38 weeks and counting…

I remember mentioning in one of my very first blog posts that I wasn’t sure when you could refer to yourself as ‘heavily pregnant’?! Now, I know that 38 weeks is definitely this (between myself and a friend we decided that as soon as you start making noises when you get up or down then you are definitely in the heavily pregnant club…), but today has just confirmed that not only am I heavily pregnant but I look ridiculous with it!

I’m talking the waddle, clinging onto the husbands arm to cross the road, taking 5 minutes to get up off any form of seat, you get the gist! As I was dropped off outside Boots/Primark/the cinema, due to my complete inability to walk any distance, I just had to laugh at myself and the craziness of the situation!

Now…Lyla weighed a very healthy 8lb 14oz at birth, but my midwife seems to think that this baby is going to be nowhere near as heavy as her (we are guessing between 8lb and 8lb 6oz ish)….does she want to try carrying her?! Seriously I am huge. My belly is huge, my arse is huge, my boobs are huge (hooray, finally), I AM HUGE. I don’t know whether that’s why I feel so ready to get her out? Who knows! What I do know is that to the outside world I definitely look like someone who is ‘milking’ (a more appropriate term could not be found in my mind) being heavily pregnant. You know like when you see someone who has hurt their leg and wants the whole world to know, so exaggerates the limp just to draw attention to it but ends up putting more weight through the injured limb, yeah that.

As well as not being able to walk, other ‘symptoms’ include:

  • Being unable to bend down, at all
  • Having to roll out of bed
  • Not being able to eat anything without swigging Gaviscon immediately after (so then getting rid of the taste of the delicious chocolate just consumed)
  • Coughing and then immediately needing to wee
  • Crying at everything (and I mean, everything)
  • Wanting to sleep ALL the time, but then as soon as your head hits the pillow you start writing a complete novel in your head
  • Bowel ‘troubles’

The list goes on…

I will stop moaning now (I will, I promise), as I know the end is SO close for me, being booked in for a C-Section. But basically, what I am trying to say is – to those women that make it to 40+ weeks, I salute you, you are machines! Seriously.

xxx

Seeing life and Sea Life…

We are fast approaching the day our little one will make an entrance to the world (not sure if I’ve mentioned that recently?!) and all I can think about is that it best be soon anyway, I’m seriously fed up now. I also know how lucky we are to be expecting in the first place so believe you me I feel so guilty for even feeling this way..

Anyway…because of the baby brain caused by this imminent arrival, an excuse I am going to use until the children are at least 5yrs old, I am struggling to think of ‘topics’ for the blog. I am loving vlogging as I find that a lot easier than I anticipated but this all started as a blog which I want to maintain.
And then I realised that I don’t need topics. I started this as somewhere to write my feelings down, for people to follow our life, and to join the amazing online parenting community, to make friends with other mummies and to support others. Whether that gains me followers, subscribers etc doesn’t really matter (though I love the idea of being a support and a friend to other mums and dads), it’s all about the memories for me and our family! So I’m going to try not to worry too much about themes for my posts and just spill my feelings out on ‘paper’ which is all I really need. If that interests you  and eventually leads us into the world of ‘mum blogs’ then great!

These last few weeks have been really hard for me, I feel like I’ve really slipped as a mum to Lyla. I’m either shattered or in too much pain to do the things she deserves. There’s toys all over the floor which I would usually have tidied, I can’t remember the last time I did a proper meal plan and I worry so much about her diet (she bloody loves carrots though so at least I’ve got that to fall back on), I want to go crazy in soft play hell with her but can’t (though I took great pleasure in watching 6ft 3in Callum get stuck in one today) and I just generally don’t have the energy to meet her every need.

Then days like today happened, where I get my bum up off the sofa and make an effort, no matter how much discomfort it causes. Today we have had a proper day out as a family and it has brought back to me why we do everything we do in life, why we work so hard for our family, and why days like these will just get even more amazing once there are 4 of us (and once I can walk normally again). We went to the sea life centre and Lyla LOVED it, although the 4d cinema was a no-go as she wouldn’t let daddy wear the glasses! It was something for her, which after the last few weeks she deserved more than anything. And to see the smile and fascination on her face was amazing. [Though, seriously how much mess can one child create? And that’s going to be doubled?! I already feel like we had to empty the house back out of the car when we get home, it’s so cliche but my god!!!!]

And yes there was a mini-meltdown of which we have NO idea what the root cause was, and yes there was some bickering between me and Callum as he blamed the sat nav for his mistakes (it wasnt the sat navs fault…), but by me doing these blogs and vlogs we will always have these memories. And I cant wait to share them with the girls in the future, and with you, the big wide world, as they happen in the here and now.

Even if they are just random nonsense about our day to day life…

Sian and Lyla xxx

Vlog to follow on my YouTube Channel – The Adventures Of Lyla

10 Things I’m Loving This Month

Back in December (remember then? Like, waaaaay before Christmas?) I promised a monthly ‘list’ of what I was spending our hard-earned money on, that would make any recommendations of things that I thought worthwhile for families (and mummies/daddies too, just because)…Well, Christmas happened and this month has been a tight one (as I’m sure it is for most), so I have changed it slightly to 10 things I am ‘loving’. Some I have bought this month, some were gifts, and some existed in this house already and I have just realised how much they benefit us so have included them!

1. PacaPod Changing Bag

I did already have a beautiful changing bag (a Cath Kidston one at that) but I fast discovered as Lyla grew up that it was just not going to be big enough for the bits and bobs you need for two small humans. So I invested my Christmas money in a PacaPod and I am LOVING IT. It gives me space and organisation, plus it’s beautiful. I really would recommend it to any new mummy. I got mine from John Lewis for £85.

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2. Earth Friendly Baby Products

We have used these products from the Lansinoh range since Day 1 with Lyla and I would never use anything else, her skin is so soft (this might just be down to her skin type but I do believe we have avoided any skin problems because of these products..) and they smell gorgeous too. I have only tried the calming lavender ones but there are other ‘flavours’ too! We have the bubble bath, shampoo and body wash, and the body lotion. It isn’t the cheapest but lasts for ages (Lyla is 2 and we are only on the 3rd bottle of the bodywash) so they are well worth it. You can get them from most supermarkets, Boots etc and they start at about £4.

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3. Bed Head by Tigi

I have been meaning to invest in some ‘decent’ hair shampoo and conditioner for ages! After receiving some as a Christmas gift I will never go back, I am hooked, my hair feels amazing and I can definitely tell the difference. It’s definitely time to look after mummy too! And anyway, Callum balances out the cost with the Aldi ‘family shampoo’ he buys (no, really)…I have found the one I use on Amazon, which is most probably where I will buy it from when I need to restock, for £14 for the pair.

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4. Joules bedding

Ever since we moved into our new house almost 3 years ago we have had one set of bedding (also Joules) that I wash, dry and iron in a day. I know, crazy. So I finally got round to ordering some more in the post-Christmas sales and I LOVE it. The quality is amazing (obviously, as the last lot is still going after 3 years!) but it does make getting out of bed very difficult…Hurry hurry, it is still available in the sale now!

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5. NEXT sales (plus all the other Christmas sales..)

Anyone that knows me will know that I love love love Next children’s clothes. And having a money saving expert for a husband means he lets me loose on these sales as he knows they are bargain-tastic. I always do a complete (well ok, maybe not complete but still…) stock up in the next size up/season, and now I can’t wait for her to fit into them all! My top pick was some fringe suede boots for Lyla which I am extremely jealous off, seriously.

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LOVE!

6. Wooden toys

I have mentioned previously that we could hold shares in all the major toy companies, but recently Lyla just seems to be drawn to toys of the wooden variety. ‘Our’ favourites are a chopping fruit and board set from John Lewis for £16, a Betty push/pull along chicken that was a gift, stacking ring counter also from John Lewis for £15, and a Melissa & Doug latch board for £16.99- she just loves them all.

7. Spa Breaks/Getaways

After months of hinting (and struggling to find a date), hubby took us on a little spa break in the New Year (watch the vlog here) and it was amazing. We relaxed, read books, ate and talked (yes 90% of the talking was about Lyla and the baby but..). It is so important to have time away from ‘normal’ family life, and hopefully we can repeat it soon (if my expressing/feeding plan works out, that is). For now, we have lots of family trips and holidays planned and I am just as excited! We went to Champneys Springs due to the deal we could get but take your pick!

8. EzPz Mats

I have briefly mentioned these before on my Facebook page but I seriously can’t get enough. We bought them in the US a year ago now (they are now available in the UK though) and we all love them. I even take them away with us. They dishwash, catch spills/mess, help with portion control and also have helped Lyla with the control of her utensils due to the curved lip on each section. Plus they stick to the table and are such good quality. The list goes on, well worth it, trust me! They are £25 each but will last forever.

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9. ‘Baby Crap’ bag

As amazing as the PacaPod is, it’s no Mary Poppins bag! And we all know, leaving the house with a child requires taking half of its contents with you too. Scrolling through Instagram the other day, I saw this advertised on Notonthehighstreet by Lola & Gilbert, and just couldn’t resist. It fits in toys, lunchboxes, snacks, clothes etc. And it’s pretty comical (and true) too! Still 25% off in the sale for £12.75, bargain!

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10. Blogging and Vlogging

Last but by no means least, this! This new venture I have taken on, that you are currently reading (THANK YOU). I am loving it. I may not have 1000’s of followers and subscribers just yet, but the memories it is creating for me and my family are invaluable. And the release it is giving to me, something for me to do that isn’t being mummy (even if the blog/vlogs do revolve around that) is exactly what I needed. So, thank you.

 

I have a feeling next month’s ’10 things’ list will be extremely baby focused…

Much love, Sian xxx

Don’t forget to check out my other channels here:

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To nest or to rest?

So this morning I received my weekly pregnancy update email (37 weeks, wahoo) from BabyCentre (other apps are available…), and the first point it made was to make sure you get some rest – “you’ll appreciate it after the birth” it said. OK, thanks for that…

It is 9am as I am writing this; the child has been dropped at nursery, the second wash of the day is on, all of the beds have been changed (including the dogs), I’ve tidied, emptied the dishwasher and have just sat down to grab some breakfast and write some of this here blog (multi-tasking at it’s finest). The list for the rest of the day consists of wrapping presents, sorting party decorations, ironing, food shopping and getting started on my next vlog. Funny, I don’t see the word ‘rest’ on that list. Oh and if I remember to eat lunch and wash at some point in there, that will be a bonus…*

I know, I know – I really should listen to the advice, and my pregnancy waddle tells me the same (you know the one, like a penguin with two broken legs? Yep, that’s the one) but that is just not possible. Don’t get me wrong, I do make the most of Lyla’s afternoon naps to put my feet up every now and again but instantly regret it. And then I get to these ‘child-free’ days and go into a mad panic to get everything done.

Then, just to add insult to injury, people will say “get Callum to help” – which he does. In fact, he is amazing and does so much but unfortunately for both of us he is not superhuman. He can’t all of a sudden do everything that we usually do as a team, on his own, in addition to going out and earning the money that I keep spending (oops).

I know I probably sound like such a cliché “How am I supposed to rest?! Pah!”, but really, how? Being an adult is crap sometimes. And then we have to parent on top of that!

And I know these generic emails, friends, family and Joe Public mean well saying it, and my body is telling, no, begging, me to listen to them but it’s just not in our nature to sit and do nothing when things need to be done (don’t even get me started on ‘nesting’).

So sorry to my little baby in there if you are desperate for me to sit down for a bit and stop rocking you around, but your sister has left toys on the floor that need picking up, and I need to sort dinner for daddy for when he gets home (it’s the least I can do). But believe me, we will have lots of rest and cuddles when you arrive, just you and me, I promise.

Though I can’t promise it’ll be in the peace and quiet…

xx

*Update – I did actually manage a bath, but lunch was a bowl of cheerios. You win some, you lose some.

A list of 10 things that are not unreasonable in the slightest…by Lyla, aged 23 months

Mummy says that all of these things have happened in one day, I’m not sure I believe her though as I’m an angel really…

1. Wanting to carry 3 muslins at a time, plus Mr. Snuffles, bunny and dog (original names, I know), without letting mummy help. And then getting annoyed when I don’t have enough hands to hold onto mummy too.

2. Eating 3 packets of bear paws in one day (they’re my favourite).

3. Wanting to drink out of an open cup/mummy’s glass/daddy’s glass, then spotting one of the 10 other cups in the cupboard and wanting that one too. But don’t you dare take the original one away…

4. Not wanting to wear socks. Or tights. At any point of the day. Even when it’s 2 degrees outside.

5. Not wanting any of the beautiful accessories in my hair that mummy bought. Then spending the day brushing hair out of my face/eyes. Mummy keeps trying to just tie it all back too but I don’t know what she thinks she’s doing.

6. Having a tantrum at a pedestrian crossing, because waiting is just for wimps and I’d much rather play chicken instead.

7. Wanting to ‘brush’ my teeth myself. Apparently they need to help so it’s done properly?

8. Wanting to play on mummy’s phone unsupervised, it has to be unlocked though.

9. Not understanding why this bag –

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wont hang on this pram handle –

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…Mummy even put a pram clip on there to hang it on but that was a stupid idea because I didn’t want it there.

10. Not wanting to sit down to eat my meal, but no-one else can eat it, or throw it away, I do actually want it. I just like to eat in a leisurely fashion that’s all. Oh and make sure you have a second helping of vegetables ready as I am a strange toddler and sometimes that’s all I’ll eat…

See, none of those things are unreasonable are they? I think I’m a joy to be around really (I am, mummy even said so).

Lots of love

Lyla, aka Little Miss Independent xx

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Perfection isn’t perfect…

So it may have taken me 7 months but I have actually finished a book (something you never think before you have children, would be such a hard task)! It also just so happens that that book was about parenthood and was partly the inspiration for me starting this blog in the first place – The Unmumsy Mum.

I may be slightly earlier on in my journey than her, and have girls instead of boys, but it made me howl with laughter just how spot-on in her observations she is, so go and read if you have the time! However, closer to the end of the book it really struck a more serious chord with me when she spoke about social media, the perception of families to others and the pretence of some that family life is ‘perfect’. When we all know it’s not, surely?! (It’s not).

I mean, social media is pretty much the backbone of society these days, I know I am addicted (though I do try and limit my time when around Lyla…) and I’m pretty sure most people could say the same! We interact with a world both related and unrelated to ours without having to get our bums off the sofa (something I currently struggle with). That’s just cray cray! It’s how most of you will be reading this now – because of social media. So it has a lot to be thankful for.

I hope to find a middle ground with what I post, as to me I have everything I could possibly want (well, a lot more money wouldn’t go amiss. Oh and a Range Rover. Oh and a timeshare somewhere really exotic would be nice…) and I feel very lucky to have these things. That doesn’t mean that I won’t call my child a little shit under my breath (or worse) if she does something annoying, which can be quite frequent… And that doesn’t mean that what we have is perfect, so why pretend that it is? What effect does that have on the people who look at what you share, and read what you write?

I follow people on Instagram, and know people in real life, who do this, who only post or tell you the ‘good’ things, and who I used to almost get jealous of?! But there is no need. That one picture, or that one post is just a tiny snapshot into somebody’s life. So they’ve managed to cook, clean, do a craft activity, only feed their children organic snacks, go for a family walk and wee in private all in one morning? Wahoo, go them. I’d love to see what happens the rest of the time, and trust me, they most definitely have a fridge full of kitkats and petit filous…

I follow people who take amazing photos of their families (which I can’t do as I only currently have an iPhone to work with), or who only buy organic clothing from independent retailers. And I have to look at those pictures and tell myself that they’re just different, that the way I display our life is just different (and there is nothing wrong in the slightest with clothes from Next/Sainsburys/Primark etc). It doesn’t mean that they’re Supermum and I’m not (I’m definitely not).*

*Don’t get me wrong I will blow the ‘proud mum klaxon’ very loudly when it is required – it’s just about the balance.

Even though we know that perception is not reality, it’s hard not to judge yourself on what others are doing, no matter how much I preach about not worrying about them, I’m probably the worst person for it *hangs head in shame*! I have days where I find it so damn hard, but then the next day I can think “oh I’m actually quite good at this!”. I worry constantly about whether I’m doing the right thing, about how people see me as a mum, and then I see another child being carried whilst kicking and screaming and a sense of relief just washes over me! Thank god I’m not the early one being assaulted by my child! I don’t look at that person and judge them so why would someone do it to me?! It’s just a shit day. And having a shit day does not reflect on your abilities as a parent at all. Sometimes it’s. just. shit. After all, it’s just a phase and one day they will come out the other side….won’t they? Please tell me they come out the other side, please?!

I read all these blogs, and follow their social media, and watch the vlogs of these amazing mummies and daddies, and at first I was a little jealous of where they are, of how many followers they have. And then I realised that everyone has to start somewhere, that they inspired me to do this, and that we’re all in this together doing the same thing, letting people out there know that THIS IS NORMAL. Shit happens, really good stuff happens, it’s just life. Our kids love us more than anything, they may not show it all the time, but they do. All I can tell you is that perfection doesn’t exist, there is no such thing as ‘supermum’, and you’re doing a bloody good job.

xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

Belief in the bump…

Isn’t it funny how being pregnant can give you more confidence than when in your ‘normal’ skin? It must be the fact that you know people can see that you’re carrying a baby and therefore there’s a reason for the ginormous belly, and the waddle, and the dark circles around the eyes (I unfortunately fail to get ‘the glow’). Not that people judge you anyway, well they might, but I always feel very self-aware at any other time apart from when ‘with child’.

I am one of those people that yo-yo’s with my weight normally, within about a 9lb window. I detox and diet regularly, I also regularly eat my way through a bar of chocolate a day (and I’m not talking a snack size mars bar). And I gain weight when pregnant, fact. People will say I’m ‘all bump’ which it may look like and is lovely of everyone to say, but unless this baby is coming out weighing 2 stone (and counting), I know that is not the case!

We have just had a little overnight break to a spa (our first time alone overnight without Lyla). And it was amazing for many reasons. A spa is a place to relax and unwind, and I certainly did that, but I also got out of it a whole new outlook on my pregnancy body, and admiration for myself for what my body is going through. I was so nervous about getting into a swimsuit, but as soon as I did, the realisation and pride of how amazing a woman’s body is hit me immediately. I mean, I even took a picture and put it on Instagram, which I would NEVER (and will never) do normally.

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Here is THE photo…

 

 

So do you know what? What’s a few extra pounds? What’s a bit of cellulite? I’m growing a flipping human!! And in a few short weeks I will birth that human. So who gives a toss what other people think, and what the body I’m left with after is like? For what it’s done and what it’s gone through, I will embrace it and love it forever.

 

xxx

A letter to my first-born…

To my beautiful Lyla,

As we fast approach your 2nd birthday, I am rushing to make sure you have presents and a party, and that everything is in place to celebrate your big day, because shortly before that you are going to become a big sister and your world will be turned upside down. 

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Well, it already has really. All that time and energy I used to give to you has upped and gone and left me an utterly exhausted mama whilst I do this last bit of growing for your sister. I think you kind of understand what is going on, that there is a baby in mummy’s tummy (not that that stops you from climbing and jumping all over me, sorry baby but you better get used to it!). This last few days has really hit me hard, and my worry for you has increased tenfold.

I’m sorry that our days focus a lot around the TV. I’m sorry that for most of our time spent together I am sitting on the sofa just watching you, or that sometimes you have to bring your toys to me rather than me sitting on the floor with you. I’m sorry that our meals aren’t quite as exciting at the minute. I’m sorry that it really doesn’t bother me how much you want your dummy. Im sorry that I can’t wait for daddy to get home each day so he can relieve the pressure I’m feeling just a little. I’m sorry I get a bit emotional every so often. I’m sorry that this is just really hard work. I’m sorry that I worry so much about all I’m sorry about. 

Because I know it doesn’t matter really. That you love me and I love you. So thank you, for being you. You are amazing. Thank you for sleeping like a dream. For giving me cuddles and kisses when I need them most. Thank you for needing me. And for showing me how amazing you are going to be. 

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I promise our adventures will resume very soon, and they will be even more exciting as you will have somebody to share them with! Everyone tells me that this is a really lovely age gap, I really hope they’re right. I hope you will understand that you will always be our priority along with the new baby, and that mummy and daddy love you so very much. That we are doing this for our family and our future, for you. 

I hope you feel as lucky as we do. 

Mummy xx