Blogger Bump Club Week 12 #BlogBumpClub

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Blogger Bump Club

The speed at which this regular weekly feature comes around is a little bit terrifying for me. I literally feel like I blinked and went from being 12 weeks pregnant and announcing our impending arrival, to suddenly being here – 31 weeks and with birth just around the corner! Anyone else feel their pregnancy going scarily fast?

31 weeks pregnant

The last week has been mainly about getting organised. It’s like a switch has been flipped and, as soon as the (self-proclaimed) Northern Love Machine broke up for summer, I went into overdrive to start getting things done. Continue reading »

When did you become “money aware”?

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Pink Piggy Bank

Photo Credit: kenteegardin via Compfight cc

When I was around 10 years old, my mum introduced me to the idea of working for my money. Although I’d had pocket money before that and was expected to help out with odd jobs around the house, it wasn’t until I was around 10 that Mum started offering me the chance to earn “big bucks” by doing bigger jobs around the house.

For a girl with an obsession with Tammy Girl and The One And Only clothing shops, this was like a dream come true. Finally I could earn my own money, save it and then spend it on a new T’shirt or skirt (or, later, a pair of Adidas Campus trainers).

As I grew up the amount of money I could earn got bigger. By the age of 14 I was allowed £20 a month from the family allowance, earned through doing the family ironing each week (I think my mum got a good deal there!). This was topped up with cash earned from other odd jobs around the house.  Continue reading »

What they don’t tell you about nesting…

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“I am NOT posing with a pressure washer,” stated my usually compliant husband. “I’m sorry but I draw the line at that.” My latest attempts to rope the (self-proclaimed) Northern Love Machine into “doing his bit” for my blog weren’t going well. I’d asked him to clean the car under the guise of doing a review, but what was actually happening was a serious case of nesting.

You see, what they don’t tell you about the crazy nesting phase when you’re in the third trimester of pregnancy, is that it doesn’t just cover the house.

In fact, my house remains a neglected mess at the moment – but the car, well the car is GLEAMING. Of course I won out in the end. “I’ve never been asked to pose with a pressure washer before,” moaned the NLM, as he buckled under my pleas, desperate for me to leave him alone so he could go back to sitting in the sunshine.

Vax pressure washer 2200w

Continue reading »

What we loved about Cornbury Music Festival

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Cornbury Festival

Back at the beginning of July, we were invited to Cornbury Music Festival with Microsoft for the launch of the Lumia 930 mobile phone handset. Set in The Great Tew Park in Oxfordshire on the 4th, 5th and 6th of July, I’d heard of Cornbury before as it’s not too far from where we used to live. Although Devon to Oxfordshire’s a long journey, we never turn down the opportunity to go to a festival, so off we went.

Cornbury Music Festival

With a child with a broken leg, we decided not to camp but to stay in a hotel instead. I LOVE camping and, usually, would scoff at anyone who went to a festival and didn’t camp… but broken legs and tents and midnight toilet trips in plaster didn’t appeal. Luckily, choosing not to camp didn’t ruin the experience at all. Continue reading »

The cast diaries, part 2

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Broken leg in cast

This is my daughter a month ago. It’s been seven weeks of hard work in this house. Broken legs mean children who can’t walk, which means constant bending and lifting and carrying. Not much fun when you’re already lugging a big old baby bump around.

The cast came off twelve days ago and, up until last week, my four year old refused, point-blank, to put any weight on her leg. “I don’t want to ever walk again Mummy,” she said proudly, as I urged her to get up and walk. “You’ll have to carry me forever and ever. Walking is stupid.” Continue reading »

Blogger Bump Club Week 11 #BlogBumpClub

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Blogger Bump Club

Please tell me I’m not the only one who has just wanted to get NAKED this week?! Blimey, being pregnant in this hot weather is doing my cankles no good. Aside from that, I can’t believe it’s now week 11 of the #BlogBumpClub. Apologies for my tardiness this week – today we have been mainly doing this:

At the beach

Continue reading »

Lasts

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Sunny skies

Since becoming a parent I’ve been acutely aware of the passing of time. When you have a small person growing before your eyes you have this constant reminder of the transience of things. Tiny hands and tiny nails growing bigger with every passing day, to a distant tick, tick, tick. Strangers telling you, “Make the most of it – they don’t stay small for long,” as you battle through tantrums. Even the most grim of parenting moments seems to be a reminder that nothing is forever.

I remember, in technicolour detail, folding my daughter’s outgrown newborn clothes and putting them away safely in a box to be stored in the loft. I cried as I did it, a mixture of raging hormones, sleep deprivation and the dawning realisation that time was passing too quickly.

I would cuddle my newborn tightly in my arms in cafes, sniffing in that new baby scent – a mixture of milk and magic baby perfume – and feel secretly sorry for mums cradling a bigger baby. My baby was still tiny, I was behind them. I still had all this time to enjoy. Continue reading »

Blogger Bump Club Week 10 #BlogBumpClub

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Blogger Bump Club

This week I am mainly loving being pregnant. I know, weird. I can’t drink wine or eat my favourite cheese, I have cankles and my backside is bigger than it used to be but still, I don’t mind.

After a tough few weeks where I’ve felt drained by the juggle of everyday life – work, a child with a broken leg, sleep deprivation etc – it’s felt like something has changed recently. My bump is bigger and rounder, but I quite like it. I feel more confident and, although the tiredness is still there, it’s not all-consuming.

I’m hoping beyond hope that this feeling lasts a little longer as I’m now 29 weeks. Past experience tells me to make the most of it before I get even bigger and uncomfortable.

Things I’m currently liking about being pregnant: Continue reading »

One maternity dress: 3 ways

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Isabella Oliver maternity tunic

OK, I’ll admit it. I may have cankles and my thighs are far from perfect at the moment, but I’m starting to love my body a little bit. If that makes me sound like a frivolous, egotistical woman then so be it. I can’t help it. I blame the big old bump and the pregnancy hormones. I’m sure it won’t last for long.

Anyway, one of the reasons I’m feeling pretty OK about the way I look right now is very much down to what I’m putting on my body. Aside from all the creams, my maternity wardrobe is doing me some definite favours.

I know some people aren’t down with spending cash on clothes you won’t wear for longer than nine months, but as far as I’m concerned it’s money well spent. If it wasn’t for my new threads then I’m sure I’d spend much of the time at the moment mourning the loss of my waist and feeling generally bleurgh. For me, what I wear can have a huge impact on how I feel about myself. Clothes are powerful like that.  Continue reading »

One year in Devon or, “Things turn out OK in the end”

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Living in Devon

One of my biggest regrets of the past three years is that I wasted so much time worrying. I was a worrier with a capital W. I worried about where we were going to live, what we were going to do for work and what school my daughter would eventually go to. I worried about all sorts of things but, mainly, I worried about the future.

I am a planner you see. I wish I wasn’t but I am. So there you go. This means that, although we lived in a pretty little cottage in a lovely village in Berkshire not far from London, I couldn’t relax. It was all so… temporary.

We rented our house and lived on a rolling short term tenancy contract. Buying a house was on our “To Do” list, not because we aspired to owning property particularly but because tenants in this country hardly have any rights or security and, after 6 years renting we’d had enough. We wanted to put down roots properly but knew the chances of affording anything bigger than a shoebox in that part of the UK was nigh on impossible. Continue reading »