Me and Mine - December

So five days after our November picture went live the fourth addition to our little family arrived. You may remember last month I was pretty massive and fed up and longing for her to make an appearance. I may have been a little impatient, especially as I didn't even go overdue (she arrived at 39+5 days). You can read her birth story here if you like.

As you can imagine the last three weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind that only a teeny tiny new person can create. That being said we've all felt quite chilled out really and just soaking up those magical newborn moments. We are so in love with out little Mabli and so proud of how Wilf is taking the big change too.

It's probably stating the obvious a little to say this month we have been enjoying our little baby, Christmas and spending time with family! It's been nice having a baby in the festive season as we've had to many people willing to come & entertain Wilf and with Tom off too he hasn't had a chance to feel left out.

Our pictures were a little thrown together (again) but I think we have a good excuse this month at least. I'm looking forward to not being pregnant in 2016 and for all the adventures our family can get up to.

Don't forget to visit my co-hosts Lucy, Katie, Alex, Lucy and Jenny!


the first park and three weeks postpartum

It's a funny thing, having a newborn around again, everything is so new and yet familiar too. It's been four years since we've had a baby around the house, almost four years exactly actually as Mabli and Wilf's birthdates are just 9 days apart. My 'Time Hop' app shows me images of newborn Wilf and I look down at Mabli and marvel at how alike they look. Last week it showed us our first walk around the park with our newborn and this week we took the baby out to do the exact same thing (actually I blogged about it here!).

So we took that first trip round our local park at three weeks postpartum this time round. The first time we'd testing our new pram (we were lucky enough to be sent the Wonder from Cosatto in Hepburn and I'm in love with it!). I've been a fan of the brand since we first started using their products with Wilf (see our Ooba and Giggle reviews if you like) especially as a fan of colour, their designs are right up my street.

We've not actually gone much further than a little stroll so not tested it on public transport yet but I'll do a proper a review in a few weeks I think. I think the fixed wheels will take a little getting used to after years of swivel wheels but the suspension is great for getting over curbs etc.

Anyway, back to the walk.

I'm still getting used to my new body shape, although I don't expect to be back into my old size clothes for a while of course but the main thing I'm getting my head around is my ridiculously large boobs. I breastfed Wilf for two and a half years but breastfeeding after 6m or a year is a really different experience to the early days. By a year my figure was pretty much the same as it was before pregnancy and my boobs were also back to their normal size. I keep thinking that things will fit me in a large size and then not factoring in getting them over my chest! I'm also a bit of a loss with 'nursing clothes' any that specifically advertise as such seem to be maternity clothes too which doesn't make much sense to me tbh. If you have any breastfeeding friendly store recommendations then send them my way!

As you can tell from this pics Wilf was VERY excited to be the one pushing the pram. He's taking his role as big brother very seriously and when she occasionally cries he states 'she's sad because she can't see me' ha! I'm pretty sure when she starts smiling & laughing then he is going to be her favourite person ever.

I've been so impressed with my little boy and how he's taking this big change in his life. So far it's been pretty smooth sailing. Probably helped by the fact Tom is off too so he's always getting attention from one of us. That and the fact it's just been Christmas and he's been thoroughly spoilt!

In case you were wondering, my coat is from here (you can get 15% off full priced items with TLQ15) and Wilf's coat is from here and currently on sale.    


Top Christmas Tips

I am most definitely a Christmas person. I love everything about this time of year and with Wilf's birthday just a few days before hand and now the new babies arrival too, December is always going to be a magical month for our family.

We really like to hunker down and hibernate over the days around Christmas day, watch festive films, eat too much and play board games with a glass of bucks fizz in hand. We also try to make sure that the fridge and freezer are stocked full of easy meals to eat around this time as well as making use of left overs. I try and pre-make some easy meals like macaroni cheese, chilli or a curry so that we can just pop them in the microwave and spend as much time relaxing and enjoying our family as possible.  This year with having a newborn we asked for our Christmas gift from Tom's mum to be 'Cook' vouchers which has been the best gift yet, we're still working through them and have a black forest gateau to get to mmm.

I'd say my best tip would be, get cosy but make sure you are leaving the house at some point, even for a little stroll to blow the cobwebs away. I know Tom get's a bit cranky if he doesn't get fresh air and a stretch of his limbs daily. Plus there is nothing nicer than getting in from the cold to a hot chocolate and a mince pie! It's also really important for Wilf to have a run around too (I'm making my family sound like dogs that need a walk!)

We try and stagger our present opening so it's not over all at once, especially if there are quite a few. I remember Christmas when Wilf had just turned one and he seemed to have so much stuff from us and all our family it was quite overwhelming. We ended up staggering them through the day and even kept a couple for a few days later. That way he really appreciated and played with the ones he had opened and still got to get excited about the ones to open later in the day.

I also try and make sure we are giving over the holidays. So with all the new toys coming in Wilf and I will go through his toys and decide if there are some he'd like to pass on donate. We did this recently and I was so impressed with how generous he was, even if one softie changed his mind moments before entering the charity shop and came back to live with us. Likewise I recently donated a few bags of my clothes so that I didn't feel too bad treating myself to any in the sales!

We don't tend to send Christmas cards, largely because we are unorganised and lazy (we still have a stack of thank you cards from our wedding, all stamped but forgotten to post!). This gives us the excuse to donate the money we would have spent on cards and stamps to give to a charity of our choice. Last year I chose Mothers for Mothers and this year I'm thinking of giving to One25, both amazing charities doing such good work for women in my area.

TSB have compiled their '12 tips of Christmas' helping you to make the most of your pennies this Christmas. What tips would you add?

in association with TSB 

The birth of Mabli Kittiwake Quinn

On the morning of the 5th of December at 5am I woke up to realise my waters had broken. I was a bit surprised as my waters had only broken during labour with Wilf and I was very much not in labour at that moment. I woke Tom and went to the bathroom to sort myself out, by this time it was around 5.30am and I wondered if I should just make the community midwives aware that things might start happening soon. In hindsight I should have just gone back to bed and to sleep and not called anyone until my labour started but at the time I felt like I should do 'something'.

The community midwives number said no one was available and to call my local hospital which I did. I was advised to call them back after 5 hours if I wasn't in labour but to go back to bed although I was feeling to excited to sleep. I lay next to Wilf thinking about how life was about to change for us all so monumentally.

After we had all got up and Wilf was settled down in front of Paw Patrol I realised that there was no way I was going to go into labour comfortably with him around to look after too. I had this great urge to draw the curtains turn off the TV and get focussed, with a four year old around it just wasn't going to be possible to do, so we enlisted the help of my SIL (thank you) and by midday Wilf was off for a sleepover with his cousins.

By this time my contractions had started and were around 15/20 minutes apart but very mild and manageable. We decided to go for a little walk to get things going and grab a bite to eat too. I kept thinking about the fact I needed to check in with the midwives as it had been over 5 hours and so when we got home around 1pm I gave the hospital number a call as they were who I'd promised to check in with.

I was really surprised to be told that they had been awaiting my call and wanted me to come into the hospital for observations. I thought maybe they weren't aware I was having a home birth but the community number only directed me to my local hospital reception so I didn't know who else to call. I'm not sure if it was due to being a weekend, lack of staff or maybe different policies since I had Wilf four years ago but I had expected a midwife to come out to me as I was not intending a hospital birth. After making the midwife promise me that unless anything was wrong I would be 'allowed' to come straight back to labour and birth at home I resigned to the fact we would have to leave the house. I was still pretty confused and starting to feel quite anxious about the idea but decided if I went in now before I was properly in labour it reduced the risks of me getting there and having to have my baby there (lots of scenarios popped into my head about reasons I wouldn't be able to leave). Whilst we were waiting for a taxi I had a bit of a cry because I felt out of control and unsure of how the rest of my labour would pan out. My contractions were now about 15 minutes apart and increasing in intensity but very much still manageable.

As soon as we arrived at the hospital I felt nervous and scared, birth is such a personal thing but for me the hospital environment is the very last place I could envision having my baby unless necessary. I knew I would struggle to feel relaxed or in control and I started to feel even more anxious about what we were doing there. In fact so much so that my body completely stopped my labour, my contractions disappeared entirely during the hour and a half we were there! After having a few tests (and not an internal examination as I clearly wasn't in labour at this point) I was told that if I hadn't gone into labour by 4am in the morning I would need to come in to be induced. I felt crushed to hear those words and like everything was going wrong but I couldn't really understand why or for what reason.

We left the hospital and as soon as I stepped into our own home a contraction started that was strong enough for me to have to pause. I was so relieved but I felt an immense pressure to get things going so that I wouldn't need to be induced. Actually in hindsight had it got to that point I could have refused (you actually have 72 not 24 hours in which to start labour once your waters have broken). I really resented the time limit I felt had been put upon me and it took me a good hour or two to really calm down and feel relaxed again.

By the point I'd finally managed to get back into the zone it was around 4pm and Tom was able to time my contractions which were about 8-10 mins apart. I alternated between the birth ball & shower as support during these moments & also had my hypnobirth playlist & aromatherapy oils burning. By 6pm these had become about 5 minutes apart & were feeling very intense, much more so than my previous labour with Wilf. I did a lot of leaning against the wall rocking & leaning against Tom. I also started randomly chanting which was quite hilarious! Tom tried to join in with the chanting..I told him to stop.

By 7pm things were really intensifying & I wondered if I should get into the pool so asked Tom to start filling it. I had no idea how far along I was but with my previous birth the first time I was examined I was 9.5cm & the intensity of my contractions felt quite similar to this. We agreed to call the midwives & so Tom got through on the community number (which is a paging service so someone answers & pages the midwife on call). We were told the message had been sent & someone would call us back & Tom gave him his number. After about half an hour with no response he tried the hospital number, the person at the desk said she'd try & get in touch with the community midwife & was given my number to call back (we never had a call back on this one).

After an hour had passed I was starting to feel worried, I thought if they couldn't get it touch with them they'd make me go into hospital. I got into the pool in the hope of slowing things down & also because it felt amazing. I don't think I had really realised how intense the contractions had been feeling until I got into the water and was surprised at how much stronger they felt in comparison with my previous labour. Tom called the paging service again & after ten minutes or so we finally got a call back (the first page had never gone through).

My lovely midwife arrived around 9pm and I got out the pool to be examined for the first time. I lay down on my back on the sofa & cried out 'well that is painful!!'. It was amazing the difference it felt to have to lie on my back even for a few minutes & something I'm so glad I didn't have to do during any of my labour because frankly it would have been excruciating. I was so sure I was at 10cm so when she said I was 6cm I couldn't help but feel disappointed. She also told me the baby was back to back which explains why I was finding things so much more intense this time round.

Within about 15 minutes a second midwife arrived & I started to feel like things completely stepped up a notch. I was finding the contractions quite hard to manage & thought if I was only 6cm I might have hours & hours ahead of me. I starting thinking I couldn't do it which made me wonder if I was 'transitioning' as I remember this feeling just before wanting to push with Wilf. The midwife's shifts swap over at 9pm so a third midwife arrived about ten minutes later although the first midwife also stayed. I think it must have been about 9.30 by now and I felt like there was nothing I could do but let me body push. I was sure I shouldn't be pushing as I thought I must only be about 7cm but my midwife said if that's what I feel like doing I should do it. I think I must have gone from 6cm to 10cm in about half an hour!

I have to say that last hour was extremely intense, much more than anything I'd experienced in my previous labour and I made some very loud noises during this time! Mabli was born in water at 9.57pm after four hours of active labour. I had been quite worried I would have issues delivering the placenta like last time but one push and that was out too (thankfully!). Mabli didn't make a sound for a good couple of hours and was just very peaceful, we breastfed fine and Tom was able to have some newborn snuggles as I went upstairs for a hot shower before tea and mince pies on our sofa. The first midwife had stayed an hour passed her shift to deliver the baby so she headed off whilst the second and third did our checks and wrote up their notes.

After everyone had left we tucked ourselves up in bed and Mabli up in the Snuzpod and I proceeded to get no sleep but just stare at her perfect little face whilst she slept ;)

The midwives who attended her birth will always be remembered by me and Tom just like the wonderful midwife who delivered Wilf. Such amazing people doing amazing work, helping to bring life into the world! It's incredible how these people will always have an impact on my life, how I'll always be so thankful of their care.

I'm so glad I was able to birth at home again despite the confusion earlier in the day. I did find this experience a lot more intense than Wilf's and whilst I would consider his birth pretty much pain free (apart from the pushing out bit) I didn't find that the case this time round. I think maybe because she was back to back but also how quick my labour was once it started (4 hours) I certainly felt the power of the contractions. That being said, comparing the one contraction I had on back compared to the ones I had in water the difference was crazy! Also although I can say this labour was much harder work I also was able to feel relaxed and in control. I didn't feel panicked or scared (just frustrated and knackered towards the end!).

The feeling of euphoria seeing your baby for the first time, holding them in your arms and counting all their tiny fingers and toes. Words can't describe it! I'm so thankful for my two healthy beautiful children and for my experience bringing them into this world.

You can read Wilf's birth story here


Whats in my Pacapod change bag

We are now two weeks in to our lives as parents of two and I have to say it's pretty fantastic. I couldn't really imagine loving someone as much as love my little boy but of course I do. There is nothing like that rush of love you feel towards your children and I can hold my hands up and say we are all very loved up round here!

Of course there have been ups and downs and emotional times and tiredness (oh the tiredness!). Yesterday I took my first (voluntary) trip out the house. I say voluntary as I've actually had to leave it a few times already due to how the NHS trust works in this part of Bristol (no home checks for babies first day) and waiting in Dr's surgeries for drop in (no same day appointments even for children unless you queue outside at 8am which we did twice) anyway that's a whole different story!

So we left the house to grab coffee at our favourite local spot (Number 12 Easton if you're interested), I breastfed Mabli in public for the first time and I got to drink my first proper cup of coffee in weeks. It did take us about an hour to get ready to leave and I completely forgot just how much you need to take out with you with a baby. It's the first time I've had a chance to use my Pacapod as I didn't need it as a hospital bag (as she was born at home).

I tried to do a 'flat lay' of all the things I pack in mine but oh my gosh the winter light is so awful that when I checked the pictures they were unusable. It might be time to invest in some proper lighting, not that I'd actually know what to do with it! So I decided instead to do a little collage of some of our essentials and also to show you what comes in a Madison  Pacapod.

I'd imagine the pods would be useful for all sorts of different reasons, if you were bottle feeding they would be the perfect place for bottles. I've ended up putting Wilf's spare clothes and snacks in one and the baby spare clothes in the other just for ease of not getting them mixed up. The large pocket I keep nappies, a swaddle wrap, a muslin & my wallet & camera. The front two pockets I keep nappy cream, nipple cream and nursing pads.

I linked below to some of my favourite brands if you're interested.

I love the fact this bag really doesn't look like a change bag but more like a stylish handbag. Although it's definitely on the pricey side it does mean you can use it way past the baby years once you'd taken out the pods. I don't actually have a pram yet so can't demonstrate the pods attached to buggy but you can see all their uses here. You can even use the pods as a mini backpack if you are wearing a sling & want to travel a bit lighter.
1, Weleda nappy cream
2, Swaddle wraps 
3, Medela Disposable Nursing Pads
4, Bambino Mio nappy
5, Babygrow (this one is from Cath Kidston
6, Lansinoh nipple cream

Whats in your change bag?

We were sent the Pacapod for purposes of this review but all words thoughts are my own


Wilf is four! (and other ramblings)

Apologies for the terrible grainy phone pic but this was the only snap I managed to take of my beautiful boy on his birthday. After this was taken Tom whisked him out the house for a full day of birthday treats (keeping the eagle mask on) whilst I retired back to bed with the baby. We always knew this birthday would be a tricky one considering my due date was exactly a week before his birthday (thankfully Mabli decided to arrive two days early). I'm just so glad she wasn't born too close to it as even being nine days before hand things still feel a bit hectic.

So Wilf and Tom spent a morning at the cinema and then crazy golf followed by a treat lunch and the opportunity to spend some of his birthday money given to him the day before by his grandad. When they got home Tom told me that instead of spending it on himself he wanted to buy something for his sister (he bought her some socks with animals on them!). I can't tell you how much that made my heart burst, my beautiful, thoughtful little boy.

So far Wilf seems to be taking all the big changes in his stride and he is so adorable with the new baby. He loves to kiss and hug her and is ever so gentle, he gets a bit anxious if she cries but tbh she doesn't tend to do that for long as long as the milk maid (me!) is quick to react.

I've had a few ups and downs in terms of my recovery since my last post and I'm currently just getting over a bout of mastitis. I've been careful to make sure I'm monitoring my feelings incase I feel like things are going the way they did in the newborn days with Wilf (where I had pnd) but I'm generally feeling pretty chipper (if quite sleep deprived!). I do get moments when I feel sad I can't cuddle my big boy when he comes into bed at night like we used to. He would sneak in and wrap his little arms around me and whisper 'i need to be with you mama'. Now he gets in at Tom's side and they cuddle together or sometimes Tom will go sleep in with him in his bed when he wakes. I can't currently cuddle Wilf at night because Mabli is taking after her big brother as the velcro baby and will only sleep on my chest or in my arms but as I know this is our last baby I'm actually really enjoying the newborn snuggles.

I know that it's early days and soon my arms can be full with both my children. I'm also so thankful that we have Tom and he is so good with keeping Wilf occupied and not feeling left out. Next week he returns to work for a few days before the holidays and the start of him taking my maternity leave (and five months off whoop!). I'm a little apprehensive of how I'll cope on my own with two children but it's only three days and of course I'll manage (even if there might be a fair bit of TV involved!).

I'm so grateful to this sweet boy for making me a mother. For showing me how to be a better version of myself, teaching me patience I didn't know I had and helping me view the world though his eyes. There isn't a day that goes by that Wilf doesn't say something that makes me think a little differently about something, take a closer look at something I would have passed by or question something I'd never really thought about. Being a parent is such a honour and I feel overwhelmed that we now have two healthy children to love and cherish. I can't even count how many times I look at them both and want to say for the millionth time 'we are so lucky'.

I'll be back soon with Mabli's birth story and a few thoughts I've had in these crazy two weeks, I'm not entirely sure how it's almost been that long already! 


Mabli Kittiwake Quinn

Mabli Kittiwake Quinn (pronounced Mab-lee Kitty-wake) - arrived on the 5th of December at 10pm - born at home in water. Our hearts are so full, our little family is complete. Wilf calls her 'mab-a-lee kitten' and it's stuck. Our little kitten with the best big brother

I'll be back with a proper post soon but I wanted to share these quick phone snaps I've taken of our life over the past six days. We are getting used to life with a newborn again & all the madness that brings! Having said that things are going pretty well so far, I don't want to jinx anything but breastfeeding is going well and my own recovery is going pretty well too. Apart from being very sleep deprived (if only you didn't need to sleep to survive, this newborn phase would be so easy right?) and a few day five blues I think we are all doing great!

Wilf is so great with his sister and the first thing he said upon meeting her was 'please can I hold her?". He gives her kisses and cuddles whenever he can and is so gentle around her too. I feel like my heart will explode whenever i think about them together. I can't stop thinking about how lucky we are.

I also wanted to express just how thankful I am for Tom. For always supporting me in my choices with an open mind & positivity . For all the 'behind the scenes' you don't see with a homebirth, (including emptying the pool the next morning ) I couldn't have done it without him. For being that person to lean on, literally. For always making sure there is a cup of tea & nourishing food just when I need it. For being sleep deprived but still managing to have enthusiasm to entertain a 4 year old & make sure he doesn't feel left out during these crazy first days. I don't know where I'd be without his support.

With Wilf I suffered from postnatal depression so I didn't really get to appreciate him or my new baby quite so much in those first weeks. I feel so loved up this time round that even three hours broken sleep a night doesn't seem all that bad!

Thanks for all your lovely messages on my social media. I was overwhelmed with your lovely messages. If you don't mind a bit of baby spam then do keep up with my latest pics over on IG!

A place to lay my head - Button and Sprung

There is nothing like getting into a warm and cosy bed. Preferably one with newly fresh sheets and the comfiest PJ's. Since becoming a mum almost 4 years ago I've really understood the importance of a good nights sleep & I think that when it comes to buying anything to do with bedding its always so important to invest in quality. 

I was recently introduced to Button & Sprung and fell in love with their designs, they specialise in beautiful upholstered beds. The perfect mix of modern with a nod to retro. What I found really interesting though is that with their '5 step approach' to creating a bed you can basically make your own bespoke piece of furniture. 

As part of the range they also sell brilliant pocket sprung mattresses with IQ springs and 100 natural fillings. You can return your mattress within 100 nights if you're not happy with how it feels. 

Has this post made me desperate to be tucked up in bed? With the weather pouring it down outside there's no where I'd rather be to be honest!

in association with Button and Sprung 


So I turned 30


So I turned 30 at nine months pregnant, for that reason it really wasn't ever going to be a big celebration but I had a lovely day all the same. Tom is really good at buying gifts (helped probably by the fact I'm always going on about things I'm obsessed with) and this year was no exception. I got some kick ass Little Mermaid Disney for Vans trainers and the most beautiful skirt from Anthropologie amongst other things.

I spent the day with Wilf and he was kind enough to let me sneak a nap in, we baked a carrot cake (that our fat cat then ate the top off half!) and then when Tom was home we had takeaway. Kinda perfect for how I'm feeling these days if I'm honest. It's no secret I'd kinda hoped for the baby to be born before my birthday and although I'm not even overdue yet I'm starting to feel a bit disappointed that nothing is happening.

I've been having braxton hicks for about a week now which are fine as in they're not uncomfortable but they do get my hopes up for them to turn into something else. I usually wake up each morning thinking 'please let me go into labour today' and then by about 8pm I'm thinking 'I really hope I don't got into labour tonight, I'm too tired!'. I know I probably sound a bit over the top considering I've not even reached my due date yet so you're all in for a treat if I do go over a fair bit!

I know it's normal to feel this way at the end of pregnancy, I think it's a lot harder when I haven't really got much planned with my days so I've been trying to get out of the house even if it's just to grab coffee. The other day I visited an accupucturist but she wouldn't do any of the encouraging labour points until I'm officially 'overdue' which on one hand was disappointing but I understood her reasons. She did do some energy points though so I've been feeling really good since then. Today I have a long massage booked in so it's really not all that bad ;)

So that was my twenties, I'm really looking forward to what 30 will bring (especially the having a baby part!)


Gifting with HomeSense this Christmas

It's December which means that we can finally fully embrace the Christmas season...even those who have been celebrating it for the past couple of weeks already ;) Yesterday Wilf and I put on Christmas songs and finished decorating our tree that we'd started on Sunday (even if I rearranged them a little in the evening because I'm a bit particular like that).

I love Christmas, I love everything about it but mostly I love the being with the ones you love, and I love spoiling the ones I love. I recently visited my local HomeSense for some Christmas inspiration and ideas for gifting the special people in my life.

I found some brilliant Lego storage heads that I'd wanted to get for Wilf for ages after seeing them in our AirbBnb in Copenhagen earlier in the year, and this star light that I really want for our own home (although I have no idea where I'd put it!). They also had an amazing selection of Brio toys which I love!

I thought I'd put a selection together of some of my other top pics in case it helps with Christmas inspiration!

I love the colouring on this woven basket, I've been looking for some for a while now so would love to stumble across these in my local store - £24.99
Sand and Cactus vase, because I'm finally into succulents a million of years after everyone else - £16.99
Copper Lamp, who doesn't love copper and this lamp is just perfect- £49.99
Wood and Metal drinks trolley, a more pricier item but so unique - £129.99
Candle holders, there is something about candles in the wintertime isn't there? So festive too! - £4.99

 What do you think of my selections? Have you visited your local store lately? Find any treasures?

In collaboration with HomeSense


Me and Mine - November

So our 'Me and Mine' this month was pretty rushed. I had been hoping there would be a new addition to the family by the time the end of the month but looks like I'm having another Decemeber baby!

We took these pictures after taking Wilf out for ice cream with his buddies for a early birthday treat (his birthday is in two weeks but we weren't sure what life would be like then so thought it would be nice to spend the day doing special things with him). We don't usually put up the tree and decorations until December but it was another one of those 'let's spend time on it now rather than seeing what it's like in a week or so'. You'll have to excuse the brown plaster behind me, we've only just finished putting that wall in our living room so the wall and the doors have yet to be painted (hopefully this week depending on when this little lady arrives!).

Out of about twenty pictures we took this was the only one where one of us wasn't a blur (or if I'm honest I wasn't happy with how my chin/s looked - thanks pregnancy!). Wilf was feeling a bit impatient to just get decorating the tree already, especially after all the sugar from his ice-cream trip this was literally the last shot we took with me saying 'can we try one more?'. Sometimes that's life though and although I know it's not a 'perfect' picture I'm still glad I captured us all this month. Especially as next months 'Me and Mine' will definitely have our fourth family member in it!.

This month has been a funny one, for the second part of it we've all sort of been 'waiting'. There's been a lot of me stressing out that things haven't been done 'before the baby arrives' and I was working on the shop until I closed it last week which was a lot more stressful at nine months pregnant than I thought. I actually said to Tom I've been so uptight I think it probably would have been impossible for me to have gone into labour!

It's my 30th birthday today which I keep forgetting about as it just doesn't seem that important at the moment. It also means I can just postpone it until next year and get to be 29 for another year ;) however if this little one decides to arrive today as a birthday present to me that would be fantastic thanks!

What have you guys been up to this month? Did you manage to get a snap together? This month I'm sending you over to Lucy from Capture by Lucy to see what her and her lovely boys have been up to this month!



Last Saturday was a bit of a write off. Tom and I were both snappy, Wilf was being a little unreasonable and for some reason we were unable to keep our cool when it came to any kind of 'naughty behaviour'. Lunch time took two hours and involved tears and threats and I basically felt like a crap mum, we cancelled the treat we'd had planned for the afternoon as a consequence, although in hindsight it was a bit of a over reaction. 

We managed to turn it around by the end of the day with a evening walk and drink at our local pub to blow away the cobwebs and I vowed for Sunday to hold more patience (it did).

At 39 weeks I feel like I'm on the verge of such a big change but not knowing when it's going to happen is driving me a little mad! I feel tired and massive and so ready to have this baby now, I feel guilty that I can't hug my 'almost four year old' as I used to because of how large my tummy is. I feel guilty that I'm not focussing on this baby as much as I did with Wilf in these last days.

 Tomorrow I turn 30 and there are no signs of this baby coming any time soon. Wilf enjoyed a sleep over at his cousins last night to give Tom and I a little break and I did wonder if his absence might start things off (it's hard to be super chilled around when you are focussing on mama duties). It's silly but I had so wanted this little girl to arrive whilst I was still in my twenties but I'm making a vow now to stop thinking about 'when' and just try to enjoy these last days with Wilf and I as much as I can.

Wilf's birthday is actually a week after I'm due so I will have either had had a baby or be overdue and because of that we've decided to do something special for him today instead so we can really focus on him. We'll still have his cake and presents on the actual day but as soon as he's dropped back home from his aunties house we're off for ice-cream with his buddies and then spending the afternoon putting up the tree.

Next week I have a massage and acupuncture booked in just to give myself something to do more than anything! We'll see if that starts anything but in my heart I know I just have to have patience. Babies come when they are ready and there's not much I can do about that.

Any tips for keeping sane during these last days of pregnancy? Any tips for what brought on your labour? I'd love to hear them!

p.s incase you were wondering Wilf's coat and trousers in the bottom two pictures are from here (and on sale) and his coat in the top pic was from Yellow Lolly but is no longer in stock (sorry!). 


Black Friday Wish Lists

Being 39 weeks pregnant and being told at my last midwife appointment that I shouldn't expect to go into labour anytime soon (apparently the baby is even less engaged and she'd expect me to go at least a week over..*weeps*)

So all I've been doing over the past couple of days is internet shop. This baby better come soon or I'll be penniless! I thought I'd share some of my favourite sale picks (as it is Black Friday after all). Hope you like them!

black friday sale picks bode joules clarks cath kidston

1, Orla Angelina (all the Orla Kiely for Clarks shoes are now 50% off - I want this pair so bad!)

2, I seem to have become obsessed with PJ's lately! mainly because getting into bed at night it sometimes I look forward to all day lately. Plus I know I'm going to be in them for a few days post birth and you still want to feel nice don't you? Love these ones from Cath Kidston.

3, I'm really loving LaRedoute lately. They used to be a big part of my childhood as they were the only place my mum would order from via catalogue. I remember pouring over it and imaging what I'd buy when I was a grown up. I love this bag and it's currently 50% off.

4, I saw this dress at the Boden Christmas press day and fell in love. It comes in black too and feel so 60's and perfect for the season.  I really miss fitting into normal clothes!

5, This coat, ALL the love for this coat

black friday sale picks for children

1, Guards Kids knitted jumper (40% off selected items at Cath Kidston

2, I've wanted a BlaBla doll since I was pregnant with Wilf, I can never decide which design I love the most but this unicorn is amazing!

3, Want/Need this dress in my size, but might have to buy it in a one year old size in advance

4, I love these A Mini Penny necklaces from my friend Morganna's shop, I can't decide which one I love more this one or the giraffe, or the elephant, or..

5, Another Cath Kidston find but oh so cute

6, Another of my favourite indie shops is having a big sale, we got this Fisher Price camera for Wilf from there a couple of Christmases ago!

7, I have this little Christmas jumper for the baby! Can't wait to put her in it. 


My pregnancy, labour and postpartum essentials

Now that I'm only a week-ish away from my due date I thought it might be fun to share some of my 'essentials' when it comes to pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Obviously this is just my opinion and what I found helped me and not a definitive list but I hope you might find it useful!pregnancy essentials
Pregnancy Essentials

1, Bravado - Body Silk seamless nursing bra - When I was pregnant with Wilf I tended to just choose the cheapest options for nursing bras and not really do much research. I figured I wouldn't need them for 'that' long. In fact I ended up breastfeeding for two and a half years so I really should have just gone for the best quality to begin with, after all you're wearing them everyday! This time round I've tried a few bras from both Medela and Bravado, I have to say I prefer the Bravado ones but of the three styles I've tried I also much prefer the Body Silk seamless nursing bra. Towards the end of my pregnancy my diaphragm is much bigger so I've had to add a bra extender but I've been told after birth it should go down a little and fit perfectly again.

2, Pregnancy pillow - I didn't buy one of these until my third trimester but I wish I'd got my act together a bit sooner to be honest. It's definitely improved my sleep and whats more it acts as a barricade for a certain little 'almost four year olds' legs against my tummy when he climbs into our bed at night. I ended up buying the Theraline after hearing good things from friends, I imagine there isn't much between them but I have no complaints!

3, Gap maternity tops - Gap is the only place I've found that does long enough maternity tops. I have a longer torso and so with every other company I've found that tops are almost immediately not long enough, even in the early stages of pregnancy. I'd really recommend stocking up with a few of these, they are nice and stretchy too!

4, Slip on flats - These ones are from Toms but basically any easy to put on flats will do. If you're pregnant in the winter months you might need to go for some Ugg type boots to keep out the wet. I wasn't able to put my shoes on with ease from about 6 months. My feet have also swelled a little so shoes made of fabric that can stretch are a winner!

5, Gaviscon - not very glamorous but something I glug on daily, get the Peppermint flavour its the only one that's bearable!

6, A pregnancy bath soak. For when you feel like a bit of relaxing in the bath with a magazine. I love this one from Natalia 

7, Headache Strips - I suffered from really bad migraine in my first trimester (along with all day sickness, oh the joy!) and the only thing that helped were these strips, you can get them from pretty much any pharmacy.

Labour essentials

labour essentials

OK so clearly this is going to differ from person to person so I can only say what really helped me!

1, A stool - random one I know but I accidentally discovered in my labour with Wilf how much I LOVED being in the shower. We have a stand alone shower and so I able to just close the door bring in a stool and direct the shower head onto my contractions. It helped so much I was able to sit on the stool and have little naps. You can pick up a cheap one like this one from IKEA

2, A heat pack - I had lower back ache for a while during my previous labour and this was a brilliant relief from that sort of ache.

3, Hypnobirthing - I had this book by Marie Mongan and I also listening to the 'rainbow relaxation' CD. You can read more about my hypnobirthing experience here but I really do credit it for helping me having a super chilled and pain free labour.

4, Birth pool - even if you're not planning a home birth I still think it would be great to have a birth pool at home as labouring at home for as long as possible is recommended with most births. We bought the pool and full kit from La Bassine here which comes with everything you need

5, Isotonic drinks - This is literally all I had in labour as well as water. I did try to eat some toast at one point but it didn't agree with me and I found swigging from these drinks really brilliant at keeping my energy levels up!

6, Aromatherapy oils - I chose to differentiate between Clary Sage for speeding up contractions and Lavender to Calm. You can burn them using an oil burner (although you can't do this in a hospital I imagine you could probably put some on a flannel?). 

Additionally I'd also say a good calming play list to listen to. A darkened room, maybe some fairy lights or candles and some mats of cushions to kneel and lie on in-between contractions.


postpartum essentials

1, Arnica Cream - Arnica is such amazing stuff, it's really useful to just have around the house but it's amazing for bruising 'down there' after giving birth!

2, Cabbage leaves - Whether you breastfeed or not your milk will come in after a couple of days and your boobs will probably feel massive and hot. The best thing I found for this was cold cabbage leaves!

3, Nursing Pads - I've recently stocked up on these in bulk, it all depends on how much milk you produce I suppose but I still needed to wear them 18 months on due to a very full milk supply! I found some brands quite itchy and uncomfortable and really got on with the Lansinoh brand.

4, On that note, Lansinoh Lanolin Cream - essential for cracked or sore nipples (I'm really selling this whole after birth to you aren't I!).

5, Nice PJ's - You'll be recovering in bed and around the home for the first few days and there is nothing nicer than clean sheets and new PJ's!

6, Maternity Pads - very unglamorous but very necessary (sorry!)

So that's it off the top of my head!
What would you add? 


Cook 4 Me

A few weeks ago I headed up to London for an afternoon of cooking with some of my favourite blogging pals. I have to admit when the invite initially landed in my inbox I thought that anything to do with me actually cooking wasn't really going to work. I'm not THAT bad, I'm just it doesn't really come naturally to me and my signature dish is pretty much pasta..

Luckily we were going to be aided by Tefal's new gadget, a 'Cook 4 Me'.

In a nutshell the Cook 4 Me is pretty much the opposite of a slow cooker in that in cooks your dinner fast, super fast! On the day we demonstrated this by cooking a risotto in 8 minutes, something I've replicated since then a couple of times at home. Usually I love the idea of something like risotto but am put off with the fact it takes about 40 minutes of slowly string in wine (Tom would argue this is what he likes about cooking, hiding in the kitchen drinking the wine whilst he's making it ;)).

We were lucky enough to be supplied a machine to take home with us and I thought I'd share a simple meal I made with Wilf using it. Although this meal is listed as a starter in the recipe book I thought it was the perfect weather for a hearty stew. This recipe was for a sausage and bean stew but I replaced the sausages with Quorn ones for a veggie option.

(a little bite taken out by a certain 3 year old before I got to take a pic!)

The machine has a set of inbuilt recipes that you can follow or you can set it to manual and use it like a pressure cooker.

After the stew we decided to make some chocolate molton puddings. This was one of the deserts we made together on the day and I was so impressed with how easy and quickly they could be used by the machine steaming them.

Because I have baby brain I forgot to actually cover these ones with foil before they started steaming but they still worked out OK! The below picture is of the ones we made on the day with Tefal and we also made a poached pear pudding in red wine in less than ten minutes too!

My little helper, all covered in chocolate!

I'm SO impressed with this gadget and I think it will be the perfect thing for when the new baby is born, quick and easy dinners but made from scratch!

I received a 'Tefal Cook 4 Me' for review per purposes but all words and thoughts are my own
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