30 weeks pregnant 

Today I’m 30 weeks pregnant and despite the big bump, I still can’t believe it in a way!

 

30 weeks pregnant
30 weeks pregnant
 
Since my last pregnancy update…

-we had a 20 week and then 24 week scan and consultant appointment with the fetal medicine department. Everything looks ok, heart is looking good and baby was measuring fine (short legs like his mum!) but of course they can’t give us the 100% ok that baby won’t be born with a genetic disorder as we had a high nuchal fold at the start (but we’re feeling relaxed about it)

-sometime after that appointment I’ve lost my maternity notes/folder… Most annoying thing is all our scan photos were in there 😦 need to try and get it sorted/copied before our next consultant appointment at 33 weeks 

-the last two weeks I was signed off work with a chest infection, it really hit me – was bed/sofa-bound for most of the time and even now I have a lingering cold and cough which is doing my head in!

– I started doing pregnancy yoga (with PureYoga who I did mother&baby yoga with) and managed to make it to one Fitbump class which was great, hope I can make it to a few more!

Getting ready for baby 

I’m disorganised at the best of times but I’ll blame the chest infection on the fact we are SO unprepared for this baby! I keep thinking we already have everything we need but actually we need to:

  • Buy some newborn outfits, and dig out W’s newborn stuff from the loft
  • Buy a Moses basket (I quite fancy getting a Snuzpod/next-to-me)
  • Create some storage space for baby’s clothes/stuff
  • Buy some 0 size nappies
  • Get some replacement parts for my Medela swing pump
  • Pick up the car seat from friends who are donating us theirs 
  • Pack hospital bags
  • Confirm my leaving date in work
  • Work out how many days a week we’ll need the childminder for W while I’m on maternity (any advice on this most welcome!)
  • Remember how to give birth!

On the last point, this is where I feel totally unprepared! I’m sure by this time last time around we’d gone to NHS antenatal classes, I was doing a NCT breathing (and stretching) class and reading lots of magazines and books about labour. 

This time I’ve not any of that! After debating whether or not to attend an NCT refresher class, we can’t make that date anyway! And I feel like I’ve left it too late to join a 6week Daisy birthing course.

So I’ll just have to do lots of reading… Oh and watching One Born Every Minute!

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In support of Jamie Oliver… and breastfeeding

So Jamie Oliver has got himself in trouble for daring to have an opinion on breastfeeding even though he’s… a man! (I think actually he’s mostly in trouble for saying breastfeeding is ‘easy’ but it’s hard to tell among the furore!
Well I’m glad that Jamie has chosen this as his next topic to campaign over, highlighting how important it is and how it should start with support for pregnant women.
I was actually really shocked when I read the news a couple of months ago that Britain has the worst breastfeeding rates IN THE WORLD.

Only 0.5% still breastfeed after a year in Britain, our closest neighbours are female opressors Saudi Arabia at 2%. Meanwhile poverty-stricken countries like Ethiopia manage 97%! 

Why is this? Well I guess it comes down to choice… British women are asked if we’re planning on breastfeeding whereas it seems like in many African countries it’s the norm and I’d guess that only the super-rich there use formula. 

Do we think these African countries have lots of help and support when they run into problems? Maybe… But I doubt it. I suspect they persevere, keep trying and rely on their sisterhood as back-up wet nurses. 

I’m not having a go at those that have tried breastfeeding and run into problems, I say good on you! I’m saying that we need to see a cultural shift that makes breastfeeding the norm, not a lifestyle choice. It will take years, maybe a generation or two. 

Choices… I know someone who decided not to breast-feed as she wanted her husband to bond with baby… Nonsense! There are plenty of ways dads can bond with their babies! What other reasons do we hear? Wanting to have your own freedom? Wanting to drink? Being embarrassed by your body or boobs? Not wanting to be shamed by people who think it’s ‘disgusting’? 
See, we already have a lot to overcome to get people to try breastfeeding, never mind keep it up. So thank you Jamie for trying to raise the issue. We need more positive role models, people like TOWIE’s Sam Faiers… People that you can relate to so that not all the breastfeeding advocates are the mumsnet breastapo that are more likely to put people off than get them to try it!

What else do we need? Well let’s ban the formula milk companies being able to advertise their ridiculous ‘follow up’ milks so that they don’t become aspirational brands that people want to use. Give them less space in the supermarket. I’m not saying we should make it more expensive but maybe there’s a way to get those big companies to donating money to breastfeeding support every time formula milk is sold?

As for me? I’m not perfect, I’m normal, I wanted to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months but got to 3 before we started to top-up. I know I could have persevered with it. I stopped breastfeeding around the 8-9 month mark when I went back to work.

The majority of people were totally supportive of my breastfeeding but there was the odd person that pulled a face like the friend who thought breastfeeding stopped dads bonding with babies.

So let’s start a new era. Let’s talk about it. Let’s see it. Let’s make it the norm. And if you try it and it doesn’t work out, obviously let’s not shame you! #sisterhood 

Newborn baby boy number 2’s wish list 

newborn wish list.jpgWhen we were expecting first time around, we were given and lent quite a bit of stuff but still feels like we bought a lot. This time around it feels like we hardly need to buy anything…. So I got to daydreaming about all the things we would buy if money was no object 😀

Cosatto Air Travel System (£450)

We have a perfectly decent Bugaboo Chameleon which we bought second-hand and is now probably about 7 years old. As much as I love it and the bargain price we paid for it (£350) I’ve always fancied trying the Cosatto range, I love their vibrant fabrics and bright colours and this one is my fave…

 

cossatto air travel system

cossatto air travel system

iCandy Peach blossom double (£1,180)

So far I’ve ruled out buying a double stroller, I’m hoping I can carry baby in a sling while W’s in his pushchair (he loves walking/running most of the time anyway) but if we do need to get one I’d love the iCandy version. Quite a few of the other ones I’ve seen have the baby carrycot very low down, close to the floor, which I don’t like the idea of, whereas this one looks great!

 

iCandy pearl double buggy
iCandy pearl double buggy

 

IKEA Poang rocking chair (£100-120)

Last time around I really regretted not having a rocking chair for all those night feeds. Alas, we have no space for one but if we did, I would go for the IKEA one as I think it does a fab job of being comfy, functional AND stylish!

 

ikea poang rocking chair
ikea poang rocking chair

 

Chicco next-to-me (£150)

The one thing we do actually need this time around is a Moses basket as we borrowed one last time. We’ll probably go for a relatively cheap, basic one but if money was no object I’d love to try one of the co-sleepers like the Snuzpod, Bednest or the Chicco next-to-me (the latter of which seems the most affordable, and I love this ‘circles’ print you can buy it in. I’ve heard they’re really handy for nightfeeds, and saving your back!

 

chicco next-to-me in circles
chicco next-to-me in circles

Sleepyhead Portable Deluxe Baby Pod (£99)

W took a while (8 months or so) to sleep through and I came across this during one of many online research sessions when I was trying to discover the secret to sleeping through! This was mentioned in a few forums etc, and I haven’t heard anything bad about it. I did wonder why it costs so much more than the very popular Poddle pods (about £30-£40) but you can only use the Poddle pod for baby’s day naps whereas the Sleepyhead you would use in their cot at night.

 

Aden & Anais muslin sheets (£19.95 for 3)

And finally…. If money was no object I’d stock up on muslin sheets not from the local supermarket but from the very aspirational Aden & Anais. I have no idea why they cost so much, and whether they’re worth the extra money (to be fair I have heard they’re much bigger than standard muslins) but they look very cute 🙂

aden   anais muslin sheets
aden anais muslin sheets
So there we have it! If you’ve tried any of the above I’d love to hear from you about them (just in case our lotto numbers come in!) thanks for calling by x

The most beautiful house I’ve stayed in

We had a girly weekend in Amport, Hampshire, but it wasn’t just any girly weekend… It was a girly weekend in the most beautiful house I’ve ever stayed in.

We caught a glimpse into how the other half live, and we loved it! Vintage chic and stylish, but at the same time homely and cosy.

One of the girls found it on AirBnB for the bargain price of £800 for the weekend (worked out at £120 each) but even the AirBnB listing/photos didn’t do it justice. 

So I’m just going to leave you with these photos I took…. 

 white flowers  
shabby chic white chair blue cushion  white heart ornament  
shabby chic bedsite table blue lamp retro floral radio  french chic beach paintings  
blue shabby chic mirrors  blue white bedside lamp  
bathroom shells starfish  flowers in shades of green  
roses in a cool glass vase  old teddy bear on white shabby chic chair  
grey shabby chic desk in  childrens room  old teddy bear on childs bed  
pink flowers in floral vase  bright flowers and lantern  
shells and glass bottles in bathroom  large lounge diner   
large kitchen diner galley style  glass ornament  
daffodils in jug   shabby chic silver lampshade  
white sofa blue grey cushions  shabby chic chest of drawers  
flowers and candles on mantelpiece
  bathroom with beautiful wallpaper and tiles  
cricket paintings  shabby french chic mirror  
yellow green pink flowers  view from the floral teacups 

A girly weekend in Amport, Hampshire 

I love weekends away with the girls. I love how they’ve evolved from budget, drunken, youth hostelling to slightly more sedate and relaxing affairs as we’ve gotten older!

Anyway, on this occasion we rented a beautiful house (more on that in a separate post) in a quaint (think thatched roofs!) village called Amport, close to Andover, in Hampshire.

vintage teddy bear on a vintage chair
vintage teddy bear on a vintage chair

Pit stop at McArthur Glen Designer Shopping Outlet, Swindon

On the way there the Cardiff contingent stopped in McArthur Glen designer outlet in Swindon, and I was very impressed… We have one nearby at Bridgend but this one seemed a bit more upmarket… And warmer as it’s indoors! We had lovely lunch and juice at Wagamamas and then hit the shops where I bought my first ever leather jacket (biker) from Ted Baker for a bargain £130 (reduced from £345) and a top to go with it! (£35). I spend a lot more money shopping when I’m with these two ladies 😜

Once we finally found our home for the weekend, Friday night we stayed in with pizza, prosecco and rugby in front of the wood burner.

Breakfast at Thyme and Tides, Stockbridge

Saturday morning we all had a full English breakfast at Thyme and Tides in Stockbridge, about 15 mins away. Stockbridge was a very cute little place, one street of shops aimed at the well-heeled locals. Thyme and tides is a very cool deli/coffee shop, and we all really enjoyed their brekkie which tasted like it was all sourced locally. Most of us washed it down with delicious freshly squeezed orange juice… Saturday morning bliss!

Wish I’d gotten a photo for you but was too ravenous 😉

Afternoon shopping in Winchester 

From Stockbridge we drove on to Winchester (another 15 mins or so) and spent a lovely (albeit cold) few hours wandering around the shops. It’s a cute, compact cathedral city and seems quite affluent eg high street shops are Mint Velvet and The White Company.

Dinner at the Black Swan, Amport

Saturday night we’d booked a table for dinner at one of two pubs in Amport, the Black Swan.

Early impressions were good, and we all enjoyed our starters (baked Camembert/ beetroot smoked trout/ kedgeree with a Scotch egg) but the main course for a bizarre turn…

When you see chicken kiev with carbonara and wilted spinach on a menu you ignore your instinct that it’s an insane idea, and assume that it’s a gastronomic feast that you wish you’d thought of yourself as it could have made you famous. Unfortunately it was the former, and four of us had fallen for the poor-tasting trap. The other two who’d ordered cod were slightly happier with their meal (which also included the infamous side of spaghetti carbonara)

Still, we ploughed on for desserts and again four of us plumped for the apple and blackberry crumble… How can you get this wrong, right? Wrong! It was best described as ‘warm jam with crumbled biscuit on top’… They obviously hadn’t baked it together, and you had to dig through a deep layer of the ‘crumble’ to get to the fruit. Very bizarre. 

Still, the food gave us plenty of lolz and memories! 

Black Swan, where the games were better than the   food!
Black Swan, where the games were better than the food!

Sunday lunch at the Red Lion, Clanville

Luckily, Sunday dinner more than made up for our Saturday night dinner. We descended on the nearby Red Lion in Clanville. The dining room was beautiful and airy, it felt like a mix between a cool gastro-pub and nice restaurant. Our waitress was fantastic… And the food was awesome! The six of us all skipped starters and went for the Roast Beef dinner, and every element was faultless! I’ve stolen a picture off my mate for you…. 
 

roast beef at the red lion, clanville
roast beef at the red lion, clanville

 

A couple of the girls followed it with delicious-looking sticky toffee pudding, I opted for the white chocolate mousse which was to die for! 

And that was our weekend, mixed in with lots of chilling at our amazing house! Happy days, happy memories 😍

Toddler W’s 22 month update

W turned 22 months this week, just 2 months away from his 2nd birthday eeeeek! To celebrate, he had a vomiting bug for a couple of days, poor thing 😢

He’s back to his normal self now… Full of beans… And words! 

 

bob the builder
bob the builder
 
That’s the main thing that’s changed since the last update… Just lots more words and understanding…  Today he saw a plane in the sky and said ‘aeroplane’ and he’s started stringing sentences together… Mostly things like ‘bye bye car’.

 

loving the lego tower
loving the lego tower
 
What’s great about his language skills now is he’s able to tell us what he wants… That came in so handy this week when he was ill whether it was ‘water’, ‘toast’, ‘bed’, ‘peppa’ or ‘titties’ (teletubbies!!) he wanted! 

Hand in hand with that, he hasn’t learnt how to be patient yet, if he wants ‘toast’ he doesn’t want to wait for the toaster, if he’s watching ‘peppa’ he doesn’t like watching adverts in between! One of his favourite things to do if I’m sat on the sofa is pull me ‘up’ to do whatever he needs me to do at the time!

quack quack!
quack quack!
 
Since the last update:

-we had to take him to A&E when he fell and hit the corner of a cupboard right next to his eye… Scarily close 😁

– routine is much the same, and still enjoys his food most of the time 

– we had a lovely week in Spain 

– we think he will be a mechanic when he grows up, he LOVES cars whether they be toy cars or ‘mamma’s car’ or ‘dadda’s car’

Such a cutie, melts my heart every day 😍

Mini Spring haul: Zara toddler boy clothes

Just a quick one, W had been running out of clothes so I stocked up on a couple of bits in Zara this week…

You’ll know from previous posts that I love Zara for W’s clothes… I find them

  • Affordable/good value for money
  • A bit different from the rest of the high St/supermarket offering
  • Good quality

Here’s what we bought:

Gorgeous baby blue light jumper, love the buttons and on the pocket it says ‘good times’ (excuse the banana on his top!!) paired with turtle-tastic leggings 🙂

Zara baby blue jumper and turtle leggings
Zara baby blue jumper and turtle leggings
zara toddler jumpers and leggings
zara toddler jumpers and leggings
The toucan jumper costs £10.99, the light blue jumper costs £9.99 and the leggings are £8.99 (all size 18-24months)

And also bought this gorgeous jumper, a bit thicker than the rest so reflects the price (£15.99) and perfect for this winter weather… So cute! I think they had a similar one with a monkey on!

And lightweight jeans (£9.99)… Boys can never have too many leggings or jeans 🙂

bear jumper and jeans zara
bear jumper and jeans zara