Saturday, 13 June 2015

Up in the clouds ... Nursery decoration

As we decided not to find out if we were having a boy or girl, we needed a nursery theme that could be for either gender. 
There's a huge monochrome baby trend and as much as I love black and white (the entire downstairs of our house is monochrome mad) I wanted something a little bit more traditional and cute. 
So I went with clouds. 
I do love bold wallpapers, especially on all walls, for this reason the cloud wallpaper was perfect. 
The room is pretty small but I think as its a light blue and everything else is a white shade we have avoided the room becoming too overpowering or dark. 

The light shade reflects the theme, looking like a feathery cloud. (B&Q)

I designed shelves with clouds and the back and front, my dad made these out of wood and I have painted in "old white" chalk paint. 

The name tile bunting was a gift which perfectly matches the the sky theme and hangs from the cloud. 

A gorgeous kite mobile a baby shower gift, lends itself to the theme well and hangs above the changing table. 

The cloud mobile I made myself; I have seen many of these gorgeous felt mobiles on etsy/Pinterest however they are expensive and I felt they looked easy enough to do myself. It's blanket stitched felt pieces, hung off a wooden dowel cross. Overall cost less than £15! 

Name lights... These were purchased from our local garden centre, pricey at £10 a letter! But I just love them! 

 As you will know/can imagine when you have a baby you get cards and cards and cards!! What do you do with them when you take them down?  Our personalised card frame was an idea from my bf. We put a mix of our favourite pieces in a frame we had knocking around, I just gave it a quick revamp with chalk paint to match the other wood in the room. I have since seen some great deco patch type ideas, cutting out some small pieces of each and layering in a frame. So nice to be able to display them in some way rather than throw them away or have them in a box somewhere never to be looked at. 

As he still sleeps in our room, I'm still treating it as a work in progress... further ideas welcome... :) 

Friday, 29 May 2015

A week in the wardrobe of a 3 month old ...

A week in the wardrobe of a 3 month old ... 
Weather: mild with showers
Size: mainly 0-3months 
Wearing: my favourite pieces for him are leggings/joggers, he does have jeans and dungarees but i imagine what I'd like to be wearing rolling around on the floor and comfy pants always win. He has been gifted and I've bought him clothes from all over, He has a lot of Next pieces I think they have some of the more trendy items from the high street shops.

Where: Supermarket trip with Mummy
Wearing: Cardigan - knitted by Nanna, long sleeve vest and leggings - Gap, socks - George at Asda 

Where: 'Baby Chat' group 
Wearing: Cardigan - knitted by Nanna, long sleeve vest and dungarees - Next, socks - George at Asda  

Where: Trip to Mummy's work 
Wearing: Hoodie and Tshirt - Next, Knitted leggings - M&S (part of a two part set), socks - George at Asda, trainers - Adidas 

Where: Baby sensory class 
Wearing: Cardigan, vest and dungarees set - M&S, socks - George at Asda, trainers - Converse 

Where: Walk with Daddy 
Wearing: Tracksuit - River Island, Vest - Sainsburys, socks - H&M 

Where: Catch up with Mummy and Daddy's friends 
Wearing: Onesie and Socks - George at Asda 

Where: Rainy day in the house 
Wearing: Woody Onsie - George at Asda ( we also have Buzz!) 

The first 3 months...

So my plan was to blog as I was going along, however I found as my routine changed my laptop was left in its bag. 
And baby naps have been used for running around putting a wash on, washing the pots or eating! 

Now he is 15weeks, we've cracked naps (well not every day, but mostly) and he's much happier to lie and play. Leaving me a bit more time to write on here... 

3month milestones

Feeding - breast and formula 
Sleeping - 3 naps (ideally) and wakes up once during the night 
Actions - loves tummy time, great head control no support needed and loves to be held standing up 
Noises - starting chatting (agoo, Oo, a) 
Smiling - lots of smiles (yet to get the laugh!) 
Favourite toy - Lamaze bright green octopus and yellow rubber duck 

Monday, 16 March 2015

My favourite baby items for a newborn

When I was pregnant I read every blog and every list on what I needed, didn't need, things that were essentials and those just nice to have... There are so many lists out there!
Excluding key essentials eg nappies, babygrows a bath etc etc there are a few little extra bits which I have found to be absolute life savers. 

The Cocoonababy is a cocoon shaped memory foam mattress which is shaped to allow your baby to lie in a semi fetal position, it is also meant to help reduce the involuntary jerky movements which babies can get while sleeping and startle them to wake, limit gastric reflux due to the slope and reduce the risk of flat head syndrome.
The mattress comes with a padded fitted cover which can be easily removed and washed and a strap which crosses over the babies tummy making them feel secure and also safe from rolling off once the baby is old enough to move around.

Roman loves being held and putting him down into the flat crib especially if he isn't cuddled/swaddled in a blanket often wakes him. The cocoons shape curves around him and must make him feel much more secure and comforted as he is much less likely to wake. He has enough room to wriggle is happy to lay in the cocoon whilst awake, the slope of the cocoon means he can see much more of whats around him than if he were lay flat.

As well as Romans comfort and him being able to sleep soundly, the mattress is light and can moved easily so he can be lay in it in any room in the house. We place it in the crib at night, the sofa during the day, the bathroom while I take a shower. He does have a bouncy chair and swing which he enjoys but is much less likely or comfortable to sleep in for him.

It is on the more expensive side at £130, and I was in two minds on whether to buy it. I had seen it at a baby show and was impressed but unsure how much I would use it and with all the other bits you have to buy for a baby it did seem like a bit of a luxury buy. Luckily I got given this as a gift at my baby shower as I really couldn't imagine life without it. Roman sleeps in the cocoon most nights and naps in it during the day so he can be in the same room as me and I can keep a close eye on him. 

As he has grown we use this a bit less as we have become more comfortable to put him in his crib upstairs in the evening. But we still use he's happy to sit in there while we chat or play. 

Tommee Tippee Sangenic Nappy Disposal Unit

I got this second hand from a baby sale on the suggestion of my mum. I think no matter how many people tell you when you are pregnant how much you will be changing nappies you cant really get your head around it you are actually doing it!

The nappy disposal bin, has a roll of bags, which separately contains each nappy and means you can quickly dispose of the nappy. Very easy to change the roll of bags and put the nappies in the outdoor bin, ( this is needed maybe 1 or 2 times a week). It's very good at keeping that nappy smell at bay! 

Friday, 27 February 2015

A Beautiful Baby Shower

As a nervous pregnant lady, (scared anything I did might jinx me), I decided to have my baby shower quite late at 36weeks + 5 days, and I would of had it the week later had it not been Valentines day. 
So as it happens this turned out to be 1 week before I gave birth! 

Plans for my shower were to be quite simple, although some games can be fun (we did baby predictions and a nursery rhyme quiz), I'm not the biggest fan of the whole smell whats in the nappy etc. each to their own on this though!
Instead I opted for afternoon tea at a local pub/restaurant; with some of my closest friends and family.

Theme of the baby shower, had to remain neutral as we didn't know if we were having a boy or girl. I therefore went for pastel colours, pinks, blues, greens, lilacs. I also found an image I liked on pinterest and used it on a guest book style image, thank you for coming gift bag tags and prediction cards.
Apart from the venue and afternoon tea, we did everything else homemade. If you enjoy being a little bit creative, it really is fun to pull together. 

Guest Book 
I have seen  this idea a number of times on Pinterest in different forms. I found an image I liked and drew it out on a large piece of paper (if you are more creative than me you could design your own, or print one out). I then cut out balloons in pastel coloured paper to be signed by guests, they could add these on to the image to create a picture which I will be framing for the nursery wall.

Prediction Cards
Simple but effectively cute. I printed out the questions over my chosen image and added to pastel card with a small bow, to be filled in by guests. 
Thank yous 
Small token for my guests, similar to the prediction cards cut into tag shapes tied around little bags of sweets. ( I chose dolly mixtures, marshmallows and mini eggs to go with my pastel theme).

Nursery Rhyme Quiz
A quick game found on pinterest. Fun and easy to do :) 

These were a surprise from my sister ... I think its amazing! Its still up now over 2 weeks later. We got ours from Magic Balloons.

Cake Pops
Blue and Pink cake inside (to get the cake colour to be vibrant we used colour gel not liquid). My mum has a cake pop maker which we made these in.

Marshmallow Bottles 
Created with marshmallows dipped in chocolate, the tops are made from gummy dummys.

The Cake!
Made by my mum. We looked at cakes she'd made previously, my fav source of inspiration - pinterest and my chosen imagery to design the cake. Chocolate cake inside with chocolate buttercream, my personal fav.

Despite my apprehension to a baby shower, I really did have a wonderful day. It was fun to pull the bits and bobs together and it really is amazing to get together with friends and family to talk all things baby and celebrate. 

Did you have a baby shower? How did you do yours?


The best made plans... And an early arrival...

You will see on my previous post my plans for maternity leave (I was supposed to post it over a week ago, however I think it shows even more the surprise of our early arrival). My 3 weeks to plan, prepare, clean and organise everything before babies arrival.

And you know what they say about the best made plans...

Our little boy came 2 weeks and 2 days early on Valentines day. Roman Valentino, was born at 11.07am and weighed 6lb7oz. And yes I am bias, but WOW he is gorgeous.

After being told so many times, your first is always late, for my waters to break at 1.30am on 14th Feb (at 37weeks +5) really did come as a bit of a shock.
My labour was was relatively quick, in hospital at 3.30am (1cm dilated) ready to push (10cm) by 9.30am. At the point of pushing it was decided that his heart rate was dropping and we would have to go to theatre for a forceps delivery and spinal block. The midwives and doctors were so reassuring acting so quickly yet in what seemed to be a very controlled and calm manner, that although looking back it was quick dramatic at the time we felt very well looked after and not over panicked.
At 11.07am after only a few pushes in theatre our baby was born and we found out we had a little boy. You do always wonder what that feeling would be like once he was born and truly the only way I can describe it is to say I was completely and utterly overwhelmed!

After a week long precautionary stay in hospital we are finally home. And couldn't be happier.

The making of a mummy truly begins... 

A few hours before on our pre Valentines Date

And 7 days later we were home...

Maternity Leave To Do List ... Achievable?

I am lucky enough to have a very supportive boyfriend and I am in a position where I am planning on taking 6-9months off work, I will keep you updated on how this pans out. This meant I could take 3 weeks holiday before my due date and start of maternity leave.
 A few weeks ago I was feeling great, quite a lot of energy and I was wondering whether 3 weeks was too much... however as we came to the last week of work my sleep quality seriously depleted with the larger bump and sudden on set of carpal tunnel, working long hours and up to an hours commute each way did start to take its toll on me! I do admire those who work closer to their due date, it takes a lot out of you! Even after being off work 3 days with my sleep quality not really improving I still do not feel rested, with the restored level of energy I was hoping for! Apologies for the slight moan, I do feel we are all entitled to a quick moany moment every now and then.

My plans for maternity leave are, as I'm sure most other mum's to be are...

To become wonderfully organised 

Have a completely finished, clean and tidy house
(we have odd bits to do, after moving in a year ago we have most decorating done, its just those finishing touches and organising which needs to be done)

To have all things for the baby ready and prepped 
(I still have a few bits to buy, and finishing touches in the nursery, which I have loved designing and decorating, I will post on this once complete)

Fill the freezer with a mix of ready prepared easy cook options for when the baby arrives 
(chilli, soups, cottage pie, other suggestions welcome)

To be wonderfully rested

(I have a lot to learn, and a lot to post :) ) 

I am also trying to add more swimming into my weekly routine. I've never been a huge gym fanatic but I did enjoy the gym up until about 20 weeks when I just felt a bit too big and a bit too tired, where as with swimming being a low impact source of exercise I have found it much more enjoyable. I have also been doing yoga throughout my pregnancy and really enjoyed it (I will look at doing a full post on my classes and what I have learnt).

I do wonder how prepared I can actually be... and what of my list I will actually achieve, especially when one of the most important is being rested. 

How prepared did you find yourself? 

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Finding Out I Was Pregnant

I found out I was pregnant on 13th July 2014. I had found out 8 weeks earlier that I had polycystic ovaries and had been told that due irregular periods I was likely to find it hard to become pregnant. My appointment with a fertility specialist was booked for August, to find out more about my situation and whether I would need help with falling pregnant.

I must say I hadn't taken the news particularly well and was very down about it. Although at that time I wasn't desperately trying to get pregnant, the thought of it being hard or not possible in future for me was heartbreaking. Of course looking back now, that 8 weeks is nothing in comparison to struggle many women go through with polycystic ovaries, many struggling for years, with fertility drugs or IVF a struggle I can't even begin to imagine... So to be where I am now I could not be more GRATEFUL!!!

I had been feeling extremely bloated for about 4/5 days... very unusual for me. After asking many people 'why do you get bloated?', and just receiving traditional answers of too much bread or pasta, knowing this wouldn't be the reason for me, I tried that ever 'reliable' and ever more commonly relied upon plan of googling it! Two more suggestions came up... hormones for coming on your period OR pregnancy! 

Unsure due my current diagnosis either would be correct, I bought a pack of 2 pregnancy tests (clear blue, a normal test and a dating test), with no expectations of a positive result.

The morning of 13th July, I got up before my boyfriend and took the first test... POSITIVE... sitting their staring at the test I felt overwhelmed but also surprisingly calm (pure happiness?)... I then decided I wanted to do the other test not quite believing the first... the agonizing wait proceeded to need to go to the toilet, downing a pint of water, finally after what felt like an age... a second POSITIVE!

With both tests... saying nothing ran upstairs to show him both :) 

Thrilled but filled with disbelief after being told this was likely to be a much longer struggle; over the next few weeks I must admit I took probably another 10 tests, at least!; along with a visit to my GP and a private scan. 
After being so sure this would be a challenge, believing it was/is real, even now seems like a dream come true.

The First Post

Nothing to get you tongue tied like the pressure of starting off well, whether it's a blog or becoming a mummy. 

I must admit I am rather late in starting posting, and perhaps I should of began at the beginning of my pregnancy, though at 37 weeks, the start of my maternity leave, I feel I now have time to start and hopefully be as interesting and helpful as some of the pregnancy and baby blogs I have been inspired by...

To go back over the whole of the 37 weeks may have be a bit of a stretch but I will try to post on the bits of pregnancy I found most surprising, difficult or exciting... And my journey from this point on...

 The Journey So Far...

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Sneak Previews (Ultrasound scans in pregnancy)

I have had 4 scans over my pregnancy; 2 private and 2 NHS.
Each time has been I must say nerve racking (since finding out I was pregnant I have been extremely nervous something would go wrong, every scan made me question... would this be the day somethings wrong!) and each one has been without sounding too cliche, magical, and thankfully they have been fine.

Our first scan we had to date the pregnancy; due to my irregular cycle I was not able to date from this. For this we went to a private clinic (Babybond & Ultrasound Direct - we had a great experience with this clinic). We simply couldn't wait for the 12week scan, I had the next available midwife appointment in 3 weeks time, and then would have to wait to be given a scan date. 

For me this was one of the most surreal moments, dated at approximately 7 weeks what we could see was minimal. Our baby looked like a little bean. We were also lucky enough to be able to hear the heartbeat. It was incredible to think that, that little bean with a heartbeat... was going to grow into our baby.

The 12 week scan, (which I had at 13weeks). I must say we did have about an hours wait after our time slot, again adding to my nerves! But our little baby was in perfect position, for us to really get to see how much he/she had grown. In 5 weeks our little bean, was a baby, with little legs, arms and a button nose.

20 week scan, a slightly trickier scan, our naughty baby had decided to become camera shy and was lay in a position which meant the sonographer couldn't see clearly enough to do the checks needed. After being sent out for a walk and a drink for 30mins we headed back in to see if this had encouraged our baby to turn around. it had slightly so with some hard work from the sonographer and myself moving in numerous positions, we got the thumbs up on all the checks!

3D/4D scan, from 20 weeks to 40 weeks without seeing our baby seemed like a huge wait! So we chose to go for a 3D/4D scan, I did a bit of research from friends who had, had scans as well as reading some online reviews... I chose to go to Ultrasound Now, a friend of mine had been to Ultrasound Now in her area and she was very pleased with hers. 

I chose a package which came with a disc of photos, a video of the entire scan, 4 colour prints and some black and white images. Perhaps slightly excessive, but there weren't too many packages to choose from, the main reason for this choice was they include another appointment if your baby is in an awkward position. Our baby wasn't in the clearest position but after a few different positions and a few minutes spent like this... 

We got some amazing images of our baby. As we haven't found out the sex, the sonographer stayed predominately at the top end. The sonographer also carries out some health checks on the baby's growth which is another reassuring part of the extra scan. 

I'm not one to tear up, but being handed these photos, was one moment that did get me. I have watched the video of the scan numerous times, (4 on the day we had the scan). Personally I couldn't recommend this more; though they are expensive so I suggest shopping around for the exact package you want, I have also seen some packages come up on voucher websites such as wowcher and groupon.

How have you found your scan experiences? Would you recommend the 3D/4D scans?