Saturday 30 November 2013

NaBloPoMo 30 What's been the hardest part about blogging daily?

First of all apologies I have missed the past few days, I was at my parents without internet and did not have time to write posts when I was out and managed to connect to Wi-Fi.

For me the hardest thing has definitely been making sure I get a post done! It shows just how unorganised I am and how I probably faff too much when writing posts. I guess some posts have been  a bit rushed so I suppose not always quite how I wanted them.

It has been great to take part NaBloPoMo and read other blogger's posts. Thank you to Vonnie for hosting!

Tuesday 26 November 2013

NaBloPoMo 26Eliot's 5 month update

Today my NaBloPoMo post is my little mans 5 month update, he's a whole 5 months today!

Last month was my first update about Eliot. I've decided to change the way I write these updates and will be writing  them to Eliot, so one day he can read them!

5 months old

My special little man, how have you got to five months already?! This time next month you will be half a year old, a whole six months!
You are still pretty good at sleeping through the night, although you still wake up sometimes and will need some milk to go back to sleep. I think sometimes you wake because your teeth have been playing you up. And that's one big milestone you have reached, you have cut your first tooth!!! Last Thursday you were using my hand as a teether and I felt it graze my skin. It's hard to get a good look at it as you poke your tongue over your lower gum.
You still babble in the mornings and give gorgeous smiles.
You are still determined to sit up and can sit forwards for a few seconds now. You can roll on to your side when you really try and can move yourself around in a circle

Bottles are still one of your favourite things and you continue to have four 7oz bottles and an 8oz bottle before you go to bed. If you wake in the night I give you a 5oz bottle and this seems to send you back to sleep.  You have got the idea about holding your bottles and do this sometimes.The doctor has put you on repeat prescription for your reflux for the next couple of months until it is time for another review.
I have been weaning you this month and you are loving trying (most) new things. I made some purees: carrot, sweet potato, broccoli, apple and pear. You do not like carrot, the faces you pulled when trying it did make me laugh. But we will try you again on that that someday soon. Sweet Potato is not your favourite but you will eat a little. You do like the broccoli, apple and pear a lot! You have also tried banana and avocado, you love banana but weren't too sure about the avocado! Yesterday you enjoyed trying a rusk and made a right old mess! At the moment you have a bit of baby rice or porridge for breakfast and a puree later on in the day. I must try you on some new fruit and veg this month! You drink some water but you prefer it from a bottle than out of a beaker.
Feeding yourself

Despite your reflux you have continued to put on weight, three weeks ago you weighed 16lb 10oz at the health visitor. I guess your somewhere between the 17lb10oz and 18lb mark now.

You are rapidly growing out of your 3-6 month clothes and you are in 6-9 month sleepsuits. I must sort your wardrobe again soon. You have a lot of 6-9 month clothes to get through before you grow too big for them!

Enjoying your bath!
Eliot's Likes/Dislikes
  • You were bought a Jumperoo by your Nana Mary for an early Christmas present. On your second go you got the hang of what to do. You like it but only when you're in the right mood!
  • You love being sung to and your current favourites are 'Old Macdonald Had a Farm' and 'If you're happy and you know it'.
  • Still love bottle time. 
  •  You still love baths and lay back with your hands behind your head kicking your feet.
  • You love the cats and follow their every move. I thought it was just Mimi you liked but you smile and laugh at Coco too..
  •  You still love going out on walks in your pram but do not like stopping for too long.
  • You like playing with Sophie the giraffe, your Vtec laptop and teething rattles.
  • Your still not a fan of tummy time.

Jumperoo'ing around

Monday 25 November 2013

Milestone alert...First Tooth!

Last Wednesday I was messaging another mummy blogger about blog templates and how her little boy was getting on with weaning, she also asked if they were any signs of teething with Eliot. 'Hes dribbling, chomping and being grisly but no teeth yet' was along the lines of my response.

The following day  Eliot and I were playing when he decided chomping on my hand would be more fun. That's when I felt something sharp graze across my skin. Was this what I thought it was? After some more feeling and determination at getting a glimpse, I saw it, my lil man's first tooth had cut through! I felt so excited and proud but also sad that he's growing so quickly. He is fond of covering his gum with his tongue so it's hard to get a good look.
Not allowing a tooth pic!


NaBloPoMo 25 Do you speak more than one language?

Unfortunately, no! I would love to speak another language fluently. At school I loved learning French and was pretty good at it but forgot most of it after GCSE's. We also learnt a bit of Spanish in year 9 which I also enjoyed but again forgot most of it.

I think it's a great tool to know another language and there should be more emphasis on learning  an extra language from an early age. The younger you are the easier it is to pick another language up. One of my colleagues can speak fluent French, German and Italian which is mighty impressive!

My petite knowledge of French has helped me out a couple of times whilst I've been away in France, I have been able to put it to some good use :)

Can you speak any other languages?

Sunday 24 November 2013

NaBloPoMo 24 Where is your favourite place to read?

The ultimate place to read for me is in bed, all tucked up nice and cosy with a good book. Saying that  I very rarely read these days, mainly because I don't make the time to. The last thing I read was A Street Cat Named Bob a true story about how a man and cat changed each other's lives, great read if you're a 'cat person' as Bob is a pretty amazing feline!
As a child though I absolutely adored reading, it was one of my stronger subjects. I loved reading series of books,  'The Saddle Club' books and when I was older 'Point Horror' books.
As a teacher I can't stress how important reading is for children, it helps them develop in numerous ways. From using their imagination in play to writing a creative story. Reading a variety of fiction and non-fiction books is essential in my eyes. I just hope my lil man is as fond of reading as I was as a child.

Best place to read! In bed!

Saturday 23 November 2013

NaBloPoMo 23 Are you spiritual or religious?

No I am not spiritual or religious. I believe religion causes too many problems. Of course the majority of people follow their faith peacefully but it has been the route cause of many problems going back centuries.
I do think it's a help for some, having a faith to turn to. But it's just not for me.
I totally respect other peoples religious beliefs, I just don't want them to try and push their views on me. This has happened on various occasions and I think it's completely wrong!
My other half has beliefs, I respect them, he doesn't push them upon me.
The truth is no one knows what happens after death, there could be something, there could be nothing! I would like to believe that we will eventually be reunited with the loved ones we've lost throughout the years but nobody can answer that.

Friday 22 November 2013

NaBloPoMo 22 Tell us about pets

I am a massive animal lover, and have always adored them. As a child I grew up with a beautiful black Labrador called Benji. He was around before me but wasn't too keen on my arrival, luckily he quickly got used to me. He was such a fun and gentle natured dog. Unfortunately when I was 11 he became ill with a cancerous tumor on his face. Eventually the kindest thing to do was put him to sleep. It was heartbreaking, he really was part of our family.
Of course I had the obligatory goldfish but obviously they are not as much fun as something fluffy and soft! I always wanted a gerbil, guinea pig or rabbit but my mum knew it would be her doing all the looking after so I wasn't ever able to persuade her.
Around the age of 9 I rescued a pigeon who couldn't fly...yes a pigeon, I'm an animal lover remember! Anyway it wasn't eating and one day my dad arrived with two ducklings, yes ducklings! He'd spoken to a pet shop owner who advised the him that the pigeon needed to see other birds eat so it could copy. I was over the moon! Two cute little bundles of fluff, one yellow, one brown. We named them Daffy and Dilly. They did help the pigeon feed and one day he was able to fly away which was nice. Daffy and Dilly continued to grow in both size and character, they were a lot of fun and had their own little personalities. Daffy was an Aylesbury duck, they have white feathers and she liked being handled and wasn't nervous with us. Dilly was a Khaki Campbell, had a beautiful green head and browny feathers elsewhere but was quite timid and didn't particularly like being handled. Just after I'd started secondary school a fox got in to their run and killed them. I was devastated.

The hardest thing about having pets is when you lose them, it puts you off having more in the future.

As a teenager I had a few fish  but no more furry or feathered pets.

Now we have two cats, Mimi and Coco
Mimi not too keen of her Santa outfit last Christmas 
Mimi is the boss and can be a but feisty she does like her cuddles, only when she wants them of course!

Coco reading!

Coco is smaller and more timid, she likes affection at bedtime and often wants attention then.

Have you got any pets?

Thursday 21 November 2013

NaBloPoMo 21 Baby OOTD #1

I'm doing my own post again as I really don't have a go to recipe which was Vonnie's NaBloPoMo for today. I must try and improve my culinary skills!

I thought I'd start doing baby OOTD posts as it's a great way to record favourite clothing as they grow out of it so quickly.

Here's my little man in what he wore today...

Jumper, jogging bottoms and bib all from F&F at Tesco. These were a gift from my lovely friend Gemma so not sure how much they cost.
I love burgundy & think it's a great colour for Autumn/Winter, the jumper is soft and perfect for keeping cosy in the colder months. Jogging bottoms are a comfy alternative to jeans and they're warmer too! (Excuse the mismatching socks :D)

Emblem & fake pocket on jogging bottoms
I love bandana bibs and this one matches the outfit perfectly.

Wednesday 20 November 2013

NaBloPoMo 20 My Post Natal Ward experience

 I thought I'd post something I've been wanting to get done for a while. I also can't think of anything brave enough to share for Vonnie's NaBloPoMo prompt for today!

Wednesday 26th June 2013
After giving birth we spent are few more hours in the delivery suite. I was in my own little zone at this point after a long labour and needing stitches but managed to have a shower and get ready to move down to the post natal ward.
The midwife who'd delivered Eliot took us down to the post natal to settle down for the night. Each bay had four beds in and when we led to the bed I was allocated there was still rubbish and bedding from the previous person. My parents were with us at this point and were fuming to say the least. I'm crap at complaining anyhoo but I had no need worry my parents are experts and said their piece. We received an apology and I was taken to another bay which had a freshly made bed. Once I was as settled as I could be I said my goodbyes and my family left. I don't remember much else about that night. I did ask for help with breastfeeding but I will be writing a separate post about my attempt to breastfeed.

Thursday 27th June 2013
I was looking forward to leaving hospital and settling our son in to his first home. I sent the other half a text reminding him to bring the car seat when he came.
A midwife came and told me I would need an anti d injection (my blood is Rhesus negative) as Eliot had positive blood. She returned a bit later and gave me the injection, I was used to those as I had a few anti d injections whilst pregnant.
Shortly after, my first nightmare as a mother happened. Eliot was in his cot, I heard a strange noise and saw Eliot had brought up some clear liquid. Except he hadn't just brought it up, he was choking. I quickly scooped him up, put him over my shoulder and patted his back firmly. But I could still  hear him choking. I pressed the emergency button next to the bed with tears streaming. A couple of midwives dashed in, took him off me and simply turned him on his front and patted his back. Panic over. They explained it was fluid that Eliot hadn't expelled during delivery and it could happen again so I would need to do what they'd done. That frightened me, I hadn't read or heard about this happening to anyone.
One of the midwives returned and said she thought it would be helpful if I stayed in another night as I'd had a shock and breastfeeding was not established. I was happy with this as I was keen to get more help with breastfeeding.
Eliot later had the usual checks by a paediatrician, all seemed normal apart from one of his testicles. It hadn't fully descended but would hopefully sort out itself and be followed up at the eight week check.
Eliot had a few more episodes of bringing up fluid but I knew what to do so didn't panic.
He pooped meconium during a nappy change which went everywhere as the other half's mum picked him up. He also had his first taste of formula as breastfeeding was proving hard.
My feet and legs were incredibly swollen so I was given a pair of those oh so flattering white stockings to wear.

Some pics from our time on the post natal ward

Friday 29th June 2013
Eliot was still having quite a few 'sicky' episodes and the midwife on duty was not happy to discharge us. They wanted to keep an eye how often he was being sick. I was asked to keep a diary of  this, how much and what colour it was. More phone calls were made to say we wouldn't be coming home again. This is when it started to get me down, however if anything was wrong with Eliot we were in the best place.
The midwife said she'd asked one of the paediatricians to see us so Eliot could be checked over again.
We did not see the paediatrician and Eliot had more formula as I continued to struggle with breastfeeding.
My legs were still very swollen, so a doctor was asked to see me by one of the midwives. By this point the glam stockings were off, they'd been riding down and being a pain. The doctor asked me to make sure I wore them and to keep as mobile as possible. If I experienced any pain I would need to let someone know.

Saturday 30th June 2013
I had my fingers crossed that we would be coming home today. I updated the midwives with Eliot's sickness and was told we'd see a paediatrician today. The hours ticked by but still no sign of a paediatrician. It was coming up to 8pm, the time when partners had to leave. We spoke with the midwife and asked the paediatrician would be coming to us. She said they could still make their way round to us so the OH stuck around for a bit longer, both of us getting frustrated that we hadn't been seen. Still the paediatrician didn't get to us. The longer I stayed in hospital the more desperate I became to get home.

Sunday 1st July 2013
Around lunchtime I was told to take Eliot and wait outside the paediatricians room. It felt like we were waiting forever but eventually it was our turn. I was asked lots of questions as Eliot was checked over. New mum shock number two hit me when the paediatrician said she suspected he might have a hernia. What?! She wanted a second opinion and to take some blood to rule out any other possibilities. So over we went to the Neo-Natal unit, where the really poorly babies were. Very frightening. We were taken in an assessment bay. Eliot was placed under a heat lamp while the paediatrician searched for a vein to put a line in and take blood. I was absolutely dreading this. My poor baby boy only a few days old being prodded and pierced. Shockingly he didn't make a peep, he was too distracted by the heat from the lamp and sucking on my finger. What a relief, he appeared to be totally unaware he had a line in the back of his hand and a splint on to keep it in place.
Another paediatrician checked Eliot over and she agreed that he may have a hernia. But they wanted yet another colleagues opinion who was in theatre. So we waited some more. When he came to look at Eliot he gave the same diagnosis as the previous paediatricians.
In a daze we were walked back to the post natal ward and would need to see a surgeon when one became available.
Later in the day room with the OH and my parents the midwife who had delivered Eliot popped in to see us and wondered why we were still there. I explained the different scenarios that had kept us there and that we were waiting to see a surgeon.
Waiting was what we seemed to do a lot of! Surprisingly, the paediatrician appeared with a surgeon later that evening. The surgeon had a good prod and poke of poor Eliot and then completely surprised us when he said he didn't think it was a hernia.  Really?! After three paediatricians suspected it was! He was pretty certain it wasn't but told us some warning signs to look out for. Thank goodness our little man was not going to need an operation. I was even happier when the paediatrician said we could be discharged but it would have to wait until tomorrow.

Monday 2nd July 2013
I was much happier when I awoke that morning, knowing Eliot was ok and that we would be going home. A midwife came and checked us both over. My stitches were healing ok but my feet and legs were still puffed up so I would need to keep the stockings on for a while longer.
The OH arrived with the car seat and we took our boy home. I couldn't believe I'd been in that hospital for so long and got very emotional on the way home. It felt so strange to be back in the big wide world and not in the confines of a hospital ward. I know it was the best place for Eliot to be if things weren't quite right.
Unfortunately we were back at the hospital a few weeks later but that is another post!

Finally able to go home!!!
Did you have to stay in hospital longer than expected after giving birth?

Tuesday 19 November 2013

NaBloPoMo 19 If you could have any job (and instantly have the training and qualifications to do it), which job would you want?

This is easy for me! If I could have any job in the world it would be as an actress. Not a TV soap star but an academy award winning actress (haha we can but dream huh?!)!
I adored drama at secondary school and took it as one of my GCSE subjects, teachers' said I was good at it. But there's good and there's being good enough to make it in such a cut throat industry.  I didn't pursue it in anyway whatsoever as I believe in the back of my mind there's no way I would ever gain access in to that world.
I was thrilled when we had a drama module in our final year of university, I jumped at the opportunity to take the main role in our group which I think surprised some people. To people I don't know very well or not entirely comfortable around I think I come across as quite shy and quiet. However when I'm in my comfort zone I'm entirely the opposite.
Perhaps in the future I will investigate amateur dramatics as I do thoroughly enjoy acting and it would make a nice little hobby!
Dream on dreamer ;-)

Monday 18 November 2013

NaBloPoMo 18 If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I'm not sure I can answer this question fully as I think my opinions change depending on my circumstances.

  • I think London is a great place to live as a professional. Now I'm a parent I want out!
  • Brighton is an amazing place to live, I spent four years there whilst at uni. I always said it wouldn't be the same living there not as a student.
I think I adapt easily to new places as I've always settled in quickly without any problems.

I have a vision of the sort of family home I'd like in the future...

Sunday 17 November 2013

NaBloPoMo 17 Are you the oldest, youngest, middle or only child?

Both my parents were married previously and have children from those relationships. I am the only child they had together, so technically I am an only child but have half siblings. I have a half sister and brother on my dads side and a half brother on my mums side.
My mum is originally from Liverpool and moved south when she met my dad. Her son moved with her until he was old enough to move back to Liverpool as he was obviously happier there.
My dads two children live local to where my parents live now, where they and I grew up.
I remember always wanting another brother or sister when I was little, someone to grow up and play with. I think I was happy as an only child, I would be imaginative when playing with my toys and was happy to do so by myself. If I did grow up with siblings I wonder if we would have got on like a house on fire or squabbled constantly, as I have friends with both types of sibling relationship. I will never know.

Silent Sunday 16/11/13



Saturday 16 November 2013

NaBloPoMo 16 What is your earliest memory?

Gosh I think I must have been around three or four. We went to the Warner holiday camp in Hayling Island a few times for holidays. They used to have children's clubs so the parents could get a bit of free time. They'd taken us over to the playing field to do some sort of activity, I can't remember what. But I was much more interested in the slide which was like a helter skelter and went round and round. I obviously decided that was more fun and played on there as opposed to with the group. God knows how long I was repeating the process of climbing up the steps and sliding down. At one point I was at the top and looked to see what the group were up to. I remember panic setting in as I was there all alone. I recall running all the way back to the building but not sure if it was my parents or the children's club I managed to find.
Shocking that whoever was in charge of looking after us kids obviously hadn't done a head count or even looked around to see if any of us had strayed.  I was naughty for leaving the group to play on the slide but did have a tendency to disappear. Once I got lost and went into Marks and Spencer's to tell staff I'd lost my mummy. I was well looked after in the staff room with squash and biscuits whilst my poor mu ended up down the police station! She must have been frantic.

Friday 15 November 2013

NaBloPoMo 15 Which was the best year of your life so far?

I can't choose one! I'm going to have to say 2008 & 2013.

2013 simply because our beautiful son was born.

2008 was a great year because...

1. With friends we made the most of our last few months as uni students
2. I met the OH
3. I graduated from uni with a 2:1
4. I got my first job as a qualified teacher

I wonder what the future holds :)

Thursday 14 November 2013

NaBloPoMo 14 What was your hardest age?

After reading some other posts I think I've been really lucky not to have experienced some really tough times.
My childhood and teenage years were happy, I had the odd blip like everyone I suppose but I guess a hard age for me was about 20. I fell out with some close friends over something petty, I was a nanny and not entirely happy with my job. I worked for two wonderful families but I wanted something more. Other good friends were away at uni so I guess it was a bit of a lonely time. I had a boyfriend who my parents did not approve of, so my relationship with them could be strained at times.
One day a friend convinced me I should go to university as it would open up many more doors for me. So the uni application process began, deciding what course to do, filling out the ucas form etc. I was accepted at Birmingham and Brighton universities on their teaching degrees and that was the start of a positive new beginning :) I became friends with the girls I'd fallen out with again and had the best university experience I could have wished for.

Wednesday 13 November 2013

NaBloPoMo 13 What's best between two pieces of bread?

Apologies for missing yesterday's post. I'm over at my parents and they don't have internet connection!
Ooo I love a sandwich and a variety of fillings appeal to me depending on the mood I'm in. But the hands down winner has to be a ploughmans sarnie. Mmmm cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo and pickle. That's the one for me :)

Monday 11 November 2013

NaBloPoMo 11 Do you feel you get enough of what you need to keep your heart/soul happy?

The answer is easy, no! To justify my answer is harder. I'm not sure what it is I would need to make my heart/soul completely happy. I am lucky to have lots of positives in my life...

  1. A beautiful baby boy.
  2. A loving fiancé.
  3. Lovely family and friends.
  4. A cosy home.
  5. A rewarding job

I suppose I'm not entirely happy with number three. Now we have a son I am eager to move in to a larger property with a garden. I am also keen to move out of London.

I guess number five bothers me too. I love teaching, it is immensely rewarding but I dislike the 'after' part when the kids have gone home. All the additional expectations and pressures really spoil being a teacher for me and others I know.

So maybe those two things are what make me feel my heart/soul is not completely happy. Neither are easily fixed. Moving home costs a fortune. Changing career is something I've considered but I feel like I'll regret leaving teaching if I do.

Sunday 10 November 2013

NaBloPoMo 10 Do you own a garden? What do you grow?

We live in a flat on the fourth floor so we don't have a garden. However we do have a balcony and pebbled area in front of our flat. Just outside the kitchen window are a few plants which have nothing to do with me! No no, I'm not 'green fingered' at all, it's left to the other half! Although saying that I have manage to keep a coriander plant alive for a few days! I don't know why but I'm just not interested in getting my hands mucky in soil even though you can get beautiful results.
The closest I've got to growing several plants must be when I've taught it during science lessons and we've grown cress and done the old experiment to see what happens when plants don't get any light/water etc etc.
I do want to move to a property with a garden some day soon so I wonder whether I'll change my mind. After all,  a garden needs to be looked after or they just look unkempt. I do have a vision of beautiful flowers and clean cut grass but don't envisage me doing the upkeep!

Saturday 9 November 2013

NaBloPoMo 9 1st Christmas Stocking Fillers

Today I thought I'd do a post not following a prompt as I'm in need of a bit of help. As you can tell from the title, this post is about 1st Christmas stocking fillers. So far I've only picked up a few little bits and would like some ideas on what else I could pop in to Eliot's 1st Christmas stocking.

This is what I have so far...

Good old traditional gift of socks, thought they were cute and Eliot will be needing  more of the next size up. A hardback book all about shape. A word and picture book on animals that can be attached to the pushchair. And finally, some glow in dark soothers, not the best stocking filler but our boy loves his dummy at bedtime!

I would love to hear what you put in your little ones 1st Christmas stocking or if you have seen  something perfect. Any ideas of little toys will be great, thank you :) You can see Eliot's first Christmas stocking here to get an idea of how big a gift can be.

Friday 8 November 2013

NaBloPoMo 8 Tell us about your profile picture.

The picture I have on my 'About Me' page is of myself and 'the other half'. It was taken back in 2011 at the Super Saturday festival on Clapham Common in aid of the Paralympic Games, held last year.
It was a great day, we saw several artists, Will Young, The Wanted, The Saturdays, Pixie Lott to name a few. We were even caught on one of the channel 4 cameras, getting our couple of seconds claim to fame!
It's funny to think how it wasn't that long ago and our lives were totally different. Carefree, boozing and boogieing all day/evening long. Now that would be my biggest nightmare, waking up with a cloudy head and having a bubba to look after!
I do love looking back at old photos, reminiscing about all the fun times had. Now I'm looking forward to looking back at all the family photos that we take/have taken.

Thursday 7 November 2013

NaBloPoMo 7 What percentage of yourself do you think you reveal to people online?

Hmmm this is a tough one as I honestly think you will never know someone 100% by just reading their blog but I think you can really get to know someone from other social media like their personal Facebook. Of course it depends on how open you wish to be.
I think people who don't know me that well are often surprised by my crazy photo collection on Facebook as I think I come across quite shy and quiet. However my FB photos tell a different story (particularly uni ones), of course that was a few years ago so I'm sure there won't be as many crazy photos now.
I think I'm open and honest so I think 90% of me is revealed, I doubt you'll see my full angry self, although I do like a rant!
Me back in the uni days.

A bit more sophisticated these days ;)

Do you think you reveal 100%?

Wednesday 6 November 2013

NaBloPoMo 6 Tell us about a time when everything fell into place perfectly

A time when everything slotted into place was when we were buying our current home. I'd always heard about how stressful buying a property was but didn't realise just how stressful it was.
We were in a rented property when one day a letter arrived to tell us that the landlord was selling the flat, therefore we would need to move. To start with we had a look round some other flats available to rent, some we liked, some we didn't and there was one we were quite keen on. Despite liking it there was something that just didn't seem right. I certainly didn't want to be lining someone else's pockets with cash when we could be making an investment. Of course living in London meant it was almost impossible to buy a property due to extortionate prices so I started looking at shared ownership developments. There  were a few new blocks of flats being built and we looked at the show homes.

One development we were particularly interested in due to the location and the fact there was car parking available. I mean being able to park in London without hassle is like finding Gold dust!
We had to choose our preferred apartments from a floor plan and wait to see if our application was successful.
We were so happy when we were offered our first choice apartment, then the fun and games really began! Speaking to financial advisors, being told there was only one mortgage we could apply for as the property was a new build and with all this going on I was also applying for a new job.
It was a long process and were in the place we rented for longer than we should have been and were under pressure to get out. Stress levels were rising! Whenever I called the financial advisors about our mortgage application the underwriters were still making a decision. We received a final date to be out of our flat, so were desperate for a quick decision. If they declined we would be in a right old rut. I
 was in Brighton with friends when I received an email from the financial advisor to inform us that our application had been approved. What a relief!!! We were able to pick up the keys two days before we were due to be out of our rented flat, so literally just in time.
Three years on we're still here but now wanting to move to a house as our family has expanded.

Tuesday 5 November 2013

NaBloPoMo 5 Do you like today? How do you feel about fireworks?

I suppose the answer is yes...I do like today. I remember learning about November 5th at primary school, Guy Fawkes and the gunpowder plot etc. Of course as a primary school teacher fireworks and safety is something we cover every year.

As a child I don't think I was too keen of fireworks, I just didn't like how loud they were with their booms and bangs! I also didn't like how petrified our Labrador Benji would get when it was Bonfire night and the surrounding days. He would hide himself in a corner or behind the sofa and shake. The worst thing was not being able to do anything to console him. It was horrible seeing our boisterous, fun loving dog like that.
Now I have two resident kitties who don't seem to bothered by the noise from fireworks which is a relief. They're indoor cats as we live in a flat so they are kept nice and safe inside!
These days I am more fond a fireworks and enjoy going to a display, although I think we missed our local one this year. In the future I look forward to taking Eliot to displays as a family, snuggling up and keeping cosy with our hats, scarfs and gloves.

Monday 4 November 2013

NaBloPoMo 4 Are you easily trcked? Do you fall for things?

When I first saw todays prompt I thought 'me easily tricked? Nah!' Then I thought about it a little more in depth.
I think I am quite a wary person and I may get suspicions about someone/something early on so I'd like to think I'm not easily fooled. However saying that I was thinking back to my school days and there were some silly things I believed. Here's an example!
I used to have pet ducks as a child and must have been talking about them with a school friend. She proceeded to tell me about a time when she'd cracked an egg and a chick was inside, it was fine and chirped about the kitchen counter (apparently)! Bear in mind this was early secondary school! Duh! How could I have been silly enough to believe that. I suppose that is a pretty innocent example. Of course there were situations where I would fancy a guy and they said they would call but never did.  fell for that a couple of times.
I can't think of any recent times where I've fallen for something, as I get older I like to think I'm wiser and not naïve :)

Are you wary or do you believe things easily? 

Sunday 3 November 2013

NaBloPoMo 3 What would you rather jump in...

                    Leaf pile

Or puddle?
I didn't have to think about this answer whatsoever! For me I would absolutely jump in a puddle. I think if you're wrapped up and wearing the right attire, such as a pair of wellies it's great fun and you keep dry. I remember puddle jumping as a child but don't recall diving into any leaves!
What puts me off leaves is what could be lurking underneath! Creepy crawlies, rubbish or worse animal muck! So I guess that's the simple reason why I wouldn't choose to jump in to a leaf mountain. It wasn't a leaf pile but a friend sat down in long grass at primary school and ended up covered in dog muck! That memory really sticks in my mind!

Mummy Day Off!

On Wednesday I had a 'mummy day off' with a bit of a treat on a spa day at The Weybridge Health Club. Sorry no pics as my iPhone completely broke.
I saw a spa deal on last back in July and thought it would be a perfect and much needed treat as a new mum.  I asked a couple of friends if they fancied it,  one being another mummy and the other a teacher were well and truely on board! So I went ahead and booked a date in August on lastminute.
We needed to book times for our treatments so I set a date with the girls and rang the spa. Much to my dismay booking that date on lastminute didn't guarantee we could be booked in with the spa on the same date, so the nearest date we could all do was October. I was a bit disappointed that my much needed new mummy pamper would have to wait but at least I had it to look forward to.

We arrived just before midday and were given a couple of forms to fill out, one to do with health the other lunch. We decided to order lunch first and sat in the lounge area. The choice of lunch wasn't vast, salad or panini. I went for a mozzarella and sun-dried tomato panini. We also had a glass of wine included which arrived whilst we were waiting for lunch. The lounge area was small and not particularly inviting.
We had a good old natter until lunch arrived and we piped down for a bit. Lunch was not spectacular to say the least, my panini tasted soapy and one of the girls was brought the wrong salad!
After lunch and some more chatting we were shown the facilities and got changed for some time in the pool area.
First of all we took a dip in the hydro pool which was timed to come on and off. Very nice and ample opportunity to catch up with the girlies! Next we ventured into the steam room which didn't feel too hot to begin with but it felt like it increased while we were in there. After this we checked out the sauna, this was hotter and the benches were burning our bums! We couldn't stay in for too long and headed for a few lengths in the pool. Then we got comfy in the hydro pool again  before deciding it was time for  coffee and cake.
Back to the lounge we went, there was only one option on offer, carrot cake. Me and a pal opted for this whilst our other friend went for choccy.
After more gossiping myself and one friend decided to get changed and head to the gym whilst the other went  back to pool area.
It's been a while since I frequented a gym but I enjoyed a little workout on the bike and cross trainer. I was impressed by the machines, touch screen and own tv screen to watch any channel you wished. We also checked out the power plates which are meant to be used for various purposes such as strengthening and relaxing. I did not particularly like it as I felt like my brain was rattling around, however I can see how they do their job.
Finally it was time for a treatments, we had one half an hour treatment and a fifteen minute one. We all chose a half an hour back, neck and shoulder massage and a fifteen minute mini facial.
Both were thoroughly relaxing and enjoyable definitely the best part of the day! Even the beds were heated to keep you cosy!
Overall we had a fantastic day and would go back. I definitely recommend a spa treat anywhere for new mums!

Have you had a mummy day off since becoming a parent?

Silent Sunday 3/11/13

Silent Sunday

Saturday 2 November 2013

NaBloPoMo 2 What is your favourite Autumnal flavour? Share Your favourite recipe.

My favourite Autumnal flavour has to be cinnamon, I actually like it all year round but more so when those dark nights begin to draw in and it gets colder. I love it on toast with butter/marg and just can't get enough of the smell! I need to try it in porridge, can't believe I haven't done that yet!

I can't say I really have a favourite recipe as I don't often follow them. I like to do my own thing or keep things simple.
When the days get colder I do like a steaming bowl of soup to warm me up so I'll share this mushroom soup recipe I got off the internet a couple of years ago. It tastes amazing!!!

Ingredients (serves 4-6)
  • 350g Mushrooms
  • 50g Butter
  • 1 small onion
  • 1L chicken stock
  • A bouquet garni
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 30ml white wine
  • 15g wholemeal flour
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 60ml whipping cream
  • Pinch of paprika
  •  Wash mushrooms, keep 2 for garnish, chop rest thoroughly
  • Heat half the butter in a large saucepan on a low heat
  • Chop the onion and add. Cook for 3 minutes
  • Add mushrooms and stir for a further 2 minutes
  • Add stock, bouquet garni, bayleaf & white wine
  • Bring to the boil and simmer for 15mins. Allow to cool slightly
  • Blend soup in a blender or food processor
  • Heat remaining butter in another saucepan, add flour until a roux (paste of flour & butter) is made,
  • Cook for 1 min and gradually add the mushroom soup, stirring briskly. Season well.
  • Add half the cream just before serving
  • Mix remaining cream with paprika and swirl on top of soup in bowls for decoration
If you try it let me know! I'd love to know what you think :)

NaBloPoMo 1 Something You Don't Know About Me

This month I'm taking part in National Blog Post Month (NaBloPoMo) which you can read more about on Vonnie's blog
I'm a day late as I found out about it last night, I was keen to take part as my blog is new and I thought it would be a great way get chatting to more lovely bloggers :)
Yesterdays prompt was...
'November 1, 2013Welcome to NaNoBloPo! Share with us something we may not already know about you. Link back to old posts that need some loving.'

Hmmm something that you don't already know about me is that I'm engaged to the other half! In fact I should update my 'About Me' when I get round to it!
He proposed on 23rd December 2012, people who don't really know us too well probably thought it was because I was pregnant! But he'd been planning it for a while and was telling some close friends and family at my Birthday party in September.
There were a few friends involved with the actual proposal,  and as well as verbalising his proposal he put it on a cake too! We never ate it, it's still in the bottom of the freezer!
We didn't think about any planning then as I was pregnant but now we're thinking about 'when' and 'where'. Any wedding planning tips would be greatly appreciated!!!

As my blog is just under a month old there aren't an awful lot of posts so I'll leave one that has got less love than others! Sleepsuit Rant please do leave a comment if you have similar problems :)

Friday 1 November 2013

My Labour & Birth Story

Finally I’d reached my due date 24/6/13 but there were no signs of our boy making an appearance. To see if I could give things a kick start, I tried out some more of the old wives tales. I’d already been drinking raspberry leaf tea from 37 weeks and had been eating pineapple and drinking the juice  for few a days.
Off I began on a long walk, stopping for lunch on route and picking up a ‘healthy’ curry meal for dinner. No twinges, no broken waters, nada!
Dinner time came around, curry eaten, pineapple juice drank, had a raspberry leaf tea later but still no sign of bubs.
The rest of the evening consisted of TV watching and general faffings before heading to bed quite late.

It was about 2:15am when I awoke with the urge to pee, nothing unusual there at 40 weeks pregnant! I went to go to the loo but before I started a little water gushed out. Was this it? Was this the start of labour? I wiped and there was some blood which had to be part of the plug coming away. I wasn’t too concerned as every first time mum is informed their labour is likely to be loooong. So back to bed I went. Within a few minutes I had the urge to pee again. Exactly the same thing happened, more water, more plug!  This had to be it! Knowing it was likely to be a long process I went and tucked myself back in bed determined to catch as much shut eye as possible! It wasn’t long after that, cramps started in my lower back started coming and going every few minutes. I tossed and turned for ages without getting comfy. I got out of bed to take some paracetamol and fill a hot water bottle to try and ease the cramps, hoping I could get some much needed sleep. But no luck, it was inevitable, the sleep just wasn’t going to happen and I was awake for the rest of the night.

The cramps weren’t horrendous, I just couldn’t switch off and get back in to a slumber.

 My other half was oblivious and I didn’t disturb him as I needed my birth partner to be fully awake when things progressed.

As soon as it was a reasonable hour in the morning I rang the midwife to say I thought my waters had gone. It was Ailsa who had the phone (read about midwives in my preganancy tabs), after describing what had happened during the night she said she’d be over within the hour.

By this time the other half was up and I guess went in to denial mode, as he got ready and went to work just after Ailsa and a student midwife arrived.

After checking me over they were pretty sure my waters had gone so they made a plan. If I hadn’t delivered within 24 hours of the waters going I would need to have intravenous antibiotics as bubs was now susceptible to infection. So Ailsa called the hospital. If things hadn’t naturally progressed throughout the day I would go in that evening so the antibiotics could be administered.

 In the mean time I had to sit tight and monitor my temperature every few hours. If it became raised I needed to go to hospital straight away as it could’ve meant I had an infection. Ailsa also confirmed the cramps were contractions as my stomach was going hard.

I was given codeine to help with the pain, told to take a bath and try and get the sleep I was yearnng for.

For the rest of the morning I tried to occupy myself, I didn’t get round to the bath or sleeping.
Around lunchtime my friend Charlotte text to see if I still wanted to go for the walk we’d planned (that I’d forgotten about in my early labour). A work colleague had let me borrow their TENs machine and I was keen to get it on. There was no way I was going to be able to position the pads myself. When Charlotte arrived we faffed around looking up instructions for the TENs machine online. Eventually we found some and managed to get the pads on.  I’m not sure how much it helped with the pain but it did give me a sense of control, being able to press the ‘boost’ button when a contraction started. I did have problems with the pads peeling off as I had a top on rubbing them, plus it was a warm-ish day.

We went on our walk just down to the high street, bought a naked juice and a magazine to try and distract me, which I never got round to reading!

I’d been in contact with the other half throughout the day, he was obviously still in denial mode as he asked me if ‘I was sure I was in labour’. Apparently his work colleague was surprised I was off on a walk, so I couldn’t possibly be in labour!

I continued to use the boost button on the TENs to help with the contractions and Charlotte stayed with me as long as she could. Before she left I rang the other half to say I wanted him to come home as I was finding the contractions harder, I think it was because I was so tired.

When he was home he rang the midwife to see if we would be going to hospital and to say I was finding the contractions tough. Ailsa asked to speak with me and kept me talking (the test MW’s do to check if you’re in established labour) Because I was able to chat without any major problems she said I wasn’t ready to go to hospital.

Later that evening the other half rang the labour ward, who were aware we would be calling, to see if there was a delivery suite for us. There was! A taxi was called, we grabbed mine and bubs’ hospital bags. Then a struggle to get my shoes on began as I was VERY swollen. This was it! We were going to hospital to have our son delivered.

When we arrived there was another couple waiting in birth centre reception. The woman looked like she was much further along with her labour than myself which freaked me out. They were taken through to a delivery room and it was just me and the other half in reception. A few minutes later a midwife appeared and led us to a delivery room. I wasn’t keen on this midwife, it was a hospital midwife not one from the team I’d seen in antenatal appointments. The other half explained I hadn’t had any sleep and asked if there was anything they could do. She offered codeine and some lavender to sniff to see if I could drift off. I gladly accepted but it didn’t do much and I was unable to sleep.

For the rest of the night we were visited now again by a couple of hospital midwives to see how things were but we were mainly left to our own devices. So we chatted, people watched and I bounced on a birth ball (best thing ever!).

The time ticked by and it got to 2:30am, it had been over 24 hours since my waters had started to go. I should’ve been administered the IV antibiotics. Eventually the midwife I wasn’t keen on came in and said they had phoned the midwife on call from the team and she was on her way. I would be given the antibiotics once she had taken over my care.

So there was more waiting until she got there. When she arrived she arranged for the anaesthetist to come down to put a line in for the antibiotics. I started to feel the familiar dread of not being able to find a vein (read about my needle dislike). It turned out he found a vein in the back of my my wrist pretty quickly and was able to get the line in. My first lot of antibiotics began to drip in, I would need a dose every four hours until our baby was born.

Next was the internal examination to see how dilated I was, I hadn’t had one earlier due to the risk of infection.  For anyone who is dreading these it really wasn’t that bad and I wondered why I’d been so worried! Well that was until later… for now lets just say it depends on who is examining you!  I was 5cm, result! That meant I could get the gas and air I wanted and I was in established labour.

About 7am a student midwife called Julia came in to help.  My contractions were still quite far apart and irregular so the midwife gave me some clary sage to smell to help make them stronger. Boy did it do the trick to begin with! As soon as I took my first sniff I experienced a much stronger contraction and was thankful I had the gas and air to help me through.

At 8am the midwives swapped over. I was so happy when I saw it was Johanna, a midwife I’d met a couple of times before. Julia decided to stay and help out too.

I had a bit of breakfast and for most of the morning bounced on the birthing ball, this was where I was most comfy!

It must have been around 10:30am Johanna decided to do another internal examination. She asked if it I was happy to let Julia check first, which I had no problems with as the earlier one hadn’t been uncomfortable. Again, no discomfort and I was 8cm dilated. To be certain Johanna checked and was not as gentle! I felt so much discomfort I got on the gas and air. Johanna confirmed I was 8cm but was surprised as she said I didn’t look like someone who was 8cm dilated. Even though my contractions were quite far apart and didn’t appear that strong they were doing their job!

Bubs’ heartbeat had to be checked every 15mins and he continued to be happy which was a relief. One thing I dreaded was his heartbeat dropping and a horrible scenario occurring, like you would see on ‘One Born Every Minute’.

Johanna and Julia were both very supportive, Julia in particular chatted away to us both and showed the other half how to rub my back when I got a contraction.

Around lunchtime they decided to do another internal, I was happy for Julia to check first again and made sure I’d started on the gas and air before Johanna checked! Nothing much had changed so Johanna decided it would be best for me to be given the drugs to make the contractions come quicker and stronger.

They did their Job and I got to a point where I was finding it hard. I remember saying,  ‘I don’t want to do this anymore!’. Julia said that meant I was getting close to the end.

I  was shattered after being awake for over 32 hours but not long after I was ready to push.

I’d been adamant that I wasn’t going to be on my back during labour as it slows everything down, not letting gravity do its work. I also did not want to deliver on my back!

After pushing for a while on my knees, Johanna advised me to try on my back, sat up with knees up as she thought it would be better for me. I was totally in ‘a zone’ but remember a couple of doctors coming in and checking how I was getting on during pushing.

Eventually, after what seemed like an eternity of pushing our boy was delivered at 3.54pm weighing a whopping 9.5lbs.

My placenta needed quite a bit of help to follow and for me was pretty much like giving birth again. I also needed stitches as I had a little tear but was extremely thankful our boy had been delivered safely and no emergency had taken place. Johanna even commented that I’d had a good labour with my ‘lazy contractions’.

I can honestly say it was the most bizarre but natural thing I’ve ever experienced and not as bad as I expected! How you feel with the people delivering your baby makes such a difference too. I felt utterly at ease and comfortable with Johanna and Julia and  had every confidence in them.

I think the toughest thing was being in labour for over 37 hours with very little sleep!

The only thing that didn’t go to ‘birth plan’ was delivering in a birthing pool because I had the drip in. Although I think if I’d asked I may have been able to get in if it was free!

How was your labour and delivery?

Thank you so much for stopping by! I appreciate comments and read all of them!