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MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU!…

In lieu of a proper post (I have several drafted…as usual) we’d like to wish you a happy Star Wars day!

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Posted by on May 4, 2016 in Random

 

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Rolling, Rolling, Rolling!…

George rolled over ALL BY HIMSELF for the first time today!!!

…this is how it came about…

I took a trip to Ikea last week (to pick up a highchair…more about that soon) and got this play rug…it was only ¬£14 and is HUGE. It’s also lovely and soft with a low looped pile, and it has SO much going on on it (roads, a beach, a castle, a volcano, shops, houses…it’s going to be the inspiration for many a game in years to come).

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Previously we’d only been doing tummy time on the bed, reasoning that it was nice and soft, and cleaner than the carpet (we have dogs), but it has always been pretty unsuccessful. He would just bury his face in the mattress and shriek in temper and frustration.

George hates tummy time…

He hates it so much that, to be honest, I’d rather not do it. In fact, most days we only managed a minute or two all day long, and I was starting to feel like an awful mother because he still couldn’t hold his head up off the bed for more than a couple of seconds.

Anyway. I bought the rug, and I bought it with the future in mind…after all, what use is a townscape playmat to an infant? I actually thought that I might be jumping the gun by buying it. It turns out to have been the best “toy” that I’ve bought so far.

The looped pile means that George can lick it as much as he likes and he won’t get a mouthful of fibres (always good!) and the fact that it’s firm (unlike the bed) means that he has far more support.

He did have a bit of a cry when I put him on his tummy but it wasn’t long before he was propped up on his elbows and reaching for toys…

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…and he stayed like that for ages

I called Luke to come and see because I couldn’t quite believe how well he was doing – how strong George was despite the lack of tummy time. We stood there smiling, proud, happy to watch him enjoying his toys from a new perspective, and then suddenly he just flipped over onto his back!…

I’m not sure who was more surprised, him or us!

We rewarded him with a chorus of cheers and his shock turned to smiles almost as quickly as he’d flipped over. He’s done it a few more times as the day has gone on, as well as almost managing a back to front roll on a couple of occasions.

All hail the Ikea play rug ūüôā

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2016 in Baby, Life, Parenting

 

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Hardly Posting…

It’s been a month since my last post. I am SO frustrated at myself and my life at the moment.

George is almost 5 months old now and I (naively) thought that he’d be a bit more independent by now…happy to sit and play with toys or have a nap on his own. Ha.

He doesn’t really like to nap anywhere other than in my arms, and although he will sometimes fall so deeply asleep that I can put him down, he has the uncanny knack of waking up as soon as I get into doing something. As such, I get half a load of dishes done, washing gets done but gets left in the machine, dried clothes sit in piles waiting to be put away…

We’ve now entered a stage of development where only I will do too, so I can’t even pass him to someone while I get stuff done (or try to at least). Luke does pretty much all the housework (and gets to finish all my half-done jobs) which must be pretty annoying for him. I’m trying to remind myself that George will only be little once, and that the day will come when he doesn’t want to be cuddled, and that on that day I will be immeasurably sad, but that doesn’t work all of the time. I want to be the selfless super-mum that society tells me I should be, but some days I just want to have my arms to myself, to read a book, to tidy a room…to go for a pee without having to yell “IT’S OK! MUMMY IS STILL HERE! YOU’RE NOT ON YOUR OWN!”…

Even now, I’m typing this (laboriously) on my phone while he sleeps in my arms. He keeps stirring and I feel guilty for not being a good mattress and keeping still, but I’m fed up of not getting things done, and this blog (and my failure to write for it) is a major source of guilt for me at the moment.

Another source of guilt is Old Red…

…he’s rapidly becoming Old Green…or Old Rust Bucket. It makes me SO sad and SO depressed…

As it stands he hasn’t moved (not properly) in over 2 years and is SERIOUSLY in need of work. A lot of it is going to cost money that we don’t have, but a lot of it can be done by us and (hopefully) quite cheaply. Our first job is to fit our tailgate struts, which Luke is going to do on the next sunny day we have.

Roll on sunny day!

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2016 in Baby, Life, Parenting, Plans, Van Maintenance

 

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Bounty Newborn Pack…

When you’ve given birth to your lovely baby, and you’re spending your time getting to know them on the postnatal ward, the Bounty reps come around bearing gift-packs and cameras.¬†We turned down the offer of photographs (feeling like we were going to be trapped into spending lots of money, and not wanting Bounty to have possession of¬†any pictures of our son), but were happy to accept the pack.

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If I’m honest, after the last two packs I’ve received (Bounty Mum-to-Be and Emma’s Diary Bump-to-Baby) I didn’t hold out much hope for the Bounty Newborn Pack, but I was¬†really pleasantly surprised…

The first thing you notice is the free STUFF, because it’s bigger and more interesting than the small forest of literature that’s included…

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The best thing in the pack was a baby towel (top left) that is beautifully soft and comes with a sample of Persil Non Bio liquid and Comfort softener as well as money off vouchers for the same (the two brands we already use! Huzzah!)

Next best things were sample nappies and wipes from Aldi and Asda (I used the Asda wipes before I had chance to take the picture. Whoops). Asda only give you two of their ‘Little Angels’ nappies, and I think the pack had 10 wipes in it. Aldi are FAR more generous with 24 Mamia¬†wipes (now in our nappy bag for emergencies) and 4 sample nappies. Fabulous!

We have since used the rest of these nappy samples up (more about our nappy experiences soon…) and can safely say that both Little Angels and Mamia nappies are very good quality and very good value if you then go on to buy them. The wipes are brilliant too, and we’ve used them on George’s bum and face with no adverse reactions (unlike Huggies aloe vera wipes which gave him sore skin. Bad Huggies!)

There was also a Tena Lights sample (and money off voucher) in the pack,¬†another mini pot of Sudocrem, and a sample of Baby D Drops. All in all, a cornucopia of freebies!…and useful ones at that!

So…that’s all the interesting ‘STUFF’…now onto the forest of paper that was included in the pack.¬†I was prepared for it to all be selling me something or just generally useless, but again I was pleasantly surprised…

  • Child Benefit Form…VERY useful! Unfortunately I didn’t know it was in there until a week or so ago (despite it being printed on the pack itself) so I didn’t have it with me when we registered George (you can apparently hand your filled in form to the Registrar)
  • 2 x Lansinoh Breast Milk Freezer Bags…also VERY useful. I hadn’t even thought about buying these so when I needed to freeze some of my expressed milk I had two in reserve! Awesome stuff!
  • Hotel Chocolat Tasting¬†Club¬†voucher…to get a ¬£22.95 selection for ¬£6.95. I love these chocolates! USEFUL!
  • Obligatory “Ocado 20% off” voucher…when you spend over ¬£80 of course…not at all useful.
  • Pixifoto voucher sheet…for free photography sessions as your baby grows. Pretty useful if you like that sort of thing.
  • “Gift Certificates”…these look like great offers on the face of it BUT they’re all American sites so you have to pay almost ¬£10 in postage for each purchase. It’s not bad if they were things you wanted anyway…you can get:
  • You and Your Newborn Bounty Book…I haven’t even looked through this but I’m fairly sure it’s another book of advertisements. It¬†could be useful. Maybe.
  • Your Guide to Contraception After¬†You’ve¬†Had a Baby…leaflet. Useful!
  • Meningitis Awareness…mini leaflet. Also useful!
  • Coping With Wind and Infant Colic…leaflet (it’s basically an informative advert for Infacol)…very useful as George has suffered with bad wind (possibly colic)
  • Junior ISAs…leaflet. Might be useful.
  • D Drops Voucher…and leaflet. Useful for finding out what they’re about (and buying more).
  • Bounty Parenting¬†Club¬†Form…of course. I’m sure this will be useful if they want to give me more free things.

So there you have it! It was stuffed with STUFF and THINGS and a lot of it was useful (or could be seen as being useful)…all in all I’m pretty impressed!

Thanks Bounty ūüôā

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2015 in Baby, Life, Lists, Parenting

 

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Four Weeks…To Get Out The Door…

George is four weeks old today and has celebrated by rolling over on the bed and giving me a beautiful smile. Ok, so the roll might have been a fluke but the smile was real (he’s been doing them all week!)

The registrar who did my surgery said that I’d be ok to drive after 4 weeks (and my insurance company were happy to go with his suggestion) so I’ve celebrated 4 weeks of George by getting back behind the wheel and driving us around. I’d forgotten how amazing it is to NOT have to rely on your mother for lifts…

Unfortunately, I’m still getting used to the whole ‘getting myself AND a baby ready’ and so it can take a lot longer than I expect. Gone are the days of being ready in half an hour (or an hour if I wanted to look like I’d made an effort). I’ve been late for everything recently. The other day we planned a short walk and we didn’t manage to get out of the house until late afternoon…can you imagine what it’s like when we’re going out further afield or for longer?!

Somehow, there’s SO much more to do (even though in reality the extra stuff is just feeding George, changing his nappy and getting him dressed) and the things I used to “just do” now have to be done as and when I can do them.

Time just flies by now too. Most mornings I get up and come downstairs for a cup of tea at about 9am…and then suddenly it’s midday and I’m still in my dressing gown with unbrushed hair (and teeth) and I could REALLY do with a shower and all I’ve done is feed George (and probably changed his nappy a few times).

This morning I managed to achieve the¬† (seemingly) impossible. I got out of bed (after George had his first daylight feed) and thrust him into Luke’s arms while I went to have a shower. I somehow managed to get dry and dressed before more feeding/nappy changing was required, and then I found time to make myself some tea and toast. Eating of the toast was done over George as he had yet another feed (fourth of the day) and I may or may not have got a few crumbs on him *ahem*…

I utilised his post-feeding nap to go brush my teeth and wash my face, and then all that was left to do was to feed him a couple more times, change his nappy once or twice and hand him to Luke for dressing while I brushed my hair. It’s amazing how quickly something as simple as doing my hair (even just putting it up into a haphazard pony tail) has become a frivolous use of my time…

I have SO much respect for single parents and for men/women who stay at home with the baby while their partners go to work. I have no idea what I’d do without Luke here in the morning…well, yes I do…I’d probably stay in the house, stinking and cultivating one massive dreadlock where my hair used to be. I’m sure that tears would be involved somewhere too.

Eventually we got out of the house just after twelve, an amazing two and a half hours after I stepped into the shower. It seemed almost miraculous.

Fifteen minutes later there was a poopy nappy that needed changing. Sigh.

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2015 in Baby, Days Out, Life, Parenting

 

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Three Weeks…

So…I’ve been away from my blog for three weeks…

Three weeks yesterday I was being induced…

Three weeks today our little boy was born…

…three weeks…

It feels like a lifetime ago.

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He is amazing.

His name is George (after George Harrison) and he likes boobs, cuddles, The Beatles (particularly Mean Mr. Mustard), Simon and Garfunkel, Mardy Bum by The Arctic Monkeys, and Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison. He does not like being put down, being in a dirty nappy, having his nappy changed, being naked, and getting dressed.

I am sure it’s been said and said again by mothers and fathers all over the world, but I can’t remember what life was like before him. I spend most of my day (and night) cuddling him and feeding him, and it’s a rare treat to have my arms to myself long enough to type…but…despite the fact that he’s happily snoozing away right now, I’m rushing to finish writing this so I can pick him up and let him spend the rest of his nap on my chest.

He is a beautiful boy.

I never quite got my head around the fact that he was growing inside me, and now I’m struggling to believe that he’s mine (well, ours) and that I’m his mother. I can’t believe that I have a baby, even though he’s right here beside me as I type. I can’t believe that Luke and I have created this perfect addition to our family. I feel so lucky. I feel so blessed.

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2015 in Baby, Life, Parenting

 

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36 Weeks – The Joy of Ikea…

…I’m only a week late in posting this…

Monday (the 10th) was the start of my 36th week of pregnancy…

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…(please excuse the rough-looking picture) and I celebrated it by getting up at 7am to accept a big Ikea delivery from the Parcelforce delivery man. I knew it was coming, but I didn’t think it’d be that early. I also thought that the nice delivery man would lift the massive heavy boxes into the hallway for the massive pregnant woman…but no. Apparently it was more than his job is worth.

Thank you Parcelforce, you are (not at all) helpful. Luckily I have a big strong husband that I could drag out of bed, but what if he had been out at work, or if I was single? What if I was and elderly person or just weak? Needless to say, I am not impressed by their (lack of) service.

Anyway…

I’d been looking forward to it all arriving because a) I love getting new stuff, and b) I love love LOVE putting flat-pack together. So there it was, a box of cot pieces, a box of changing table pieces, a plastic wrapped mattress and a box of “things”…I started unpacking it and suddenly it all became¬†very¬†real.

Baby things.

For our baby.

Who will be here in 1-6 weeks.

Oh gosh.

I had a bit more tea and put off the building for a while longer.

When it came down to it, Luke was going to help me, but I told him that I wanted to do it by myself. He does¬†so much around the house while I sit and moan about SPD and being tired that I thought he could do with a break. Plus, we may be a fantastic team a lot of the time. but we don’t build well together.

As it is, I don’t build well alone, but at least I can only get frustrated with myself that way…

I started on the cot. I’d chosen a white Gulliver cot¬†as it was very VERY cheap (¬£55) and could have one side removed, which makes it ideal to “sidecar” as a cosleeper on our bed.¬†I was going to build it as a three-sided cot straight away as we want to have our little one close by, and we wanted to be able to get him into and out of our bed easily to make night feeds a bit less of a faff.

The trouble is that Ikea assumes that you will build it as a four-sided cot with the base up high…then drop the base down to it’s lowest setting once your child gets older (and more mobile)…then remove the side and use it as a cot-bed once your little one is bed aged…and their instructions are set out in those three stages. There is nothing for the parent who, like me, wants to flout their rules. SO I cobbled it together on my own…

First, I put the three sides together, then I tried to put the cot bed bar in and realised that it wasn’t going to work and that I needed to take one of the ends off…

So, I took the end off, slotted the bar in, reattached the end…and then realised that I couldn’t get the mattress base in when all of the side were assembled…

I took the end off AGAIN, slotted in the base (with considerable difficulty) and reattached the end AGAIN and stood back to admire my work. That’s when I realised I’d put the base in upside down

So off came the end for a third time, and out came the base. Putting it back in this time was a doddle (because it was the right way up and I could see what I was doing), as was reattaching the end (because I’d had SO much practice at doing that already) and then it was finished. Actually finished.

…and I only had to make it FOUR TIMES.

Still, I had fun doing it, and laughed at myself every time I went wrong, The only down side was that by the time I’d finished my feet were five sizes bigger than when I’d started and I really REALLY needed to sit down. So obviously the next step I took was to move our king-sized bed, put the cot in place and move the bed back.

And THEN I sat down. Well, after making it look all nice and pretty…

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…those are the sleeping bags we got from Ikea too…check out our retro duvet/curtains combo (they’re my Mom’s and older than me), whilst trying to ignore the fact that I hadn’t put the matching pillow cases on…

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…a closer look at the sleeping bags…LOOK AT THE LITTLE FEET!!!…

…a while later I put together our bargain basement SNIGLAR changing table (¬£25), but that’s just sitting on our landing at the moment so I haven’t taken a photo of it yet. Here is a stock photo for your viewing pleasure…

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…it’s basic but it was cheap and it’ll do the job. I wasn’t even going to bother buying one and just use a mat on the floor or bed, but I figured that if I have to have a c-section it’ll be much more convenient to have a proper changing table set up. It was far easier to put up than the crib, but I still made sure that I read the instructions properly before I started to avoid having to undo my work and start again. At one point I remember thinking “These shelves aren’t very deep…surely a baby could roll off this very easily?”…and then I realised that I’d put the shelf parts (the white bit in the picture)¬†upside down…

Luckily I didn’t have to pull much apart to fix it though…

So, other than the cot and changing table, we also got…

VYSSA VINKA mattress¬†…¬£40…it’s sprung and has a removable, washable cover. I was going to go for their cold foam mattress¬†but figured that the springs would allow for better air circulation.

LEN mattress protector¬†…¬£5…to protect the mattress. Obviously.

LEN fitted cot sheets¬†…¬£7.50 for two…maybe I should have gotten four…oh well, there’s still time to get more.

LEKA cot mobile…¬£4…it’s a leaf with bugs dangling from it and it is SO cute, but it doesn’t come with anything to suspend the mobile from. I have looked around for some mobile arms online and they all seem to a) come with a mobile, or b) cost more than ¬£10 for the arm alone. Whoops.

SKOTSAM changing mat…¬£5…it fits in the top of the changing table, has a padded base and inflatable sides. The valves on the inflatable bits are awful. One of them was ok and I could pinch it and blow air in, but I had to kind of push that air into the other three sections with my cheeks. I don’t know how else to describe it but it was very frustrating. I wouldn’t recommend buying one. One of the sides has already deflated…

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ONSKLIG storage baskets…¬£7…these four little baskets hang off the edge of the changing table. One has a lid so could be good as a nappy pail (but I don’t know how well it’d contain smells!)…I’m not sure what I’ll keep in them but they seemed like they might be useful when I was putting my order together. The set comes with two hook clips too.

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…Ikea’s photo…

POMSIG sleeping bag…¬£12…

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…Ikea’s photo…

PYTTESSMA sleeping bag… ¬£11…both of these bags are 0-6 months and are good for use in temperatures of 16-20¬įC (so they’re around 2.5tog) so they’ll be good in our bedroomaswe alwayshave the windows open.

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…Ikea’s photo…

KRAMA washcloths… ¬£3 for 10…I’m planning on using these for making my own babywipes (more about this in an upcoming post). They’re 30cm square and wonderfully soft. I got two packs because they’re so cheap – one pack to make baby wipes and one to actually use as washcloths (or turn into more wipes if they work well). I really like their little coloured hanging loops (which hang on the useful hook clips that I got with the storage tubs)

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…Ikea’s photo…

With delivery, the whole lot came to just over ¬£185, which is less than I imagined the cot and mattress would cost on their own.¬†Aside from the changing mat fail, I was really pleased with everything we got, and even more pleased by the price. They have some really lovely (affordable) stuff for babies and children, and I can’t recommend them enough

We do have a few more things that we need to pick up from there (like¬†drawers¬†for the¬†Kallax¬†shelving units we have in our bedroom) so I might brave a drive to Coventry this week…and I might be tempted into buying some of their baby towels and toys…

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2015 in Baby, Life, Lists, Pregnancy, Reviews

 

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