giggles and chats away to me.  He enjoys his food but isn't a fan of breakfast but really loves satsumas.

But then I have friends whose babies are a similar age and don't do some of these things. But then those babies will do things such as sleep through the night! Something Oscar definitely does not do.

For a while now it's been difficult to see other breastfed babies sleeping through and wondering what I was doing wrong.  The long and short of it is that I'm not doing anything wrong. I'm frequently asked by family and friends if he's sleeping through and receive lots of suggestions of things to try.

But then I read the information in this website: https://www.isisonline.org.uk/how_babies_sleep/normal_sleep_development/

As we all know every baby is different but it's not uncommon for breastfed babies to still wake for feeds at the age of 1.

I have adjusted somewhat to the lack of sleep,  you just have to.  As long as Oscar wants to breastfeed I'll continue, so, yes, I may be still feeding him in the night for many months to come.

Rest assured the minute he starts sleeping through,  you'll know about it!

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

The hunt for baby friendly

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

This quote has often been on my mind in my lifetime and a recent dining experience brought it to mind again.

Over the last six months my social life has been mainly limited to spending time with my "mummy friends". Don't get me wrong,  I love this and love spending time with them.  We started off meeting in the same place quite frequently, well it was summer, the sun was shining and most of us could walk there. It was perfect.

Then the weather got less fantastic, boredom set in and so began the hunt for "baby friendly" venues to devour cake. Not massively difficult normally,  but there is always at least three of us, with babies, prams etc.... It ain't that easy.

I foolishly assumed that if a place has highchairs they will be welcoming. WELCOMING and able actually. Wrong!

One of the first places we went to wasn't too bad. The warm and friendly delight of Clervaux. We had a Groupon voucher and I popped in the day before to let them know we were intending to redeem it. The cafe hosts NCT mother and baby meetups, so they're definitely welcoming. Just a bit of a shame that noise carries so much in there and it's quite hard to negotiate prams in there when they're busy.

The second place (Robineau) is the subject of my recent fool me reminder. We turned up one morning, four of us with babies and three prams between us. As I was first there I asked for highchairs and the lady I spoke to was happy to rearrange seats and tables and fetch high chairs etc. Sadly the waiter was less than impressed.

As usual the food was delicious but the service was sketchy. As the babies were finished eating we asked for the high chairs to be taken away, there really wasn't much room and we didn't want to get in people's way.  We laid a blanket on the floor in our little space and let the babies sit and play on that. It kept them quiet and happy and didn't disturb anyone. The service was really slow and the attitude of the waiter was unhelpful. 

One of our group doesn't drink tea or coffee and she'd asked to swap the drink on a set menu for Orange juice.  This was initially met with a negative as it was a set menu and they weren't prepared to change anything. When challenged we were told that it would be more expensive so they couldn't do it. They were pushed to check this and suddenly orange juice was not a problem!  When it came to paying it took ages to get the bill and longer to pay. By this time it was nearly lunchtime and it starting to get busy,  you'd think they'd be wanting to give us a swift exit. We uhmed and ahhed about going back, but as it's the only cafe in the village where rhyme time is, it really was that or nothing. 

So we went back a couple of weeks later, this time, only the three of us and we didn't need highchairs. We were shown to our seats very quickly and we settled the boys in to their blanket on the floor and perused the menu. We waited and waited and people arriving were having their orders taken. Eventually we enquired and we quickly were seen to after that.

The order was served fairly quickly but again we struggled to get the bill paid.  We moved to the shop at the front and found a waitress running after us asking ud to pay the bill.  I joked that we weren't running out and the waitress tried to downplay it but I don't think she was too impressed.  

They fooled me twice and now I know that just because they have high chairs it doesn't mean that they are baby friendly. 

In fact one of the best experiences I had was visiting a little vegetarian cafe in town at the back of a health food shop. It was tiny, no highchairs, but they were so accomodating in moving furniture to be able to get the pram in and checked we were happy.

Now we just need to find somewhere like that but with more room for 4/5 of us. 

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Feeling human

One thing I've done since I was a teenager is colour my hair. That's still the case, but in my late twenties I started to play around with my look and started adding pink and purple and blue into my hair. Not huge amounts, just a few strands. But it didn't feel enough.

Then in 2006 I received a diagnosis which completely changed my outlook on life. I stopped holding back and decided to just go for it. I dyed my whole head atomic pink. I loved it, but never felt comfortable with the attention it seemed to get. While I'm chatty and bubbly and will talk to anyone, I'm not massively confident and don't feel comfortable being the centre of attention.

At work I found myself interacting with more senior staff members and I wanted to be taken seriously.  I never really believed people saw past the hair. Consequently, I gradually started toning things down.

Looking at old photos recently I realised I really missed it. The hair made me feel like I was being true to myself,  like normal, despite it being a most unnatural colour!

Despite being home alone with a demanding baby this afternoon, I've finally given into the siren call.

The Pink is back and I feel NORMAL.


Thursday, 18 September 2014

Printing Memories

My family are always asking for photographs of my little one. Who can blame them for wanting pictures of such cuteness?

I was recently given an opportunity by PicStick, to review their magnetic pictures.  That was a "Hell Yeah" and we quickly received details for ordering them.

These magnetic pictures come as a sheet of nine and only cost £9.50 with free postage.  Pretty decent!

It was really easy to order, simply upload nine pictures, then drag and drop onto the template. The hardest part is choosing which 9 pictures you want! Once you've done that you can edit the picture placements to suit, and TADAHHHH that's it.

They arrived really quickly and I was surprised at the high quality and how easily they split into single magnets.



The family members have all received them but we couldn't bear to give them all away so we have kept three.

Now you too can have PicSticks and at a bargain price. Just enter the code TATTY25 for 25% discount (for the next month).

Disclosure:  We were sent a free sheet of PicStick in order to write this review.  All opinions are my own and are 100% honest.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Media misleading

I'm a huge fan of babywearing.  I currently have three different baby carriers, and love having different ways to carry my little one.  I love the feeling of having him close to me to snuggle, and we have such a laugh and a giggle together when we're walking along.   In the main the comments we receive are positive but very occasionally we get the odd negative comment from people who mistakenly believe it is dangerous to wear your baby.

What I get really annoyed about is the media getting it wrong. The latest example is the BBC programme "In the club", which showed this scene...


This particular baby carrier is not safe at all. In a bag sling, there is no safe way to position the baby. They have to lie lengthways and the sling curves them into a C-shape, pushing their chin into their neck and can restrict their airway. The design of this also means that any air they can breathe is re-circulated air.

There have been deaths associated with this sling. Wearing your baby is easy but it must be done safely for both baby and parent.

If you want to baby wear, please do your research and please find your local sling library to try before you buy, and learn how to wear your baby safely.

There are so many benefits to babywearing:
 1. Wearing a baby is convenient.
When we carry a baby in a sling, we can walk around freely and not have to worry about negotiating steps, crowds or narrow aisles with a stroller. Car seats are heavy and awkward for parents.Babies often look uncomfortable, and they are kept at knee level.  Prams are often cumbersome and bulky in heavily pedestrianised areas.  A sling can block out excess stimuli when breastfeeding an easily distracted (nosey) baby, and it allows for discreet nursing in public places. A sling can also double as a changing pad, blanket, or cushion when away from home.

2. Wearing a baby promotes physical development.
When a baby rides in a sling attached to a parent, he is in tune with the rhythm of their breathing, the sound of their heartbeat, and the movements they make – walking, bending, and reaching. This stimulation helps him to regulate his own physical responses and control his balance. The sling is in essence a "transitional womb" for the new baby, who has not yet learned to control his bodily functions and movements. Research has shown that premature babies who are touched and held gain weight faster and are healthier than babies who are not. Mechanical swings and other holding devices do not provide these same benefits.

3. Babies worn in slings are happier. Well mine is anyway :P

4. Baby-wearing is healthy for you!
It can be challenging for new mothers to find time to exercise, but if you carry your baby around with you most of the day or go for a brisk walk with your baby in hissling, you will enjoy the dual benefits of walking and "weightlifting". A long walk in the sling is also an excellent way to help a tired but over-stimulated child fall asleep. Slings are usually associated with infants, but they can be very useful for toddlers as well; most slings accommodate children up to 35 or 40 pounds. The world can be a scary place for toddlers, who feel more confident when they can retreat to the security of the sling when they need to do so. Toddlers often become over-stimulated, and a ride in the sling helps to soothe and comfort them before (or after!) a "melt-down" occurs. It can be very helpful in places like the zoo, aquarium, or museum, where a small child in a stroller would miss many of the exhibits.

5. Slings are a bonding tool for fathers, grandparents, and other caregivers.
Slings are a useful tool for every adult in a baby's life. It makes me smile when I see a father going for a walk with his baby in a sling. The baby is becoming used to his voice, heartbeat, movements and facial expressions, and the two are forging a strong attachment of their own. Fathers don't have the automatic head-start on bonding that comes with pregnancy, but that doesn't mean they can't make up for this once their baby is born. The same goes for babysitters, grandparents and all other caregivers. Cuddling up close in the sling is a wonderful way to get to know the baby in your life, and for the baby to get to know you!
Instead of running loose in crowded or dangerous places, a child in a sling is held safe and secure right next to your body. Slings also provide emotional safety when needed, so that children can venture into the world and become independent at their own pace.

6. They're budget friendly
Slings cost far less than strollers, front-carriers or backpacks. Many mothers consider the sling to be one of their most useful and economical possessions. Inexpensive used slings can be found second hand and new ones can be bought for about £30 -£100 - not bad for an item many parents use daily for two years or more! A sling can also be sewn for the price of a length of cotton, some rings and batting; sling patterns are available.

7. Slings are calming.
Studies have shown that the more babies are held, the less they cry and fuss. In indigenous cultures where baby-wearing is the norm, babies often cry for only a few minutes a day – in contrast to Western babies, who often cry for hours each day. Crying is exhausting for both the baby and his parents, and may cause long-term damage as the baby's developing brain is continually flooded with stress hormones. Babies who do not need to spend their energy on crying are calmly observing and actively learning about their environment. Baby-wearing is especially useful for colicky babies, who are far happier being worn, but placid, content babies and children will also benefit greatly from the warmth and security of being held close.

8. Baby-wearing is fun.
Who doesn't love to cuddle a precious little baby? And when your baby is older, having him in the sling makes conversations easier and allows you to observe her reactions to the wonders of the world around her. It's also fun for baby, because when she is up at eye level, other adults notice and interact with her more. Your child will feel more a part of your life when she is in her sling, and you will find yourself becoming more and more enchanted with this special little person.


It really isn't dangerous as long as you follow TICKS . 




Sunday, 7 September 2014

Trust

Everyday of my life now I have to take responsibility for someone else.  He's on my mind in everything that I do,  whether he's with me or not. He's even on my mind as I cross the road, making me more careful and taking less risks in life.

This week, we made one of the first of many decisions relating to his care and wellbeing. We chose his nursery for when I return to work. In some ways it was harder than I expected it to be.   When we first started looking into nurseries I had a list in my head of key criteria and thought it was as simple as that.

As soon as we looked at the first one I realised there were so many things that I hadn't even thought about which were so important.  With every nursery we looked at, more and more things occurred to us.

We eventually narrowed it down to two. We were left with two final questions. Which one did we feel he would be happiest at, and which one did we feel we could trust to keep him safe, and care for him in the same way we would.

It's the weirdest thing having to choose someone to look after your child, and to pay them for the privilege of spending time with him. Because,  it really is a privilege.

I'm now officially dreading 2015.

Every day that I finish work I'll be desperate to reassure myself that we have trusted the right person to take care of the most precious thing in our life.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Weaning Fun

Oscar is almost 5 months and although WHO guidance states weaning shouldn't begin before babies are 6 months old, we've been letting him, and encouraging him to taste food. Until recently we'd limited it to sucking cucumber, tomatoes and funnily enough lemons which he loves.

Following a chat with the HV yesterday we were strongly supported to properly begin weaning.

There tends to be two ways to wean, traditional weaning with purees at Stage 1, and Baby Led weaning. Baby Led is a more modern way of weaning.  Essentially is placing food in front of a baby and letting them feed themselves. One of the main advantages being that at six months, babies are more likely to be developmentally capable of feeding themselves without turning food to mush.

I'm personally inclined to combining the two methods. Purees of combinations of flavours gradually increasing in texture and baby led allowing him to pick up food, feel the textures and decide for himself what he wants.

He clearly loves both, this week so far has been pureed beetroot with potato and pieces of plum and apricots.

He's a happy boy when he has food to play with.

 plums!

Beetroot!




Monday, 25 August 2014

Bank Holiday Mum Style

It's the last British Bank Holiday before Christmas, yay!!

Its time to go all out and make the most of a day off... Oh wait. I don't get days off 😛

I woke at 6 and fed the wee boy, he dozed off until about 7, I didn't.  From 7 until half 8 the wee boy was wide awake and wanted to play with his favourite toy.  Me.

At half 8 he fed again and zonked out for a nap allowing me time to get up and get dressed before rushing out the house for 9.20 to quickly run some errands. Don't worry the other half had just woken up and was keeping an eye on him.

Errands run and the car filled with diesel we sat down for my first coffee of the day and breakfast at about 10am.

Once done it was time to tidy up, hang some clothes out,  put another load on and tidy upstairs. Fed the wee boy again and put my hair dye on before spending the half hour cooking my hair and playing with the wee boy and practicing sitting and kneeling.

Quick shower and rinse off the hair dye, then dry my hair. Cue one tired and grumpy baby who is seriously fighting his nap and the other half in quite a bit of pain waiting for painkillers to work. Grab the baby and do a bit of tidying etc while bouncing the baby.  Other half makes a fantastic cuppa while I feed the wee boy again and he finally falls asleep.

Ten minutes later he's wide awake and wants to play.  Set the baby up with some toys and spend a quick ten minutes getting his changing bag ready before we hit the shops for supplies.

Go to two shops and then travel to his Nan's, during which he finally gets a 20 minute nap. At his Nan's I'm grateful for a sandwich,  some cake and a cuppa before I need to feed him again.

After a little play with his nan, we're sat on the floor together but he wants to sit and stand so needs to be supervised.

15 minutes of lots of giggles and he goes over to his dad for lots of tickles and bouncing and flying like SuperBaby before the crying starts because he's tired.

A nice quiet journey home as he sleeps and on arrival home we have a wide awake baby. Luckily he's content to stay in his car seat while I help my other half do his Ice Challenge for Motor Neurone Disease. As soon as that's done he wants another feed.

A quick feed and I can leave him to play with his dad while I prep dinner. As soon as dinner is cooking it's time to start the bedtime routine.

After a lovely massage and clean clothes for bed is time to climb the stairs for the bedtime feed. That was over an hour ago and he's still feeding.  The other half has been and bought our naan bread to go with the curry I've cooked.

At some point Oscar will decide he's fuelled up enough for the night ahead and all being well go straight to sleep.

Now that's how a new mum's bank holiday rolls. I wouldn't change it 😍

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Following advice

Oscar is now 19w and 6 and we're currently struggling with a change in his sleep pattern.

To try and get my head round it and fix it I've been discussing it with close friends, family, and also generally having a bit of a moan about sleep deprivation on social media. Yes I'm aware, typing this at 5am is really not going to help me 😉

However I've got a new issue to deal with. when everyone has been so helpful with advice and talking about their own experiences, you become so swamped with ideas you don't know what to do for best!

So... I've decided to stop . Let's just roll with it, keep following my own instincts and keep reminding myself, it ain't going to last forever.

#sleepdeprivedzombie

Friday, 8 August 2014

The Eternal Student

Today, as I returned from the library I realised something. I am now and will always be, forever more, a student.

Since becoming a mum I've attended various classes and talks provided by the local authority, and to further my own desire to know more I search the Internet and visit the library.

Well I'm a clueless new mum, so what do you expect? But it doesn't end there does it?

In years to come I need to learn about and research so much. There's just so much to learn, and everyday is a new lesson.

It's fun being a student!

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Being positive

I'm not normally a fan of meme's, but there's one doing the rounds at the moment which has my full support. It's one that I firmly believe everyone should do, every day, even if they just do it in their head and don't share it with the world.

The current popular meme invites people to post daily their three positives for that day for a week.

My only problem is actually narrowing it down to three! I've always been a "glass half full " kind of gal but this really went into overdrive in 2006 when I developed a real appreciation for being alive and appreciating all the small things, and started to let go of the things that really don't matter. If you can't change it, or it's not in your control, just let it go.

Every day I wake up happy and appreciative of my life, the things I have, and the people I share my life with. Of course there are things in my life which are not perfect, but even on the most miserable and shittiest of days I can look around me and just be grateful.

If you haven't been doing this, try the meme and then turn it into a habit. You'll be much happier for it.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Attack of the guilts

Last night I did something I've never done before and was wracked with guilt. Typically it's not even something I consciously did, but the finger of blame is shouting at me in my head.

Of course I know it was probably a one off, and no harm came of it...but THE GUILT!

As many of you know I wear two hearing aids and BB (Before Baby), I took my hearing aids out for bed.  Obviously I can't do that anymore and have taken to just turning off the one against my pillow.

I've occasionally rolled over in my sleep and as my active hearing aid hits the pillow the feedback prompts me to switch one off and the other on. I can only assume I was so knackered I just turned it off without switching the other one on.

Of course this meant the sound of the baby waking went unheard,  the sound of hungry grumbles were unheard, but the sound of his wailing went on for long enough to eventually alert the OH to wake up and I was subsequently woken very abruptly by a shove.

Of course he was fine, snuggled straight in for a feed and went straight back to sleep.

I, on the other hand,  barely slept at all for fear of repetition!  My social worker for the deaf gave me a baby monitor with a vibrating alert specifically to help with this,  the only problem is it vibrates at the slightest noise instead of the louder baby is awake and hungry noise.  Not helpful.

Oscar is now almost too big for his crib and we're about to start introducing him to the cotbed in the nursery.  This is going to be challenging and I suspect I'm about to really experience sleep deprivation!

Saturday, 7 June 2014

What they don't tell you

All my life I've known that if I had the chance to have a baby I was going to do my damndest to breastfeed.

So there I was, pregnant. Determined . With boobs. Ready.

Midwife: How are you planning to feed baby?
Me: Breast
Midwife: Marvellous! Make sure you go to the parenting class to learn everything you need to know.

*at parenting class*

"Breast is best.... No faffing about in the night... Less to carry...drink plenty "

Marvellous says I! I know everything I need to know. Right? Nuh-uh.

They don't talk about flat nipples, leaky boobs, how many muslins you need, and that breast fed babies still get wind.

And they definitely don't tell you how long baby may feed for. Ok in the main it's about 15-20 minutes,  but then you get the occasional marathon session. Setting times to go places and meet people are loosely made,  friends begin to realise that you're either going to be late,  or arrive and lob a boob out before you've barely even said hello.


This post is brought to you from the sofa,  waiting to get dressed for a much needed shopping trip for nappies with baby still feeding over hour and a half!
Still wouldn't change a thing. :-D


Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Relax Baby


With a young baby in the house it can be hard to find time to relax. It's also a bit tricky to get the baby to relax for bed, especially when Daddy works late and arrives home and the baby gets excited!  I kid you not, he may only be 9 weeks old but the minute Daddy walks through that door he's all smiles and giggles for him, no matter if he's been Grumpy Baby all day.

I've been looking to find ways to settle him down on an evening and build a routine for him including, bath, massage, feed, cuddles, and eventually sleep. As well as trying to work out the order of each of those things to suit both us and Oscar, I was also a bit clueless how best to massage a baby.

There are all sorts of videos available on places like You Tube, but none that I can see by any professionals, or that are particularly instructive.  I was recently contacted by the New Stork Times to review their downloadable "Massage for Happy Babies Routine".  It's on special offer at the moment until the end of June and can be downloaded for the reduced price of £4.99 (normally £7.99) from their website: http://www.newstorktimes.co.uk/shop/.  It's produced by a professional maternity reflexologist and infant massage instructor.

The video is a demonstration in real time with a step by step instruction to massage and relax your baby, it allows you to easily follow along.  I initially made the mistake of trying to watch and do at the same time.  I'd definitely recommend you watch it a couple of times first, and then you can be better prepared, and really just use it as a prompt.

The first time we did this properly together I wasn't sure it was really going to work. Oscar was definitely giving me some WTF vibes! I guess it was the first time we had tried something like this, and it was all new and crazy to him.  After about 10 minutes I really began to see him just chill out.  He was still quite noisy, cooing every so often and flinging his arms about, but his noises and movements were much more "chilled out baby" than "stressed out baby".  Now he settles straight into it immediately.

The routine involves more than just massage and includes some stretches which is especially great if little one has spent some time in his car seat that day.

The final part of the routine is baby on their tummy, which Oscar isn't too keen on just yet.  It's not recommended until baby is about 16 weeks or comfortable on their tummies, so we left that bit for now.

All in all it's 30 minutes of baby bonding, relaxation for both of you, and builds yours and your baby's confidence.  Since starting this I've seen Oscar stretching and reaching so much more.

As well as the massage, if you purchase it you also receive other downloads for free:

Relaxation for New Mothers
Relaxation for New Mothers Hypnotherapy Audio from Cariad Hypnotherapy. Tracey specialises in hypnobirthing and hypnofertility.
New Stork Times Baby Massage Routine eBook It also includes some common FAQ’s
Baby Sleep Solution Report and Audio
Baby Bowen Report
Understanding and Treating Baby Colic eBook
You can find them on Facebook here
https://www.facebook.com/newstorktimes and twitter @newstorktimes

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Working mum

Being on maternity leave has freed up so much time, I can bake, get my house in order, finish all those unfinished projects, right?

WRONG!

So many people assume that my life now consists of coffee mornings, baking, and watching box sets on Netflix, and that I'll be home anytime they decide to drop in, or that if am at home it will be convenient to call round and cuddle Oscar.

I get to have an afternoon with the girls once week to catch up, exchange hi's and lows and show off our babies. I have appointments at breastfeeding clinics, doctors appointments, shopping to do, a never ending mountain of washing, drying and ironing to do, amongst lots and lots of other mundane tasks.

Oh and I have a baby to feed and look after throughout all of these things. It isn't easy. He doesn't sleep and feed according to my schedule and around things I need to do, so I've become an expert at multi tasking and can even hang out washing while holding the baby.

It's bloody hard, especially when you've had next to no sleep for two days because someone is having a growth spurt and is cluster feeding.

But.... I wouldn't change a thing. He is my world and will come first above everything. So forgive me if I sometimes don't answer the phone, reply to a text message, or acknowledge a comment. I'm busy working as a mum.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Getting the shopping in

I recently signed up for the opportunity to be a #MorrisonsMums along with lots of other bloggers.  Over the years I've shopped at a number of different supermarkets, and tended to favour two of them in the main, swapping between them depending on offers available, and how flush we are! 

When I told my OH what I was doing he got rather excited. He's fairly unique in his species in that he generally doesn't mind going to the supermarket, but he got a bit excited about this, especially when I showed him that Morrisons have permanently lowered the prices of over 1000 every day foods.  For a Bank Holiday shop we would probably normally have taken ourselves to one of the other favoured supermarkets, so we were interested to see how successful this shopping trip would be.


I'm a frequent shopper at Morrisons and can generally predict how much I'll be paying at the till by glancing at the contents of my trolley.  OH and I took the opportunity to treat ourselves a little with this shop.  We stocked up the freezer, topped up the beer stocks, picked up nappies and baby supplies, and purchased items we may normally have gone to a local bargain store for.  I was worried looking at the content of our trolley that we may have blown our budget. Can you believe we had change to spare? That's impressive!

One of the things I love about Mozzers is the wide variety of fruit and vegetables on offer. I'm yet to try everything that's available, but now prices have dropped I'm looking forward to trying a few more things Signs pointing out the reduced prices, and plenty of stock even though it was Sunday on a Bank Holiday weekend!

The final thing that pleased me as we left was a trip to change Oscar's nappy. Nappy changes are not normally cause to smile, I do understand your confusion!  As I've never needed to change a nappy in a supermarket before I asked about baby changing facilities.  As well as being given directions, I was asked if I had everything I needed. I was a bit puzzled by this question, but once inside the changing facilities, all was revealed:



Clearly a baby and parent friendly supermarket - perfect for a #MorrisonsMum

As Oscar was 5 weeks old on Bank Holiday Monday we decided to cook a real treat of a dinner with our shopping.  For me there was only one criteria, it had to contain something I'd deprived myself of throughout the pregnancy.


Steak.  Yes I know I can eat steak when pregnant, but if I can't have it rare, I just don't see the point.  We each had a good sized thick rump steak and cooked it to our very rare tastes.

To prep the steak I ensured they were left out to reach room temperature, and then rubbed down with a little olive oil and then seasoned.  I prefer to fry my steaks, so heated a frying pan up on a high heat, and then added the steaks to the hot, dry frying pan.  With the pan being so hot, and the oil on the steaks, they only needed a couple of minutes on each side to get them well cooked on the outside, and rare in the middle.  Perfect!Served these with mini corn cobs, jacket potato, mushrooms and coleslaw; and we had a veritable feast!

Amazingly dinner only cost us about £7.00, which is bloody good!  If we'd done a Roast Chicken dinner, I think we could have managed that for four servings at about £2 each.  Morrisons have definitely got prices to shout about.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Pretty breastfeeding underwear

A while back,when boobs first started their pregnancy bloom, I struggled with finding nursing bras in those larger sizes, and that were also pretty, and affordable.  Following Oscar's arrival, the post baby bloom arrived and the search was on once more.

My friend Annie who shares similar traits to me sent me a link one day which brought a ray of hope.  She suggested I look at an online shop, very appropriately called nursing-brashop.  At first glance I was immediately impressed by the set up and the very clear indications that it catered to sizes across the board, including those elusive larger sizes.

As well as browsing by size you can also browse by brand, and by type. I was impressed with the variety of types of bras available.  Far better than I'd been able to search for elsewhere.

I quickly placed an order for two bras, one plain and simple, and one pretty one as a treat for myself.  The shop made me even happier when I discovered free UK delivery was part of the service. As I'd ordered quite late in the day I knew dispatch wouldn't be same day, but I received an email the next day advising me about dispatch.  Unfortunately it transpired that my luxury bra was not in stock in my size and I was given an apology and offer of either cancelling that element of my order with a refund, or I could wait approximately a week for it to come in.  I opted to wait, and within a couple of days I'd received my plain one, and within a week I received an update to advise me the second bra was on its way to me.

Is it sad that I was excited about this?  Sadly for me when it arrived I'd guessitimated my size incorrectly, but the returns/exchange process couldn't have been easier!  It would have been nice if the postage for this had been free, but with free UK delivery I can't really complain.  My exchange was seamless, and alternative size was received exceptionally quickly.

Everyone I've talked to who has searched for larger size nursing bras has somehow missed out on this little gem.  All you bigbreasted nursing mums, do go take a peep at what's on offer.  Let's face it, our chebs deserve a little TLC.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Finding a third option

It's 6am, of course he's fast asleep after his latest feed and I'm knackered but wide awake. There's a faint smell of dirty nappy in the air as I can't quite see where I put that last wet nappy and I'm certain I'll find it when I roll over shortly.  I'm so tired this morning and I'd love to go back to sleep, but of course it's that awkward time isn't it? Too early to be up and about, and almost time to be getting on with the day.  After all he's going to need a feed again shortly, and if I want the opportunity of looking half decent by a reasonable time, and having everything ready to enjoy a full Saturday out I should probably start now.

But it's a toss up between looking half decent and being really organised, but feeling like a zombie on their final lurch; or looking like crap because I grabbed a couple of hours extra kip and end up rushing around at the last minute.

There is of course the third option which I can see myself hurtling towards which is where I procrastinate for so long that the next feed has arrived without me actually achieving anything of value so I end up disorganised while also looking and feeling like crap.

The third option is the most common, the least wanted, and seemingly unavoidable this morning.  My head is full of the things I need to do, things I could do and never have time for during the day, but no, my backside is stuck to the bed and my eyes are wide open.

I'll try again tomorrow.

Monday, 28 April 2014

4 weeks of learning

It's been 4 weeks and one day since this blog was last updated. Ordinarily I'd begin with an apology but quite frankly I have the best excuse in the world.  On 31 March, D and I welcomed Oscar into our lives.

The last four weeks have taught me so much, and brought so much joy.  There's so much I could say and I'm trying hard not to become mummy bore!

Now that Oscar has arrived I'm hoping this blog will be a mix of entries about him, us, things we do, things I've learned, family life, and stuff which isn't about being a parent.

If there is a particular subject you'd like me to write about do let me know.  Writing begins in earnest tomorrow!

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Hanging on



Happy Mother's Day for those of you in the UK.  Today I had hoped to be one of those mums gazing at their creations in awe thinking, "I made that!". Looking unlikely isn't it?

Its actually a really tricky period. I'm now 10 days over my due date, so I can confidently say that in less than a week our baby will have arrived, but, it does mean that I have lot of interested parties keeping a close eye on me.  It's weird to think how many people are waiting for news and at times it can feel a little overwhelming.

I have this miracle growing inside of me that appears to be reluctant to make an appearance; and I have a large group of people practically willing it to make an appearance on a daily basis.
How many times over the last 2-3 weeks I've heard, 'you should try...' and 'have you tried...?'.  Yes. I've tried them all and lets face it baby isn't going to come until its ready.

People seem frustrated by the lack of movement. Me? Yeah I'm frustrated but not in the same way. I'm told by numerous mums to just enjoy these last few days of pregnancy. Believe me, I'm trying but its not easy. It's so tempting to lock the door and turn off the phone and stay away from social media, but then I remember that there are so many people who are just waiting to hear and I know I can't do that.

If there was something I could do, I would, but I can't. Patience is a virtue it seems many of us lack, especially when it comes to an overdue baby.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Countdown to D Day

Today is the day before my due date.  As I've progressed through this pregnancy I've had the pleasure of getting to know other mums-to-be, some of who I just know will be part of my life for many years to come.

It seems as each day passes and I get closer and closer to meeting Wrigglebum, those friends I've made are all having their babies. Of course I'm so pleased for them, but I'm starting to get impatient now.

I always said that I expected to be overdue, and unless something happens quickly today/tomorrow I'm thinking I'm right!

Midwife appointment today confirmed my suspicion of a growth spurt, and baby has grown 4 cms in the last fortnight!  That seems massive to me.  We were talking at my appointment about what weight baby might be, and of course length is not an indicator of weight, but my lovely midwife reckoned it might be at the top end of 7 pounds.  

My initial guess on the board at work was 7lb 8oz I think with a due date of 27 March....

Hmmm think I might be close!

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

The Age Old Question

A couple of friends and I recently found ourselves debating the question of just how old is too old?

When I think back to being a child and my hopes and dreams for the future, having a child in my late 30's was definitely out of the question.  But as the years went by, the opportunities have been numerous, but they never felt right. It was never the right person or the right time,and it's important to me to have both of those factors right.

As such I find myself approaching my 38th birthday and just about to have my first child.  Do I have any regrets?  No.  It does mean I'm extremely unlikely to have the big brood of kids I always hoped to have, but it means that I can be the best parent I can possibly be to the one I do have.

In terms of age, yeah in comparison to other first time mums in my area, I'm definitely older than the average.  But, I don't feel old.  I'm glad I'm doing it now though, I think much longer and I might have started to worry that I wouldn't be able to be healthy  or fit enough to run around with a growing child, to keep my energy up and stay involved in all the fun things we're going to do together.

Interestingly, a recent article on Parentdish identified that the number of over 40 first time mums is on the increase and for the first time ever is higher than the number of teenage pregnancies. I think this does depend on where you live though.

I'd be really interested to hear your thoughts about the right/wrong age to have children. When did you/dp you plan to have yours? Do you wish you'd done things differently?  How old is too old?

Belly up!

I was recently sent two different belly balms to try out, and provide feedback on. Quite often when I'm asked to trial two products I don't really identify any major differences, nor can I say that I massively favour one over another.

Normally....  this time is very different.  The two products I had to test were:

Jason Natural Care Vitamin E Oil

and

Baby Stella's Butter

The first main difference between the two is one is an oil and one is a butter.  Ordinarily I'd favour the oil in terms of application, but not so with these.  I found the oil to be so thick it was really difficult to apply, it dragged across my skin during application, leaving it looking quite red.  The butter was a dream to apply, tiny quantities go a long way, and it seems to melt into an oil the instant it touches my skin.   It just melts over, and into my skin.

Generally I'm left unsatisfied with products like these.  They feel wonderful going on, but within an hour it would seem like nothing had ever been applied and my dry, uncomfortable skin would be back.

Looking at, and touching my skin after about an hour it was clear the differences between the two products continued.  The oil had left my skin sticky to the touch, and all I wanted to do was wash it off.  The butter left my skin so soft, smooth and hydrated.

Neither product I tried had any kind of odour, but the butter does come in the additional scents of Bergamot; Lavender; Orange; and Cedarwood, Patchouli & Grapefruit.  It's not just great for Mum to be's bumps, but as it's totally natural it's great for putting on scars, and even for massaging baby.

Neither product is particularly cheap, both being more expensive than my current product, BUT the butter is worth it's price.  It will last a long time as a little goes a long way without the need for reapplication during the day.  Even my midwife was impressed when she examined me today, and completely unprompted commented on the softness of my belly, particularly the butter side.

I think it's clear the Baby Stella Butter is a winner for me, and I can't wait to use it on wrigglebum!



Please note I was not paid to write a review on either of these products, my views are my own personal views.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

The final few weeks

At 36 weeks I'm now really starting to tire. I can't sleep properly, I'm never comfortable, and my tolerance of other people's crap is virtually zilch.

On the flip side, I've never felt happier, more attractive, or more content.

I've never been a good sleeper, always late to bed with continuous broken sleep, and an early riser.  That certainly isn't going to change!  On the plus side as soon as I finish work in just over a week I can start napping during the day.  Ah silver linings eh?

My pelvis hurts, I'm constantly uncomfortable.  However, the physiotherapist has arranged for a support belt, which I'm hopefully picking up this morning, and the exercises do help.  I shan't let this SPD stop me being active in these last few weeks of my pregnancy.

My patience is wearing thin. Yeah well, we all have crap to deal with in our lives.You do what you can about it, and just try to make the best out of what you're left with.  I've got so much to get done at home, not all of it will happen before baby arrives, but you know what?  That's fine, it'll all be fine.  I've got other things to worry about.

The birth plan is done, and I was pleased D was there for that so he really gets how I want to do this.  Now it's just a question of waiting to see.  When will it happen?  What will it be?

I'm so excited now.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Caring for the future

As we go through life, only the very few and the very lucky can say they are not affected by major health problems with either themselves, their family, or their friends.

Like many people out there I've had my fair share of hits and near misses with the Big C in its many devious forms. Its something that can strike even the healthiest of people and have devastating impact.

I've fundraised numerous times for Cancer Research and for Think Pink events, and once for testicular cancer. Yesterday I was made aware of a charity I hadn't heard of before who are working hard to fight a cancer that more than one of friends have unfortunately been affected by in recent times.

The Brain Tumour Charity are raising their profile and trying draw support and awareness of the various ways this can affect people while working hard on treatments and cures.

Their big day is on 7 March for which they are encouraging people to wear a bandana. I probably won't wear one as I'll probably be behind closed doors at that point, but I'll be making a donation.

Our future is unknown and out of hands. Whether you believe in a God, or some other higher force, the ones that can really help need our support and our fundraising to be able to help us and those we care about.

Show your support in whatever small way you can.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Feeling the joy

The one thing that has struck me throughout my pregnancy is just how happy others are for me. It really blows me away and sometimes it comes from the direction that you least expect it.

Today's very evident glee at the late discovery of my pregnancy came from Tom the wineman. The title may give some clue as to why he was unaware that I am preggers. No, I don't mean he's a wino, he's the man who I get my wine from and have enjoyed many an evening with  him propping up his bar. So, obviously, I haven't seen him for the last 8 months.

When he spotted me today through the window of his bar his face was a picture and he ran out of his bar to give me a hug. Bless, I think he may have been as pleased as I am!

33 weeks and 5 days.....

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Favourite thing about pregnancy

Make no bones about it,  I've been bloody lucky with my pregnancy.  A little morning sickness which stopped about week 16, and now some sciatica. That's it.  I know I've got off lightly.  No swelling,  a neat bump (albeit getting bigger by the day), and generally feeling pretty well.

It got me thinking about how everyone's experience is different,  but for women to keep going through this, some of us multiple times,  there must be things we really enjoy about being pregnant.  Moments we savour,  little things which create excitement, glee, and bring a smile to our face.

I realised mine today.   I'm in love with my pregnant body. I don't have full length mirrors at home and rarely see anything but my head in mirrors.  But, at work, I have to take the lift up to my floor now, and it has mirrors.  Oh boy!  Whenever I get out of the lift I'm beaming from ear to ear.  I find myself giving my belly a rub and saying a few words of encouragement to wrigglebum. I savour those 30 seconds.

If you've been/are pregnant,  what's your pregnancy joy moment?

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

List making

At night when I can't sleep,  I try to relax and clear my mind but I can't seem to shut my brain down.  I'm forever thinking of all the things that I need to do and the list just seems to get longer and I wonder why I'm wasting time trying to sleep. 

Sometimes just writing everything down and putting a date that I'm going to complete it helps.

My current list is missing completion dates.  I'm trying to determine need vs want and prioritise everything.  I'm not wonder woman and I don't have vast sums of money in the bank so I'm trying not to put too much pressure on myself.  I'm looking forward to the feeling of satisfaction in crossing them all off. .. Only problem is for every item I cross off,  two more get added on.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Project Time

In our bid to do the nursery on a budget it's time for a project!

Over the summer we acquired one of these from Freecycle:



Only... ours doesn't look like that.  It had been kept in a chicken house for some time and is in very poor condition.  We also got a pine cotbed second hand from a friend, and the wood of the two items is very different.

But you know beggars can't be choosers.... and I do love a craft project.

Watch this space to see what we end up with!  *fingers crossed*

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Dumping (forgive the pun), vs.reusing

If your little one could look like this: 



or like this: 


which one would you choose?  On looks alone I know which one I would choose, but there's so much more to consider.  While it would feel good to do something for the environment, ultimately it comes down to costs for me.

I'm unhappy with the idea of forking out money on a regular basis and lugging home large quantites of disposable nappies with my groceries every week.  It seems so wasteful as well to use something once and throw it away.  But... they are easy to use and are less hassle in terms of maintenance.

So what are the real benefits to using re-useable nappies.  When I first started looking into this I knew nothing about them except OMG they're so cute!  I didn't have a clue about what they were made of (not nasty terry towel anymore - try warm fluffy fleece), and how they actually worked.  I mean do you really put a used dirty nappy in a washing machine? *shudder* (btw the answer is no)

So... here's what I've found out so far, and if you've got any useful experiences to note, or hints and tips, please do leave a comment at the bottom for others to see!

1. They are definitely better for the environment.  Reusing nappies is reported to save up to 40% carbon emissions.  There's no reason why wet nappies can't just go in a regular wash of clothes. 

2. The initial outlay can be quite expensive, but over time it saves money, on average about £500 including washing costs.

3. Unlike disposable nappies they don't smell.  Disposable nappies have a chemical in the nappy liner which react with urine causing the smell.  Solid contents can be flushed away without any lingering smells in your bin!

4. Although bulkier than disposables, they can aid a baby's posture and development as they keep the baby's hips apart at the right angle.

5. And to finish on a nice round number - there are so many patterns and colours to choose from, I might die from cute overload!