Friday, 30 August 2013

Lavender & Bees

Another very brief, breaking the no blogging on holidays, post... A few from the lavender bushes around our beautiful Devonshire home...

Thursday, 29 August 2013

There IS No Off Switch!

Time out at the hairdressers. Sat here thinking right... No baby, no husband, no friends, no laptop, no camera: just sit. Just sit and be.

Then I realised since the day I found out I  was expecting Euna my thoughts have been split. My mind has spent the last 2 years in training to think and do as many things as possible at once. Then I realised today; I can't switch it off!

I think part of finding my sanity with two children is going to be about being ok with there always always being something to do, something to plan, something that could be done better. When I get ok with that, I will allow myself to know I do not need to be thinking about this right now.

The problem is there is no ceiling on parenting. You're never done. Nothing will ever be enough because your children will never be safe enough, strong enough or invincible enough for you let go. You will never have kissed them enough, read enough books and there is no such thing as too much quality time. No wonder we can't switch off... There's no switch!!!

BUT I do need to practice the art of "now is the time for nothing because after a good dose of nothing, I'll be better at everything".
 Check my pregnancy page to see how the bump's coming... :D :D :D 
 And in the event I never find that off switch... I'll be training up my PA on the blog... ;) 

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Greetings from Sunny North Devon!

We're down in the glorious West Country for a oh so too short week and having a wonderful time! Friends, family, sun, salt water and a lot of good food... Bliss. 

Wish you were here! :D

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Joules Baby Pram Blanket Review

BY FAR my favourite part of baby shopping is blankets. Not swaddle blankets. Not sleeping bags. Beautiful, traditional, knitted or crocheted natural fibre blankets. For me buying them is a right of passage through pregnancy. Feeling their softness. Imagining snuggling up under them with your teenie tiny bundle for hours on end. Day dreaming about tucking them in to their moses basket all cosy and calm with them. 

They're for cuddly, cosy night slumbers and snug, sofa day snoozes. They're for enjoying everything that is wonderful about babyhood. 

I love baby blankets. Point stressed. Moving on...

Enter this Baby Pram Blanket from Joules to sit in wait for baby bump...
The review:

It's a "pram blanket", this means the dimensions (100 x 75cm) are set for tucking a 0-6 month old (ish) in to their respective pram, moses basket or crib, bouncing chair, car seat etc. They're not really big enough for baby in a cot or cot bed but an essential size for the early days.

It's 100% cotton. For me personally this is essential. Natural fibres are much more efficient at regulating babies body temperature than man made fibres are. The knit pattern also has little holes for extra breathability. It feels natural too, super soft and thick without feeling heavy or dense. Most ideally this blanket is for cooler months but the breathability of it would mean it isn't totally redundant during the summer.

The look is a classic baby knit, diamond pattern in the main body of the blanket, a striped boarder and then a pretty zig-zag trim. To punctuate the whole piece there is an embroidered "Baby Joule"logo. Whilst I'm not the biggest fan of logos I don't mind this, it's small, embroidered and well... it's Joules.
Price is £30, for the quality, versatility of use and expected longevity of this item that seems spot on. We already have a couple very similar John Lewis own blankets in our stash, including this cable knit blanket which is also priced at £30. Equally Mamas and Papas knitted blankets range from  £26-49.95, so this sits well with what I would consider it's counter parts.

Great version of an absolute baby essential at an apt price.
Disclaimer: This product was given to me for review by Joules, though all ideas, opinions, images and content within this post are entirely my own.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Babyhood Debris... Our Treasured Keepsakes

At every step of this pregnancy I can't help but glance back at my first time around with Euna. And when I am looking back I feel that universal mother's sadness at how short it all was, how fleeting every stage seems now. Even those moments that didn't feel so worthy of savouring back then, maybe they were the same moments that didn't feel short at the time; like counting down to the scans, like being overdue, like 12:00-4:00am every night for the first 3 weeks of her life. Even those, in hindsight, all seem so short.

I am yet to meet a parent who doesn't tell me "it went/is going so quick". How is that? We all agree it's hard. We all know we sat on the edge of the bed and rocked back and forward crying "I JUST DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY WANT!" We all felt some strain of parenting guilt. We've all doubted ourselves and felt fraudulent donning our Mummy/Daddy hat. And yet... We all regret the speed it went by! I guess it's just that worth it... :D

And I know this is the start of my journey to become one of those elderly ladies who tell pregnant women and new mums in supermarkets to "ENJOY EVERY MINUTE!" in a patronising and accusing tone. For these future faux pas; I apologise.

It's just I get these elderly ladies now! It's that panic to savour, absorb and enjoy every moment and then if those moments must slip away, if pregnancies must end and babies must grow up... Then I want to stash as much of it's debris as memorabilia as possible. Pictures, cards, tags, champagne corks, first locks, first clothes, a favourite blanket or a hat with a funny story.

Here I get carried away with my myself and I think about how I want to keep it all and look forward to days when I'll sit down with her and tell the stories behind them. I imagine the first few tellings she'll find boring and be thinking about other things she could be doing at that moment... But then I think one day maybe she'll be sat there with her baby in her belly and listening all the more intently... Maybe.

I digress... This baby's coming. And with them I am sure they will bring their own brand of relentless growing up. The temptation is there just to stamp my feet, stick my fingers in my ear and shout "LA LA LA IT'S NOT HAPPENING!" But it will. So I want to make a good plan for recording, savouring and stowing away all the little bits of this baby's babyhood that I can.

So off I pop to shop for some good baby keepsake ideas... Meanwhile we're looking back...
 And crafting new keepsakes for the baby...
For bump progress check my 29 week post and if that not enough... Check my Pregnancy Page... :D
What are you savouring of your children's babyhood? And how are you doing it?

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post but all literacy ideas, views and opinions, content and images are my own.

Ni Hao Yall

Friday, 23 August 2013

29 Weeks

It appears all that wiggling has not been in vain as we discovered this week baby has wiggles it's way to breech position...

Hmmm... No it doesn't matter. Yes there's plenty of time. But I couldn't help a pang or two of my frst birth related "what if..." 

Until this point I was adamant I was not nervous. And I'm not. Yet. It's there though, poised in the wings, those little doubting gremlins with a million "what if"s and fearful scenarios. Reading Marie Mongan's "Hypnobirthing" book and it has done a wonderful job of getting me to a positive and fearless place and now I am feeling like it may be work to keep me here. 

Be positive. Be fearless. Be calm. Be excited. 

Only wonderful things are ahead. Only. 

We can do this.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Going with Her "Girly"-Self...

Honesty time... I used to TOTALLY judge parents of little girls who seemed really girly. Hair clips? Heave. Excessive use of pink? Bluergh. Dollies with their own pink frilly dresses? Gross. I'd read a Huffington Post article on reinforcing feminine stereotypes and blinkers their options... I even stormed around for my entire last pregnancy telling family members "if it's a girl, DON'T BUY ME PINK!"

Oh but the pink came. And all my convictions were feeble against their powers. Pink, flowers, butterflies, frills! She had it all and so much of the neutral attire slid to the back of the wardrobe.

Skip a few months until she can sit up and in the mornings I would sit her on the floor or bed with some toys whilst I get ready. But when I did she wasn't interested in the toys, she was interested in what I was doing. My hair and make-up fascinated her. Jump forward again and she's crawling over to me at my dressing table, pulling on my trousers for attention so I give her a hair brush or powder puff to play with. To be clear, the only thing through my head right now is "Quick! Amuse her so I can actually get some mascara on today!" Leap to now and whenEVER we are upstairs all she wants to is sit at my dressing table and mimic mummy. She wants to clap-clap the (cold) straighteners over her little head of hair. She wants to powder her nose with my bronzing brush. She wants to pretend rub moisturiser over her face...

She's. Just. Such. A... "Girly girl".

Recently she discovered the pink, sequinned, miniature purse her Nanny gave me for her over a year ago with £10 of holiday spending in for our trip to Portugal. Since then I've kept it in the bottom of my nappy bag and used it to store any gift money any family members have sent over. Until she found it... Now it's her handbag. That she wants to take everywhere. How did I become the Mum with the 17 month old who's walking into her swimming lessons with a handbag!?! 

Then there's the dolls we've never bought her but she finds everywhere. She's way more drawn to the pink bunny teddy over the brown bear I picked out in pregnancy.
There's an age old nature vs nurture debate to be had here... Though there's a lot going on here I am positive has been far from encouraged. Can you hear the defence in that? Why does something in this make me cringe?

Broken down it's role play, it's my beautiful daughter looking up to me, if I can imagine for a second everyone around me isn't looking at me like I would have looked at me 17 months ago... It is cute! She hasn't lost her childhood to mobile phones, Facebook and lipgloss! I know I'm getting ahead of myself with the worry... But I'm still not cool with it.

Then the other day I read this... A nice post from a Daddy blogger who doesn't want to make his son "toughen up", his son is a sensitive soul and he concludes in his post he's cool with that and he's going to be the type of parent who lets his son be who he wants to be.

Kudos Daddy Down Under. Me too.
Is this going to be the last time she's into stuff I'm not totally cool with? No. But it's not harming her, it's even arguably a very healthy expression of her role playing Mummy. And I want to be the kind of parent who loves what she loves and loves her all the more for it. So from this day forward she can take her "handbag" where ever she likes and all the while I'm going to praise that she has something she's in to...

Of course there are boundaries for this on the horizon. Of course I want to keep alternatives to pink, glitter and fairies hanging around the place. Of course this doesn't mean I'll be encouraging fake tan at the age of 5 *shudder*.

But for now... Go with your girly-self Euna chops! I may even dig out some fairy wings from my hen night memorabilia box... 

 28 week post here... 

Monday, 19 August 2013

28 Weeks

Heartburn is on the increase.
Movement is going from full flips and somersaults to slightly squashed wriggles. 
Weight gain is starting to gather momentum now, I can almost feel my body stock piling the calories.
I'll be so so grateful when the weather cools down...

Fears are starting to creep in too... Fears of coping, fears of splitting myself effectively, fears that no matter how effectively I split myself it will never feel enough and I will permanently feel like I'm doing half a job... 

The biggest change appears to be in everyone else. Maybe it's the weight gain but everyone at once seems to of notice "OH YOU'RE REALLY PREGNANT!" I won't lie... I love pregnancy attention. I love just a little bit of fuss. Still a habitual help refuser but I like the offers... :D 


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