38 weeks pregnant 

2 weeks to go til due date and I still feel utterly unprepared!…..

38 weeks pregnant
38 weeks pregnant

So last week didn’t quite go to plan, as I said in my last update… W should have been with the childminder and I was planning a week of nesting and resting… 

Alas by Wednesday morning W wasn’t well so spent the rest of the week at home with me… We think it’s his last couple of teeth coming through, it came with cold-like symptoms, earache and sleepless nights….

So of course I caught another cold off him and I’m feeling utterly exhausted and top of this…

Health 

As I said in the 37 week update we needed to go back in to hospital last week to check the abdomen percentile trend…

So we had yet another scan on Thursday but actually they didn’t seem to check/measure that at all, just checked fluid etc. 

Instead, new health drama… My blood pressure was high (150-something/95) and so the consultant wanted it checked the next day (I went to the GP and got W checked over too!) it was still high so I went up to the assessment unit that afternoon…. Then had to get it checked at the unit Saturday morning and yesterday (Bank Holiday Monday) morning. It was a bit lower yesterday (129/89) so don’t need to go up again til Thursday…

The same thing happened to me in my last pregnancy and I ended up being induced in the end… So I’m kinda expecting the same will happen this time around which I’m fine with. With 2 weeks to go bean isn’t showing any signs of coming out soon, kicking away nicely.

As I said, in other health news I now have a cold/cough (which is doing my pelvic floor no good!!) and in terms of aches and pains, my left leg (calf/ankle especially) is sore and I might try to get it massaged soon as that’s another thing keeping me awake!

Nesting and shopping

So in other news, I did manage to get a lot of washing and sorting done! 

Being stuck in the house with an ill toddler, I did a bit of online shopping including:

  • photo frames for W’s newborn photos… Only took 2 years!!
  • Sling bookshelves and some toy storage for W’s stuff 
  • A sheepskin and angelcare bath support for baby bean. 

We still have a fair bit to do including picking up the car seat and putting the Snuzpod together!

Preparing for labour

I still feel utterly unprepared in this area! We’ve managed to watch one ‘one born every minute’ so far and I’ve slowly started reading Ina May Gaskin’s ‘spiritual midwifery’ but still haven’t managed to finish packing the hospital bags!  

Let’s see what this week will bring with a toddler in tow and blood pressure checks! 

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6 ways we’re getting toddler W ready for his baby brother’s arrival

With only two weeks to go til baby bean is he to arrive, I can’t wait to see how 2 year old toddler W will react to his arrival! He’s given us plenty of sleepless nights over the last few weeks so seems to be preparing us for it all!


His behaviour’s been great lately but I’m fully expecting some jealousy-driven tantrums when baby is here! Here’s some things we’ve been doing and planning, to prepare him for baby’s arrival…

1- getting him a baby doll and pushchair

A few months ago I read a blog post from someone in the same situation (Lamb & Bear) who had bought their son a baby doll, I thought it was a great idea and so far, so good! He loved baby doll straight way and around the same time I picked up a bargainous pushchair to go with it, for a £1!

kissing baby
kissing baby

He’s good at caring for his baby doll (only flung him into the bin once!!) and pushing him around…. Hopefully when the real baby is here, his toy doll might join in with family baths/nappy changing etc… We’ll see. It’s certainly been handy at trying to explain what’s in mummy’s tummy…

our baby boy doll from b&m
our baby boy doll from b&m

2 – bonding time with bump
As soon as I started showing, I got in the habit of telling W that it was a baby. So quite often now he’ll ‘kiss baby’, say ‘hello baby’ or ask where baby is hiding (always trying to pull my top up to see him!) the best time is when I read his bedtime stories and he’s cwtched right in to me and Bean.

3 – teaching him through books

We bought Pirate pete’s big brother book, and ‘there’s a house inside my mummy’ they’ve been ok but not overly useful, maybe better for slightly older kids…


The content in the pirate Pete book is perfect but W just gets distracted by the button which makes a baby giggling sound! Whereas the content in the other is a bit confusing for him I think… Eg kitchen in mummy’s tummy etc. Either way they prompt us to interact with bump and talk about baby.

4 – giving him a present from baby 

A few people have suggested buying him a present from baby. So far I’ve only bought him this gorgeous ‘big brother elephant’ but we might to think of something a bit bigger and/or more interactive as he’s not overly bothered with soft toys.

best big brother elephant
best big brother elephant

5 – asking him to help out

W likes keeping busy, and helping out with chores… So we plan to get him as involved as we can once baby’s here eg fetching nappies, helping to change him etc… We’ll see how it goes!

6 – keeping him in his usual routine

For the first month at least, W will still go to the childminder 4 days a week. Controversial maybe but we thought long and hard about it… Baby will (hopefully!) be on my boobs a lot during the day, and I will be shattered so I can imagine W getting very bored and frustrated! He’ll have more fun over at the childminder’s and once I know what kind of baby we have then I can start reducing the childcare time down to 1 or 2 days a week.

We’ll have to make sure that the 3 days he’s not with the childminder that he gets plenty of love and attention 😍

Of course I’ll keep you posted on how it actually goes….. Can you think of anything else we could do to prepare him? I’d love to hear your experiences….

Linking up with #KCACOLS

 

37 weeks pregnant 

A week ago I was enjoying my last few days in work, feeling like I could carry on for a few more weeks but I stuck to finishing on Thursday….

Lucky I did as I felt exhausted straight after…. Maternity insomnia has kicked in, and I think a lot of that is because I feel totally unprepared, physically and mentally!

After finishing work Thursday…

dressed up for the photoshoot
dressed up for the photoshoot

– Friday, W and I had a photoshoot, I wanted some nice photos of him hugging bump but he wasn’t really interested on the day!! Hopefully she got some nice pics of us anyway 😁

– Saturday, a day of nesting, got W’s baby clothes down from the loft etc

– Sunday – a lovely spa day which was a Christmas present from my other half for me, his mum and sister. It came at the right time as I was so tired! I had a prenatal body massage, facial and pedicure… Bliss! 

spa day selfie
spa day selfie

-yesterday felt like the first proper day of maternity leave. We’ve left W with the childminder so hopefully I can do lots of nesting and resting! Yesterday I did some sorting/re-arranging, 4 loads of washing and started packing hospital bags. Oh and last night we watched our first One Born this time around… So I’m starting to get a bit more prepared!

Health

Apart from the usual tiredness and achiness I’ve felt pretty good since the last update and had some nice days out.

We had a 36 week scan on Thursday. Everything seemed fine but the doctor was worried that the abdomen percentile had dropped from about 90% to about 50% since the last scan. So we’re back in this Thursday for another scan… I’ve lost count of how many scans we’ve had, must be about 8 by now… Can’t complain, feels like we’re getting a private level of service (apart from all the hanging around waiting ;))

Yesterday I finally had my whooping cough jab. Despite all the hospital appointments, nobody told me about this vaccine… It’s the stuff your midwife would normally tell you.

At last week’s scan baby had a full mop of head, was still very much a boy and was weighing 5lb 8oz… Oh and he’s now head down which is great!

I’ve just weighed myself and I’m close to 10 stone now, so I’ve put on nearly 2 stone which is similar to my first pregnancy.

Bought/borrowed/given 

Since the last update where I’d bought the Snuzpod, I took the plunge and bought the Sleepyhead (was on offer on the NCT shop) to go with it…. This baby will get some sleep 😎

So that’s two things bought off my newborn wishlist (probably the only things we’ll buy off it!)

My team in work spoiled me to a lovely afternoon tea in Pettigrew tea rooms in my last week… It was such a nice treat that I wasn’t expecting anything else but on my last day they surprised me with lots of gorgeous goodies after doing a collection around the office…. Thank you all! Xx

lovely gifts from colleagues
lovely gifts from colleagues

Baby bean has also been given two lovely hand-made crochet blankets (one from a neighbour, one from my auntie) and his first comforter made by my lovely colleague and fellow blogger TwinklinPixi 🙂 

crochet gifts
crochet gifts

The week ahead

I still have lots of nesting, sorting, re-arranging to do this week… Also a list of things to do like getting the car cleaned etc. I must remember to pick up the car seat that we’re borrowing too!

I need to get all the nesting done this week as I have W next week as the childminder is on hols so I won’t get much done next week and I’ll probably be shattered!

Apart from that, I hope to watch lots of One Born, read birth stories and practice breathing/relaxation for labour etc #eek 

3 weeks to go! 

A complaint about John Lewis – knowingly mis-selling 

Since John Lewis opened their shop in Cardiff a few years ago, I’ve been in love with them… loved the ambience of shopping there, loved their little baby feeding area, loved their brand and Christmas TV ads… And I even did my pregnancy yoga classes in their community room last time around!

But they let me down this year, and I wanted to share it as they’re still mis-selling to customers which I can’t believe (spoiler alert… It’s only over a £40 bag but it’s the principle!)

the offending bag
the offending bag
  • For Christmas, I wanted to get the OH a new toiletry bag as his was battered!
  • Shopped around and decided on Ted Baker…
  • Lots of different stores (online) had different ones, and prices were quite similar… But most were wipe-clean fabric whereas John Lewis had one for a similar price (£40) that was made of leather so I plumped for that one
  • Christmas Eve when it came to unwrapping it and wrapping it, imagine my disappointment that it wasn’t actually made of leather!
  • As I’d bought him a few things to go in it, I decided to give it to him anyway… I didn’t have time to sort anything else out!
  • He loved it and started using it right away, transferring all this toiletries into it
  • I wanted to let John Lewis about it, as a huge fan I wasn’t overly annoyed but they needed to update their website and they might want to offer me a voucher to thank me for letting them know
  • I did this, but they took a month to reply and confirm via the supplier that it wasn’t leather 
  • They offered me £10 as a gesture of goodwill
  • But by this point I was a bit annoyed… They still hadn’t updated their website, so they were still misleading customers and when I looked into it a bit more I realised I could take them to court through the Sale of Goods act for mis-selling
  • IKEA actually got done for this around the same time for selling sofas that they were claiming to be leather that weren’t leather!
  • Since then there was a bit more back and forth with them to try and get more than £10 out of them as they weren’t taking it seriously (website still wrong) and I was saving them a fortune in legal fees/bad publicity
  • Alas, last week I settled for £15 as I don’t have the time or energy to argue any more…

So the last screenshot I took a few weeks ago (so 4 months later) and it clearly says ‘leather’ twice…

Now checking it today I can see they’ve changed the first sentence to ‘leather look’ but they still have a misleading sentence ‘mature-looking black leather’…. IT’S NOT LEATHER!!!


So I know this might read a bit ‘first world problems’ and I know we have far bigger things to worry about… But I needed to get it off my chest!

I think it’s been pretty poor for a company that has such strong brand and customer service values and ‘never knowingly undersold’. The most frustrating thing about it all has been how long it’s taking them to update the website… Working in marketing and being a blogger, I know it’s a 2 minute job and surely they’d prioritise inaccurate info?!

Rant over. Thanks for reading. 

Changing bag wishlist 

When I wrote the newborn wishlist I totally forgot to include a changing bag on there.


We’ve been using our Cath-Kidston-esque one from Next for aaagges now and it does the job but there’s no way it will be big enough to carry enough kit for a toddler and baby…. So….

I’ve always loved Cath Kidston bags, I currently love this ‘button smart’ one and it currently has £15 off so is down to £95… So smart! I love the matching accessories too…

I also love the ‘British birds’ bag, which is down to £80 after the £15 off… So pretty and girly (would love to see my OH using it ;)) 


As well as Cath Kidston, I’ve always really fancied treating myself to a Pink lining ‘yummy mummy’ bag. Looking at the current range, I think my favourite is this ‘busy bees’ one, it has a bit of a retro vibe. These retail at £79 but I did see some of last season’s in TK Maxx last weekend, I think for about £50… I might have to go back to see if they’re still there! 


While I was looking at these bags, I came across this GORGEOUS zebra range on their website…


I normally avoid changing bags that look like big handbags but I’d make an exception for this gorgeous print, so different and quirky… Want, want, want!!   (Also, looks like it might be wipe-clean which would be a bonus!) These cost £75-£79, I’m sure I’ve seen a rucksack version around too but couldn’t find it on their website 😦

Talking of bags that look/don’t look like handbags… I’ve seen a lot of bloggers talking about changing bags by toTs by SmarTrike so I had a look and they do look fab, good value starting at £65 (so they’re the cheapest on this wishlist) and I like their use of plain, unisex colours… Oh and they’re rucksacks which I quite like idea of trying. Here’s my fave:

 

I’m about to finish work so should have time for some research and shopping! They all cost WAY more than I’d spend on a bag for myself but I’ve learnt you do get your money’s worth out of them in the amount that you use them!

Decisions, decisions… Are there any other bags I should look at (that don’t look too much like oversized handbags)?! 

Small print: I wasn’t asked to/paid to write this. All the images are taken from the brands’ websites 

Linked up to blogger linkies: marvellous Mondays and #KCALOLS (sorry on my phone and can’t access the HTML to put the badge on at the mo!) 

W turns 2! 

I know every W update starts with ‘I can’t believe how quickly time goes’ etc but seriously… I can’t believe W turned 2 last week!!


Time is so precious and goes so quickly, crazy to think in that time my dad passed away and now we have another baby on the way… Anyway back to W…

W’s second birthday 

To celebrate we went to Bluestone for a 4 night mid-week break. We love it there, we were blessed with good weather and W had an awesome time… Swimming, chasing ‘Babbits’, messy play, soft play, jumping in puddles around the lake seeing all the ‘quack quacks’ etc.

With his little brother due in just 6 weeks, it was lovely to give him our full attention and make sure the holiday was all about him.

On his actual birthday we took him to Folly farm and zoo which was BRILLIANT! He loved all the play areas (lots of tractors/diggers etc) but the highlight was seeing the Penguins swimming underwater, he screamed with excitement as he tried to follow them! 

chasing penguins at folly farm
chasing penguins at folly farm

We then had a Peppa pig cake and candles back at our lodge, he was more interested in ‘Peppa car’ than blowing out the candles! Presents-wise, we’re still opening them nearly a week later but he’s been given a mini trampoline and lots of his favourite things… Cars, books and Peppa pig! We still haven’t bought it yet but are planning to get him a water/sand play thing this week.

Health

Since the last update W had his third trip to A&E – long story short, he had a cold/cough for a couple of weeks which on a Monday the doc’s said was vital, but by the Friday he had a temperature of over 40 degrees and it had turned into an ear/throat infection so he had his first course of antibiotics (which he didn’t like!)

This was just as I was getting over being off work for 2 weeks with a chest infection.. A testing few weeks for us all!

A few weeks ago I FINALLY took him to the dentist for the first time… W didn’t really co-operate so the dentist didn’t get a great look at his teeth but at least I took him right!? 

Sleep and routine

He’s still in the same routine as he’s been for many months of waking up around 6am, having a 2 (sometimes a bit less, sometimes as long as 3) hour nap starting about noon, bath about 6.30 and asleep by 7-7.30pm.

However, since the last update we’ve had a fair bit of sleep regression… Sometimes related to the coughing, sometimes just waking and calling for ‘mamma’ or ‘dadda’ anywhere between 1 and 3 until we cwtch (hug) him back to sleep! 

That’s been tough but on the plus side it’s getting us prepared for having a newborn again 😬

As part of his routine, he still has a bottle of milk with his pre-bed stories and a bottle of water in bed with him in the night. I’m still hopeful we can wean him off both of these before baby arrives but it’s going to be tough… As soon as he’s getting out of the bath he’s demanding his ‘ilk, ilk…’

Actually thinking about it, the last few weeks it’s also been a struggle to get him upstairs and ready for bed so his bedtime has slipped a bit… I blame these long sunny days!

Food and drink 

Still generally good with his food… Good as long as he gets his favourites… Pasta (loves pesto), pizza, fish fingers, beans, toast, banana, weetabix, cheese, grapes, watermelon, Apple, ham, hoummus…

Still not great with veg and isn’t a huge fan of meat… I’m fine with that, one thing he’s started eating lately is noodles thanks to my sister’s influence and so we’ve even taken him for his first Wagamama’s 🙂 

As he hits 2, he’s still only ever had water… No squash/juice which I’m pleased about to protect his teeth as he gets enough sugar in some of the food he eats (like chocolate treats!) and the bottle of milk he goes to bed with 😁

Development/behaviour

He’s such a good boy! He has occasional tantrums out of frustration when he can’t do something (usually trying to carry something that’s too big for him!) but luckily is so far pretty good at following our instructions!


He’s still very independent and will quite happily entertain himself for ages! Usually by sorting his toy cars out! He’s cheeky, quite fearless and has a sense of adventure. He’s not always as fearless when there are lots of people around… He quite likes his own space and usually needs a little bit of time with new people to settle in.

His vocabulary continues to impress us every day! He can count to ten, can count to five in Welsh, knows his colours and has started putting words together like ‘broken car’, ‘yellow car’ etc. And then everyday he’ll say a new word… Like ‘watering can’ where the hell did he pick that up? We do flash cards with him but I think he picks most of it up through copying/repetition and lots through his bedtime stories. As soon as he’s awake he’s babbling away about all the things he can see!

He’s such a sponge: It astounds me how much brain power and energy a two year old can have! 

What we’ve been up to

In case you missed them, I wrote about an ordinary but lovely post-Easter weekend including his second haircut and a walk in the bluebell woods

Nearly a month ago, on the anniversary of my dad’s death we went to the RHS flower show in Cardiff which was lovely, (weirdly we bumped into my dad’s first cousin who I must have only met once or twice… Dad was Defo watching over us!) he enjoyed pottering around on a mini beach and the story time… Oh and he loved his free balloon and didn’t let it go for days! 


The only other thing of note I can think of is we went to nearby Warren Mill farm which has all the usual farm amenities, but W’s highlight was chasing ‘meerkats’ (prairie dogs) and shouting down their burrows at them when they hid… So cute!

chasing 'meerkats' at warren mill farm
chasing ‘meerkats’ at warren mill farm

So that’s it for now folks… Happy 2nd birthday my beautiful boy xxx 

Cardiff’s bluebell woods (Wenallt): an early morning walk with W

I meant to post this 2 weeks ago when we visited the Wenallt (a bit behind with blogging sorry!) But hopefully you can still catch the bluebells if you visit this week!

cardiffs bluebell  woods
cardiffs bluebell woods

Usually on weekends, I’m the one who gets up with W when he wakes up, around the 6-6.30 mark. I don’t really mind, especially now I’m heavily pregnant and struggling to sleep/lie-in!

Usually we’ll spend a couple of hours pottering in the living room, him watching cartoons, me half asleep playing on my phone, trying to stay quiet so dadda gets a good few hours lie-in.

What I prefer is being able to get out and about early… I’ve previously blogged about wanting things like soft play to be open earlier… But now the mornings are lighter and the weather’s much improved then what better than a walk in the woods!? 

toddler W exploring bluebell woods
toddler W exploring bluebell woods

So at 8am on a sunny morning we headed over to spot magical bluebells… Through Rhiwbina, turning off at the Deri Arms up Wenallt road until we came across a car park leading into the woods.

W headed straight into the bluebells which was great for some nice photos but I was a bit worried about him trampling all over them! It really was a lovely, magical sight… And at that time of the morning we pretty much had the place to ourselves

wenallt woods, rhiwbina, cardiff
wenallt woods, rhiwbina, cardiff

We then took a long walk around the woods and created some magical memories….

  • W stopping to play at every brook/stream we came across, dipping sticks into the water and wiping them on stones
  • Hearing woodpeckers!
  • W chatting to all the dogs (lots of dog walkers up there!) and one was so friendly that W could feed him biscuits and play fetch with him!
  • W picking up lots of sticks… All called ‘stick man’

Of course, it was soon back to reality… A heavily pregnant me had to carry him (uphill) back to the car when he got tired…. By then the car park was full and so our special moment of having the woods to ourselves was gone… He was grouchy for the 15 minute journey home… And when we got home past 10am dadda was still in bed!!!

Seriously… magical though, it’s so close to the city yet so peaceful…. So good for the soul… Especially on an early morning Sunday!

Oh and I forgot to mention… Parking is free: bonus! Huge thanks to colleague and fellow blogger twinmummyanddaddy for letting me know about the place months ago! Xx