July, 2014

21 July
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Celebrating Tom’s birthday with our McFamily…

This week I’ve been spending a lot of time in the kitchen. Once Tom had got back from a trip to Ibiza for Danny’s stag, I decided to make the most of the extra pair of hands to occupy Buzz and start bashing around some pots and pans. Pecan granola, almond milk, hazelnut milk, Nutella, pesto, hummus, amazing meat-free burgers – I’ve been cooking up a total storm. Turns out I’m a much better cook as a vegetarian than carnivore. I’ve no idea why. I’ve already mentioned that I have a slight obsession with Deliciously Ella, but now I’m stalking Honestly Healthy recipes too… Food is brilliant, especially when it’s good for you. I’m really enjoying trying out new recipes and eating all these new flavours and textures. It’s like I’ve got a new appreciation for eating! I love it.

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This weekend we had both our families and all the McBusted boys & girls over to celebrate Tom’s 29th birthday. I can’t believe we’re now both in the last year of our twenties!!! How did that happen? It seriously feels like we’re not long out of school… I think we’re in total denial about the whole growing up thing!

For this group gathering we decided to ask everyone to ‘bring a dish’ – simply to make everything a little easier for us with Buzz, but it turned out to be really fun seeing what people decided to make too. There were all sorts of delicious salads, tasty chilli pots, my uncle’s amazing parmigiana, Tom’s sister Carrie’s divine millionaire shortbread and my mum’s (now legendary) profiteroles… It was a total feast.

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No birthday party is complete without a birthday cake, and this year (thanks to our new way of eating) I decided to enlist the help of Camden’s Cookies and Scream – a vegan bakery that sells the most amazing goodies. McBusted’s Matt bought Tom a brownie/cookie from there before their Hyde Park gig and Tom’s been banging on about it ever since – to the point where he’s been regularly drooling over their Instagram pictures. So, his birthday cake was their Chico Pie – basically a giant peanut butter cookie. His face was like a dribbling child’s when he saw it. As well as that, I also got an array of brownies, cookies and treats. We were all in food heaven.

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Although we were forecast to have rain and a few storms, we had mostly blue skies – meaning we could enjoy sitting in the sunshine with a few guitars being passed around, enjoying life. Glorious!

Hope you all have fabulous weeks planned – let’s hope the sun keeps its cheery little hat on.

Love,

Gi. Xx

P.S. A huge thanks to everyone who tweeted me about last week’s breastfeeding post. As with everything mummy related, it’s not easy to share your struggles, but you’ll feel so much better when you do!

14 July
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The trials and tribulations of breastfeeding

Before having Buzz I knew that I’d like to make a good attempt at the whole breastfeeding malarkey. After all, it’s rammed down our throats that ‘Breast is best’, so in my quest to be the bestest-ever-mummy-in-the-stratosphere I went for a breastfeeding class (previously talked about and no, I didn’t need to show the teacher everything – this was my main concern). It all sounded so easy – get the baby into the right position, tease him so that he opens his mouth nice and wide and then, with your boob shaped like a burger (sounds weird, but makes sense when you see it), wait for the optimum moment and draw the baby in with maximum breast in his mouth. Easy peasey! What’s so difficult about all of that?! Well… A lot! What the books don’t tell you is that neither of you know what you’re actually doing, or that there’s no way for either of you to communicate what you’d like the other one to do. Seriously, you’d think those little bubbas could be given a crash course on the topic before coming out of utero – it would make everything so much easier! One of you cries in the face of the other with starvation, while the other cries with frustration – leaving you to wonder where the magical bond that breastfeeding supposedly brings is hiding out. And that was another pre-Buzz-selling-point to me! The connection I was told it would bring between my child and I. If someone had reminded me of this enchanting promise a few weeks in I’d have laughed in their face. It’s hard to associate something that makes you yelp in pain, curl your toes in apprehension and cry with despair as something that’ll generate an overwhelming sense of love and unity.

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And, of course, you’re shattered. In those early days you’re so knackered that you find yourself delirious on multiple occasions. I can’t tell you how many times I woke up with my hands frantically searching for Buzz, thinking I’d fallen asleep mid-feed – only to eventually spot him peacefully asleep in his crib where I’d placed him a short while earlier. Sleep deprivation is so disorientating.

When you’re feeding a newborn baby every two to three hours (counted from the start of one feed to the beginning of the next) you can’t help but feel like a walking milk machine (or a human cow), especially when feeding can take a couple of hours in itself – meaning you have an hour off before the whole saga starts again. It’s relentless. It took more patience than I was aware I possessed to get through the first couple of months. And then, as if by magic, it just clicked into place one day. It was as if we both suddenly knew what we were doing – the feeds became super quick and a sense of teamwork fell upon us. Hurrah.

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I can’t tell you how many times I almost gave up. I didn’t have a smooth ride with breastfeeding – I wore nipple shields (never felt so attractive) and got a lovely lactation consultant over to try and help me and Buzz on our merry-breast-way. I was determined and stubborn about the whole thing – I hoped we’d get it right eventually. And we did.

The kindest thing a midwife said to me about breastfeeding was that it took a good two weeks to establish… I was told this when I was a week in and feeling pants about the whole thing. It took more than that little week for me (in fact it was more like eight weeks), but her admission that it wasn’t something that everyone took to instantly gave me some hope. Remember, I’ve already blogged about my woes in the first month of motherhood, and breastfeeding was certainly one of the things I’d started beating myself up over, so her words offered me such relief. I needed to blast away my expectations and remind myself that Buzz and I were on our own little journey of discovery – with no right and wrongs.

Now Buzz has started sleeping through the night from 7pm-6am (heavenly) he’s cut out his night feeds altogether (for ages I still expressed his 10pm feed each night and now have a freezer fully stocked of emergency milk – I guess I went a little overboard! Ha!). His daytime feeds are down to 25 minutes long and are something that happens so quickly and effortlessly that it’s usually over before I’ve had a chance to check my twitter, revel in the latest gossip online or caught up on the latest episodes of Big Brother or Real Desperate Housewives of New Jersey. We both know what we’re doing now – we’re a little tag team in a milk relay…

There is obviously another fear-inducing-scenario within this whole topic though, and that is feeding in public… I’m sad to say I just don’t feel comfortable doing it. Yep, I certainly won’t be taking a breastfeeding selfie anytime soon. I feel paranoid, sweat profusely and become a nervous wreck. It’s not good. In fact, there was one day early on when I told myself I was going to give Buzz his next feed in a coffee shop – I was feeling adventurous. Moments later I got recognised. Needless to say my boobies stayed hidden away in my bra when I got to the coffee shop and ordered a takeaway.

But let’s not forget my Eurostar achievement I blogged about on the way to Disneyland Paris. A disgruntled Buzz wouldn’t take his bottle of expressed milk (he spat it in my face while screaming his head off), so I had no choice but to feed him from source. I felt extremely proud of myself afterwards, though I stand in awe of women who are confident enough to do it wherever they please. Obviously, there are also loads of clothes out there with quick boobie access for discreet feeding – www.mamaslittlesecret.co.uk, for instance, has some great tops that don’t leave you feeling exposed. Maybe one day I’ll get over my fears, but my little set up works for us, and that’s all that matters.

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Like last time, I hope my confession gives comfort to mums who are struggling out there. As with everything in life there’s not a one-size-fits all with regards to breastfeeding and what works for some won’t work for others. Likewise, you’ll find your own fears and trials are different to those around you. I know I persevered – but it’s down to the individual to choose what they want to do. I know how exhausted, vulnerable and unhappy the whole debacle can make a new mum… but NOTHING can compare to the love and joy a HAPPY mum can bring to her baby. Yep, go for happiness. Let’s not underestimate feeding your baby love instead of losing yourself under a cloud of resentment and frustration. So go forth with your breast or bottle with pride. You’re taking on the greatest task of your life – nurturing a human. Let’s not let a little spilt milk overshadow the epicness of that achievement.

On a separate note, I just want to say that I love my endlessly supportive family. Tom’s been away for a few days so Buzz and I took a little trip to Essex for the weekend. Sea air, vegetarian food (yep, still going strong) and lots of laughter… BLISS!

Have a great week you lovely lot.

Gi. Xx

07 July
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The Wood Wedding and McBusted at Hyde Park…

This week brought with it two massive summer events – the wedding of Fearne Cotton and Jesse Wood and then McBusted headlining at Hyde Park… what an exciting week!

I had a little fashion dilemma before leaving the house for the wedding as the dress I was planning on wearing got stuck in the machine at the dry cleaners and badly ruined. I found out an hour before I was due to leave. Major buzzkill! Needless to say, I cried. Well, I have just had a baby – planning outfits isn’t as easy as chucking on something from a plethora of gorgeously fitting clothes and picking what you liked the most – no, instead it’s trying on pieces and seeing what hides the lingering lumps and bumps the best while still making you feel a little bit beautiful. A frantic search through my wardrobe ensued. Luckily I’d bought a cream and coral dress from ASOS a few weeks ago that I was thinking about wearing for my interview on Lorraine before opting for something else. It was perfect for a summer wedding… Thank goodness!!!

 

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The McFamily were out in force to join Fearne and Jesse’s beautiful celebrations and party the night away. I’m sure you’ve all seen the photos from the wedding online so I really don’t need to tell you how stunning Fearne looked. We were trying to guess what sort of dress she’d be in before she arrived. We were all wrong. Elegant, feminine and floaty – she looked like an enchanting princess. The evening was filled with romance and LOVE! It’s wonderful to see two people so engrossed with one another declaring their love so unabashedly. Weddings are awesome.

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McBusted playing Hyde Park was always going to be a spectacular event. It was a flipping huge gig for them! Seeing as it was so important we decided to make it Buzz’s first ever show. I’m not going to lie, I was blooming nervous at how he’d react to the whole thing, but he was extremely chilled thanks to his Banz ear protectors and me carrying him around in our BabyBjörn carrier. He barely slept during the whole thing, preferring instead to giggle and smile at my best friend Katy, but he was content and happy, so I couldn’t really ask for more. The boys were all kinds of epic! I was a very proud wife.

 

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Also this week, I continued to juice for a further five days. Can’t tell you how great I felt at the end of it – although it feels weird to be eating again. I sort of liked the ease of taking my juices out the freezer and knowing my nutrition was sorted for the day! Now I need to think about what I’m putting into my body. I’ve continued to watch food documentaries – including Food Inc, Vegucated and Earthlings. Well… They were enough to make me never want to eat meat ever again. And that’s coming from someone whose favourite meal is steak and chips! As a result I’m going to try life as a vegetarian for a while… Possibly even a vegan as I can’t see myself wanting milk for a little while either. The upshot to this is that it’s got me back in the kitchen surrounded by cookbooks and experimenting with different recipes. Also, on the milk front – I’ve started making us homemade almond milk… It’s flipping amazing!

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Big love to you all this week!

Gi. Xx

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