Lately #22

Holla, newly renamed blog that I have not pinned to the new domain name and done other technical stuff to!

Meh, it will get done eventually!

In the mean time, lets have a quick catch up on all the happenings (or rather non happenings) going on lately….

  • Welp, since my last blog post I have done a bit of networking in my newish area and have met more people. I have a new part time job and I joined a baby club.
  • The baby club came about when I chatted up another mum on the bus and she invited me to her baby club that she organises. Dylan needs it, and to be honest, I think that I need it too. I am a weird mix – Im still a little shy and I hate awkward small talk, but I also love a good chin wag! I will tell anyone my life story whether they want to hear it or not!
  • But lets just say that I am not exactly making new ‘mum friends’ at the baby club. I stick out like a sore thumb with my broad Kent accent, my formula fed baby and I get looks of horror when Dylan is a bit rough with one of their precious babies! (He is a normal babe BTW, he has had his hair pulled, has been pushed over and they all fight over the same toy!) One week no one said good bye to me! But, you know what, I don’t care. Im still going back whether they like it or not!
  • The new job is working weekends in a well known chain store that may or may not be DIY centric, and is as glamourous as it sounds. Please do not come in with a random bit of pipe/screw/light bulb and expect me to know WTF it is!!! I know nothing. Nadda. I am beyond useless.
  • I am also struggling to understand the local accent (yep, still struggling, I had this problem in my last job, last year!) and one of my new work collegues told me that they call all people not from Devon foreigners. Man, I feel right at home at times like these!
  • But its all good. I only plan on working here for the short term. Its a bit of cash for me, I get on with the customers (once we get past the language barrier!) and it will help pay for my Xmas pressies for the fam. It also will improve our chances of moving with future mortgage applications etc.
  • Its weird, even though we do not have our weekends together as a family now (Rob works Mon – Fri, I work Sat and Sun), me working again has, so far, been a positive thing. We have both been more productive with our time, getting more shit done. Rob and I tend to encourage each other to procrastinate. We can be a bad influence on each other! So left to our own devices we get more done. This slight change to our routine has given us both a kick up the arse!
  • As I say, this job is (hopefully) for a year tops. I want to be a SAHM, cos believe me, I really do not enjoy working! But while D is small and in a tight routine, we cant do the long day trips in the van etc. When he is older I will look for a job with more family friendly hours (which we all know dosen’t really exsist!) or quit, depending on our household finances etc. Damn, I am such a boring adult these days!
  • Talking of moving – I still need to figure out what is more important to me. Living near my family or living somewhere nice. When you put it like that, its a no-brainer, but I greedily want both. Why are there no nice towns on the Isle of Wight? Although after Halloween, I really, really want to be nearer the fam. I missed seeing the nephews in their costumes, and I wish that Dylan can do future Halloween stuff with his cousins.
  • I am looking forword to Xmas this year. We have an elf to put on a shelf etc. But its more about seeing the family again. Its going to be a proper hassle, as we are in Kent for D’s B.day, then on to the IOW for Xmas, catching an Xmas eve ferry. Eek! This is the start of things to come. Don’t have an Xmas baby if you can help it peeps! Gah!
  • So thats about all thats going on in my so called life ATM! Told you that I am such a boring adult now!

Some Things That I Have Been Told To Do

People have a lot to say when you have a baby. Especially about feeding them. Just when you think that all the unasked for, over-opinionated well meaning advice about whether you should breastfeed, pump, combination feed, formula feed or do all of the above is behind you, you then have to start weaning your baby. And then the whole blooming saga starts all over again!

It turns out that people have strong feelings about how you should wean your baby. And then weaning is a right mine field! Do you do baby led weaning or purees? How much food do you give them? What should you give them? When should you feed them? And will my little darling be a picky little bastard, refuse to eat and make my life hell?

Anyway, this is not going to be a how to/advice type of baby weaning blog post. Nope, not from me. Dylan is 8.5 months old and has only been eating solids for about 2 months, so I still have my L plates on. And to be honest, I am not really sure what I am doing!

I just want to share what Rob’s and my parents fed us when we were babies and some of the weaning advice that we have been given. I hope that this is not too dull and that this post does not have the same effect on you as Dylan pictured below! But somethings we have been told made me chuckle, so I feel the need to share them here while my blogging mojo lasts!

ZZZZZzzzzzzz! Yep, this actually happened, the poor little mite fell asleep during lunch time! And yes, that is a cat hair on his highchair tray, oops!

So its all coming out of the woodwork now! What we have learnt is that my Mum used to feed me mashed up bread in a little marmite gravy (salt content alert!), lots of liver and then honey sandwiches (back in the days before they told you not to give it to babies under one years old) all the time, as I refused to eat anything else.

This is explains why I am such a bloody carb queen and I love my bread and stodge! But my Mum tried her best, as she did not know what else to give me and I was a nightmare fussy eater. Poor Mum!

Rob’s Mum has told us that when she needed a break, and Rob would not stop crying, that she used to put him in his pram and leave him in it at the bottom of the garden! But we mustn’t judge, this was the norm in the 70’s! Its just that Rob was born at the end of June, so the poor love must have been outside in the middle of winter! She also used to feed him mashed up baby rusks (which apparently have more sugar in them than a doughnut!) pretty much every meal.

This explains why Rob is such a biscuit monster!!! The man craves sugar 24/7 and cannot eat just one biscuit, he has to demolish the whole packet in one sitting! Another story that made us laugh was how when Rob was a toddler, he used to wake up in the night and come in his parents bedroom. So to stop him from coming in and waking them, they used to leave a plate of biscuits out in his room. Again, this kind of explains a lot really!

So yeah, you think that the parents would accept that times have changed and the official parenting advice is a lot different now. But no, not really! Here is what we have been adviced to do by family members when it comes to weaning Dylan –

Give him a chip.

He can have some fishfingers for tea.*

He should be eating what you eat.*

You don’t wanna do that baby led weaning malarky.*

You don’t wanna listen to her (Annabel Karmel).*

Give him a rusk.

Can he have some (raw) celery?

Give him more food and less milk.*

He should only be having three bottles a day.*

You’re horrible, you are feeding him gruel.*

So and so’s baby eats the same as what they have for dinner.*

You are forcing him to be a vegetarian.*

Ah well, they mean well at least! (Those marked with a star are my mother’s pearls of wisdom!)

TBH from what I can gather, like most things in life, with weaning there is no right or wrong way. All babies are different and you just have to do what works best for them. Some babies prefer the BLW approach and some like to have purees shovelled down their throats. Some parents make everything from scratch and some parents nearly bankrupt themselves buying Ella’s Kitchen squeezy sachets and pre-made snacks etc. You gotta do what you gotta do really. But whatever you do, it will always be wrong in the eyes of some people…. especially over opinionated granmothers!

7 Months In The Hood

Todays post is a summary of my feelings about motherhood and why I changed my mind about having a kid (a post that I said aaaaages ago to Janet I would write!)

Remember when I said that I would not talk about baby stuff on my blog?

Oops! Oh well, shit happens (a lot in our household, since Dylan came along!) Oh dear, I really have turned into a baby bore!

Let me start by saying that I am enjoying being a Mum. More than I thought I would. I know that its still early days and things will get tougher, but even the fifth shitty nappy of the day doesn’t bother me.

Ok, it kind of does, ‘cos they stink to high heaven. But thats what babies do, isn’t it? They just shit themselves and cry all the time? Well, thats what I used to think anyway. And that was one of the many reasons why I didn’t want a kid.

Some of my other reasons were environmental, because lets face it, the ever growing population is the biggest threat to our planet, what with our increasing needs for food, housing, fuel and consumables etc. Some were emotional – I felt that I was not up for the job, that it wasn’t fair for a kid to have me as its Mum, plus Rob and I had our relationship problems over the years. Some were practical – we couldn’t afford it, we were living in shitty areas where I wouldn’t want to grow up in let alone any poor future kid of mine, and the world is pretty fucked up and not a nice place these days and things are getting worse with the current austerity etc. And some were pretty minor reasons, but still valid reasons non the less – like I wanted to go out clubbing without worrying about finding a babysitter, I prefered animals to humans (still do TBH) and would rather loads of pets than kids, the amount of work involved in looking after them, and just because everyone else was having kids it didn’t mean that I should as well.

Basically there were far more reasons not to have a kid, than to have one. And I was quite happy as I was, thank you.

But over time, in my thirties, I did come to change my mind and I ended up wanting a kid. So why did that happen you ask?

TBH there is no one reason why I changed my mind. I wish there was, because it would make this post a hell of a lot easier to write and a lot more interesting! It was more the case that, gradually over time, there were shifts in my outlook and thinking, and motherhood started to feel like something that would make me happy and maybe I did want it to feature in my future.

Maybe I grew up? Maybe I finally felt ready for one? Who knows? I just kind of knew that I was in a good place, life was good and having a kid would not be game over like it would have been in my twenties, it would enhance things and make life more fun.

Maybe my three nephews also helped me change my mind? Spending time with them was (and still is) the best thing ever and I love them all so fiercely. Athough it is nice to give them back at times – Aunty privileges and all that!

Our journey to parenthood was not the easiest. Is anything in life easy though? But other people go through a lot worse than us and I am eternally grateful that we have Dylan.

So yeah, things are all good. Dylan does cry and shit himself a lot. But he also has the dirtiest laugh ever, a great sense of humour, is starting to cuddle us, is cute AF and is growing and learning so rapidly that no two days are the same. Plus at the moment he is so sweet and innocent, he doesn’t realise what dickheads his parents are!* Its great!

For years we have listened to our friends talking about their lack of sleep (yet another reason why I didn’t want kids. I like my beauty sleep!) and how their kids do not as they are told and have epic meltdowns etc. These days its kind of in our culture for parents to complain and grumble about what a little bastard their kid is etc. Heck, some people have even made a lot of money from it!

I dunno, I don’t feel hard done by. I feel just lucky. Yes, its hard and challenging at times, but so many people cannot have kids and have lost babies and children, that to me it seems a bit disrespectful to bitch and moan about mundane stuff on Facebook etc.

Maybe I will not be saying this when D is a toddler and a threenager though!!!

I recently saw a meme on FB or Pinterest that said “To the world you are just a mum. To them you are their world”  or something along those lines, and that statement kind of sums up the ‘hood for me. You are just one of many. No one really gives a shit if you have kids or not, about how you parent them, if you breastfeed or not, work or not and if your kid is being an arsehole, the perfect angel or is the next Einstien. There is no right or wrong. You just have to get on with the job, do best you can and enjoy it for what it is.

I fully intend to parent the shit out of life and enjoy the next 17.5 odd years of Dylan (as they move out when they are 18, don’t they? Right??!!!)

*Bring on the teen years! Rob said speak for yourself here.

The New House – Dylan’s Bedroom

Its about time that I got my finger out and wrote another blog post isn’t it? And I must share more of the finished house, because we all love a good nosey round each others gaffs, don’t we? Well, I do anyway!

Can you believe that we have lived here for over a year now? Time goes so quick doesn’t it? I really must get round to writing up my thoughts and feelings on moving one year on.

Anyhoo, I want to share some photos of Dylan’s bedroom, now that he has nearly outgrown his next to the bed crib, (man, it feels so good to type the word “outgrown” as Dylan was so tiny and at one stage it felt like he would never fill out and grow big!) its time to return the crib to the rental company and put him in his cot in his own room.

Whaaaa!!!! The cat will be happy at least, as she will now be allowed back in our bedroom. Bless her, her tiny world was rocked when D arrived. No wonder she decided to lick her belly bald and get into nasty fights with other cats that cost us £160 (and counting) at the vets.

Right, rant about vets charges over, lets get down to business. Below is how the room looked when we viewed the house.And below is how it looked when we first moved in. There are more before photos in this post.

Back in November 2016, I talked about my ideas for this room in this post here. And I think that we have achieved all the elements that I was hoping for – like cheery, bright, primary colours, a retro/scandi vibe and a room thats not too twee that he can grown into. Basically, I wanted all the wanky nursery malarky that screams “this person has no life and spends far too much time on Pinterest!”

And here is how it looks now.BTW Apologies for the fuzziness of these photos. They were fine until I resized them. I CBA to sort them out or retake them, Im afraid.

We managed to decorate his room mostly on the cheap with furniture from Asda, Ikea and with things we already had. I did splurge on the prints, but when he is finished with them I will be more than happy to hang them elsewhere in the house. I slightly staged these photos by removing his bath towel from the (fake) Eames Hang it All and hanging a cute stripey vest up, which I cant wait for him to grow into, and removing the pile of (unused) nappies which live next to the G Plan unit (thank you Aldi baby event for letting me stock up on bargains! Also where we bought his cot mobile from). Most of his toys and books were presents. We just bought the wooden rainbow, which is probably more for my benefit and decoration (I blame Pinterest again!) than it will be played with. Never mind! The Ugly Dolls and plastic Star Wars models we already had, and Rob bought him the blue Noodoll as he wanted to buy him his first Teddy bear. Dylan is such a lucky boy to have such a nice room with so many lovely things!

Lately #20

Hello my poor neglected blog. I haven’t forgotten you. I have just not had any time for you lately. I thought about ditching you, throwing in the towel, calling it quits. After all, maybe its best that we leave each other on a high. Its not you, its me, etc.

But then I realised that my last ever post on here would be about my cats minge belly (Yet another personal blogging high!) And before that, a rambly, self indulgent, (now thankfully re-edited) personal post all about me, and, erm, my blog!

Nah, I cannot leave that as my lasting legacy. Surely I have some more blogging left in me? Surely?

Lets gently dip my toes back into blogland (does anyone still call it blogland? I think that’s a bit 2010!) and talk about what I have been up to so far in 2017. Apologies in advance for talking far too much about the baby, but he has kind of taken over my life!

  • Tying to nail this mum shiz I am really enjoying being a mum and Dylan at this stage. Dylan is now nearly 16 weeks old and such a happy, smiley, giggly baby (I know that all parents say that about their own, but he is. Honest!). People have been asking Rob and I about how tired we are and I can honestly say that it is not as bad as I thought it would be. Yes, its tiring, but to me its the same kind of tired that you get from working long hours with a long commute everyday. I did that for years and it was knackering, but you get used to it and just get on with it. Plus I used to go out on the piss most nights in my early twenties and I worked full time on an average of 4 hours sleep. I guess that I have just been tired for most of my adult life really! At least this is a good tired. (It also helps to look after babies without hanging like a bat in a cave. A little tip there for any would be parents there!)
  • Not cooking anything exciting There will be no “In Hel’s Kitchen” posts for a while! I froze around thirty meals before he was born, and we managed to eek them out until the end of February, with a few toasty type of meals, three takeaways (only three!), lots of pasta parcels, lots of frozen pizzas and microwave jacket potatoes thrown in between. I did bake some biscuits the other day (Lisa Faulkner’s Sunshine Shorties if you are interested) and have started making simple dinners again. I really want to cook some homemade pizzas, but I have not managed to get my act together to make the dough in advance!
  • Talking of feeding Dylan is now fully formula fed and thriving. I wasn’t going to put anything on here about it (because nobody cares and its no ones business!) but after reading The Magpie Girls BF experience I want to share mine, because I think this is a subject that we should talk about more (the shit side of BF and it not working out, that is). I threw in the towel at six/seven weeks because Dylan was gaining weight very slowly, and being a full term 5lb odd teeny baby to start with, this was quite concerning. Yet I was still getting pushed by the health professionals to BF/combine feed him, despite him being sent to hospital to be checked out for his slow weight gain. I was feeding him all the blooming time, stressed out and worried sick about his weight gain (although it turns out that this is a very common thing in babies). But I was still told to continue BFing! Eventually, I decided to stop. He prefers the formula. It is designed to bulk out babies, which is what he needs. He drinks a whooping 36 oz a day! Where as another baby that I know who was born on the same day as him only drinks 20 oz a day, but is heavier and fatter than him. Go figure? Babies are weird. And they are all different. You have to do what is best for yours.
  • I am all for equal opportunities It was not an easy decision to stop BFing him and I went through all the same kind of emotions that I went through when I had a miscarriage, like “what have I done wrong”, “why has my body let me down”, ” why cant I do something so simple and natural and something that other women seem to do so easily” etc, etc. But this time I did not have the added grief and despair. I just got over it, stopped caring about how I fed him and enjoyed my baby. There is a lot of stuff out there on the internet on the politics of how you feed your baby (most of it women judging other women, which really gets my goat) but one of the best things that I read is this article published on The Atlantic which I found via a comment left on A Cup of Jo post. “Is breast-feeding right for every family? Or is it this generation’s vacuum cleaner—an instrument of misery that mostly just keeps women down?” After all its only fair that Rob gets to share the burden of night feeds, eh! Have a read if you have the spare time. I never thought that how you feed your baby is a feminist issue before.
  • Doing lots of washing Dylan has reflux, bless him. You think that we had seen enough of vomit with my morning sickness when I was expecting him, but no, we now have a pukey baby! My record for one days wash was 12 bibs and 9 muzzys. Poor little fella. Luckily he is not bothered by it. He usually smiles when he voms, the daft sod!
  • Daydreaming about going camping We have been venturing further afield with Dylan, visiting the Isle of Wight and going on day trips to Weymouth, to visit friends and the Sealife centre, and to Exeter to do a bit of window shopping. But I am not sure that we are ready to camp with him yet. The main issue is how do we sterilise/make his bottles safely (damn it, camping would be a doddle if I was still BFing!) and where will he sleep? There is no room for his cot in the van and I am not confident enough to co-sleep with him at this age. I think that we will have to wait till next year really. And a festival is definitely off the agenda for the time being!
  • Turning into mush at tiny baby clothes Seriously, what have I become? There is so much cute stuff out there ATM! I want to buy it all! OMG I never thought that I would be like this, but there we go. I bought these cute retro-tastic animal baby grows from Next, pictured below, for him to grow into, which are my current favourites. Anything with a whale print on it is a winner in my book!
  • Feeling homesick and missing my family big time It is what it is. Sadface emoji.
  • Trying to not post photos of Dylan on social media and failing I am that annoying person who has gone back on their word. Its so hard not to, though! I deleted most of my photos of him on Instagram the other day which must be even more annoying for my (very few) followers. Sorry about that! Still undecided on the whole sharing thing and how to handle it.
  • And finally, the cat is still fine At first she was a bit jealous and put out by Dylan. She was very sulky and slept/hid in some funny places, like the corners of rooms, behind furniture and under tables. But now she is back to her old self and plonks herself on our laps every time we sit down and tries to sleep in his bed, rocker and bouncer chair etc! She is fine with Dylan. He now smiles at her when she walks past and melts my heart into a puddle of mush! Her belly still looks like a minge though BTW.

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My Cat Is Odd

This post is a bit of a random one (as per usual!) But as I am not getting out the house much at the moment, and I have no one else to talk to bore about my cat with other than Rob and my family on the phone, I thought that I would have a quick natter with the silent internet about my strange little fur baby.

I will get straight to the point here – she has a bald belly.

Its pink, its ugly and its a bit disturbing. And yep, I have Googled its potential cause countless times, and yep, I have taken her to the vets with it, and yep, when she lays down and it creases in the middle it looks a bit like a bald minge!

Have a look at the (not great mobile) photos below and see what you think (sorry I never managed to capture it properly in its full, creased mingey glory!) –Google says that its down to stress or fleas. She hasn’t got fleas (confirmed by the vet, thank goodness) and we moved house (the main cause of stress in cats) ages ago and she settled fine.

The vet thinks its an allergy and charged us £60 for a consultation and injection. The injection did seem to work, with a little hair growing back, so I cancelled her follow up appointment. But since then the baldy belly has returned with a vengeance! And if we took her back to the vets we would only end up spending a small fortune on inconclusive tests and be none the wiser.
Now that I have typed that statement out, I feel like the worst cat owner in the world by not following things up and spending a shitload of money trying to find the cause! But she is fine in herself, eating well and behaving normally – she just over grooms her fat little belly!

Rob, myself and the family think that she might be having a phantom pregnancy!

I cannot remember exactly when the baldness appeared, but Im sure that it was late last summer, around the time that my pregnancy began to show. Poppy has been fixed and has never had a litter of kittens, but she is a sensitive, emotional little thing, so I think that she picked up on my hormones. She used to sit on my lap purring away when Dylan kicked her when I was expecting, and so far has only been curious about him, wants to be near him and wants to cuddle up to him in a nurturing way.

My mother is a bit neurotic about the cat and Dylan. She thinks that Poppy might attack or smother him! This stems from the fact that her rescue cat Oxo is unfriendly and is a bad tempered biter (its not her fault, she just had a troubled past) and that when I was a baby she found our old family pet cat Daisy sitting on me when I was asleep! So mum thinks that Poppy is going to eat Dylan, when in reality she is a soppy wimp that has never killed any prey and loves her cuddles with Rob and I!

According to the internet pregnant and lactating cats sometimes shed hair on their bellies and devoted cats can be protective of the people-kitten!

What do you think? Will she try to breast feed him next? Or is she just stressed and overwhelmed by all the changes in the last year?

What a strange little cat Poppy is, eh!

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!

Some Things That (I Hope) I Will And Will Not Do

So I said in one of my recent posts that I am not planning on becoming a Mummy blogger anytime soon.

And while out there in the blogosphere there are some really great family/parenting/lifestyle type blogs, there are a few (in particular a couple of the bigger American family blogs that spring to my mind) that slightly concern me about how the parents of the, admittedly very cute hipster kids, pimp out their offspring to advertise products and earn a living. Sometimes I just want to scream at them “DID NOBODY LEARN ANYTHING FROM MACAULAY CULKIN???!!!???!!” And then sometimes I find myself clicking on the links within the blog post! Hey, I am not immune to a good bit marketing, Im only human!!!

Anyhoo, in honour of one of my favourite family/parenting/lifestyle blogs Mother of All Lists (please click on the link and have a gander, its a great blog that has something for everyone, kids in your life or not!) I thought that I would write a (over opinionated and rather ranty!) post about what I hope that I will and will not do when I become a parent, both online and in everyday life.

….And so that you can all laugh at my naivety and remind me how I am a hypocrite and have completely contradicted myself in a few months time!!!!

  • I am not going to put any photos of the kid on my blog. Sorry about that. I will probably put one or two up when he is born to announce it, but that will be it. This is my personal blog about my life in general and thoughts and feelings etc. So I will stick to writing about the usual mundane stuff like decorating the house, days out and camping trips (if we manage to have any that is!) etc, rather than mundane baby stuff like sleepless nights, weaning and potty training etc. If I find the time to keep blogging of course.
  • The same goes for social media. Rob and I have agreed that we want to respect the kids privacy and we will only share his photos online with our family directly through Whatsapp, a private shared iPhoto album and personal emails. Plus I really hope that I do not post statuses moaning about sleepless nights and all the rest on Facebook! But who knows what my hormones and extreme tiredness will drive me to?!!!
  • I hope that I do not become a baby bore who talks about nothing but their kid. We all know that person. Even after politely listening to the latest news about the sprog, when you try to change the subject and get them to talk about themselves, they somehow always turn the conversation back to junior, bless ’em! BTW I totally did this when we first got the cat. I didn’t realise that I was boring people going on about her all the time!
  • I am not going to neglect my cat. She is still my little baby. Be it a 10 year old black and white, slightly chubby, totally spoilt, furry one who poops herself occasionally, pukes on the floor, has fishy breath, whinges a lot, cries to be fed on demand and needs to be cuddled to sleep all the time!
  • I am not going to call myself mamabear, wear a mother of dragons t-shirt or change my Instagram profile name to “*****’smummy” (whatever we decide to call him, still not made up our minds yet!)
  • I am not going to allow my house to be taken over by toys and kid clutter. Please do feel free to laugh at my naivety here!!! I just really hope that our lounge does not turn into something looking like a soft play area. I have loads of empty storage space in the lounge Ladderax unit for any future Lego, games and craft supplies etc. But who knows who will win the battle against the influx of plastic crap entering the house!
  • I hope that I will not become one of these “holier than thou” types who thinks that they are a more compassionate, understanding person just because they are a parent. True story – one time Rob and I were sitting in the pub next to a friend of a friend of a friend, who asked if we had any kids, then started going on about how wonderful parenthood is and how much having kids makes you a better person. I had to bite my tongue and hold back while he waffled on and on about how selfless and wonderful he was. What a dick!!! In fact, at one point I did actually say to him “so you are telling me that I am selfish because I don’t have kids” but it seemed to go over his head. Surely common sense tells you that not everybody has a choice in these matters and there are plenty of terrible, evil people out there who also happen to be parents? Grrrrrr, what a dick!!!!!!!!!
  • I hope that I do not say to other first time expectant mums or couples, the one cliche that everyone has told us that “our lives are going to completely change”! For some reason this perfectly innocent, meant well statement has grated me a bit during my pregnancy. I think its because its so obvious. And your lives also change with other major life events – like when you break up with someone, lose a loved one, get made redundant or change your job and move house etc, but no one seems to say it to you then. On a personal level, I have sometimes wanted to tell people “yeah, well so does having a miscarriage (*change your life that is*). It makes you appreciate that you cannot predict anything in life, that life is short and you need to be thankful for what you have”. But I am too polite to say so and I do not want to make people feel uncomfortable!
  • I also hope that I will not tell child free couples when they see my future babe that they “will be next”! As if just by looking at my child it will magically cure their infertility or make them change their minds about their personal choices in life!!!
  • I hope that I can bring my boy up to be a feminist.
  • I hope that if he does like Disney’s Frozen that I can support his interest and will not have a near nervous breakdown after hearing Let it Go for the millionth time! Gah, I hate that effing song so much!!!
  • I will not be a miserable cow about Xmas anymore and will try to make their childhood memories of the festive period good ones! Bring on the Elf on a shelf, tinsel and turkey!!!
  • And I hope that this will be my last personal/thought dump type of post on here about the kid. But who knows?!!!

The New House – Ideas And Inspiration For The Second Bedroom

Sorry to keep wanging on about baby stuff on here. I did hope to share a tour of our bedroom today, but its too dark and rainy to take any decent photos, so that post will have to wait. Fear not, I am not about to turn into a “mummy blogger” anytime soon! But at this moment in time its a big thing in my life, so I cannot help but over share on here occasionally!

I just wanted to do a little follow up from this post here (the 2nd bedroom before tour post) to talk about my ideas for this room.

I must say that it has been quite hard deciding how to decorate this room. My initial thoughts were to just paint the room white, but then Rob banned me from having any more white walls in the house! (He hates it! Because its a bugger to paint and you cannot see what bits you have already painted apparently!)

Next I thought “what about that greeny-grey neutral colour that we had in our bedroom in our last house?” But Rob was not so keen on the colour. So that was the end of that. (Yes, believe it or not, sometimes I do let him have a say in things!!!)

So it was back to the drawing board again. Or rather, pinning stuff on my secret Pinterest board for inspiration!

All that I had decided on was this Ikea light in the room and, don’t ask me why, but I set my heart on a bright yellow cot! …You know, the one colour that cots are least likely to be made in! Luckily I managed to find one online at a sensible price, so that Pinterest-to-blame-type-of-want was fulfilled!

So far we have purchased the two items pictured below.

Image from ikea.com

The light for the room. Image from ikea.com

His cot. Image from direct.asda.com

His cot. Image from direct.asda.com

And this is how the room currently looks.imageimageimageimage

Doesn’t it make you a bit twitchy and anxious? The piles of bags everywhere, the disorganisation of it, and the fact that I have just over four weeks left to go til D-day? Eep!

But to be honest, I am pretty chill about things. As for the first few months the kid will be sleeping in our bedroom, in one of those next to the bed cribs, so there is no December deadline to get this room finished. Phew! And I have finally decided on the wall colour and more furnishings! We just need to finish decorating the lounge first so that the Ladderax unit and the books etc can be moved back in there, then I can start sorting out the piles of baby paraphernalia that my parents have brought us and friends have kindly given to us.

And pack my hospital bag and do other practical shit like that!

The scheme that I have decided on is for the walls to be painted on the bottom half a teal coloured dark blue (yes, I know, I have chosen blue for a boy! But I like the colour and would also use it in a little girls room) then white on the top half. A bit like in the images all gleaned from Pinterest below.

And somehow I have managed to get Rob to paint another room white again! But this room doesn’t count as its only half white. Honest!

Image from ikea.com

Image from ikea.com

Image from spearmintbaby.com

Image from spearmintbaby.com

More Pinterest inpiration. Not quite the look that I am going for, but look, a yellow cot and the same lampshade!

More Pinterest inpiration. Not quite the look that I am going for, but look, a yellow cot and the same lampshade! Image from babble.com.

Next, I plan to order this Ikea chest of drawers for a changing area and clothing storage, which I cannot wait to organise like this Mummy blogger has.

Nordli chest of drawers. Image from ikea.com.

Nordli chest of drawers. Image from ikea.com.

Image from twotwentyone.net.

Image from twotwentyone.net.

Then order this cute Scandi inspired bunny print below to hang somewhere in the room. Just because I like it and would be very happy to have it hanging in my bedroom TBH!

Image from thismodernlife.co.uk

Image from thismodernlife.co.uk

Watch this space for the room tour next year!