The un-waiting game

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39 weeks pregnant

Apparently it’s the law that as soon as you reach full term (37 weeks+) when you’re pregnant, you become grumpy, twitchy and are desperate to “get the baby out”. Well, if that’s the law, then I just broke it.

It’s official. I can now no longer sit in a ladylike manner as my huge bump and partially engaged baby make it impossible to close my legs. Attractive. Still, despite what many people seem to think, I’m in no rush to down huge quantities of raspberry leaf tea or eat bucket-loads of curry.

I’m 39 weeks pregnant and my due date is fast approaching, but I know from experience that putting a big ring around a day on the calendar and expecting your baby to know their “deadline” doesn’t work. Fewer than 5% of babies are actually born on their due date after all. Frog arrived 12 days past hers.

This is what I currently look like:

39 week pregnant bump

This is what my four year old daughter thinks I look like:  Continue reading »

A snoop around the baby’s nursery

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Baby's nursery mint and yellow

One of the most exciting things about preparing for this baby has, for me, been decorating the baby’s bedroom. When I was pregnant with Frog we lived in a rented cottage, so couldn’t splash paint on the walls or hang pictures. Although she had a lovely bedroom it wasn’t necessarily the bedroom she’d have had if we’d owned the house.

One of my freelance gigs is writing the interiors pages for a magazine. It means that I spend a lot of time oggling beautiful blogs, interiors magazines and nosing round various shops to look at the latest trends, be inspired by new colour pairings and generally make long lists of things I want to do in my own home (much to the dismay of my husband).

So you can understand why I was so excited about decorating the nursery. Continue reading »

Newquay: not just for summer

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Newquay in the autumn

I always think October half term is a brilliant time to get away. A break gives you something to look forward to and aim for after the first bit of the new school term. Plus, autumn is a lovely time of year to be outdoors walking through crisp leaves and letting the cobwebs blow away on a gusty beach.

A few years ago we spent a wonderful October half term in a little apartment in Lymington as a mini honeymoon before we went abroad a few months later. It reminded me the seaside is certainly not just for summer. In fact, it can be an even better place to visit once the hordes of tourists have packed up and gone home. Which is why Newquay would definitely be on our list of places to return to out of peak season.

We’re no strangers to this part of Cornwall. We only live an hour and a half away, up the road in Devon, plus I spent a year down there doing my Journalism Post Grad training. But we’ve also had two wonderful holidays in Crantock, just a mile or so outside of Newquay. These were both August breaks, so the place is a very different one to visit just a few months later.  Continue reading »

Blogger Bump Club Week 19 #BlogBumpClub

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Blogger Bump Club

You know what they say about not properly missing something until it’s gone? In the case of pregnancy that’s been true with wine, pate and my favourite cheese. But the one thing I’m realising that I miss more than anything else at the moment is a good night’s sleep.

I can handle the regular nightly toilet trips and the inability to get comfortable with a huge nine month bump. But my reserves of stamina are well and truly depleted when it comes to dealing with my snoring husband or wakeful child.

Last night we had one of the worst nights we’ve ever had with Frog. Apart from one particularly bad night when she was about six weeks old and had terrible wind, and another when she was teething at around eight months, I don’t think there’s been a worse night. Even when she was a baby and waking regularly for milk she would still snooze in between feeds. Last night was different though.  Continue reading »

Siblings are not personality changers

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Lake

“A brother or sister will be SO good for her.”

That’s a sentence I’ve heard a lot in the past nine months. It’s always meant well, coming from a place that refers to the excitement my four year old will feel at becoming a big sister. But, in some cases, I think there’s another meaning too. One that alludes to sharing, not always being centre of attention and having to accept a shift in the family dynamic. In short, “It will be good for her not to be an only child”.

Only children can come in for a lot of stick. Spoilt, egotistical, unable to share, doted on too much, opinionated, loud, unable to socialise… these are all some characteristics that I’ve seen associated with only children. You only need to think of Violet Beauregarde in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to get the idea.

There have been times in the past when my daughter has displayed one of these traits and I’ve had a, “Time for a baby brother or sister!” thrown in my direction. As if her behaviour isn’t just normal toddler stuff, or part of her personality, but is a direct consequence of being an only child.  Continue reading »

Another milestone

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Britax seat

When my baby grew out of her first car seat it seemed like a very big deal. Accepting that she was too big for the seat we brought her home from the hospital in felt – at the time – like another milestone we’d reached all too quickly.

Last week that baby, now four years old, started school. Again, it felt like a very big deal. And it kind of overshadowed the other, smaller milestone, we’d passed a few weeks earlier: another new car seat.

Frog has now graduated to a “big girl” booster seat when she’s in her dad’s car. It’s a Britax Adventure seat, for children aged four to twelve years. And she loves it.  Continue reading »

Blogger Bump Club Week 18 #BlogBumpClub

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Blogger Bump ClubThis week’s #BlogBumpClub comes to you from a place of serene calm. I know – I’m as surprised as the next person. It turns out maternity leave is good for the soul. I’m positively floating on clouds and flying with unicorns at the moment.

I filed copy for my last big deadline on Monday morning and sent my maternity allowance claim form off on Tuesday (I’m self-employed, so maternity leave is a bit different to last time I had a baby). Apart from the odd bit of blogging I really have no need to be near my laptop at the moment, which is an enlightening experience.

Frog started school on Monday – mornings only this week – and loves it so far. Which means *touch wood* we’ve had no morning tantrums, no stressful dragging her out of the door episodes and she’s generally been in the best mood ever. Life is so much easier when kids are happy.  Continue reading »

My grandmother’s chair

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There’s one piece of furniture I always wanted but never had as a new mum last time around: a nursing chair. Telling myself it was a waste of money as it wouldn’t be used long enough to warrant the expense, I never splashed out on one. Instead, I’d sit perched on the edge of the bed, or on the futon in Frog’s bedroom, feeding her in the middle of the night, trying not to get back ache.

This time around I was determined to have a chair in our new baby’s nursery. Even though the baby won’t be sleeping in there at first, I wanted a quiet place where I could do feeds without having to find a corner of a bed to perch on.

The thing is, I’m not a huge fan of new furniture. I like pieces that tell a story and, if it’s personal, then all the better. All of the nursing chairs I’d looked at online seemed ludicrously expensive or just not to my taste – too bulky, too mumsy, too ugly, or just not quite right. I know, I’m possibly a little too fussy.

And then I remembered my grandmother’s chair. My beautiful Nana died earlier this year. She was funny, kind and the best baker I’ve ever known. Time spent at Nana’s house in Derby was always fun. When my Dada was alive they would bicker with each other and he would make us all laugh. He’d tell Nana off for the occasional swear (“Ooh you naughty bugger!”) and she’d scold him back for having the telly on too loud.  Continue reading »

Dear School

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Dear School,

I know you probably get this all the time and I expect you’re over the whole “WAIL! My child is too young for school!” thing. But if I didn’t write this on the eve of my daughter starting school for the first time then I wouldn’t be much of a mum blogger would I?

I’m also aware that this whole starting school thing isn’t about me. It’s about my child and her readiness for taking on a new adventure, not about my readiness to accept she’s no longer a baby.

And I know that you have lots of other kids to worry about and mine isn’t the only one meeting a huge milestone tomorrow.  Continue reading »

Blogger Bump Club Week 17 #BlogBumpClub

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Blogger Bump Club

“What’s it like being pregnant?” asked my husband the other day. At the time, I gave a totally unsatisfactory answer. Something like, “It feels like there’s a baby inside you,” before getting on with whatever I was doing. But I’ve been thinking about that more this week and have a better answer now.

Being pregnant is like running a marathon while being made to watch a series of tear-inducing films (think Beaches and Marley and Me) and listening to the most uplifting and joyful music around. In short, it’s long, requires endurance and is an emotional rollercoaster.

If being pregnant is like running a marathon then I’ve got to the mile before the penultimate one. The end is in sight, but there’s still a bit of a slog. I’m tired but incredibly busy, although I know that very soon the adrenaline will hit for that final mile.

36 weeks pregnant

Anyway, enough of the similes. You get the idea. Pregnancy is amazing but also hard work. I’m tired and busy. There – could have just summed the whole thing up in ten words.  Continue reading »