Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Confessions of a nearly yummy mummy...

I've read a couple of confession blog posts recently and they always make me chuckle. So I thought I'd share mine with you in the hope that I'm not the only one who does these! 

I use babywipes for everything...
Yes I do literally mean everything. Cleaning baby, cleaning surfaces, wiping Windows. I even use them as makeup remover wipes (sometimes I just don't have the energy to cleanse, tone and moisturise!)

Sometimes I pretend to be asleep... 
Usually at the weekend to see if my husband will take a hint and get up to feed Luke instead of me (it never works but it's worth a try right?!)

My 6 month old watched CBeebies...
Not often. But sometimes I need to clean or put on the washing. Or do my makeup so I don't look like a 15 year old sleep deprived drug addict! And sometimes the only thing that keeps him quiet is the Twirlywoos (even though it does my head in)

I have called my baby an arsehole...
Ok this I am not proud of. I will try and justify it by letting you all know that it's usually preceded with "I love you but..." Still not great I know, but when it's 3am and you've been awake for the past 2 hours for the millionth night in a row it's kind of true...! 

I'm a bit addicted to shopping online...
I have always been a slight shopaholic but since having a baby I have so much more time to browse the Internet (mainly asos while feeding/being a human mattress) which inevitably ends in multiple deliveries to our flat and a sad and empty looking bank account at the end of the month...! 

By baby's favourite toy is my iPhone...
At this rate he will be more tech savvy than me (not that it's particularly hard) by the age of 2! 

Monday's are pyjama days...
Every week. There's something about Monday mornings that just make me not want to leave the house or get out of my super comfy jammies (they're Ted Baker and I LOVE them)

Sometimes I dry shampoo my hair 3 days in a row...
Yes this does mean that I haven't washed my hair for about 5 days. But sometimes it's just too much effort. And dry shampoo makes it look so lovely and volumous! 

I 'go to the toilet' so I can check Facebook...
And get some peace and quiet. I know it's trivial but sometimes I need to know what's going on outside mummy world! And sometimes it's the only way to get my husband to take the baby and not hand him back after 2 minutes! It does however make people a little suspicious as to why you spend so long in the bathroom. 

I told you mine... Now tell me, what are your best and worst confessions - mummies and non mummies! 

Best of Worst

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Baby led living...

Baby led living. Or 'sod it and do whatever the fuck works on the day parenting' as my friend likes to call it. 

We have had a bedtime routine for Luke since he was about 6 weeks old and it works brilliantly for us. However the rest our day was a little bit all over the place so, I recently decided to try and create a schedule for us so our days had a little bit more structure to them. 

As the mummy of a 6 month old I have read my fair share of baby books. Add in the fact that my little one has allergies, doesn't sleep fantastically and suffers with reflux and I probably have enough books to start my own library (plus the ones I have frantically downloaded to my kindle at 3am while desperately trying to rock Luke back to sleep!) So I flicked through the pages and came up with a vague plan to get our daytime routine started. 

I decided to go with the general idea of waking him at a set time every day, putting him down for a nap around 10 and then another around 2. A lot of advice told me that putting my baby in his cot at a set time each day would eventually lead him to learn that those were the times he should nap and that waking him at a set time every day would help set his circadian rhythm. We tried this and it did not work out well! I persevered and all I ended up with was a cranky baby and a grumpy, tired, stressed out mummy. 

So instead of trying to force Luke to do things at set times I decided to follow his lead and see what he wanted. As soon as I started to take note of Luke's natural routine rather than one I was trying to force on him, things started to take shape. I have since learnt that Luke needs to wake up when he is naturally ready and not be woken (this can be as early as 6am and very very occasionally as late as  8:30). I have learnt that he won't take a nap as soon as he shows sleepy signs - he has to be pushed as far as he can until he's exhausted, then he's out like a light and usually has a good nap! And I have learnt that sometimes he'll have a long 2 hour nap and other times he'll be wide awake and raring to go after only half an hour! We just have to take it one day at a time. 

I think books sometimes help by enabling you to get an idea of what could work. However it is so so important to remember that every baby is different, what works for one baby won't necessarily work for another. And just to make it even more confusing, what works one day for your baby might not work the next (they change their mind from day to day just to keep us on our toes - because it's not hard enough already!) 

Although strict routines work for some people, I think that baby led living may be the way forward for others. Don't worry If it's all going wrong and trying to create a routine isn't working for you - try having more of a rhythm to your day rather than a rigid routine and be led by what your baby wants to do. After all, think of it from the point of view of an adult. We are not always tired at the same time, sometimes we want an early night and sometimes we can stay up late into the night. I don't imagine babies are any different. That's just my take on things, but if you're struggling with routine then being led by your baby may just be worth a try. 

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Love your post baby body.

A friend of mine recently went on holiday with her fiancé and little boy. While eating out at a restaurant with her 4 month old son on her lap, the waitress looked across at her and remarked - "and another on the way?!"
Now not only does she not look remotely pregnant, but even if she did it has been a mere 4 months since she had her gorgeous little boy and it got me thinking - it takes 9 months to grow a baby, why does the world expect us to be back in our pre-pregnancy skinny jeans within a few short months? 

It is hard enough to have the motivation and willpower to stick to a diet and exercise programme when you don't have a baby. Throw in sleepless nights, a feeding schedule and trying to make your house resemble something a little less like a pigsty and it's not surprising that most mums aren't desperate to start a diet of salad leaves and pack gym sessions into their evenings. 

Now don't get me wrong, they're are some mums out there who shrink straight back down, or who do work hard at the gym to get their pre-pregnancy bodies back. And that is fine. But for those who want to spend their evenings when the baby has settled, on the sofa with their other half eating chocolate and drinking wine, having a bubble bath or simply crawling into bed in a desperate attempt to get more than 2 hours sleep, we should not be chastised or judged. 

I personally have done both in my 6 months since having Luke. 
Having always been a slight control freak with my figure, I was desperate to get my pre-baby body back. A few weeks after leaving hospital, I was back on my exercise bike and I have to say at the time I genuinely enjoyed it. It was a good stress reliever for me. However this last month (despite needing to be bikini ready for my holiday this week!) I have done no exercise and treated myself to more than my fair share of chocolate (Galaxy salted caramel anyone?! If you haven't tried it, go to the shop NOW!)

When you're a mum, and when you're not for that matter, sometimes you need to put your happiness and well being before your desire to get a supposedly perfect body. You have years to get your fitness back, don't break your yourself trying to do it while you're still having little more than 2 hours sleep at a time. 

In the end, your child isn't going to remember the fact that their mum looked awesome in her size 8 skinnies or had washboard abs 9 weeks post partum. They will remember that you cuddled them when they needed it, did anything you could think of to make them giggle and put them first no matter what. 
The phrase is happy mummy equals happy baby. Do what makes YOU happy, not what society dictates you should do. 
I'm heading off on holiday this week and have bought a new bikini to soak up the sunshine in. My body is not nearly as toned as before - my tummy isn't as flat, my boobs aren't as perky, my bum isn't as peachy and I still have my pregnancy line going up my stomach. But I had a baby 6 months ago. So that considered, I am actually pretty damn proud of how my body looks right now. Sunshine and cocktails here I come! 

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Sometimes it's hard... And that is all.

 No one tells you how painfully exhausting the nights will be during sleep regressions. 

Nobody tells you how often you end up crying along with your baby at night. 

No one tells you how hopeless and powerless you feel when your child is ill and has to go to hospital. 

No one tells you how desperate you'll feel when you're the only voice your child has and the doctors won't listen. 

No one tells you how much it will hurt when your child refuses to eat the food you've spent hours preparing. 

Nobody explains the sinking feeling you get when you hear them cry out again and you just want to lie down after 6 months of sleep deprivation. 

No body tells you what a failure you'll feel if you can't breastfeed. 

No one tells you how often you snap and shout at your husband even if he's done nothing wrong. 

No one tells you about the days where you feel totally isolated, as if you're doing it all alone. 

Don't get me wrong, my son is my world and I love him more than words can describe. There are so many positives to being a parent: getting to have cuddles in the middle of the night just you two, seeing their faces light up when you look into their cot in the morning or having your baby cling onto you as they fall asleep in your arms are amazing things which make all of the above seem irrelevant. 
But sometimes you just need to be able to say that being a mum is hard. No justifications or buts followed by the positives of parenthood. Sometimes you just need to be able to say that being a mummy is really hard and soul destroying. Because sometimes it is. And thats OK - it does not make you a bad parent. Just an honest one. 

Mami 2 Five

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

When being a mummy gets a bit too much...

As a mother, you encounter more than your fair share of laugh or cry moments. I have found that in order to steer clear of becoming a sobbing mess on the kitchen floor, it helps to make a joke out of it and share it with the world (the main reason why I am so in love with the Unmummsy mum's Twitter feed!) 
Ok so maybe not the whole world but at least a close mummy friend who can sympathise and laugh along. 

These experiences are usually shared via text message at ridiculous hours of night, dictating the appalling amount of chocolate/wine you have consumed and are filled with an obscene amount of profanities!) 

There was the time I'd slept so little the previous night that I couldn't quite bring myself to get off the floor, but was greeted by a reply that made me laugh so much I managed to perk up and find the strength to get through the night shift!

The day that everything decided to go tits up all at once and my lovely friend got bombarded with messages while I tried not to have a mental breakdown...

The day our incredible business plan began to take form (we are still working on it and I will inform you when we take the idea to Dragons Den)

And then the day where I seriously considered giving my cat away at 5 o'clock in the morning...

It may just be my experience, but I have found that even at 6 months the hard days by far outweigh the easy ones. However having someone to laugh and joke about it with is what gets you through it all and out the other side (the other side being 7:30pm where there is wine and chocolate and a big squishy sofa you can curl up on) 

Stay strong fellow mummies. And if you ever need someone to have a mini-mental breakdown at, I am always at the other end of my emails :-)

  My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows

Monday, 12 October 2015

New tastes - milk free weaning.

My little boy had to be weaned earlier than recommended due to a cows milk protein allergy. 
Weaning at 4 months wasn't the most exciting as they're only allowed fruit and veg, but now Luke has hit 6 months it's so much fun! He absolutely loves his food (although refuses to do BLW and will only be spoon fed - typical lazy boy!) 
Here's a few new things we tried this week. 

Roast dinner. 
Luke had his very first roast dinner this week and loved it. This was so easy to make as I just cooked up some extra of what Pete and I were eating. This is a great way of getting a whole range of vegetables packed into one meal. 

We've both started having porridge for breakfast and Luke LOVES it! I usually mix in some sort of puréed fruit to make it less bland - we tried Apple, pear and mango. 

I was unsure about What Luke's reaction to salmon would be as its quite fishy. But he really enjoyed it. I used an Annabel Karmel recipe which mixed it with carrots and tomatoes. 

We also had a bit of an allergy break through this week. Last month Luke had an allergic reaction to banana. We were told to try it again after a few weeks so we had a little taste this morning and good news - no reaction! Hopefully one day we'll have a similar experience with milk one day. 

Sunday, 11 October 2015

The joys of sleep deprivation...

There's a reason sleep deprivation is a method of torture, it's because it is crap. Seriously crap. It's not just a newborn phase - there are sleep regressions (no one warned me about these!), teething (Luke's current favourite) and then the nights that are just awful for no reason! 

You're woken every two hours, probably thrown up/dribbled on several times and spend God knows how long trying to rock your screaming bundle of joy back to sleep (often unsuccessfully I might add). You are then expected to get up at the crack of dawn and spend the entire day being excited about everything and entertaining your child, who undoubtedly will be full of beans and be totally oblivious to the effect their night time games have had on you. 
The best comparison I can make is to that of an epic hangover. I'm talking the kind where you don't even want to eat or get dressed and you just curl up in a ball on the sofa watching trashy TV and feeling sorry for yourself. 
However as a mum, not only do you get deprived of the option to do any of that, but you don't even get the fun part of drinking and partying the night before! 

I know it is part of being a mum and it's all worth it in the end, but right now in my current hazy, blurry eyed little world, it is crap. Really really crap. 

So next time you're in Starbucks and see a mummy with a baby - be a saint and buy her an extra strong coffee. It will probably be the best thing that happens to her all week...! 

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Mummy makeup...

Back in my pre-baby days I used to spend a leisurely half hour carefully applying my make-up every morning. However the days of contouring my cheekbones or spending 20 minutes applying beautifully sleek black flicks to my top lids are now far behind me.

I still wear make-up most days as I find it makes me feel a little bit less far away from my pre-mummy self. I am quite proud to say that I have managed to perfect a full face of make up in 7 minutes so I thought I would share with you my favourite products that help me achieve this.

My favourite ever item of makeup has got to be my foundation. Although I only suffer with the occasional spot, my complexion is appalling. Team that up with the now enormous bags under my eyes and it is safe to say my skin does not exactly radiate a healthy glow! It has taken me years to find a foundation that gives good coverage and stays put for more than a few hours but I have found that the Estee Lauder double wear foundation is second to none for giving you flawless skin that lasts all day. It's a little pricey but you don't need a huge amount and it is worth every penny. 

Because my foundation gives very high coverage, I tend to resemble a ghost if I don't apply some sort of blusher or bronzer. Summer I tend to bronze myself and winter I opt for blusher. My favourite bronzer at the moment is a fairly reasonable Bodyshop one which is like a bronzer and blusher combined so saves you having to apply both separately!

This is only something I have started using since I had Luke. My skin doesn't even look close to glowing anymore (the joy of zero sleep) but highlighter means I can pretend and apply my own glow! I use  Soap & Glory Glow All Out which I apply it down my nose and on my cheek bones. It is literally magic - you will look like you've had a whole nights sleep. 

A definite mummy essential. My 2 favourites are Lancome Grandiose Mascara which gives you super lashes with just one coat (and has a really pretty tube!) and Seventeen Va Va Voom Mascara if I want something a bit more subtle (and affordable!)

The other essential in my mummy make up bag is my Benefit Instant Brow pencil. This is amazing and gives you gorgeous brows in less than a minute.

I finish off with a quick slick of lippy to make myself look extra polished and I'm done! My favourite lipsticks are nude colours by Estee Lauder, Lancome and Rimmel.

Those are my current make up favourites... What are yours?
P.s. I challenge all you fellow mummies to a full face of make up in less than 7 minutes!

Thursday, 8 October 2015

The importance of mummy friends.

One of the things I worried about most during my pregnancy was how and where I was going to meet other mummies. As the first of my friends to have a baby, I didn't have anyone who was going to be in the same position as me and with my hormones raging and my brain being completely irrational, I was of course convinced I was going to be a hermit mummy with no friends at all.

I toyed with the idea of NCT courses which thankfully we decided not to do, as Luke's early arrival would have meant a huge waste of money and no classes! I subsequently decided I was just going to go to every available baby group in our area and surely I was bound to make some other mummy friends.

In the end I needn't have worried at all. I have met all my wonderful fellow mummies through friends of friends. Someone you know will always have a friend who is pregnant or has a new baby and they will be dying to introduce you, as chances are that mummy to be will be equally worried about being lonely.

I am very blessed to have a wonderful and ever growing group of gorgeous mummy friends who join me at baby groups, drink obscene amounts of coffee with me and sympathise and commiserate when I am running on only 2 hours sleep. I have one particularly special mummy who I message a ridiculous amount, at every antisocial hour of the day and who has seen me at my very worst - looking like hell and sobbing like a toddler in the middle of an epic tantrum. Despite the fact that I have known her for a mere 6 months, I count her as one of my closest friends and I know that she will always be there if I need her and I will do the same for her. Being responsible for miniature, teething dictators gives your friendship a special bond that only a fellow mummy can truly understand!

So pregnant or new mummies, try not to worry. No matter what your age or job or stage in life, you will make mummy friends who will support you and help you through one of the hardest times in your life. I have met mine through friends, in hospital, at baby groups and even re-connected with one of my old school teachers!
When you have a baby you will make the most wonderful friends and trust me, they will be some of the most important and wonderful people to ever step into your life.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Sometimes it's nice to feel yummy...

Maybe it's just me, but in my mere 6 months experience as a mummy I have found that the occasional bit of pampering is extremely important!
It's sometimes the little things that get you through the hard days - really yummy smelling hand cream, your favourite perfume or miraculously having time for a bath when (IF!) the baby finally settles.

The last few months I have found that I cannot live without my Gelish nails. Once every 2 weeks, I leave the baby with my hubby and visit a lovely lady who spends an  hour or so making my hands look gorgeous. A whole hour all to myself where I don't have a screaming baby and can stop being mummy, just for a second.

And to make it even better I have beautiful nails for a whole 2 weeks. God knows I no longer have time to sit and patiently wait for regular varnish to dry without being interrupted by dirty nappies, baby sick or the dog barking and putting and end to nap time - have you ever tried holding a baby with wet nails? Don't. It does not end well...!
For me, this seemingly trivial little treat means that on the days where the night has been crap, I am wearing pyjamas covered in *insert bodily fluid* and I look like I've been dragged through a hedge backwards, I catch sight of my hands and still feel just a little bit fancy. It's the little things that make all the difference.

So if you know someone with a baby, offer to babysit and send them off for a treat. And mummies if you are feeling the need for a little TLC (I don't know a single mummy that doesn't) enlist the help of partners, friends or family and get yourself down to a salon for a tiny bit of you time - occasionally it's allowed :)

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

New magic milk!

Born at 35 weeks and 5 weeks premature, we didn't have the simplest or easiest introduction to parenthood.
Somewhere in the midst of nights in NICU, incubators, machines and countless trips to hospital, Luke was diagnosed with cows milk protein allergy.

Thankfully it is something he should grow out of between the ages of 2 and 5 however it was all consuming and taking control of our lives. The constant screaming during the day and hourly wakings in the night was enough to try the patience of a saint. Eczema flare ups make for a rather angry and irritable baby (especially when you try and put socks on his hands so he doesn't shred his face!) and don't even get me started on the sick...! At the rate he was being sick and the sheer quantity, we were both having at least 3 full outfit changes a day (after I had done all I could with the magical power of a baby-wipe)

Although he was prescribed special allergy friendly milk and given medication, his symptoms did not ease and mummy instinct told me that something was still not right.

After 3 months, countless trips to the GP (they must be so fed up of seeing me!) and endless nagging to try a new formula, last week the doctors finally gave in and gave us sample tin - at £35 for a tin that lasts a mere 2 days, they did everything they could to stop us getting it.
Within 24 hours we had a different baby! He was barely sick, his eczema was almost non existent and instead of screaming we were getting smiles and giggles!

Unfortunately CMPA is often overlooked and doctors will send you away telling you your baby has colic or reflux. However from my experience, the power of a mothers instinct is second to none. Mummies if you feel  that something is wrong then stand your ground - you will always know your baby best.


For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a mummy. Friends of mine wanted to be doctors, teachers, footballers and pop-stars - but I wanted to be a mummy. In fact I don't think I can remember a time when I didn't. So when that little blue cross showed up on my 23rd birthday, all my dreams came true.

I had a very uncomplicated and straightforward pregnancy (despite resembling a whale!) and our little boy was due to join us on 11th May 2015.
However fate intervened and Luke decided he just couldn't wait to meet us. On 6th April 2015 exactly 5 weeks early, our beautiful baby boy entered our lives. Unfortunately Luke's start to life was not as easy and straightforward as we would have liked.
Now 6 months later after nights in NICU, countless hospital visits, reflux and a CMPA diagnosis things are finally looking up and I have a gorgeous, happy, smiley little boy!

This blog is a little place for me to get down all my thoughts about motherhood and hopefully you will enjoy joining us on what I can honestly say is one of the hardest, most enjoyable, stressful and rewarding adventures I've ever been on. I intend to include everything from the (supposedly!) simple tasks like feeding, dressing and occupying my bundle of joy, to the harder things like coping with allergies and sleep deprivation. And who knows, I may even throw in a few of my own little tips on attempting to resemble something of a yummy mummy...!
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