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 
 

Advertisements

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

The ups and downs of breastfeeding

 Hi mamas, 
I’m not what one would consider a “crunchy momma” by many regards, but I have – rather by accident – become an extended breastfeeder. 

By that, I mean that I’m still breastfeeding my 16 month old, with absolutely no signs of slowing down any time soon. 

I have written before about Little J being a bottle refuser, but while I’m still feeding I wanted to document my journey and let you know the ups and downs of breastfeeding in case you’re wondering if you should breastfeed or not, or are generally interested in the subject! All journeys are very different though, and before we go on I’d like to state that I’m not anti-formula or one of those sanctimommies – just so you know 🙂 

I suppose my breastfeeding journey began when I was pregnant. I think being bombarded by the pro-breastfeeding information in hospitals and clinics sank in a bit, and as I was breastfed myself (and my husband was too), I decided early on that I’d “give it a go” for the first six months. I also decided at the same time that if it didn’t work out for me, I’d stop, and I certainly wouldn’t beat myself up about it!

I had an elective Caesarian at 39 weeks with J because he was upside down and wedged in, and because of this, I did have some concerns that my baby may not take to breastfeeding. When I was settled back in my hospital bed after the birth, I popped J on my boob to give it a bash and he took to it quite spectacularly straight away! No qualms, straight in there. It was so soft and gentle it felt like fairies were dancing upon my nips. Ahh, I thought, this is pretty easy. What’s all the fuss about?

Fast forward to two days later at home, and I was screaming in agony at the thought of breastfeeding. It was excruciatingly painful. Like someone taking a pair of pliers to my almost bruised boobs, J used to feed for two to four HOURS at a time in those early days, and I spent the entire time with my toes curled up wishing that he’d stop. I think the painful phase lasted a good couple of weeks, and during that time I shouted at my husband on many occasions and told him that tomorrow, he’d have to go and buy some Cow & Gate because I wasn’t carrying on. 

And every time, after I’d calmed down and stopped crying, I’d say “I’ll just give it ONE more chance”. 

And I did. And here we are! Anyway, here’s a list of my ups and downs regarding breastfeeding. Enjoy…

Ups:

  • It’s easy

Well, easy-ish. Ha ha! Those first few weeks were quite challenging as I got to grips with painful feeds, cracked nips, a tongue-tied baby and the sheer amount of time it consumes, but when you break past that first crazy month, it could be labelled as easy in some respects – especially because there’s no sterilising, washing bottles, weighing out formula, sourcing hot water when you’re out etc. You just pop out your boob and you’re off! It’s also FREE! 

Downs:

  • Blocked ducts.

With breastfeeding comes the odd blocked duct – I’ve had a few and they’re painful as anything. I actually felt like I had flu with my first one and the pain in my boob was awful. I even tried expressing to alleviate the swelling and pain but nothing came out – like someone was stood on a hose pipe. It was weird! In the end I drank loads of water, stuck a hot flannel on the sore part and Little J cleared it for me by feeding solely from that boob for the night. By the next morning it was ok. 

Ups:

  • Taking advantage of the chill out time!

In the early days, breastfeeding is ridiculously time consuming. J used to feed about every three hours, for an hour! Plus he took to doing four hour stints in the night. Once I’d got used to just sitting there for hours looking at the tip your house is (well mine was!), and not being able to do anything about it, I embraced the chill out time, tuned into Netflix and cracked on with some box sets! I can thoroughly recommend Orange is the New Black 🙂 

**Tip** Don’t ever sit down to breastfeed without: Your phone, the sky remote, a muslin cloth and a decaf brew made in a Starbucks coffee flask. Can’t spill over and keeps your coffee warm for ages. You’re welcome 🙂 

Downs:

  • Sanctimommies giving us a bad name.

I know that there are some sanctimonious holier-than-thou mothers out there, but I ain’t one of them! I’ve known bottle feeders who feel like they have to justify their non-breastfeeding to me but for the record, I’m really not bothered about how any other mama choose to feed THEIR babies. I definitely feel that us mums should empower each other rather than feel like we’re in competition with each other. Breastfeeding just happened to work for me, and if other mamas don’t have the same experience or just prefer not to boob feed at all, that’s entirely their prerogative. There’s no right or wrong, we are all just doing the best we can for our babies. Full stop. 

FYI – I’ve actually tried J on all the different formulas but he’s refused them, and all bottles/all teats – but that’s a whole different story 🙂 

Ups: 

  • Discovering Lansinoh nipple cream. 

Nipples get a bit sore when feeding and this cream was by far the best that I discovered. It is a clear ointment, like very thick Vaseline, and it works wonders for your poor stressed out nips. It also makes an amazing overnight face moisturiser over you usual one, and is great on chapped lips. 

Downs:

Having to dress solely for ease of access to your bangers.

ARGH the minefield that is a nursing wardrobe! In the early days of feeding, it certainly takes some getting used to to constantly have to factor in how to get your boobs out when choosing an outfit. It can be rather limiting!

**Tip** Buy yourself lots of strappy vest tops in lots of different colours. These can then be worn underneath normal tops and you can adopt the “one top up/one top down” approach. Means you can wear lots your normal gear rather than specially-designed nursing tops. 

Ups:

It gives you a sense of wonderment about your body. 

As if growing a baby all by yourself in your tummy and pushing it out through your lady parts (usually) isn’t enough, it’s pretty amazing that your body can make food for your baby, all by itself. I must admit, I felt very proud of myself when I was able to provide for J in this way. It gave me a lovely sense of accomplishment and wellbeing. And apparently, my boobs now produce milk designed just for a toddler and his growing needs. That’s pretty awesome. 

Downs:

Feeding whilst out and about with a rambunctious child. 

Nursing a newborn or little baby is reasonably straightforward when you’re out and about, but fast forward a few months and it’s rather more difficult to keep your dignity in tact! On account of having (ahem!) rather large bazookas, I’ve always favoured the muslin-tucked-into-your-bra-strap approach to drape over the boob to provide a slight cover-up, but after a certain age there’s really no point because they just rip it down so they can have a look around. I have since upgraded to one of those breastfeeding butterfly covers that loops round my neck, but now it just looks like I’m wrestling with an energetic and rather nosy lion cub if he decides he’s not content ‘under-wraps”. 

There we go! I can think of loads more but I shan’t bang on. 

If you’re planning to breastfeed, I hope this has given you an insight into the ins and outs of feeding, but like I said, every mummy journey is different. 

If you’re a fellow feeder, what are your ups and downs about breastfeeding? 

Single Mother Ahoy Weekend Blog Hop

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

Big boobs? Read this! Pepperberry dress review

Hey mummies! 

Bit of a different one for you today, as I wanted to impart some newfound fashion wisdom on the, erm, more well-endowed mamas out there. 

I’m talking breasts. Bazookas. Bangers. Puppies. Boobs. Whatever you call them, if you have big ones, this post is for you. 

For most of my adult life, I have been “lucky” enough to have large boobs. I’ve also mainly been a size 10-12, and I’ve not really changed much since I was about 19. Well, that was until I got pregnant, of course – since then, I’m more of a definite 12 and my 30FF boobs have turned into 34Gs (and one is bigger than the other at the mo as I’m still breastfeeding, and my darling little boy only likes one particular boob. The right one. Don’t even ask. That’s a whole new post.) 

The smaller bod/bigger boobs thing may sound like a reasonably nice body type to some, but being built this way comes with many a problem when buying clothes. Dresses that fit the rest of me nicely pull tightly over my boobs to such an extent that my husband has been called upon to help me inch up the zip on several evening dresses, and once he had to use pliers. PLIERS! Beautifully fashionable tops and frocks that I’ve spotted in Topshop or drooled over in magazines may have looked stylish and effortlessly cool on the waify teeny-boobed models and mannequins, but on me, they just looked crap and indecent, and don’t even get me started on shirts! I’ve always dreamed of rocking a crisp, white preppy shirt for work but most button-up tops or shirts of any kind just gape like crazy over big boobs and occasionally, the buttons MAY have given in to the pressure of my heaving bosom and pinged off, never to be seen again. Not the best, most professional thing to happen in a business meeting…AHEM! 

Imagine my delight, then, when I was introduced to Pepperberry – a brand that I’ve got to know recently in my capacity as a freelance PR. Pepperberry is the sister company of my favourite go-to lingerie chain, Bravissimo. Bravissimo has been the only place I’ve been able to buy bras in for years – they specialise in smaller back sizes and larger cups, which is obviously perfect for me. The first time I bought a well fitting bra from Bravissimo, I looked like I had lost about 7llbs and had some posture lessons. Just fantastic.

Pepperberry’s strapline is “fashion with boobs in mind”. It has created an absolutely GORGEOUS collection of tops, jackets, shirts and dresses that start from a size 8 but have three different “curvy” fittings depending on how big your bangers are. I couldn’t begin to tell you how excited I was when I realised that there was an entire brand devoted to body types like mine! 

I really needed a new posh, formal dress that I could wear for my little brother’s wedding – one that would fit well, look lovely and actually be comfortable (let’s face it mummies, we do have to have an element of comfort nowadays huh!?). I selected the navy blue “fleur” occasion dress from Pepperberry in a size 12 “curvy”, which is the first of the three settings for boobs. Although Pepperberry is mainly an online brand, the sizing guide is really straightforward with no tape measure required! It simply asks you how many extra sizes you need to go up when you buy tops and shirts, compared to your usual dress size. It’s very easy to understand. 

I was super excited when I received the beautifully presented box in the post, and the dress really did not disappoint at first glance – it was really well made, fully lined and gorgeous. I tried in on and I am happy to report that it fit perfectly with no pliers required! There was no pulling or tightness over my boobs, no having to choose from either a well fitting bottom and a tight top half of a nicely fitting top half and a baggy bottom! 

I decided to team the dress with sparkly silvery/gold heels and a matching clutch bag from Next, a statement necklace, a lovely blue scarf/wrap with sparky bits from Next and sparkly silver/gold nail polish from Barry M. 

  
The dress was a big hit at the wedding and I received many compliments. For once, my boobs were not an issue at all when I was getting ready, and didn’t get in the way of my efforts to look stylish and a tiny bit sophisticated (for once).

Additionally, I didn’t even need to wear my Spanx underneath the dress as it was so beautifully made, which was another massive bonus on a hot summer’s day. I’d even be tempted to go for a smaller size in future as there’s no need to err on the side of caution size-wise, as your boobs are taken care of. 

I love love love this brand! I am honestly set for life here, ladies – Pepperberry is my new go-to place for posh dresses from this day forward, and if you are blessed with a large chest, I’d really recommend that you give it a go. 

Pepperberry stuff is not cheap and cheerful, I’d say it’s on a par with Monsoon, Coast, French Connection or M&S’s Autograph collection price and quality-wise. Tops start from £29, dresses are from £45 – £95. The clothes are beautifully made and utterly timeless, and you’ll be able to wear them time and again for many occasions. There’s a fabulous holiday collection, too! A big thumbs up from me, and my big buzzies! 

Maybe I’ll treat myself to a crisp white shirt, after all… 

Check out the collection at http://www.pepperberry.com
The Navy Blue “Fleur” dress, £95, was sent to me from Pepperberry in exchange for my honest review. 


  

Being braver and bolder – a life update! 

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 🙂 

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 🙂 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 🙂 

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?! 🙂 

Evie xxx