March, 2014

10 March
18

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Appreciation for the parental inventors, walking on clouds AND my love of Pancake Day…

One thing I’ve been really inspired by during my pregnancy are the inventions and gadgets that have been created by mums and dads who’ve been hit by a wave of ingenuity when coping with their own mini humans. Dreaming up little gadgets to make their own lives easier, but then going on to share it with the masses. Here are a few of the brainwaves that have impressed me so far – although I’m sure this list is going to keep getting longer and longer over the next few years. Who knows, I might even come up with my own invention at some point… A way of eating Nutella from the jar one handed whilst breastfeeding, perhaps?! Now there’s a thought! Check out my list of gadgets below.

Also this week…

• It was PANCAKE DAY! Yes, yes, yes – I’ve been banging on about it enough. You all know how much I love this special day. This year Tom was in charge and so we ended up with pre-made batter mix. Well, it might’ve been lazy of us, but they were blooming gorgeous. I had two with lemon and sugar and one with Nutella – it all melted and oozed out. Yummy! One thing I did learn though is that I’m rubbish at flipping pancakes. Really rubbish… bordering on shamefully rubbish. Ah, well! I’m good at eating them and that’s the bit that counts, right?

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• Maternity leave hasn’t quite kicked off as I planned thanks to chicken pox and colds – not me, but my friends or their children – which has led to things being cancelled. Boo! But I still had a lovely catch up with my mum on Monday and then my friends Izzy and Chunny the following day (Izzy bought over cupcakes… naughty, naughty!). I cooked them all homemade roasted pepper and tomato soup – it was gorgeous. I’m getting really into my homemade soups at the minute – it’s one way of getting all my needed vitamins and minerals before I move onto the naughty stuff. Ha!

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• I know I’m meant to be on maternity leave and not talking about ‘work’ related matters – but should creative work really be classed as work when it’s so fun?! Hmmm, it’s an interesting thought. Anyway – the bound page proofs arrived this week for You’re the One that I Want. These are basically mock-ups of the real thing for reviewers (and my friends and family who keep asking when they can get their hands on it). They look so beautiful. Not long until the real copies arrive now and I can’t wait for you to get reading and telling me what you think! I’m hoping you’ll all love Maddy, Ben and Robert and their story as much as I do… fingers crossed!

• I have to say, that tiny mention of work aside, the majority of this week has been filled with total relaxation and me chilling with a capital C! Hollie from London Hypnobirthing came over for a one-on-one afternoon of calming tranquillity. Aaaah… It was heavenly. Add that to this week’s reflexology session and you’ll understand why I feel I’ve been walking on a cloud of loveliness… Well, I say that, but walking is becoming increasingly more like waddling like a penguin. We walked to Ask Italian for dinner the other night (now known as Pizza Friday) and it took us forty minutes to walk home… it’s normally a ten minute journey. Ha! But my mind and body really do feel at peace – something I’m making the most of before Crumb arrives and changes our world forever.

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• The week finished with a trip to The O2 to see Ellie Goulding, for what was Crumb’s last ever music gig in utero. She was flipping amazing – what a voice! It was great bumping into fellow HELLO! Online blogger Una Foden and her lovely husband Ben, grab hugs from 1D’s Niall Horan and talk yoga retreats with Cara Delevingne. Crumb seemed to really enjoy the show and, unfortunately for my bladder, wriggled about endlessly during the whole thing. Can’t believe Tom and McBusted will be playing at that venue next month!

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And now we’ve arrived at 37 weeks… from this point on Crumb can arrive whenever he/she chooses. It’s mindboggling to think that the little human I’ve been growing for the last eight and a half months is about to come out and meet us. I can’t wait!

Ooh, before I go – thanks for the lovely tweets and comments about last week’s blog post. It’s nice to hear my realisation (and apology) has set off a flutter of positivity amongst you all.

Have a brilliant week!

Love,
Gi. Xx

P.S. The gadgets I was talking about:

• Ewan the Dream Sheep (www.sweetdreamers.co.uk ) – now, it seems every mum out there has already heard of this miracle worker. Created by a mum who had a little boy who would only sleep with the hoover on, Ewan (apart from looking adorable) plays sounds that resemble what can be heard in the womb – including a heartbeat. Instantly soothing babies, much to the delight of many sleep-deprived mums and dads!

• Babymule (www.babymule.co.uk) – a changing bag that can be carried as a messenger or backpack – or just clipped to the buggy! It’s full of gadgets to make life simpler AND has lots of compartments to keep everything a little more organised… and I love organisation and having a spot for everything, so it’s not too hard to see why I like this bag.

• Milkysnugz (www.milkysnugz.co.uk ) – essential a cuddly toy that your baby’s milk bottle slides into so that, when your bubba is old enough to hold its own bottle, they can experience a hug at the same time… cute.

• Babycademy (Music Time) (www.babycademy.co.uk) – babies are never too young to start learning, after all, we’ve all heard the expression ‘brain like a sponge’. There are many classes and groups you can take your baby along to, but this mummy has compiled classes for you both to engage in from the comfort of your own home. A nice way of interacting with your child and for their brain to start developing through play.

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• SnoozeShade (www.snoozeshade.com)– we’ve all seen prams with blankets or thin swaddles draped over them in an attempt to lull the baby inside off to sleep. We’ve probably also seen said garments flying off with the wind and being trodden on or run over by said buggy… well, this little contraption apparently holds the answer. These sleep aids and sunshades can clip onto buggies, car seats and cots.

• Breastvest (www.breastvest.co.uk) – this has been recommended to me a few times already… for a lot of new mums they don’t mind whipping their boobies out to breastfeed (their bubba’s got to eat), but what they feel self-conscious about is getting their tummies out if they’re wearing one of their normal tops (you know, the ones they wore before maternity clothes entered their lives). This thin vest goes underneath your lovely non-human-growing-top, meaning you don’t have to flash your postnatal tummy before you feel ready to. Result!

• Skibz (www.skibz.co.uk) – dribble bibs (and normal bibs) that are so trendy looking they become a part of your baby’s outfit – and that’s what mummy Helen wanted when she first thought up the idea. With so many cool designs and colours to choose from I imagine you can end up getting quite addicted. Honestly, it’s like dribble bib heaven.

• Blooming Bath (www.bloomingbath.co.uk) – I’ve already mentioned this piece of magic in another blog, but I love them so much that they just HAVE to be included on this little list. Four dads who found bathing their babies difficult thanks to them being ‘so soapy and slippery and squirmy’ decided to take matters into their own hands and find a solution. I can’t wait to start using mine.

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03 March
17

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THAT’S the body I used to have?! Why’d I ever complain or worry?!

I’ve always struggled with my weight – it’s gone up and down over the years like a great big yoyo bouncing on a string. I’ve always felt too big and had a certain amount of self-loathing when it comes to the topic of fat. I’m not a naturally skinny girl (and boy do I know it), but pregnancy has totally changed the way I view my pre-pregnancy figure. I’ve been looking at photos in which, at the time, I was sure I was the identical weight to a baby elephant, but now I just see a fairly normal weighing girl – hell, sometimes I’m actually pleasantly surprised with the figure looking back at me. So, now that I am bigger than normal (no self-loathing required, I’m human growing) I have a new appreciation for what I did have…

And yes, it’s what inside that counts – but we all know that there’s so much said about weight in our society, so is it really that surprising that I had such a negative outlook on my size 10/12 figure? We’re told size zero is pretty – or is it that size zero is too thin, but a six is good? I forget – or maybe it’s because the people that dictate these views change their minds on what is considered desirable on a weekly basis – one week skinny is in, but the next it’s ‘big is beautiful’. It’s so confusing, and hardly earthshattering news that I, like many others, constantly found myself despairing over the issue and feeling inadequate.

What has really hit me this week is the notion that life is ever changing… and so are our bodies. We’ll go up and down, out and in, wide and thin – depending on what we’re doing with our lives. It’s something that we have to learn to embrace and roll with, rather than beat ourselves up over. I’ve also come to realise that a part of that is obviously understanding when a little bit of exercise might be in order and enjoying the feeling of my body rising to the challenge, rather than feeling like I’m torturing it in the hope that I can be moulded into someone else’s version of beautiful.

I’m saddened when I think back to the decades (yes, decades) of hatred towards my exterior. Therefore, I’d like to take this moment to apologise to my pre-pregnancy body. Sorry I gave you such a hard time, dude. I promise to give you a little more credit in the future – and a whole lot of love to boot! I am what I am. My external self will change, it’s a fact we’ll all have to face at some point, but what’s outside will never define me.

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Also this week…

· Our pram arrived! Hurrah! We went for a Bugaboo Cameleon3 in black and orange. Orange is a fairly unisex colour, so we figured we were safe either way – Tom also likes the fact that it makes the pram highly visible to others, making sure people are aware of the precious cargo onboard and to steer well clear of us. Bizarrely, the day the pram arrived, I was wearing black and orange… It looked like I’d decided to dress up as the pram. An odd choice for a fancy dress costume!

· We worked out how to use the ISO-Fix base (it beeps at you when you get things right) and played around with our car seat (we opted for a Maxi-Cosi Pebble). Crumb’s carriage home is READY!

· The hospital bag has been packed! Well, almost. There’s also a huge list of things that will still be needed in the next few weeks that’ll get chucked into the bag just before we leave. I say bag, I mean suitcase. It looks as though we’re planning on staying at the hospital for a fortnight. Oopsey!

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· I had some much needed reflexology. You may remember me saying a few weeks ago that my feet and hands had become mighty sweaty… well, my feet had also swollen a little too. Nothing terrible, and it’s totally common, but it was a little uncomfortable. So this week I went to visit a local reflexologist called Maaike for a little pamper. Oh, it was sooooo good! At the end of the hour-long session I looked down to see my stumpy feet had transformed back into something quite dainty looking! I was shocked. Needless to say, I’ve booked in again for next week and will continue having this weekly pamper until Crumb arrives.

· I attended a breastfeeding class! I’ll be honest, I was a little worried I’d be asked to whip my boobs out for inspection to see if they were up to the task, but luckily there was none of that. I know breastfeeding is a bit of a touchy subject and that mums have very strong views on it – as if new mums need to feel anyone else’s judgement at a time when they already feel clueless and overwhelmed at the new challenge they’ve taken on?! My view on the topic is to do what is right for you. Your baby needs a happy mummy, not someone who feels downtrodden by motherhood or others who quickly pass judgement instead of offering support.

· Talking of emotions – I had two meltdowns this week, which I’m mentioning because I find them quite comical now (and also to reassure anyone who’s done the same that it’s quite common). One day I found myself bursting out sobbing hysterically for no reason (poor Tom) and another I wailed whilst reading Jojo Moyes’ new book The One Plus One… Could these be the start of the hormonal outbursts I’ve been warned about? Eek!

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The week ended with a lovely catch up with my brother on Friday who came over for some sibling love, and a family meal with the Fletchers on Sunday before sitting down to watch Gravity (flipping heck, it’s amazing – so intense!). Got to love family time!

Hope you all have a fantastic week – don’t forget it’s Pancake Day on Tuesday! I’ve got my jar of Nutella ready and waiting already! Yummy!

Lots of love,

Gi. Xx

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