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I’m Pregnant! The First Trimester (and Beyond!)

I’m Pregnant! The First Trimester (and Beyond!)

At the beginning of the year, we found out that we’re expecting baby number two this autumn! The first trimester has involved being tired, queasy and very much focused on growing a human being. Some days I’ve barely had the energy to peel myself off of the sofa and away from Netflix, let alone exercise my brain and put a post together that makes sense, which explains the unannounced hiatus I’ve taken here ever since, too.

I’m now at 21 weeks and— I hope— past the worst of the sickness and exhaustion. I can’t quite believe we are already half way. So far, it’s definitely going quicker this time around; I’m not sure why, but it’s absolutely zoomed by, despite feeling as rough as I did in the early weeks!

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We are all thrilled to be expecting a little baby to complete our family this September. Myself and Ashley have always wanted a second child, when the time was right for us. B has longed for a baby brother or sister for a long time too; in fact, for the last year or so, he has talked about “When I have a baby brother or sister…” frequently, so he is absolutely ecstatic now that it’s on the cards!

There were fist pumps and big grins when we took him for dinner and showed him the scan photo at 13 weeks, to let him know that he was going to be a big brother. He is already so in love with ‘Twinkie’ (as he has affectionately nicknamed him/her) and regularly likes to talk to my bump, kiss it and feel for kicks. He’s six now and is very much in tune with what’s happening; I’m so glad we waited until he was a little bit older. He’s already talking about all the things he wants to do with his sibling, from helping me feed and bathe them, to sharing toys when they’re older. Naturally, I’m sure the novelty will wear off slightly once they’re here and he realises that they’ll demand a lot of my time (and cry and poop a lot) but I think he’s going to be the best big brother, ever and I’m already so proud of how he’s been looking after me and understanding the situation.

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I’ve had no consistent cravings during the first trimester and beyond, but a lot of the things so far that I have been fancying, have been beige. Fish and chip shop chips; chicken chow mein; egg mayo on a baked potato; salt & vinegar rice cakes; Wotsits; and specifically, my mum’s roast potatoes on a Sunday afternoon, with mint sauce.  No imitations will do!  Over the past month, my appetite has improved as the morning sickness has subsided and I’m back to eating a rainbow of colours, which I’m sure my body is very happy about.  The only thing I do have an aversion to still, is tea.  A good milky brew is something I usually love, so it’s very hard to get my head around that it just doesn’t taste right, right now.  I’ve really fancied iced coffee over the last fortnight, so perhaps I’m a coffee drinker now?

I have been documenting my pregnancy so far for my YouTube channel, where you can hear more about the trials and tribulations of my first trimester and the following weeks!

 

The Year That Was 2017

The Year That Was 2017

Happy New Year! I hope you had a great evening, whether you decided to celebrate or not. If you’ve been on social media over the last few days, you will have seen an abundance of 2017 round-ups, highlights and #2017bestnine. We all love bit of self-reflection don’t we? Some of us will gush about buying a house, having babies or getting married. Others will reflect on their own personal journey, the people they’ve met and the things they’re grateful for. Either way, it’s a great thing to do, to keep yourself in check (and of course set some new goals for the coming year, if that’s your bag!)

It’s easy to forget that we all portray our best moments on social media, rather than the good, the bad and the ugly (even if we don’t mean to.) We shouldn’t compare our own reality to the highlight reel of our peers.  There will be some years that are naturally quieter and that doesn’t mean it’s been a bad time, or we haven’t achieved anything; we can’t always have huge, exciting milestones every year, after all.

Here are my top moments from the year that was 2017!

Skógafoss, Iceland
Skógafoss, Iceland

2017 Highlights

Travelling to Iceland.  Both myself and Ashley turned 30 this year and we celebrated by doing something we’ve wanted to do for some time, but as parents of a young child, never thought we would, with a long weekend in Iceland. It was truly out of this world (seriously, it felt like another planet at times), dreamy and lovely to spend some time just the two of us (and then bring B to bed with us as soon as we got home, four nights later!)

Christmas. I realise Christmas happens every year, but this year just felt truly magical. B is nearly six now and totally gets it. It was so beautiful to see him completely immerse himself in the festivities and count down the days until Santa arrived. We had a perfect few lazy days at home before the big day to get him excited too!

Career changes. At the start of 2017, I was three months into a new job role and now as we start 2018, I’m three months away from a completely different career path and starting my own business. I thought I’d be in that job for a while, however sometimes things change unexpectedly; but I believe that everything happens for a reason and I’m excited for the journey ahead!

Friendships. I feel like my circle of friends has got stronger and smaller with my closest pals and expanded in others; I have a whole new set of people in my life with the school mums, reconnected with old friends and made other friends along the way too.

Brighton

Days Trips. We’ve had some great days out as a family and I’ve had lovely Mummy Dates with my boy, including an unexpectedly warm trip to Brighton in February, visiting the farm with friends, a day out at Legoland, ice skating, queuing up at the Lego Store & indulging at M&M World and seeing the animals at Port Lympne Safari Park. I’m very much a homebody, but days out near or far from home make a welcome change!

Lego Store, Leicester Square

Bruno Mars. I was extremely lucky when Ashley surprised me with VIP tickets to see Bruno Mars at The O2 in April. It was hands down the best show I’ve ever been to. If you ever get the chance to see Bruno Mars live, you must go!

B completed his first year of school. He’s come on leaps and bounds in just a year and the fact he can just read now still blows my bloody mind. (And it also makes it really difficult to communicate by spelling words out to your husband that you don’t want your child to hear!)

So, here we are. 2018; I can still remember celebrating the turn of the millennium and it doesn’t feel that long ago, if I’m honest! Is this what my dad means when he says he still feels 21?!

Bring on the next 12 months!

“Isn’t It About Time You Had Another One?” — A Second Child Rant

“Isn’t It About Time You Had Another One?” — A Second Child Rant

I’m not sure when it became anyone’s business about the future activities of my womb and if it’s going to house second child, but if I had a pound for every time someone has asked me this in the last year or so, I could give up my job.

I appreciate questions around motherhood, or being a working mum, or how my son is getting on at school. They’re current. That’s where we’re at. And I love being his mum. Persistence around the whereabouts of baby number two in the future was almost sweet at first, but after a while hearing “When are you popping another one out then?” becomes an annoyance. I’m happy to share that I’d love another baby one day. But people wanting to know when? It’s an intimate, private and personal topic, that not just anyone is going to be privy to.

Having a Second Child

The continuous interrogation started when B turned two or three, but with every milestone over the last year— applying for school; accepting a place; his fourth birthday; starting school; and now approaching the fifth anniversary of his escape from my womb— I’ve had “Isn’t it about time you had another one?” or “When’s baby number two going to happen then?” or my personal favourite, “Ooh, you’d better have a second one soon! You don’t want a huge gap!” ringing in my ears, from the mouths of acquaintances. Not family or close friends. Acquaintances.

It’s on par with people touching your baby bump when you’re pregnant without asking. It’s so intrusive and assuming, and potentially applies a lot of unwanted pressure on a situation that may already be stressful for some couples. People assume you don’t want a gap over five years between your children. They assume you are able to conceive, because you’ve already had one child. They assume you even want a second child! That’s not to say any of those things do or don’t apply to me, but as a couple, we have our plan and that’s it. It’s our plan. If and when we decide to create new life, it will be shared!

People’s obsession with knowing stuff

It all starts when you reach a milestone with your partner, be it a long time together or engagement, marriage, or moving in to your own place. People assume the pitter-patter of tiny feet is on the cards. Once a smoker, but decided to give up? Must be pregnant. Not drinking on a night out, because you’re driving home? Don’t lie, you must be pregnant! Throwing up because you’ve caught a stomach bug? No no, that must be morning sickness.

Having a second child is not a race nor a competition. For some couples, it’s not what they want. For others, they want it but they can’t. So next time you see a mother with a toddler on her hip or holding the hand of a preschooler, don’t make assumptions about the plans for the future of her family.

The whispers of, “I wonder when they’ll have a baby?” started before I’d even taken my wedding dress off!

What’s In & What’s Out #001

What’s In & What’s Out #001

If you’re an avid reader of any blog, then you’ll know that ‘Monthly Favourites’ posts and videos are a content creator’s must. The concept is arguably becoming a little stale, so thought I’d switch things up and try something new (for me, at least); every month or so, I’m going to post about the things I’ve been loving and hating, be it beauty, food or well, just about anything!

Think of it like one of those thermometers you used to get in trashy gossip magazines, that told you what was ‘Hot or Not’ (except better, naturally.)

In

Iceland. (That’s the country, not the food retailer; I’m not in the market for a prawn ring right now.) Myself and my husband, Ashley, are planning a break to Iceland this Summer, for our joint 30th birthday celebrations. It’s totally different to anything we’d normally do. I’m normally a sun-worshipper and could happily spend the entire holiday poolside, without leaving the hotel resort. I’m not a fan of the cold either. However, this trip? I can’t wait! It’ll be lovely to have a few nights sans child and also explore a landscape like I’ve never seen before.

Spring candles. I love a Christmas scent as much as the next person, but candles are not just for winter. In fact, my all-time favourite scent is ‘Clean Cotton.’ I can’t get enough of that fresh, clean washing smell! I’m a big fan of these candle jars from Tesco. They pack a punch and at just £3.50, these medium sized jars are a bargain! As we move closer to springtime, I’m burning the pink ‘Peony Bloom’ one above. It is love.

Blogs. There’s been a YouTube revolution over the last few years, so naturally blogging fell on the back-burner. It seems a lot of content creators have made a new years resolution to write more though and I’m loving seeing posts from my faves again.

Out

Winter. I’m over the short, dark days and bitterly cold mornings now. The time it takes to get myself and B out of the door on a school morning is ever-increasing. It takes much longer than you think to wrap up in your winter woollies and defrost the car!

Oily skin. I’m sure I’ll be thankful for my overly-hydrated skin when I’m older and wrinkle free (although I see you, fine lines!) but for now the oil that is produced throughout my working day is the bane of my life. Going from the bitterly cold outside, into an office with central-heating is playing havoc!

Growing Older and Being Rebellious

Growing Older and Being Rebellious

Most of us had a rebellious stage in our teens. It’s part and parcel of growing older.  Mine involved some underage drinking, house parties (always in someone else’s house, never my own!) and getting my tongue pierced, much to my Dad’s horror.  In comparison to some of the things my friends got up to, my parents got away lightly!

I described myself as an individual.  I can vividly remember it taking centre stage on my MySpace profile.  In fact it was plastered all over my friends profiles too, without a thought as to what it truly meant to be unique.  We all thought we were individual because we were going against the grain with our big side-swept emo fringes, beaded necklaces and deep and meaningful lyrics as our MSN Messenger display names. What we didn’t realise at the time though, is that we were the grain. We weren’t the only ones listening to that new, underground band or sporting that band tee or wearing our pants on show above our baggy jeans.

We cared.  We’d try to deny it and try to convince ourselves that “This is who I am! Take it or leave it!” but we definitely cared what other people thought of our style, our taste in music and our interests.

Turning Thirty

My thirtieth birthday is approaching this summer. I may not be recognisable as that girl dressed head-to-toe in black, sporting fishnet tights and going to gigs every weekend (I’ll stay at home and get an early night, thanks) but I’ve realised that there’s a part of that ‘I-don’t-give-a-fuck’ spirit that has never left me.  And motherhood has played a big part in being able to embrace adulthood with open arms. 

These days, as I’m growing older, I do care less about what other people think.  I’m genuinely comfortable with not enjoying the same things as my peers (see: gin, cats, nights out on the lash) or reaching milestones at the same time as them.  I don’t have that feeling of “I can’t wear that, I’m too old”, because if I like it and it fits, I’m sporting it. In between working and the school run, I quite literally do not have the time to give a fuck.

I hope my children get the opportunity to ‘rebel’ and find themselves too. I feel more empowered and self assured now than I ever have!

Mummy Dates and The Work/Life Balance Saga

Mummy Dates and The Work/Life Balance Saga

In September last year, B started school and a week later, I went back to working full-time. At the end of a busy week of school runs and learning to read, the weekend is very much welcomed for us both! It’s refreshing to spend time together that doesn’t involve a battle to get dressed or teeth brushed. Those precious weekend days can be as slow, fast, adventurous or as lazy as you like.

However, it’s also my time to catch up on things that I haven’t had a chance to do during the rest of the week. Think washing school uniform, tidying up or other boring errands. I’m a bit of a stickler for housework these days, it’s true. That’s something my teenage-self would laugh at while tripping over my floordrobe. Even when I started living with my husband at age twenty-two, we’d let our flat slip into disarray all too often. Pregnancy completely changed me though and I’ve never grown out of that cursed nesting phase!

“A place for everything, everything in it’s place.” — Benjamin Franklin

I don’t live in a show home by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, there’s two loads of clean washing sitting on my dining room table right now, waiting to be put away! But I do find it really hard to get on with my day, if I know our home isn’t in the best shape. I can’t relax knowing that the kitchen’s in a state or my son’s sprayed the bathroom sink with his toothpaste. This is the year I need to let go though and find a happy medium, so I can spend more quality time with my boy (before he becomes too cool to hang out with his mum.)

A coffee date

Last Saturday was a horrible, dark, rainy day so we didn’t get much further than Costa. Luckily, it’s one of B’s favourite past times though. We had cheese toasties, hot drinks and sweet treats and caught up on his week at school. We chatted a lot about ‘Home Alone’ and recited all of the things Kevin does to the ‘baddies’. There were cuddles on the sofa and snuggles under the blanket when we got home. He hasn’t quite managed to shrug off Christmas, so we watched festive favourite ‘Home Alone 2’ too. And then, before bedtime he told me, “You’re the best Mummy I’ve ever had. I love you all the way to Jupiter.” It doesn’t get much better than that, does it?

So, it doesn’t always have to be wild, adventurous days. Sometimes a coffee with your son and his best teddy, is the key to being the best mum in the world.

This post was inspired by Louise Pentland’s Mummy Dates Project 2017. If you’re a mumma, you should join in too!

2017: A New Beginning

2017: A New Beginning

I’m that person who loves a fresh start, so I’m all over new beginnings like a rash. I’m a walking cliche; whether it’s a new page in a notebook, a new diary or even a new week there’s something so refreshing about it. Ordinarily, I’m a creature of habit and don’t always love change, but that feeling of wiping the metaphorical plate clean, is one I find quite therapeutic. So, there’s very little I like more than the beginning of a brand new year to inspire and motivate me for the days and projects ahead! Hello 2017.

I’m a bit skeptical about New Years Resolutions, despite being a fan of the whole ‘new year, new leaf’ vibe; I absolutely love the idea of them, but they don’t always work and I think we can set ourselves up to fail and ultimately, feel worse than we did at the beginning of the year. I usually set myself too many goals, or something that’s just not within my reach. In previous years, they have always been measured in some way; do this for X amount of time, lose X amount of pounds, do this or that every day— but I’m a perfectionist, so if I miss a day or don’t reach a certain goal in time, then it’s game over for me and I wait until the next month or even year, rather than dusting myself off and trying again straight away.

That said, the start of a brand new year wouldn’t be right without some kind of resolution or goal for the next 365 days; but my approach this year is a little broader. They’re more ‘points to keep in mind’:

Be nicer to myself. As I approach thirty, I think it’s probably about time I start thinking a bit more about what I put into my body. I’m not saying I’m going to be clean-eating, or never eating carbs again, but I just need to make better decisions about the food I eat and my lifestyle. There are little daily beauty-related tasks that I’m pretty lazy with too, like painting my nails or getting my eyebrows threaded, or even, shock horror, not removing my make-up before I go to bed. Guilty. They’re all little things, but things that make me feel better nonetheless.

Be wiser with my time. I’ve always been a homebody and I always will be; I love spending time at home pottering about, or curling up on the sofa with B watching a Disney movie. But this year I want to make more of an effort to get out and about with him. I started working full-time in September at the same time as B starting school, so it’s made me realise how precious our spare time together is. I don’t want to burn myself out, but I know when we do go on little mini-adventures he really loves and appreciates it, and there’s nothing better than seeing him happy.

Be creative. I vow to pick my camera up more this year. For the first few years of B’s life I have probably thousands of photos, but it’s just not something I do so much anymore and I’ve really missed photography and photo-editing. I want to take more pictures of anything and everything, not just documenting our family life. I still have that dream of giving up the day job and going self-employed with it one day.

I’ve really missed blogging too. I stopped for a long time, because my MacBook broke and then it just kind of fell off of my radar. I, like most people, check social media daily, but you’d never know because when you look back, my own posts are so sporadic and few and far between. When I was blogging I fell into a trap of shoddy sponsored posts and creating content I didn’t love. In my bid to start a fresh, I’ve deleted all my previous posts from the last 5 years or so. Out with the old and in with the new!

Let go. Over the last year or two, I’ve realised that it’s so true about your friendship circle getting smaller as you get older. Sometimes I dwell on those friendships that used to mean so much, or those people that were around for the big milestones of my life but are no longer a part of it, but I’ve come to realise that sometimes these things just fizzle out and that’s okay. We all grow older and grow apart, and become part of something new. There are no bad feelings, it’s just part and parcel of life!

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I hope you all had a lovely new year however you decided to celebrate— or not celebrate, if you’re anything like us and went to bed at 10:30pm with a belly full of Sushi!

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2017.