The Understatement Of The Year

Babies are so bad for the environment and that’s my understatement of the year!

Sod using public transport, not owning a car, recycling, buying secondhand, growing your own, eating less meat, being vegetarian/vegan or cleaning your house without chemicals. The best way to cut down your carbon foot print is not to breed!

I was fully aware of this already, and the environmental impact and the amount of waste that I would be sending to landfill was one of the many reasons that it took me so long to come around to the idea of having a kid. (BTW despite me sounding like a chav when I talk, I can totally be a bit of a middle class a-hole at times with my environmental concerns and issues!)

Even though I have tried to make my peace with the wastefulness of having a baby (i.e told myself to just bury my head in the sand, to try and ignore it and to focus on the good stuff) it still shocks me how quickly our wheelie bin is filling up and how much waste there is!

So to make myself feel slightly better I am using my blog as a therapy session (once again!) to get some of the guilt off my chest and to thought dump all of my feels on here!!!

Here is my list of shame –

  • It shocks me how many cotton wool balls we have got through. Two weeks in and we are on our third bumper sized bag already!
  • The boiling the kettle constantly to pour water out to cool for top and tailing. Then forgetting about said bowl of water on the side and having to do it all over again!
  • The nappies! Ten or fifteen years ago I was very much a ranty, soapbox, eco warrior type and I would have used reusable washable nappies if I had a kid when I was younger. These days I have chilled out a bit and I will do anything for an easier life – so we are using disposables! Please feel free to judge, but I know that the amount of constant washing would drive me crazy and reduce me to tears on a daily basis. So Pampers/cheaper supermarket own brand are the way forward for now.
  • The amount of nappy bags that I am using to wrap said disposable nappies in, before plonking them in the wheelie bin, before they end up in landfill and take 20+years to break down all the while leaking chemicals into the soil. All that we can do ATM to save waste is to put two pissy nappies in the same bag. Lame.
  • The amount of washing. The pile of pissy wet babygrows never goes down!
  • The constant washing of hands. More water usage.
  • The water used for sterilising.
  • The amount of packaging for his milk. I am currently breastfeeding Dylan, but because of his low birth weight and current slow weight gain we have been advised to top him up with formula. So we are currently using the ready made Cow and Gate mini throw away bottles to save time with heating powdered milk and sterilising bottles etc. Again, anything for an easier life.
  • I am also this close to saying f**k it with the breast feeding and sticking him on the formula full time to get him gaining weight and to make life slightly easier (which also as an extra bonus doing this will piss off my slightly-mental-pro-breast-feeding health visitor who I cannot stand and who suggested that I buy one of these to give him his formula in. Can you imagine Rob wearing it! – Actually, please don’t! That’s a really disturbing image!)
  • The amount of stuff that you need to buy that only gets used for 4-6 months.
  • The fact that most of it will be chucked, as nobody really buys second had baby stuff like cribs etc.
  • TMI alert – The amount of maternity pads that you get through before, during and after. All going to landfill.
  • The fact that I have been this close to ordering a tumble dryer.
  • And despite a long history of setting fire to them and breaking them, I have purchased a new microwave to sterilise bottles in. Unfortunately the microwave steriliser that I also ordered was too big to fit inside my new microwave. Oops! Never mind at least we can have jacket potatoes for tea again and reheat our cold cups of tea!
  • The fact that I wanted to only use organic, eco friendly baby bath products etc but I have been gifted a shedload of J&J baby smellies, Vaseline and Sudocream etc. I will just have to suck it up and use these paraben and petroleum containing products. And be grateful for them. Which I am – honest!
  • The amount of baby wipes that I will use.
  • But despite my guilt at increasing the hole in the ozone etc, despite the lack of sleep, despite the fact that I am a emotional teary wreak most of the time, my love for this babe is growing daily. Now please excuse me while I put another load of washing on and put the heating on full wack to dry it! #explainingnotcomplaining

And Then There Were Three….

…..Or four of us in the household now, if you include the cat, which I 100% do BTW!

Please allow me to introduce Dylan Milo. He was born on Saturday 24/12/16 weighing 5lb 15oz at 3.08am.

We are totally smitten with the little fellow and we are on a sleep deprived cloud nine high ATM!

Of course it would not be a typical Helen and Rob type of story with out some kind of hiccup involved around the time of his birth. And sure enough, before he was born, the van broke down on Saturday the 17th Dec, four days before my due date on Wednesday the 21st Dec!

We hastily organised a list of local cab firm numbers to keep to hand, sorted some cash out ready to pay for midnight taxis, and hoped, that while I did not want his birthday to be too close to Xmas day, that in a way it might be better if I kept my legs crossed for a little bit longer while the van was being fixed at the garage!

On my D-Date Weds 21/12/16 we were loaned a courtesy car by the garage. Then on Fri 23/12/16 we got the van back at around 3pm just in time for our 6pm drive to our local hospital, as by then I was in labour!

Just in the nick of time, eh!

Thankfully, it all worked out perfectly, as Rob was really looking forward to bringing him home in the van rather than the damp, smelly, ancient, ex learner vehicle, crappy Vauxhall Corsa that the garage gave us as a courtesy car!

There will be no birth story on here. Although for some reason I really want to share it (it must be the hormone high!) But when I see birth stories on other peeps blogs, I find them dull and long, and they all seem to be either on the hardcore, grisly, birth olympics type of survivor story end of the spectrum or the smug, showy, “I just breathed my baby out”, hypnobirth type of tale! Dylan’s birth was fine BTW. It was fairly quick and not as painful as I was expecting, and was kind of a mixture of the two! But I don’t care about any of all that, I am just grateful that he is here!

I had to stay in hospital overnight, and Rob and I spent most of Xmas day on the ward. I cannot praise the all NHS staff enough, they were amazing, and fed Rob and I a Xmas dinner and the midwifes even gave Dylan a  Xmas present – the little bear rattle thing pictured below! We got home at about 6.30 pm on Xmas day and enjoyed the rest of the day as a family of 3 (although I missed the GBBO Xmas special! Boo!)

Here are some more piccies of him. He is so tiny! I thought that because I was overdue and we have a history of bigger babies in the family that he would be a 10lb-er chunk! Nope, he is so dinky! Even tiny baby sized clothes seem so large on him!

Oh well, that’s enough of my baby waffle! I have a couple of badly written, unedited (like my last 15 Years post) scheduled ready to go live and I hope that I will be back blogging again in a month or two. See you all soon!

Wish me luck with the sleepless nights!

Christmas 2016

I know, I know – its more than a tad too early to mention the big C word (IMO there should be only 12 days of it, no scrap that, just 1 day of it, and it doesn’t start in August!) But don’t worry, this is not going to be one of my yearly traditional posts ranting about the music and the overblown commercialism etc. Because for once I am not working in a hellhole busy retail environment and this Xmas is going to be a very different one, as no big deal, but we are only blooming having a baby around that time!

I am officially due on 21/12/16, but we all know that no one ever arrives on their due date! I am really hoping that the kid is not born on Xmas day (or Xmas eve or Boxing day or New years day if I go overdue!) As that is such a rubbish birthday to have. So I am kind of hoping that I will be a week or two early so the poor little buggers B.day is not too close to Xmas and gets overlooked!

I used to work with a lovely lady who was born on Xmas day. She hated it as she never really got to celebrate her birthday. She would wake up in the morning and her kids would wish her happy birthday, then she would have to work all day long cooking the whole family a huge Xmas dinner. Plus she always had her mother-in-law staying round. So it wasn’t much fun for her. (That’s how she told me, anyway. Bless her!)

One of Rob’s friends used to go out with a girl who was also born on Xmas day. She would always celebrate her half birthday in June, as her B.day kind of slipped by because of all the other celebrations going on.

I saw this feature on Apartment Therapy the other day, its a interesting study on the frequency of birthdays and how common your birthday is. Plus I am bored stupid on the worlds longest ever maternity leave and I have too much time on my hands to over think these things!

I have tried not to get too excited and make loads of plans for the future. Because in the past I have learnt that its best not to think too far ahead and that the best laid plans never work out. I prefer to go with the flow and I have a wing it approach to life in general.

The only one thing that I have daydreamed about with the kid is making future birthday cakes for them (that and future family camping trips together in the van!) I am looking forward to the challenge of creating their special requests in the form of cake! But how will we manage to eat two blooming cakes at Xmas time? (Rob said that this will be no problem for him BTW!) And how will I manage to accommodate, please and entertain doting grandparents for joint B.days and Xmas so no one has their nose put out? We all know that I hate being the hostess with the mostess!!!

This will also be the first Xmas that we will not see our families. We have had Xmases on our own before, but we always visited the family before or after the main event. This year we will not be able to travel to the Isle of Wight or Kent. The funny thing is that everyone seems to be concerned about how we are going to be celebrating Xmas this year! My Mum is worried that we will not be able to have a Xmas meal (where as Rob is just pleased to be missing out on the dry turkey!) But as I said to everyone – celebrating Xmas is the last thing that we are worried about this year as we have other more important stuff to think of!

Plus it gives me the perfect excuse not to bother putting the decorations up this year! Although even Rob told me not to be such a Grinch on that one! But to me its another hassle that I could do with out with a new born in the house!

Some Stuff For The Kid

I guess that this post will reveal that we are having a boy. Its not a big secret, as we chose to find out the sex at our 20 week scan and we have told all our friends, family and anyone else who asks what we are having. I just haven’t mentioned it on my blog for some reason! We still haven’t decided on a name yet though. He just goes by “the kid” for now!

I have recently broken my own rules and brought some clothing for the baby. I brought these super hero vests (age 6-9 months, brand new with tags) for £2.50 in a local chazza and I allowed Rob, AKA the ultimate big kid/Star Wars fan (like most blokes around his age are!), to buy this cute Chewbacca onesie thingy while we were out shopping in Tescos the other day.imageimage

I am trying to avoid the whole pink for a girl and blue for a boy thing, but you cannot help being drawn towards all the stereotypical gender based stuff as there is not a lot of unisex clothing out there. So I am just sticking to my no boring baby blue and greige coloured stuff rule the best I can, and I will try to make his wardrobe and accessories as bright and cheerful as I possibly can!

Robs Aunt is a prolific knitter and has already asked us if we wanted any bits made for the baby. I requested a brightly coloured stripey blanket and a little bonnet/hat type of thing (but not in pastel colours please!) And she has already made them and posted them down to us! How cute are they? I love hand knitted bits for lit’luns. I wish I was clever and could knit myself, but I just don’t have the skills or patience for it!image

Oh, and Robs Mum found this vintage Fisher Price toy that used to belong to Rob and his sister up in her loft and passed it on to us.image

Plus we have also ordered the cot and mattress as they were on special offer (even though he won’t be sleeping in them straight away and will be in our room at first) and the car seat is on order from the local baby superstore (AKA your worst nightmare if you hate spending lots of unnecessary money and are not keen on cutesy, vomit inducing baby furniture and paraphernalia like myself!!!) which will be ready to collect within the next three weeks, I hope!

So we are getting there. I have finally accepted that I had better stop putting things off and get a bit more prepared for the new member of the household!

Who am I kidding, we are totally unprepared for what is coming and the house has a lot more than 7 weeks decorating left to do! Eek!

Questions Asked And Statements Made To Rob And I Recently

In the last few weeks Rob and I have heard a lot of the same questions/statements in conversations lately…….

Pretty much everyone we chat to“Your lives are going to completely change.”
Our stock response – “Yes, we do realise this.”
The response in our heads – “Well, duh. We do know this. Maybe we want the changes in our lives.”

Pretty much everyone we chat to“You do realise that you are not going to get any sleep.”
Our stock response – “Yes, we know this.”
The response in our heads – “Well, duh. Again, we do know this. We have heard all the horror stories. We know that it will be hard. Hopefully the pros will out weigh the cons”.

Pretty much everyone we chat to“Are you going to buy a new sensible modern car?”
Our stock response – “No, we have not felt the urge to go out and order a high purchase, butt ugly, massive, gas guzzling Citroen Picasso/Renault Scenic/Vauxhall Zafira. The camper van will be just fine. Plus Helen/I does not/do not drive, so whats the point?”

Pretty much everyone we chat to“Have you brought any stuff/equipment yet?”
Our stock response – “Nope, not yet. We like to leave things to the last minute! Plus we want to finish decorating the house first.”
My response in my head – “No way, its way too early, and you never know what might happen. I do not want all that stuff in the house just in case something goes wrong. As it has gone wrong before”*

Pretty much everyone we chat to“How is Helen feeling?”
Our stock response – “Sick.”
Pretty much everyone we chat to“Really? Still?”  Then they will launch into a long monologue about how they/or their other half did not really suffer from it,  just that one time that they were sick in the bin at work. But they had this symptom or that symptom.

My boss at work“Have you got twins in there?”
Me – “No, just one. Why? Am I huge?”

Me to Rob in Tescos the other night“I got to push one of these out of my fanny hole soon” as I put a water melon into the shopping basket. (Yes, this really is how I talk. Its pure poetry all the time with me!)
Rob to me in Tescos the other night – A stupid, non-funny, blokey response about if one of them came out he would be seriously worried and wonder what I have been up to etc.
Needless to say, I made him pay for the shopping that night, which included green, round, expensive, imported fruit.

Everyone we talk to“Congratulations.”
Our standard response – “Thanks.” Followed by a slightly awkward silence. How do you respond to people when they say this when you are a bit of a socially awkward, introvert who doesn’t really like being the centre of attention? (That’s just me BTW, Rob is a pretty normal person! I never know what to say after peeps congratulate me, other than thanks! Where do you lead the conversation to next? More about yourself, the conception, the life choice you have made or the weather???!!)

A Female Friend to me“Are you going to have a shower?”
Me to female friend – “No way! That is my idea of hell!” Any situation where I have to sit in the centre of a room, wearing a sash, pretending to enjoy playing stupid party games, unable to have an alcoholic drink, and then have to pretend to go all mushy over tiny clothes is not my thing. Tiny clothes are cute, but they do not make me squeal and coo etc. Yes, I a horrible person with a heart of stone!

…….Yep, its true, I am pregnant. 24 weeks, in fact. Due 21/12/16. Its going to be an interesting Xmas!

I finally feel ready to talk about things on here, although I have not put anything on social media yet. We are being a bit old fashioned, but big social media announcements are not our thing. We have only told our close friends and family in person, on the phone or by text. The good thing about doing an announcement on here (which I hope is not too dramatic or attention seeking!) is that no one really reads my blog! I just thought it would be nice to say something to some of you (if you are reading this!) as I do enjoy our internet correspondence (you know who you all are – thanks again!)

I suppose this explains why I have not talked about cycling, hill hiking and camping on here lately. I have been too effing sick to do all the things that we hoped and planned to do when we moved to Devon!

sick note

A note I passed to Rob the other day when he was on the phone to one of his business clients! Poor Rob will tell you that he is suffering too having to listen to me heaving and cleaning up after me!!!

Yes, I am still throwing up, feeling sick, unable to brush my teeth without nearly puking, unable to drink water, tea, herbal teas, lemonade, orangeade (the list goes on – basically I can only drink chocolate milk, blackcurrant squash and vegetable stock!!) and dry heaving/gagging/wretching at any funny smell at any time of day or night at 24 weeks pregnant. Still. But I am not complaining (honestly!) its all part of the process (for 1 in 10 of us according to the NHS website) and its all good. Plus its not as bad as it was in the early days.

I am due to finish work in October, so I will (hopefully) have more time to blog soon. The finishing in October thing is not my choice, but due to the timing of things I could only take a temporary summer job. I wanted to move down here and find a secure job first before giving things another go, so that I could eventually let down said employers at said secure full time job by buggering off on my maternity leave on full pay benefits! But hey ho, this is how things have happened and I am not complaining!

*I might write about our experience eventually. For now all I will say is that it was f**king awful.

Edit 04/09/16 – I felt that I should say some more about my dislike of baby showers. Basically after publishing this post I felt like a bit of a dick for saying that they are my idea of hell! I am just a horrible, miserable cow who dislikes harmless nice things, things that are not hurting anyone, things that make other people happy like the X Factor, musical Disney cartoons, pantos (gord help me in the next few years, eh!), Christmas, weddings and baby showers.

I dunno, they just all seem too forced, contrived and just another way of the man making money from us. But that’s just me.

I have attended several baby showers in my time and played along in all the games, felt sorry for the poor mum to be as everyone guesses how fat big she is with the string around the bump game, drank the warm lemonade, given the cute tiny clothing gifts and survived! Baby showers are not all that bad. I just don’t want one myself thanks.

I also did a Google search to see if anyone else out there thinks they are rubbish and I found this link. Do have a read if you have the time, it made me chuckle!