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 🙂 

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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My Mother’s Day Wish List 

Hello mamas! 
Firstly, as per usual, sorry for the lack of posts for aaaages. It’s for a happy reason though, as I am expecting bambino number two. Hurrah! I’m just over 16 weeks pregnant, and to be honest, I’m only just starting to feel human again. Well I would be, if I hadn’t been struck down by the evil lurgy this week *stares longingly at the night nurse*. 

This pregnancy has been a toughie so far, and I’m still feeling ropey and tired – but luckily much less so than that first trimester. Urgh! 

We’ve had the 12 week scan though, which was lovely, and this week I heard the baby’s heartbeat for the first time at my 16 week midwife appointment. I’m looking forward to the 20 week scan now, although my husband and I are still debating if we should find out what we are having…

I’m far more emotional this time too. I cried at Ninja Warrior the other day. Seriously…

Anyway, I’m hopefully back blogging slightly more often now – and I’ll chuck a few pregnancy updates in there too for good measure. 

To celebrate all things mama, this post is a round up of my favourite Mother’s Day gift ideas. Some of them I’ve already tried so I can recommend them, others I am currently coveting. Who knows? Maybe my lovely hubby will read this and be inspired 🙂 

1) Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour All Over Miracle Oil, £29 

This product is truly fabulous. I’m a huge fan of the 8 hour skin protector cream, as I suffer immensely with dry skin and it’s just amazing as a pick me up, night or day. 

Since I’ve become pregnant again, my dry skin has come back massively on my face which is horrible. By the end of the day, my skin feels like a mask, and my beloved make up just doesn’t look right when applied onto sandpapery skin. 

I was sent some Miracle Oil from Elizabeth Arden to review for this blog, and it has not disappointed. It’s uber-hydrating without being greasy, and is currently saving my face from looking and feeling like cardboard! I’m also looking forward to applying it to my ever-growing bump, as I think it will be just perfect for keeping those pesky stretch marks at bay. Highly recommended, and a lovely present for any mum who suffers with her skin in this freezing cold weather, pregnant or not. Brrr!

2) Yes Nurse “Protect Your Lovely Hands” Hand Cream, from £5.49

Oh man I LOVE this stuff! This is a brand that I’ve just started working with as a PR lady, and – before recommending it to journalists and fellow bloggers – I tried some out for myself, naturally!

This fabulous yet extremely affordable hand cream was developed by a British nurse who’s poor hands were in a bad way due to constantly washing and sanitising them at work. It contains active Manuka honey as well as a host of beautifully moisturising oils, vitamin E and omega 3,6 and 9. 

It is simply fabulous, and is easily absorbed so you don’t get “slippy smart phone syndrome” – pretty important for bloggers huh?! 

The Winter Gift Set (£19.99) would be a grand present to get for your mum, as it also contains a pair of specially designed moisture mittens, which you wear in bed over the top of liberal amounts of the hand cream (which smells DIVINE, by the way). In just seven days, your hands will emerge looking like brand new ones! Or, grab a handbag-sized tube for just £5.49. Bargain.

  
3) Nike Air Max Thea in Metallic Silver, £95 
Argh how nice are these sneakers yo! I’m seriously coveting these bad boys, especially because they look very comfy as well as looking cool. I think the silver would go with loads of stuff, a flash of metallics can liven up lots of outfits, and the cushiony air max part would be seriously dreamy to walk on as a pregnant lady. 

Additionally, just in case I had lost my style-mind in my pregnancy haze of tiredness and indigestion, I did check with my lovely fashion blogger bezzy mate Shelley at shelleyloves.net, who confirmed that they are indeed FLY. 

If your mum happens to be a cool mofo and you’re feeling a bit generous, these beautiful trainers from Nike would be a pretty awesome gift. Clearly, I’m hoping my husband will read this 😂😂😂

4) Penaligon’s Artemisia Eau de Parfum (various prices) 

This is my absolute favourite perfume of all time, but it is emphatically NOT CHEAP. I love Penaligon’s perfumes as they look and smell like old fashioned apothecary-style scents. 

According to Penhaligon’s, Artemisia is a “creamy, almost caramel sweet blend of vanilla and amber, which unfolds underneath a lunar veil of jasmine, violets and lily of the valley and delicate top notes of orchard fruits and crisp green foliage”. Wooooo! I’ve always thought it had a faint whiff of Play-Doh about it, which (honestly) isn’t a bad thing. It’s gorgeous, very dreamy indeed. Definitely one to save for special occasions though, I’ll stick to my Britney Spears Fantasy for daytime wear! 

5) Daffodils

No link to any website here, as I just mean actual Daffodils. 

I love Daffs, I really do. To me, they really do indicate that winter is over, and when I see them appear around my village, I feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Let’s face it, January and February are massively grim, so seeing daffodils spring up at the start of March means that lighter evenings are here, and we can slowly start to come out of our winter hidey holes. 

If I receive nothing else for Mother’s Day, a nice vase-full of bright yellow Daffs will do just nicely. 

What’s on your Mother’s Day wish list? 

Evie x

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

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) 🙂

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 🙂
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 💗

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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.

Reflecting and reconnecting

Whenever I look back at my life, I consider myself a very lucky girl indeed. I’ve had a ball really, and have been fortunate enough to spend
my time with some amazing people, enjoy an interesting, fun PR career
and do a bit of world travelling to boot.

Usually, when I reflect over the past year at Christmas, I think about
far flung places I’ve been to, parties and social functions I’ve attended, glam trips to London with colleagues…but then there was this year. In 2014, I haven’t been on holiday abroad, I’ve only been on two nights out, I haven’t been to any wine tasting events or posh award ceremonies, I haven’t had a full night’s sleep and my back is shot to buggery – but it’s been my absolute favourite year. Bar none.

Ah, pre-baby me (on the right). Out on the town, as always!
Ah, pre-baby me (on the right). Out on the town, as always!

Of course, the reason for that is currently snoozing on my knee. My Little J came bouncing into being in March, and from that moment on, my world began to spin on a different axis.

I didn’t know what I’d think of maternity leave really. I had an inkling that I’d probably enjoy it at first, but miss the hustle and bustle of working in the city soon enough. In reality, I’ve loved, LOVED, every single second. I’ve just loved it.

I live in a lovely little market town in the Peak District (about 12 miles from Manchester). It’s surrounded by green hills and rolling purple moors, and over the past few years, the town centre has really started to flourish. Beautiful delis, independent coffee shops, vintage tea rooms and wine tasters have opened up in some of the old, shut-down shops and it’s a very fabulous place to be a new mummy. I didn’t used to love it here, as a teenager I ached to get away to live somewhere where I could be anonymous, and for several years after university, I lived with my girlfriends in various locations around Manchester. But it lured me back eventually and I feel very fortunate to be able to bring J up in such a fabulous place.

Being on maternity leave has allowed me reconnect with my hometown and has given me a sense of community previously unimagined. Rather than rushing from place to place in my car, having a baby has slowed down my pace of life to such an extent that I’ve been able to really look around me once again, and take stock of my life. Trying to get back in shape (and trying to get J to sleep) has meant hours of walking up and down streets and lanes that I’ve not walked on with my actual feet since I was a kid. I’ve actually become quite emotional on occasion as walking down certain streets has awoken forgotten childhood memories; walking in the rain with my grandma, laughing and chatting with school friends. It’s been almost magical really. I’ve even been to the library hall that once hosted my 9th birthday party (for a baby group), but I refrained from reliving the occasion by dancing to Jason Donovan and eating cheesy pineapple on sticks. Much as I wanted to.

As well as slowing down the pace, I really think maternity leave has given me a sense of ownership of my town. I feel part of something, a member of the community and, for the first time, I’ve been joining in with things that I would have usually shunned in favour of going to the pub or a city centre bar. This Christmas, Little J and I been to watch carol singers in the town centre, attended a lantern parade and been to a children’s Christmas music party at my local church. We’ve been to craft fairs and cupcake decorating sessions. Who even knew this kind of thing existed!?

Coupled with that, it’s Christmas Eve and rather than working and trying to frantically tie up all the loose ends for the year before darting out for copious amounts of alcohol, I’m in my pyjamas with a hot chocolate, curled up on the sofa watching Elf. Maternity leave does indeed ROCK.

Additionally, I’ve decided to go freelance after my leave ends, which will hopefully allow me a greater work-life balance in the future. I’m genuinely excited to see what happens, and I feel truly blessed for the opportunity.

So here’s to you, 2014. Thanks for being massively awesome. And a big MERRY CHRISTMAS and happy new year to all – and I hope your 2015 is brilliant xxxx

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Looking back to ME BC

Hey mummies.

The topic for this blog post is Things I Miss About My Life “BC”. Or Before Child, as it were.

Now, before I go any further, I’d like to clarify that OF COURSE I think my baby is the best-est thing to happen to my life ever, and I love him more than life itself, but every now and again, just for a second, I do miss a few little things about my life as a footloose and fancy free lady about town, who could skip merrily down the street, with a glass of wine in one hand and a bunch of Topshop bags in the other.

And from that sentence, you may deduct, a’la Sherlock, that several of the things I miss are alcohol and fashion related. And you’d be right.

Anyway. Here’s my top five:

1. Being able to leave the house.
If you’re a new mummy or a mum-to-be and you’re reading this, you may thing I’ve left off some words at the end of that title, such as “in a hurry” or “without a million and one things” but no. I haven’t. Sometimes, ladies, you will FAIL TO LEAVE THE HOUSE. At all.

Several times in those first few hazy months, I just gave up trying to get out of the house, admitted defeat, put the baby down, took my coat off, sat on the sofa and cried. It was just too hard. Trying to get both of us ready, ensure I’d remembered everything and walk out of the front door looking half decent was just too much. Little J would have a meltdown, or throw up everywhere, or do the world’s biggest poo just as we were heading out, or I’d get half way up the road and realise I still had my slippers on.

I miss those days when someone would phone or text me and ask if I’d like to pop out somewhere for a bit, and I just got my coat on, grabbed my small handbag and WALKED OUT. Now, every trip out of the door is a perfectly-timed military operation, and my baby bag doubles as my handbag. So as well as my purse, lippy and keys, I’ve also got nappies, wipes, cream, three spare vests, baby suncream, teething powders, muslins, anbesol, a sun hat, a wooly hat, an extra baby jumper, bibs, a bowl, a banana, several rattles and a Nuby teether. Phew.

2. Wearing nice clothes. Smaller ones.
I’ll be honest ladies, since having Little J, the weight has not magically melted off as I thought it would do. If anything, breastfeeding has hindered rather than helped any weight loss, as BC, I’d have been doing some kind of crazy diet by now to get rid of the extra weight. I know that may not be the healthiest option, but it’s the truth. I’m still a stone and a half heavier than I was pre-pregnancy and two stone more than my ideal weight. And I hate it, every single day.

Additionally, my baby is not the best sleeper (ahem) which results in me craving sugar and carbs to get me through to the evening without falling asleep on the pavement.

As a result, I regularly open my wardrobe to stare longingly at my size 10 Topshop skinnies and plethora of beautiful dresses. And cry. A bit.

I’d like to be able to wear my normal clothes. And I’d also like to select tops for prettiness, not for ease of access to my bangers. Amen.

3. Drinking a hot brew
I think one of the main reasons that new mummies go out for coffee so much is being able to enjoy a hot latte or cappuccino, and actually finish it. If you try to make a coffee at home, chances are it will go stone cold before you can guzzle it all.

In the early days, I’d just flop down with a well deserved, piping hot Nescafé and Little J would start crying/need feeding for four hours/want a snuggle. Nowadays, he’s a crawling, standing-up eight month old and I’m quite frankly running out of places to put a brew down that can’t be knocked over by an over-active monkey.

It would be lovely to just sit still for ten minutes a day, and just stare into space while enjoying a lovely steaming cup of Joe. Ahhhh!

Although let’s face it, we all know that coffee is just the substance that gets us through the day until it’s acceptable to drink wine. And I miss that too (well, drinking more than the occasional dinky glass). Boo.

4. Reading a book
In my life BC, I was quite an avid reader. I was lucky enough to have a reasonably relaxing 30 minute commute to work every day which provided excellent reading time, and I regularly thundered through chick-lit, thrillers, classics…you name it.

Nowadays, my concentration levels seem to run to pamphlets thanks to my sleep deprivation and my eyes feel so knackered I find it hard to see the words on my mark-one Kindle.

You know where I mentioned that I’d like to stare into space and drink a hot brew? Scrap that, I’d like to curl up on the sofa with a coffee and read. Without distraction.

5. Walking around without dribble/sick/poo on me.
Recently, I looked down at my leggings and spotted a fresh wet spot, rubbed it with a muslin and had a sniff (sorry), and realised that it was just a bit of milky sick.

“Ah” I thought to myself.

“It’s just sick, it’s not poo, or wee.”

And with that, I carried on with my day.

Casting my mind back to my old BC self, I don’t think that, in any realm of reality, I’d think that having a bit of VOM on my clothes was in any way A-OK. Imagine.

What do you miss about your life BC?

xxx

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U, me and the kids

These are a few of my favourite things – Part 1

Hi mamas.

Here’s a potentially useful post if you’re expecting a baby. I’ve decided to draw up a super-smashing-great top ten list of baby items I’ve found genuinely useful and/or fabulous in this crazy eight months of motherdom.

When I was pregnant with Little J, I emailed my best girlfriends
(who both have two children) and asked them, frankly, what the essential items were that I needed to buy for my baby. I live in a bijoux (!) terraced cottage, so I didn’t want to go out and buy loads of crap that I didn’t need. They emailed me very useful and interesting lists of life-altering fantastic products, as well as flagging up a few must-avoid items that nobody really needs or uses.

Anyway, here are the first five from my list. I hope you find it useful and share your favourites too, so that all the new mommas out there might get a few ideas…

I’m also going to suggest if I think you should buy new, borrow or beg (i.e. get one of your friend’s baby’s hand-me-downs, or get cracking on eBay!)

1. Baby Jogger City Mini GT
Aaaargh I freaking LOVE this buggy. I drew up a list of everything I wanted in a buggy/travel system when i was pregnant, which stated that I required a buggy that was very lightweight, would fit in the boot of my Golf, was a three-wheeler capable of going off-road and dealing with the hills where I live, have proper tyres and would last for years. The Baby Jogger City MinI GT does all of the above and more. It’s wonderful.

It doesn’t come with a bassinet, but I didn’t really want one anyway as I live on a very steep hill! It lies flat for newborns which was perfect. My only slight niggle is that it doesn’t parent-face, but if you use a Maxi Cosi car seat, you can use baby-jogger adaptors to clip it onto the GT, and the baby faces you.

Additionally, the tyres are solid so they can’t pop or get punctures, and it has a fabulous sun canopy that pulls right down over the baby. I’m also pretty sure it’s the fastest folding buggy in the world ever! It’s just ace all round. And it’s not massively expensive either.

Buy, borrow or beg? My advice is to buy new – it’s money well spent on a sturdy piece of kit which will last you until your little one is a fully-fledged older toddler/small child. When it comes to add-ons such as the car seat adaptors, keep an eye out on eBay and save yourself some moolah.

Baby Jogger City Mini GT, £329.99, http://www.amazon.co.uk

2. A vibrating bouncer
My friend actually gave me a Mamas and Papas bouncer and it was fabulous in those hazy early days. They are super comfy for babies and allow them to see what’s going on around them – but make sure you get one with a vibrate mode. Younger babies (from newborn to four/five months) will be happily lulled to sleep or pacified with some lovely vibes!

My bouncer had white noise/music too which also seemed to captivate Little J. He had many a snooze in his bouncer, and it was a must-have item in those early months.

Buy, borrow or beg? I’d get one second hand or borrow from a friend, but if you do buy new, don’t worry too much about spending lots on a super pricy one with hydraulics or a drinks fridge for your G&T (that bit is a joke OBVS!), as long as it’s nice and snuggly and has a vibrate mode, your baby will love it.

Mamas & Papas Capella Bouncer – Stars £39.95 http://www.mamasandpapas.com

3. Lamaze pram toys
My Little J adores his collection of Lamaze toys even now, and we take one with us wherever we go. They are bright, colourful, sensory and super cute, and they keep young babies happy for hours with crinkles, colours, textures, mirrors and dangly bits! Our favourite is probably Freddie the Firefly.

Buy, borrow or beg? Buy new – for around a tenner your baby will get endless hours of fun and entertainment.

Lamaze Play & Grow Freddie the Firefly, £10.99 http://www.lamazetoys.co.uk

4. Baby sleeping bag
Sleeping bags are an absolute revelation and make your life much easier. The baby sleeping bag trend was started by the Grobag company back in 2000, and according to their website, 95% of parents in the UK use one nowadays instead of blankets or covers.

They are designed to keep your baby at a nice temperature and can’t be kicked off. They also stop older babs getting their little leggies stuck in the bars of their cots.

I bought a M&S one from a friend and it was lovely – super soft and snuggly and just right for J. Just make sure you get the right size and tog for the season, and you’re winning.

Buy, borrow or beg? Beg – get one from a friend (they wash at high temperatures so why not?)

Mothercare Elephant Snoozie Sleeping Bag 2.5tog £14.99 http://www.mothercare.com

5. Fisher Price Rainforest Playmat
This has got to be one of the most popular play mats or baby gyms on the market. It’s extremely cute and ultra captivating for smaller babies.

Designed to encapsulate the sights and sounds of the jungle, the bright and colourful, sensory baby gym has so many lovely features. My Little J was quite taken with his from around four weeks – four months old, and I even had a go one day, lying on my back watching the gentle lights, listening to the charming sounds of the rainforest…

When J could roll over he got a bit bored with it, but it’s a nice thing to have in the earlier days to stimulate the senses of your baby.

Buy, borrow or beg? Borrow from a friend if they have one they’re keeping for the next baby. The mat part is machine washable, and your baby will only use it for a few months until they get more mobile. Alternatively, buy new, look after it and eBay it afterwards!

Fisher-Price Rainforest Melodies and Lights Deluxe Baby Gym £49.99 http://www.argos.co.uk

There you go! The next five will follow…

How about you? What are your must-have baby items?

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