Third Trimester – My Pregnancy So Far!

Wow – so much for blogging more during my pregnancy! I’ve just reached the third trimester and I feel like my feet haven’t touched the ground… 

I’m sure everyone feels the same about subsequent pregnancies – especially if your other child or children are little – you don’t really get quite as much time to think about it! With my first pregnancy, I noticed every little change in my body, and revelled in every little kick. I also instagrammed my growing bump every week or so, I knew precisely how many weeks pregnant I was (including days!) and read my pregnancy app information with vigour every day. I devoured articles on pregnancy, practised meditation, chanted positive affirmations and read a book about hypnobirthing. 

Fast forward to this pregnancy, I’m lucky if I remember I’m actually pregnant most days – well, apart from the fact I could give Kimmy K a run for her money in the preggo-fatness stakes and I’m going through a large box of Rennies a day! 

There’s so much I could waffle on about, so I’ll break it down into sections. Here goes… 

Symptoms and health 

The first 12 weeks of this pregnancy were staggeringly shattering. I don’t think I’ve ever felt as exhausted in my life! It didn’t help that my toddler weighs the same as a baby elephant, and still demands being picked up and lugged about a fair bit. Even getting him into his car seat in the morning felt like I’d done a day’s graft! Luckily, the severe tiredness lifted after the first trimester but I’m still finding it quite tough with Little J, who’s now decided that he prefers walking to his buggy – until his little legs get tired after ten minutes, of course! Sheesh. 

Other pregnancy symptoms such as indigestion came on thick and fast this time. I’ve been prescribed omeprazole but it doesn’t touch the sides, so I’m hoping to progress to Zantac pretty soon. As far as pregnancy problems go, indigestion doesn’t sound like a biggie but it’s pretty miserable feeling sick for hours after I’ve eaten anything! Urgh, 

Apart from that, I’m fine and enjoying my pregnancy! I just have to do everything a bit slower at the mo…

The baby 

My two scans were absolutely lovely, and this time we decided to find out the gender at the 20 week scan. We didn’t find out with Little J, but I felt that I’d like to be organised this time! I didn’t mind what we were having, although my husband not-so-secretly wanted another boy! 

I must admit though, when we were told we were (probably, of course!) having a little GIRL I was absolutely thrilled! I was more or less expecting a boy but I cried a bit when I was told the news, happy tears of course! I can’t wait to introduce the little miss to all my favourite Disney films – and dress her in pink tutus of course ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Don’t ask me about names though, I had a cracker in mind for a boy, but agreeing on a girly name has been a toughie. 

I felt a little concerned at first, as I didn’t feel her moving as much at such an early stage – but my second scan revealed I had an anterior placenta. I can now happily report she is very wriggly indeed! 

My plans for the birth 

Little J was breech, wedged in and born by elective Caesarian. Because of this, I’m having a presentation scan at 36 weeks to find out if my baby is also massively awkward! 

Being completely honest, a VBAC doesn’t fill me with joy at all, so I’m still considering opting for another section – which, because of my age, the fact I’ve never laboured before and my previous scar etc, is ok by all accounts. My first one wasn’t a walk in the park to recover from though, but the actual birthing experience was hugely positive and beautiful! I loved it. Considering many VBACS end up in theatre anyway, after potentially hours of labour, I’m thinking it could be the best option, as I’m slightly terrified. It’s a toughie though. Any words of wisdom from seasoned VBAC-ers would be very much appreciated. 

My plans for life with a newborn 

I obviously can’t wait for teeny newborn snuggles, but there are a few things I’ll be doing differently this time…

Combination feeding 

Little J was a bottle refuser which was very hard to deal with at times, as I did pretty much 100% of the night wake-ups for 23 months while he was breastfeeding. It also meant that I couldn’t leave his side for longer than a couple of hours until he was pretty much a year old! I followed the rules by leaving it until he was 9 weeks old until I introduced a bottle and he never took to it, despite trying every single bottle and following every bit of advice I was given. This baby is having a bottle once a day, right from the start! I’m going to try the Munchkin Latch bottles, after reading some great things about them, and will either give the baby an ounce or two of pumped milk or formula every day on top of the evening boob feed – just to hopefully ensure that she’s a little bit less of a boob-monster than her big brother! Being self employed, I won’t be able to have as much time off like I did with J, so a baby that is slightly more flexible would be wonderful. They all do their own thing though, hey?! I can but try. 

As a side note, Little J finialising stopped breastfeeding ALL BY HIMSELF! I had reduced the feeds to twice a day (morning and before bed) and, after gradually stopping the morning feed, he was down to one a day. Just as I was beginning to panic and Google “tandem breastfeeding” (as bloody if, I’m sorry but NO!) he dropped the night feed by himself. One night, in my fourth month of pregnancy, I offered him my boob and he blew a raspberry on it, laughed, lay down and went to sleep! And that was that. Phew. 

Co-sleeping crib 

I’m planning to buy one of those snazzy looking co-sleeping cribs, which will hopefully help the baby to sleep for longer. Little J slept in his Moses Basket until he was almost five months old! He absolutely loved it, and I only moved him to his cot when he was practically touching the top and bottom of the basket with his head and feet! He slept through the night from 8 weeks old in his basket, and stopped as soon as I moved him to his cot. I know all babies are different but I think he liked the secure feeling the basket provided so I’m thinking that a bigger co-sleeper might be the way forward…

Nailing the routine

This time, I’m hoping to nail down my “getting out of the house” routine so it won’t take around 3-4 hours – ha ha! I was completely useless with J, but I think I may have been a teeny bit soft in responding to his every teeny wimper and whim…I once started getting ready at 9am, to meet my sister and her baby at the park at 1pm. At 1.15pm I phoned her in tears saying I still wasn’t ready and to top it off, J had just done a humongous poo as I was getting my bag ready to leave. Please somebody tell me this gets easier! I’d love to be one of those mums who has her shizz together in this area! Any tips?? 

Double buggy or buggy board?

After much contemplation, I’ve decided that a tandem buggy might be the best option, given the fact that J (who was 2 in March) still requires a chariot from time to time! I was considering a new Baby Jogger City Select as I LOVE my City Mini GT, but I’m now being swayed by something a bit lighter such as a Phil & Ted’s Sport – and preferably a second hand one. I’m absolutely looking for something with proper tyres rather than a stroller type double – I hate strollers, I find them hugely difficult to push and manoeuvre and would choose a three-wheeler with chunky wheels that bounce up kerbs any day! I’m thinking that I’ll probably go back to using my old City MinI GT again with a buggy board when J gets a bit more into walking for longer. Any suggestions more than welcome. 

That’s pretty much it! My only concerns are the shorter maternity leave, and because I’m self employed I’m just hoping I can get some of my lovely contracts back as I’ve been very lucky to work with some great people and clients since taking the leap. Here’s hoping! All massively exciting though, of course – and I’m very pleased to note that my little country town seems to be having a baby boom at the moment, so I’m thinking that I’ll have some wonderful ladies on hand to share my experiences with… Eeeek!  

Peace x

Evie 
 

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It’s the little things…

Hey mamas! Sorry I’ve not blogged for EONS. I am clearly rubbish. In my defence, I have moved house and had a particularly busy period at work. Things are getting back to normal now though, and I’m settling in to our new pad!
We lived in a small cottage before, but we’ve moved to a much bigger house mainly on account of the sheer amount of shizzle that small people accumulate. It’s lovely to have lots more room and a garden for J to play in ๐Ÿ™‚

In other news, J was Christened last Sunday.  It was a lovely day and great to see some family members that we’ve not seen for ages. Just fabulous! J liked being Christened, he tried to jump in the font and splashed water everywhere. Standard! 

Hopefully I will get my ass in gear now, and blog more often ๐Ÿ™‚

This post has been forming in my mind for a while. Before I forget about the little things about motherhood in a fog of baby brain (yep, still got it), I want to share some recommendations for some smaller bits and bobs that I’ve found to be particularly helpful in the last 18 months of being a mummy. These things aren’t particularly expensive ones, but things that I’ve stumbled upon or been advised to try by my fabulous network of mum friends and family members. 

I love reading this kind of thing myself, so here goes…

1. White noise app or Ewan the Dream Sheep

Using white noise was recommended to me after a four month-old Little J decided that sleep was for losers (after sleeping through the night from 10.30pm – 8am since he was eight weeks old, just to lull me into a false sense of smug security – HA.)

The idea is that babies are very much used to continual white or ambient noise whilst in the womb, in fact it can get to a whopping 90 decibels in there apparently, what with mummy’s blood being pumped around, food bring digested and heart beating loudly (and in my case, snoring that could wake Elvis and continual moaning about indigestion). Babies are not used to silence, so to help them sleep and sleep for longer, you can get hold of any number of white noise apps on your smart phone or tablet for a couple of quid. Or you can even invest in a Ewan the Dream Sheep, which essentially does the same thing but doubles up as a cute teddy to cuddle. 

White noise definitely worked a treat for J – in fact, it probably helped me to sleep too! I used to love the thunderstorm or crashing wave noises…and anything’s worth a go for a bit more sleep hey!? YAWN! 

2. Metanium Nappy Rash Ointment

I bet most mummies know about this already, but just in case you don’t (or you’re still waiting for your bundle to arrive), Metanium Nappy Rash Ointment is a magic yellow cream that gets rid of nappy rash quite literally overnight! My sister, who has two boys, told me about this gem the very first time I complained that J’s bum was a bit red. I’ve sworn by it ever since and I’m very grateful for the recommendation. 

It’s a cream to use when needed, rather than an everyday barrier-type nappy cream, but it really works – and works fast! Definitely one for your armoury. 

3. Annabel Karmel NUK Food Masher

When I started weaning J and mushing up banana and butternut squash, I loved this simple little gadget. 

I remember considering either buying a specific blender for baby food, or just sticking to a fork, but this is somewhere in between. I spotted mine on an eBay baby shop for a few quid and I love it! 

It’s essentially a little plastic pestle and mortar, with grooves on the bottom of the bowl and a little masher with holes in. In makes very quick and easy work of mashing any concoction that you decide to feed your baby with! 

I don’t need to mush up much for J nowadays of course, but he still loves squished banana and I stick his multivitamin medicine in there too, whenever I make it for him. Where there’s a will and all that ๐Ÿ™‚

4. Mamas & Papas Acqua Bambino Two Stage Baby Bath

This was something that I was sure would be a waste of money, and an item which I thought would probably end up gathering dust, but a friend of mine was selling her barely used one when I was pregnant so I nabbed it. 

This Acqua Bambino Two Stage Baby Bath is pretty big, but it’s got a moulded side for teeny babs, and older babies who can sit up can go at the other end, when they get big enough. We used the showerhead( in the bath) to fill it up, which takes about two minutes.

We actually used this bath until really recently! J loved the big boy end, and because it’s contained with quite high sides, we could make the water nice and deep and bubbly. We’ve moved house recently and the new bath has fancy taps (pah!) that don’t work with this baby bath, and a separate shower cubicle, so the bath has been retired for the next bab if we are blessed with another at some point. It’s ยฃ28.50 from M&P, but do look out for second hand ones. A great buy, either way.

5. That’s Not My… book series 

J loves to read – his books are his absolutely favourite toys. He regularly toddles over with a stack of them and says “Ta!” Which translates as “Read, mummy!”. 

The That’s Not My..book series by Usbourne is absolutely perfect for smaller babies as well as younger toddlers. The premise is the same in every one – a little mouse takes you through a variety of different, brightly coloured monkeys, bears, puppies, dragons or tractors (the list is endless!) and says “that’s not my monkey! Its nose is too fuzzy” or similar, and the pictures all have touchy feely parts that are woolly/scratchy/smooth/fuzzy/knobby etc. Babies love to feel the pages. They are absolutely wonderful, and you can collect bloomin’ loads of them! 

I pick them up whenever I spy one that we haven’t got, and I also bought a job lot of immaculate ones from eBay to kick start our collection. 

Now that Little J is 18 months old, he is starting to prefer more complex stories, too. Some of our favourites are Each Peach Pear Plum, The Hungry Caterpillar, Buster’s Zoo and Brown Bear. One of my personal favourites is The Gruffalo, but J gets a bit bored with that one at the moment. I sometimes read it by myself and it always makes me cry at the end (not because it’s sad, because the little mouse has triumphed, and because everything makes me cry nowadays.)

  
There you go! Which little gems have you found to be particularly fab and helpful throughout motherhood so far?  

Evie x

PS – I haven’t been paid to endorse any of these items, they are just my genuine favourites! 

The weird and the wonderful…

Hey mummas!
I’ve been thinking recently about the differences between my pre and post pregnancy self, and some of the differences are actually quite weird and wonderful. 
Sure, I expected to perhaps be a bit fatter and have bigger boobs, but I didn’t bank on these beauties. Here’s my list of the crazy ways my body and mind have changed since becoming a mum…

I am always hot

This one surprised me, and still continues to do so. I expected to be hot during late pregnancy, but I didn’t expect it to become the norm. Before falling pregnant, I was always cold, and would have done anything to live somewhere tropical. I barely used to break a sweat, even after 45 minutes on the treadmill at the gym. 

Fast forward to nowadays and I collapse into a sweaty heap just looking at a hill that I may have to walk up, and I’m actually quite glad if the weather forecast says it might be a bit breezy. I WELCOME THAT BREEZE! I don’t even take my coat with me when I go out at the moment – what a maverick.

Weird rating: 2/5 

After 35 years, I am now a midge and mozzie target 

Here’s another bonkers nugget of information. For the first 35 years of my life I was midge and mosquito-bite free. The little critters hated me. I always joked that my blood must taste pretty crap and occasionally I pondered if my regular marmite-on-toast habit was the reason for nothing ever biting me as apparently, the Vitamin B12 puts them off. 

I was that repulsive to mozzies that I once watched a mahoosive one land on my arm in Western Australia (where pretty much everything can kill you), have a sniff, stomp around for a bit and then fly onto my friend’s arm and sink its teeth in. And, on holiday in Turkey, an errant and rather plucky mozzie snuck its way into our villa bedroom one night and the next morning my poor husband had been absolutely savaged. Me? Not one bite. 

Imagine my horror, then, when I was bitten twice on the leg by a blood sucking little bugger at a wedding last summer! And now, I have to avoid country walk midge-clouds like everyone else for fear of having my face munched off. 

It’s as if your whole physiology changes when you have a baby. Anyone else experience this?

Weird rating: 5/5

I get ill all the time 

One of the worst things about being a new mum is getting ill. Having to look after a baby and continue with nighttime breastfeeds if you’ve got a stomach bug or a stinking cold is nothing short of RUBBISH. 

Before having Little J I was hardly ever poorly. I’m not trying to sound like some kind of superhero with my anti-mosquito, anti-sickness powers, but it’s true! 

Since having J last March, I have lost count of the number of colds, bugs and infections I’ve picked up, and it’s increased even more since J started nursery. It never ends. 

Weird rating: 1/5

My eczema has gone!

This is most definitely a positive. Before becoming pregnant I would have happily swapped my horrible eczema for year-round hayfever or even a belt round the face with a wet fish. Believe me. I hated it, it actually dictated my life on occasion. Awful. 

But, sound the bloody trumpets, I got pregnant and my eczema just…vanished. It’s come back a teeny tiny bit since then but it’s about 3% of what it used to be. For this, I honestly thank God every day. 

As a toss up though, my hayfever is slightly worse but I’ll take that. 

Weird rating: 3/5

I can’t tolerate mega spicy food anymore 

Another crazy thing I’ve noticed since having J, is that I’m not fond of super spicy food anymore. 

I was always a bit of a chilli-chomper pre-baby, and my pregnancy cravings included raw pickled green chillies and Thai Green Curry. Despite this, I’ve completely lost my appetite for spice nowadays. In Indian take-out terms, I’ve downgraded from a high-end spicy Jalfrezi to a medium Rogan Josh, and last week I actually picked some particularly fiery red chillies off a pizza. WEIRD!     

Weird rating: 4/5 

Relentless baby brain

I’ve written before about baby brain, and I’m afraid to tell you that things have not got any better. 

The sleep deprivation may have improved since J was a newborn, but I’m never completely firing on all cylinders. I’ve left bank notes in cash points, I once tried to iron a cardigan with a full kettle, I forget names regularly and once, in a particularly foggy, knackered moment, I thought I’d hallucinated a bat flying round my kitchen. 

There was a bat, I just wasn’t sure if I was imagining it. It hid eventually and I NEVER FOUND IT. Just think about that for a minute…

Still, baby brain can be quite frustrating at times. Does it ever get better?

Weird rating: 3/5

I don’t get period pains 

Another positive one. Before pregnancy I was always doubled over on the first day of my period. Nowadays? Nada. No pain. Good. 

Still get PMT though, so I still spend one day a month feeling like there is no point to life and everything in the world is rubbish, but that’s just par for the course of being a lady. 

Weird rating: 2/5 

What weird and wonderful things have happened to you?

Squirrels, swinging and staying in – what I LOVE about being a mum

Hey mamas, 

This post is inspired by an article I read on a mummy site recently about unexpected benefits of being a parent. It got me thinking about the little things that I LOVE about being a mum – things that I wasn’t really banking on. Here’s my list…

Swinging 

Since having Little J 15 months ago, I have become a swinger. I love swinging! It’s ace! I can’t get enough of it. I do, of course, mean swinging of the park kind, rather than the “car keys in the fruit bowl” type swinging favoured by middle class semi detached people with pampus grass in the front garden. 

J has just reached the age where he loves a good park and we are lucky enough to live in a lovely little country town with lots of fantastic ones, perfect for toddlers. I try to take him a couple of times a week to our local village park, especially if I’ve been working and he’s been at nursery all day. It’s a nice way to chill out, get some fresh air, and reconnect with my little guy after a day’s graft (sitting on my iMac in a coffee shop. Boo hoo.) 

A few months back, I popped Little J in a toddler swing for the first time and he wasn’t massively keen, so I put him on my knee and got on the big swing. Oh my actual goodness! I realised then and there that I’d probably not been on a swing since I was a kid – it was like the scene in Ratatouille where the food critic eats a bite of his food and is instantly transported back to his carefree idyllic childhood. It was lovely! There wasn’t anyone else there so we enjoyed the sunshine and had a lovely old swing while I sang songs to J. It was so liberating. I was at one with nature. And It was something that will stick in my mind forever. 

 

He likes a good swing now!
 
Kids telly 

Ok ok, some kids TV shows are pretty ropey, and sometimes I feel like the Peppa Pig theme tune is engrained into the deep recesses of my brain. I can just…hear it. When it’s not even on. Even more since J has discovered YouTube (yes, he is 15 months old. Not 15.)

But little piggy madams aside, some kids telly is so nice. I suppose it reminds me of my childhood (again!) where I lapped up Button Moon, Playgroup with Floella Benjamin (showing my age now, eeek!) and Mighty Mouse. It’s a real return to innocence. Waybuloo and Night Garden are particular favourites in our house. And we are all big fans of the night night song on CBeebies (altogether now “Goodbye Sun! Now that the day is done, it’s going to be night time sooooon...”)

I even quite like Peppa sometimes (shhh!) and find myself quite engrossed in her shenanigans. 

Animal bothering 

My name is Eve and I am an animal botherer. If there’s something cute and fluffy in the vicinity, you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be cooing over it/stroking it/giving it bread/biscuits/nuts/grass (delete as appropriate). Over the years I have bothered numerous cats, countless dogs, many horses, red squirrels, grey squirrels, lambs, goats, bunnies, cows, snakes, several alpacas, lots of kangaroos, a parrot, two joeys, a quokka and one rather alarmed possum. 

Thing is, it can look a bit weird to see a 36 year old gleefully skipping after an alpaca armed with a handful of grass, or shrieking with delight over a red squirrel spot. 

Having a child with you instantly makes all of this ok. J isn’t that bothered by animals, but he LOVES birds. He’d watch pigeons potter about for hours and he’s an avid duck-feeder. I’m sure that when he’s older my fluffy animal love will rub off, but until then I can just pretend that my bothersome antics are aimed at him. “Oooh look J! A wittle BUNNY!! Weeeeeee!”

 

Staying in on Friday nights 

Before I fell preggers I was out every weekend. In fact, now that I am a mummy I am rather alarmed by the amount of dosh I used to spend on…well, boozing! 

I must admit, during those first few months of pregnancy, I found Friday nights really hard. They were usually the nights to bob out for a well-deserved drink after work with my colleagues, and then relax with a glass of wine and a takeaway at home before possibly popping again out to meet my friends for another…glass of wine! Or (as my good friends will testify) a Blue Wkd. (Whaaat??? They taste like blue ice pops!! Oh ok ok they are pretty horrific!). It was weird adjusting to Friday nights being like any other for a pregnant lady – no booze, heathy food, water and bed at 8pm! Yawn. 

Nowadays I go out about once every three months due to my husband’s shifts and our zero childcare situation, but you know what? I don’t mind really. I love Friday nights in now, although I have clearly reintroduced a glass of red to the proceedings! Wine, Corrie, my sofa and a sleeping baby. What a lovely combo! 

  

Early mornings 

Going out every Friday and Saturday night and drinking wine means hangovers and 11am lie-ins, followed by bacon butties and lots of coffee. 

Now that I’m a mummy I’m up with my boy with the birds, I get to enjoy the early morning sunshine streaming through the window (hangover free) and I’m very grateful to J for making me into an adult, at last! 

I always used to wonder why my Grandma got up so early (she used to wake me up at 5.30am with a jam sandwich and a cup of tea when I stayed over as a kid!) but I understand now. Those quiet mornings watching the sun light up the green hills that I can see through my window are pretty special. Makes me feel very at peace with the world! And, going to bed while it’s still a bit light in summer and watching Seinfeld re-runs is also pretty cool…

Yep. I’m officially elderly. 

Not sweating the small stuff 

Before having J I was a bit of a worry wort. I was always worrying over something. Even though I knew it didn’t do me any good, I couldn’t help it. 

Now I’ve had my little boy, I do still worry about some things, naturally, but I’ve stopped sweating the small stuff. The little irritating things about life seem to melt away really. I feel much more content, more of the time. Maybe it’s because your brain has enough to deal with, thank you, without freaking out over silly little things, so it doesn’t. On the flip side though, the news makes me sob every night. Oh well! You can’t have everything! 

What do you love about being a mum? 

Evie xx

Being braver and bolder – a life update!ย 

Firstly, I am massively sorry I’ve not blogged for AGES! I am a ridiculously rubbish human. All I can say is, this last couple of months have been a bit of a whirlwind…

I wrote a post earlier this year about being brave and bold in 2015, so this an update to that entry. In January, I started the year still on maternity leave, unquestionably fatter than usual and slightly apprehensive about putting Little J in nursery due to his mummy’s boy ways ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Since then, I’ve managed to lose 17 pounds, I’ve started work as a PR freelancer and J has indeed started nursery. I’m still trying to be brave and bold – which isn’t always easy – but I’m trying!

Here’s my update in detail:

Losing the baby weight

I have always been pretty slim and into healthy eating, so when I found out I was pregnant I decided to take it as a license to eat EVERYTHING in sight. In the early months I crammed in the stodge and sugar to get me through the insane tiredness, in the second trimester I craved creamy Thai green curry and raw pickled chillies, and in the final three months I ate A LOT of chocolate (and Rennies. Good Lord did I crunch those bad boys down!). I ate lots of good stuff too, but the sheer amount of calories I consumed meant that I stacked on over two stone during my pregnancy. 

I absolutely thought that this would drop off me when I started breastfeeding but nothing could be further from the truth! In those first few months when J would feed for four hours (four blinkin’ hours!) from 3am – 7am every night, I used to make myself four rounds of wholemeal toast with butter and Tesco crunchy chocolate spread, plus a pint of milk, just to see me through. I’m not quite sure what I would have done without that chocolate spread and crap Made in Chelsea re-runs in those dark days. So, erm, a big thank you to the makers of both! 

Anyway, losing the weight didn’t happen at all until I discovered a diet that could be done while breastfeeding. It’s essentially based on clean eating and nutrition rather than calorie counting, which is great – and so far I’ve managed to ditch a stone and a bit (with one more to go). I’m so happy! It’s a very healthy way to lose weight. My face doesn’t look quite so porky and I’ve managed to get into a few of my old clothes. I’ve got one pair of size 10 skinny Levi’s that have become my ultimate goal. I’m coming for you, you beautiful creatures! 

Starting work after maternity leave 

I left my job of ten years while I was on maternity leave. I wasn’t expecting to go down that road when I waved goodbye to my colleagues last February armed with my maternity gifts and cards, but various circumstances have meant that I’ve been given a fabulous opportunity to try freelancing, which I’ve always really fancied but never quite been brave enough! 

Going it alone with no planned pension, sick pay, holiday pay and private healthcare has been slightly scary, but not half as scary as I thought it would have been – especially after leaving the lovely bubble that is maternity leave! I’ve been lucky enough to land a few contracts with a couple of lovely PR agencies and I’ve got two of my own clients too. So far so good! I still find it almost cringy to ask for money for my services, if that makes sense. I suppose knowing your worth comes with time and it’s a new journey for me to invoice people rather than just wait for my salary to magically appear in my account! I feel very blessed though. I really believe that because I’ve been positive about the whole journey, I’ve been rewarded with positivity. It’s been a great learning curve! Sometimes, extending yourself out of your comfort zone is only ever a good thing, 

I’ve been fortunate enough to only work three days a week (plus a few hours in the evenings writing my press releases and copy) which has meant I can spend more time with my little guy. This is worth its weight in gold and I’m very thankful. 

Nursery for J – Eeeeeek!

This was the biggie for me, I was completely bricking it about dropping my boy off at nursery and leaving him. Honestly, the thought of that first day hung over me like a big scary hammer (sorry, I tried to think of a better analogy but inspiration has escaped me!). I once read a story that a mum got a phone call on her first day back at work from her child’s daycare worker, instructing her to pick her cherub up immediately as he ‘wasn’t ready for care”. Oh sweet CRIKEY how those words haunted me! 

My Little J is a breastfeeding monster (even now at 14 months old). He loves da boob. He has refused all bottles and dummies from nine weeks old when I tried to express a bit, so it’s me or nothing. He will drink water or juice from a sippy cup, but he’s not exactly enthusiastic about it and the majority ends up on the floor. This was the main reason I was crapping it, plus the fact that he screams if I dare to go to the loo most of the time!  

Everyone told me it would be ok though, and guess what? It was! That first day was pretty crappy, as you can imagine! Having to peel him off me while he sobbed and tried to cling on to me like a spider monkey was devastating, but ever since then he’s been fine. He usually stops sobbing before I’ve even left the building nowadays! Honestly, he is due an Oscar for his emotional performances ๐Ÿ™‚ And he has a fabulous time with his new friends. 

If I’m out all day at work, I feed him in the morning before I leave, usually once when we get home (as he’s usually pawing at my top at this point and trying to expose my bangers) and once before bed. If I’m off work with him, he will happily feed like a newborn still! I’m hoping he will self-wean at some point (which basically means I’m taking the lazy/meandering/see-what-happens approach to parenthood as per usual!). I still have nightmares about having to appear on This Morning and explain to Phil and Holly why I’m still breastfeeding a ten year old, but I try to quiet those invasive thoughts ๐Ÿ™‚ 

The only downside to nursery is we seem to have been non-stop poorly since he started! Eurgh. 

So all-in-all, it’s been a crazy few months! Onwards and upwards though – I’m moving house in August now, and then maybe it’s time to think about adding another baby into the mix. We never give ourselves a break, huh?! ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Evie xxx

The Muddle-Through Guide to Weaning

Hey mamas.

Weaning is a tricky journey. Although there are a million and one books and websites telling you how to do it, babies are all so completely different it’s essentially down to you and your beloved squidgy one to muddle along this unexplored path together.

My Little J has just gone ten months old now, and eats three square meals most days (as well as a few breastfeeds obvs, being the boob monster that he is!). I’ve weaned him on a mixture of spoon-fed meals and baby-led finger foods, proving that a combination of the two methods is entirely possible (and works quite well, I think).

When i was pregnant, I was kindly given two books – one copy of Annabel Karmel’s Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner (signed and presented to me by the lovely Annabel herself!), and one copy of The Baby Led Weaning Cookbook. During those long four-hour marathon breastfeeds in the early days, I read both books voraciously and I decided quite early on that I might give a combination approach a go.

Spoon-feeding babies with purรฉes and the like is pretty easy and you know what they’re eating and how much they’re getting, but baby-led does have many advantages and I liked the ethos behind letting them become masters of their own destiny, food-wise. They eat until they are full and stop when they want to – and they generally learn to be much less fussy (apparently, anyway!). They also learn how to chew rather than just swallow, and they get used to lots of different textures.

When we started our weaning journey, I always found it interesting to read what other real-life mummies fed their babies, and what a typical “food day” looked like to them. So, here are my experiences for you to read. I’m certainly no expert though, but this is what we did, so if any of it gives you any ideas or inspiration, then that is just grand!

Here’s a brief history of our story so far…

From six – seven months
I started weaning J just before he was six months old. He developed an interest in food and seemed ready to me. I gave him baby rice once, and then didn’t bother again as it looked a bit rubbish! I moved straight on to porridge in the mornings. I gave him just breakfast for a few weeks, before progressing to giving him a little something at dinner time too.

From seven – eight months
I kept up the porridge for breakfast, and introduced first-tastes style foods for dinner – home-made roasted butternut squash purรฉe was his absolute favourite. He started trying bits of my lunch too, things like toast, sandwich fingers, cucumber and tomato slices (or even bits of cake on occasion!) It was lovely to see him getting to grips with feeding himself (although mildly terrifying at first!) He didn’t take long to get the hang of it though – buttered toast fingers went down a treat. As did the cake (takes after his mum).

From eight months – present
From around eight months old, J has been eating three proper meals a day (although once, for two weeks, he refused all foods apart from mashed banana. The health visitor told me that the canny little beggar had realised that, if he held out, he would be rewarded with his favourite food – which was, is and probably always will be – banana. Monkey!)

Here are some pick-n-mix examples of his current meals to give you a few ideas…

Breakfast;
Banana porridge with whole milk
Weetabix with whole milk
Scrambled egg and toast fingers
Toast with strawberry jam

Lunch
Home-made egg mayo sandwich fingers and cucumber sticks
Wholemeal pitta fingers with houmous and red pepper sticks
Cheese on toast (or, let’s be honest, Costa Coffee Mozzerella and Pesto paninis) ๐Ÿ™‚

Dinner Continue reading

Valentine’s Gifts for Mommas

Hi ladies (and gentlemen),

This post has taken me absolutely ages to write, because as a rule, my husband and I don’t bother too much with Valentine’s Day. We usually buy each other a card and possibly a jokey, silly present, but it’s my birthday the following week and my husband is convinced that V Day is “a load of commercialised nonsense” anyway (but if he didn’t buy me a card I would actually kill him) ๐Ÿ™‚

Since becoming parents though, I do think it’s important to take a teeny tiny bit of time out to treat your other half, because – let’s face it – your relationship or marriage definitely takes a back seat when you have a cute squidgy blob to take care of 24-7 . So, this year I shall endeavour to embrace Valentine’s Day, commercialised or not.

I’m a big fan of well thought out, personal presents rather than the usual flowers and chocs, so here are some idea for gifts for mummies – based entirely on what I’d like to receive as a tired but happy first-time momma.

ASOS vouchers
I don’t know about you but I’ve become an online shopping addict since having my now ten-month-old. I don’t have as much money as I used to, but I’m always on the look-out for a bargain on eBay, ASOS and Zara. Mainly baby clothes though – I’m a sucker for a Breton stripe! An ASOS voucher or gift card would be very lovely to receive, as I could merrily choose some beautiful new shoes or a funky bag just for me (not buying too many actual clothes while I’m still dieting) and not have to worry about spending too much. It’s a pretty easy win for the other half, too.

Posh skincare products
Before having a baby I merrily slapped on several quite pricy skincare products every day, including YSL Youth Liberator Serum (which is uh-mazing!), Eve Lom cleanser and Clarins Beauty Flash Balm. I now use Body Shop Aloe Vera cleanser, and Garnier Moisture Match moisturiser. To be honest, the cheap-and-cheerful items are doing a grand job, but it would be awesome to receive a few little luxuries as gifts, and I’d absolutely love to be treated to some of my old favourites.

A family day out – magical mystery tour!
I love a grand day out, and I think it would be spiffing marvellous to be taken on a “magical mystery” trip. As a mummy, my days are usually well planned in advance and going anywhere is like a military operation – so it would be nice to be removed from the driving seat for once and whisked off somewhere lovely for the day, which had been planned to perfection by the hubby. Think York, with a a trip to a local attraction such as York Minster, lunch somewhere lovely and a river cruise thrown in – all planned around the baby as well, of course. Bliss!

Breakfast in bed – with a lie in ๐Ÿ™‚
Ahhhhh what I would do for a lie in! It would be absolutely amazing to be given the luxury of a long, luxurious lie in – with breakfast in bed thrown in at the end. It’s not going to be easy, fellas (or indeed ladies, of course!) Making perfectly crumbly yet soft croissants with chocolate spread and real coffee, whilst looking after the baby/babies, may prove challenging – but if you accept the mission for your lovely lady, I’m pretty sure she will love you forever! It could even be done in a quirky voucher form, allowing the mummy to “cash it in” whenever she needed a few extra zzzz’s.

Family photo session
I live in North Derbyshire, and we have an absolutely fabulous local photographer, Natalie Leech, who specialises in newborn and family photography. She shoots exclusively in natural light and takes families out to local countryside locations for their sessions. Her pictures capture beautiful, natural moments set against a backdrop of rolling hills and meadows. If you are lucky enough to live in the area, do check her out. If not, have a look for local snappers who offer similar shoots. Timeless keepsakes you’ll treasure forever – and a photography session voucher would be a lovely gift to receive on Valentine’s Day. After all, your babies are in your heart now, too ๐Ÿ’—

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For even more Valentine’s gift inspiration, check out these fabulous posts from two of my beautiful blogger friends:

Shelley Loves…
https://shelleyloves.wordpress.com/2015/02/02/valentines-day/
Shelley is mummy to Daisy (7) and Bobby (5). She has worked with and loved fashion for a LONG time, and since having children, Shelley has grown to love fashion for little ones even more. Her gorgeous blog shares things that her and her children love and enjoy. Check out ShelleyLoves@wordpress.com

Mamamim
http://bit.ly/1DwvT5A
Mim is a 30something mother and writes for http://www.mamamim.com. She lives between the UK and Australia with her husband and toddler and is expecting her second baby in April 2015. Check out http://www.mamamim.com for weekly pregnancy updates and parenting tips.