Monthly Archives: August 2009
Last week I found out that I am listed at number 10 in the list of – 99 British Mummy Bloggers on Twitter.
I am seriously very chuffed and flattered to be listed here amongst some really great ladies and gents who’s blogs and posts I really admire and enjoy.
This list is compiled by Sally who writes a couple of really great blogs and by her own admission “gives great tweet”, so if you too tweet click here to follow Sally and if you want to follow me, Id love that, just click here
So preparations for baby number two are well underway. I am not willing to tempt fate by saying “nearly there” as my new kitchen, that’s the 20,000 swear word kitchen, has taken 83 days and still counting (it justifies a whole post in itself that tale!)
However number one son, H’s, big boy bedroom is finished and he’s moved in – out of his cot and into a single bed – I am delighted to report the transition couldn’t have gone better. He remains, touch wood, a great sleeper and couldn’t love his new room or the Elephant beanbag I bought him more. I took a really lovely photo of him this weekend chilling in his room – an similar image of him age 13 in front of a computer game is, I am sure, inevitable!
I am so thrilled he loves his room as much as he does. With so much changing in his world – from cot to bed, nappies to pants (not going quite as well admittedly!), from only child & only grand child to having the imminent arrival of a sibling in October on his horizon. For him to love his room so much make me really happy. His new room is where he wants to be if we’re at home, everyone who comes to the house gets “come play upstairs in my bedroom” – so sweet!
So household maneuvers continue – a bit of background for you … we thought about moving prior to baby number two but with three bedrooms and the housing market, or should I say lack of housing market, being what it is, we decided to stay put for a year or two. Now we are rejigging how we use the space we have. So the spare room and also my office/study have been converted into H’s new big boy bedroom freeing up his nursery for baby number two. We have a sofa bed in the living room so will give up our master suite as and when we have guests. Lets be honest who wants to visit anyone with two kids under three?! More often we meet friends for weekends or holidays away as they all have babes too.
I have set up my office/study in our loft area and I absolutely love it, just putting the finishing touches to my “hub/den/retreat” (trip to Ikea planned on Tuesday – wish me luck!) and I will post up some piccies of the finished space for you.
The less positive side of increasing our household occupancy is that I am having to relinquish / share wardrobe space with my other half, ARGHHHH! Some quite heated discussions have been had about clothing quantities and on that note I’m off, as R is out tonight, possession is nine tenths of the law and squatters rights rule when is comes to hanging and drawer space, well in my book they do anyway!
Ahhh, just previewed this post, I so love this photo of H, wish I’d taken it on my decent camera and not my phone though – does that happen to anyone else?
A call for contributions from http://www.amothersecrets.com via http://www.perfectlyhappymum.com has inspired me to cast my mind back to 2006, my pre-pregnancy and baby days and the moments when I found out I was pregnant, first time around with the bump formally known as “Baby Boo”, now known as H and also this my current bump. No nickname yet and unlikely to get one given we’ve less than 7 weeks to go! So here are my stories of how I found out I was pregnant, both the first, and this, the last time!
The first time – My husband, R, and I decided back in 2005 that next year would be the year we would try for a family, so dutifully packed as much “last chance” stuff in as possible into 2005 arriving hung-over but ciggie and contraception free in 2006!
We both worked away from home and each other a lot at the time, add to that a series of skiing trips, stag and hen do’s and our main conception challenge was our work and social lives! Anyway it was the August bank holiday weekend and we had good friends coming up from London to stay for the weekend, a long time planned weekend and hugely anticipated bender, always fabulous times. I felt fine, but I had noticed a metallic taste in my mouth for a few days (I had the books so knew this could be an early pregnancy symptom). That said we were 7-8 months down the line of this trying for a baby business (closer to 12 months and a trip to the doctor for further investigations, than only just started) and I was silently aware that I may be starting to imagine pregnancy symptoms, in other words desperation was secretly, silently starting to creep in!
So minus 1 hour to the arrival of our friends and a great bender of a bank holiday weekend, I thought I’d better do a quick test “just in case” a conflicted trip to the loo – aware of the weekend I would miss out on if it was positive. I did the test, handed it to R declaring “I don’t expect it to be positive but just in case” I sat back down to my glass of wine. Less than a minute later, one sip no less, R handed it back to me with a smile, a kiss and my first “congratulations”.
I spent the rest of my bank holiday weekend with good friends and this great secret, nursing glasses of drinks and surreptitiously losing them on tables or passing them to R for consumption! That marked the start of my pregnancy which culminated in the safe arrival of H 40 weeks later.
This, the second (and last!) time – You may not agree, but I think having a second baby is a much bigger decision than having the first. That said life as you knew it has been entirely revolutionised to the point of being unrecognisable by the arrival of the first, so adding another babe to the mix isn’t going to be the same life changing experience as it was first time round. Check back with me after October 2009 for the reality of that statement!
So round about when H was 18 months old, walking, starting to talk, growing in size, confidence and independence – my baby was more toddler than baby – sniff! The subject of baby number two started to get some airtime between me and hubby. Having booked a fab place away for New Year with friends and their daughter who was the same age as H in the Cotswolds, I was adamant that having been either pregnant or with baby under one for the last two festive seasons I would not be pregnant this New Year! No sir-ee, my long awaited festive fest would not be compromised by a blue line on a pregnancy test, absolutely not, no way José! But we agreed to give up contraception for our New Year resolution (please note no ciggies to give up this time!)
My surprise Christmas gift was a shopping trip to Milan with two great girlfriends, including my pal, S, who I was letting my hair down with most successfully with at New Year! OK, a quick intro, these two girlfriends are great girlfriends. We’ve not been friends for a huge amount of time, only since being pregnant (I met S at NCT) and from our babies being tiny (me and S met J at the post natal classes I nicknamed “Baby school” when the bubs were a few weeks old) . Anyway tickets, hotel reservations & guide books received and gold stars handed out to the husbands for initiative & co-ordination we were in early January and planning shopping, restaurants, lunch destinations and places to be seen with Martini’s with and J discovers she is pregnant. Fabulous news of course, but a weekend trip to Milan is a tough call in those first few early weeks. We had a fabulous time, we had lie ins, shopped a lot for both babes and ourselves, had lie ins, ate very expensive gelatos, had lie-ins and S and I drank martini’s – a lot! Did I mention we had lie ins?!
So we get back and the following week S appears for the weekly Wednesday morning maracas session, looking a bit, shall we say peaky, and announces that she’s just found out she’s pregnant too! Martinis – Oops! Again fabulous news of course, but you know what in sneaked a teeny bit of jealousy, my two Bessie mummy friends were going to be in newbie territory and I was going to be left out. Nasty Mr Jealousy was quickly followed by a more familiar and equally unpleasant face, Mr Desperation. It was later that week that I took the last bits and pieces out of the suitcase which had been slovenly left on the bedroom floor (I was born to have more domestic help than I have I’m sure of it!) and unpacked the tampons I had taken to Milan … I repeat unpacked the tampons I had taken to Milan … when was I due on? Was I in fact late? How had that fact managed to escape me?!
We hadn’t even been trying long enough to get to the buying test stage so had none in! So a test was purchased in the next supermarket shop, I did the test when H was in bed and like the first time handed to R for interpretation. Again, seconds later, there they were, two thick, very blue lines. We were both so shocked we found ourselves laughing and in disbelief we also did the second test which confirmed both the pregnancy and that unbeknown to us three girls on tour in Milan, Martini’s in hand, we were all pregnant at the same time again but this time for the second time!
I am so chuffed, Dandelion Lounge is running a new banner ad campaign on http://www.mumslikeyou.com I’ve screen grabbed one of the ads running on the site – what do you think?
Mums Like You is a new, ambitous and great newcomer to the online community circuit so if you haven’t paid a visit yet, I’d recommend it as a great online destination to enjoy a coffee break or nap time or two. Mums Like Your enables mothers to stay in touch, share parenting advice and discuss topics we all face as a parent.
I can honestly say its a genuinely friendly community of mums – in the real world I am far from shy but in the virtual one I have been a bit of a lurker for a while, felt very self conscious and just frankly not cool enough to join the groups, forums & communities. I’ve joined a decent number now and this and a few others have been the most welcoming, helpful & supportive. So thank you Mums Like You!
These banners form the start of our Christmas promotional activity which me and the team back at the Lounge are getting super excited about, last year was our “First Christmas” and we were blown away by the popularity of our Christmas cards and photo inserts. We’re very much working hard and hoping to continue our first years success. The collection will be going live online shortly but if you would like an e-brochure sending to you in the meantime just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or register online at www.dandelionlounge.co.uk and you’ll get an email as soon as the colletion goes live.
Sorry to be mentioning Christmas in August – but hey I’m a planner by nature and marketer by trade – I’ve got Easter finished before Santa has made to the Chimney! Cx
And here is my investment … difficult to photograph without revealing by reflection the chaos of the rest of the room/my house and life but not as difficult as it will be to keep clean! It has been said that she is high maintenance just like me – ha ha!
Anyway just wanted to share the excitement as I am now going to set to and sort out my cosmetics & make up and fill those drawers up!
So number two is due in 55 days (eight weeks) and I am trying to get sorted, making lists of lists of to do’s to buy’s to ask for advice on etc. I spent this morning with a friend who is due only the day after me with her first baby so was sharing what I know and helping her compile lists with the help of my diary/notebook from first time round and found a list of parenting and baby clubs to get free stuff, samples and vouchers. Having advised both my friend, and myself, to register for these I thought it would be helpful for others to post them up and share the freebie opportunities. Please if you are reading this post and have additions please feel free to include comments with them – the more the merrier and all that!
So if you’re expecting a baby and you need to “get in the zone” – there is loads of free stuff and vouchers out there, those giving them out just need to know you’re “in the club”! So join up to the parenting and baby clubs:
Boots parenting club www.bootsparentingclub.com , Tesco Baby Club www.tesco.com/babyclub , Hipp Organic www.hippbabyclub.co.uk, Pampers www.pampers.co.uk, Huggies www.huggiesclub.com/uk , Early Learning Centre www.elc.co.uk and Bounty www.bounty.com
One last sneaky tip is to also get the Grandma’s to be or another pal to join too using her name & address but with your due dates to get double the booty for you! Right there you go gals I’m off to do some signing up now of my own – hope you’re having a great day!
P.s. Mummy Tips has a great post about where to get baby vouchers too, here’s the link http://newmummystips.blogspot.com/2009/08/baby-vouchers.html (update on 26th August 2009)
Today my bank balance was uplifted by £190. Why? I hear you ask – well, just for being pregnant, that’s it, simple as!
So today I received a cash payment from the government called the “Health in Pregnancy Grant”. Is it just me or does anyone else find this grant a very odd thing to be doing? I think it is odd full stop. Even odder when combined with the timing, mid recession, following the almost complete financial infrastructure meltdown of modern times, I think it is absolutely bonkers! Am I alone here?
This grant is not means tested in anyway, its blanket paid by cash transfer to pretty much anyone and everyone who is 25+ weeks pregnant. Don’t get me wrong having spent two evenings of my life declaring my life and soul across 24 pages of application form to be advised my family was not eligible for child tax credits, I appreciate the simplicity of its criteria! However I’m not sure cash lump sums are the way forward. Don’t get me wrong I’m delighted to have some of my hard earned taxes returned to cover my expenses rather than those of our esteemed government ministers and their second homes. For once it makes a pleasant change! But I still don’t “get it” cash doesn’t provide any direction for expenditure. I’m neither rich nor poor, our family works hard to be able to enjoy a comfortable life and afford nice things, holidays etc. and are proud of our efforts and the rewards they afford us.
A month ago we began the re-jig of our house, its contents and its residents, to make room for baby number two (who remains no closer to being named anything other than “baby number two” in case you were wondering!) In doing so some things were sold or given away to charity and some new items were purchased. These included a new dressing table for yours truly… moi… me… myself and only I! I have always wanted one. Never seen THE one. Then I saw it… AND… it was in the sale … double bonus… it was meant to be! So I bought it! I bought it for … £190 … oops – did I just spend my “Health in Pregnancy Grant” on a fabulous mirrored dressing table? I think I quite possibly did!
Is this fabulous mirrored dressing table what the government meant when they said “The money is to help you with your wider costs in the run up to your baby’s birth.”? I suspect not! But said dressing table remains longer awaited than this baby and will never keep me up in the night nor vomit on me, it will be pain free in its delivery which is conveniently scheduled for next Thursday between 2pm and 6pm with all the hard labour being undertaken by men while I provide appropriate encouragement from a chair on the other side of the room! Sound familar ladies?!
But whilst I hold my hands up and add this spending failure to my already long and ever growing list, I ask the question is it just me or is it that the UK government hasn’t really thought this one through here? So UK tax payers, pregnant friends, and followers I’ve got mine and spent mine (many times over if the truth be told) … have you got yours? And … more importantly how will you spend yours? What do you make of this new “Health in Pregnancy Grant”?
Looking forward to your thoughts, my dressing table & a healthy pregnancy and baby of course!
I am 31 weeks pregnant, my due date is 5th October and according to my iPhone I have 62 days left to my due date – that sounds organised doesn’t it? But I am so not organised. So not ready. Getting ready for baby number two is what I am SUPPOSED to be doing, but I actually, weirdly don’t really know where to start. I feel so not ready that today it actually scared me!
What little time I have when my 2 year old is sleeping is filled with project managing house renovations, trying to work out how to prepare my toddler for the imminent arrival, getting the Christmas 2009 collection for Dandelion Lounge finalised and general anxiety about “hitting reset” and rewinding to where we were two and a bit years ago being responsible for a newborn life. Add my bestest little guy, H, into that equation and I can’t see how life will add up from October onwards. Life at Lancaster Mews since H arrived has revolved around him and his routine, so who’s routine is going to be followed when there are two, very different routines, needs and agenda’s? How the devil do you prepare for and do that? Answers on a postcard/comment box please!
So to my getting ready list … OK so I have “the stuff” – the moses basket, the cot, car seat etc. I have some experience – I know which way round a nappy goes, that babes cry and eventually I’ll start to understand why and to make sure the frill isn’t tucked in to the inner liner on nappies to help avoid busting nappies (one of my top tips for first time mums that one!). But this time getting ready isn’t about stuff or just about me and Mr L its about H. Its a teeny bit about delivery and a lot about making it right and positive for my toddler H. The latter I really don’t know where to start with.
I know me, H and Mr L all survived labour & delivery. I know it was a long 36 hours. I know gas & air doesn’t start to kick in until inhale number 10 so I know to start just before the contraction begins (another top tip!) I know I couldn’t have loved anyone more than the anaesthetist who gave me my epidural after 28hours and that in the end it was all worth it, but that is about it. I have successfully blanked everything else from my brain. I also know that I wrote in my diary on the day I gave birth …*Remember c-section planned next time* – I left myself a message – surely I did this for a reason?!
First time round Mr L and I spent 2 hours a week for 9 weeks attending NCT classes, learning all about the choices and options. As yet I have yet to pick up a pregnancy book. I have loads and they are all still in the loft – first time around I knew exactly the size of my foetus, embryo, baby throughout my 40 weeks in relation to various, generally edible items, from coffee beans, to plums, to apples to grapefruit etc. This time I have to check my iPhone between nursery runs, toddler classes, play dates, phone calls, work, home and the odd occasional splash of a social life!
Last time labour started and I went to hospital around 1am, we can’t just go to hospital with a toddler in the house! I really don’t want to be seen by, or subject my parents to, having to see me in labour. So I am hoping that I will go into labour on either a Monday, Tuesday or Thursday morning between (9am & 1pm) while H is at nursery. That way Mr L can simply call the Grandparents to pick him up, we simply shimmy off to the hospital when we’re ready, welcome baby number two and return home with new babe in arms to little H who’s had a fabulous day and possibly overnight sleepover with his Grandparents. Is that a plan? No it clearly isn’t but that is all I’ve got right now, so if you’re listening to me reviewing this post out loud baby number two – Monday, Tuesday or Thursday morning work for us, and that includes you – OK? Please? OMG I am begging my unborn child to do things, next I’ll be attempting bribery with colostrum, the power has already shifted, she already holds all the cards!
Whilst pregnant in 2007 I turned my office into H’s nursery which is to be “baby number two’s” nursery – choose baby name is on the to do list! Now H is being promoted to what was, until a few weeks ago, our guest room and I am just putting the finishing touches to his big boys bedroom with his own “big bed”! I plan to move him from nursery to bedroom and from cot to bed hopefully next week (blackout blinds & John Lewis permitting!) Also at 27 months want to tackle potty training, that may afford me a few nappy free weeks before I return to 12 a day – but wondering if I have left it too close to a new sibling arriving? Had planned to start on Thursday but now H has come down with a virus & it feels unfair to try to start if he’s under the weather, sigh! Definitely one that needs more thought!
Well you know what I feel better just having blogged this out, I’m sure all these things will happen, in their own time and if they don’t they don’t … but deep down, well not that deep at all really, I am a planner and I would them all to be done, quickly, easily and preferably by now!
Anyway I am signing off for another restless, uncomfortable, dare I say it “bumpy” night ahead! More to come on the ever evolving “to do”, “to get”, “to order” lists I create as I count down the … 62, nearly 61 days to baby number two … all advice, warnings, tales & recommendations received with mucho thanks!
My inbox received this promotion this week and I thought it worth sharing – Pizza Express are launching new flavours to their eat at home/supermarket range and to celebrate have a £1 off voucher for any pizza express pizza from any supermarket just print and take the voucher along – here is the link:
You can’t beat an easy meal – Sloppy Guissepe is my favourite – what’s yours?!