What the parent of that screaming child is really thinking

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You’re walking down the road, or browsing the supermarket aisles when BOOM – it starts. A piercing, wailing scream, a bit like a police siren. It gets louder until you can’t ignore it. The noise bores into your head, raising your blood pressure and leaving a dull ache in your temples.

You look up and see a child in full meltdown mode. The mother is on the edge of your vision and you can’t understand why she won’t shut her banshee child up – or at least take him out of your line of hearing. What is wrong with some people? Why do they even have kids if they can’t control them?

I have been that mother of that screaming child. And, as I look at you wincing with every piercing scream, I know the thoughts going through your head. Trust me, before I was a mum, they went through my head too. Continue reading »

Blogger Bump Club Week 14 #BlogBumpClub

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Blogger Bump Club

I think this is possibly the best I’ve felt throughout this whole pregnancy. Before you roll your eyes and think, “smug, annoying woman”, let me reassure you the puffy feet and cankles are still there and I’m still waking a million times a night for a wee.

At 33 weeks it feels like the countdown is properly “on”. We’ve finally started decorating the baby’s room, the moses basket is washed and made with new sheets and set up in a corner of our bedroom. There’s still lots to do (including digging out all the newborn stuff from the loft), but it feels exciting rather than a big chore. That’s probably one of the reasons I’m enjoying this phase of pregnancy more than all the others.

I don’t know if it’s the slight holiday tan or the fact I’m not exhausted from having to carry Frog (her broken leg has mended and she’s finally running about almost as well as before!) but I feel good. My bump is big and round but I like it. “It looks like you’ve eaten a balloon Mummy,” Frog told me yesterday. At least I look obviously pregnant and not just like I’ve had too many pies. Continue reading »

My third trimester saviours: Part II

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Third Trimester

Yesterday I posted about some of the things helping make the third trimester of this pregnancy that much easier. It turns out there are actually quite a few products and activities and the post was getting a bit out of hand, so here’s Part II of my epic third trimester saviour list…

Pamper products

Pregnancy pamper products

I’ve managed to carve out some time for myself every day to slather on the creams and lotions and potions. I don’t have any stretch marks (yet) and, although I certainly can’t put this down to pampering (I think you either get them or you don’t) I don’t think it’s done me any harm.

Rubbing the Mustela stretch mark oil into my bump every morning and night is a chance to take a few moments to remember I’m pregnant and give the bump some love. The Barefoot SOS and Weleda body cream came in a beautiful Project B package I was sent for review. They’ve made it into my weekly pamper ritual too because they’re creamy without being greasy, smell lovely and leave my skin soft. Continue reading »

My third trimester saviours: Part I

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Third Trimester

This post started life as one, but after realising just how many things are making my life easier at the moment I’m splitting it into two. Here’s the first instalment – if you’re approaching the third trimester I hope you might find it useful.

I’m now 33 weeks pregnant – hello third trimester! In many ways this pregnancy has flown by. I’ve been so busy I’ve not had time to Google “XX weeks pregnant” each week or sit and ponder in lavender soaked baths every night, like last time.

But in other ways, it’s gone slowly. I feel good at the moment – apart from the puffy feet – and I’m kind of (dare I say it) enjoying being pregnant. My bump hasn’t reached the ARGH I CAN’T MOVE stage yet and I still seem to have quite a bit of energy. Long may this last.

Anyway, as with the first and second trimesters, there are a few things making my life far easier and helping me forget that I can’t eat my favourite cheese or drink wine. (WARNING: there follows a photo of me in my bra. Sorry about that.) Continue reading »

Blogger Bump Club Week 13 #BlogBumpClub

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Blogger Bump Club

This week’s #BlogBumpClub is very much the holiday edition. As I write this, I’m sitting on the verandah of our mobile home, under blue Cornish skies, planning a trip to the beach later and – quite possibly – a dip in the pool. We’re staying at Trevella Park in Crantock, near Newquay, and it’s a haven of relaxation for a pregnant woman constantly needing to dip her puffy feet in cool water.

Holiday Feet

I’ll admit, before coming away, I was a bit dubious about whether I’d be able to properly enjoy a holiday while 32 weeks pregnant. My holiday staples (cold gin and tonic or a white wine) were out, plus the thought of lumbering around with a big old bump and not sleeping properly at night kind of made me wonder if it was worth the effort. Continue reading »

Just the two of them

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Dad and daughter time

It’s fair to say, the (self-proclaimed) Northern Love Machine didn’t immediately “take” to fatherhood. He was never one of those happy clappy, hands-on dads, singing to his baby in the changing rooms or diving head-first into the baby groups. Of course he loved his baby girl with a fierce protectiveness, and would tenderly give her cuddles and do all the things expected of a new dad. But he didn’t immediately enjoy it.

I remember when Frog was about 5 weeks old. She was screaming, wouldn’t stop. We were all exhausted, didn’t know what was the matter. It was one of those moments that every parent goes through with a new baby – when you’re frustrated and panicked and not necessarily thinking straight because you haven’t slept more than 2 hours in a row for a month. The NLM just shouted “WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?!” and walked out of the house.

He came back half an hour later, apologised, and admitted he was struggling a bit. He hadn’t had nine months of a baby growing inside him. Nine months to bond and live an enforced change of lifestyle (no wine, no smelly cheese etc). Although we had very much planned this baby, he suddenly felt hit by the full force of responsibility when he was holding his newborn in his arms. “Anxious” was the word he used to describe this feeling in the pit of his stomach. Continue reading »

A beach picnic

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Beach picnicHave you ever noticed your child eats more and is open to a wider variety of food when they’re eating in a different environment? This is definitely the case with my own four year old.

She’s not fussy when it comes to food, but lunchtimes often seem to be a bit of a battle. I think it’s a mixture of tiredness, boredom about what she’s eating and an eagerness to get on and play. But when we have a picnic she’s almost always more interested in what’s on her plate.

When Organix asked if I was interested in taking part in their next #NoJunk Challenge it was a big yes – all I had to do, they said, was go on a picnic. I was keen to prove that picnics can be a great time to introduce kids to new foods, so I said yes. Yesterday, we put that theory to the test.

We’re on holiday in Cornwall at the moment, staying in a beautiful corner of the county called Crantock, just on the edge of Newquay. Crantock Beach is a huge sandy beach, with a lagoon area perfect for little ones to splash about in. It’s also the perfect spot for a picnic. Continue reading »

What to wear to a summer wedding when you’re eight months pregnant

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Summer wedding maternity wearI’ve been preoccupied for the past couple of months. Every spare moment – on the loo, waiting for the kettle to boil, the moments before sleep at night – has been spent searching. It’s been a long and arduous hunt but, finally, it’s reached an end: I’ve found an outfit to wear to a wedding later this summer, when I will be around eight months pregnant.

Wedding outfits stress me out generally anyway – there’s a certain irony in the fact I found getting an outfit for my wedding the easiest of all. As a guest I always worry that I’ll be a) over-dressed b) under-dressed or c) wearing something someone else is wearing. Wear the right outfit and you can feel pretty good. Wear the wrong outfit and you can feel pretty bad. For me, it’s that simple.  Continue reading »

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 »