Friday, 29 November 2013

The nursery, phase 1

Yesterday I wasn't feeling too good (thus the lack of blog post).

When you're having work done to your house, midweek days at home aren't as relaxing as they should be as you're slightly on edge due to the number of people wondering around speaking in (what I describe as) another language (by this I mean using all sorts of technically jargon that I don't understand)

Luckily, the re-wiring work is now done so our home is currently occupied by decorators.

Even though it's my home, during the week I truly feel like it's their domain... So much so that at around 9am when I properly sat up in bed (as the noise being produced meant that there was no chance of sleep), I turned on the TV.

As I started to flick through the channels, I realised I was in a battle.

We have a SKY box in the living room, where you're able to switch the channels… this happened to be the location where one of the decorators was working. 

I could have made a fuss, I'm sure I could have continued the battle by flicking back to the news (which I wanted to watch) but I was feeling pretty rough & couldn't face it...

So, it was Jeremy Kyle for me!! (at least it was followed by This Morning where Holly & Phil, and a couple of experts were discussing that awful, spine curdling Lost Prophets case.... which was interesting, albeit emotional and terribly troubling to watch)

The other thing about being at home mid-week is that the decorators (in this case) have the opportunity to ask you any questions they might have.

Normally I'm nervous when they start to ask me things as I really don't know what I'm talking about on this topic Yesterday's question however, was one I could handle.

"Now that we've finished your bedroom and I'm working in the lounge (dominating the TV), would you prefer my assistant concentrates on the hall, stairs & landing or the nursery?"

Well, there is a right and a wrong answer here.

The hall, stairs & landing is a big job. One that really needs doing for our day to day convenience. The nursery is not going to be used for some time and so really should be the last thing they do.

That's not really how my mind works though.

Without taking a moment to breathe, I quickly said "the nursery, do the nursery!!"

Talk about putting a spring back in your step... Still physically feeling rather rubbish, emotionally I was suddenly full of excitement.

I knew they'd be done by the end of the day (3.30pm in their world) so I decided not to let myself go in until then.

At around 2pm I got particularly excited as I heard the sound of a drill... I know what this meant! Curtain polls!!! I know how sad I sound... But these small things for me, are better than the big things.

At 3.30pm they were out the door, and I was straight in the nursery. Tears formed in my eyes as I looked around and really realised whose bedroom this was.

Not allowing myself to get too emotional (I wanted to relish in the moment properly when the hubs was home) I hid behind cleaning and productivity.

First I hoovered, then I scrubbed, then I lifted (only my grandmas rocking chair and a few little decorative pieces from Mamas & Papas… they really should give me shares!) Our furniture isn't due for a few weeks and I wanted to give the hubs the full effect!!!

An hour later and I was done with what I like the call phase 1 of the nursery.

By 6.30pm the hubs was due home. 

I decided to busy myself during this long weight with my favourite thing... cooking! 

As I was feeling rough all day I hadn't eaten anything and was now feeling rather ravenous thus prepared us quite an unnecessarily large and fancy Thursday night feast!

Roast beef with all the trimmings :-)

As the hubs walked through the door, his face lit up. Not only did I look a hell of a lot better than I did when he left me that morning, but the house smelt delicious.

I didn't even let him take off his coat, or examine the work that had been done in the lounge (his favourite thing to do at the moment as soon as he walks through the door)

Within a few seconds I led him upstairs into the nursery for the big reveal and he was truly delighted, he was also pretty emotional which of course set me off!!!

As I've said so many times, pregnancy is all about milestones and this was another and it was so special. I wonder how much time I'll spend in this room over the next 12 weeks.

The next milestones?

Let's see...

Practically... building the furniture, the pram, the car seat, starting the classes, the arrival of the new carpet, re-reading all the books, buying all the essentials and so on...

Medically... passing the 28 week mark (Tuesday), the growth scan (I think I'll stop there as it all gets rather real after that!!!!)

Emotional... the continued roller coaster ride that is pregnancy, that I imagine only jumps up a gear or two once the baby arrives!

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Choosing the Car Seat

Last weekend our gorgeous new 'Silver Cross' Car Seat arrived.

I chose it based in compatibility with our pram but also because it's pretty (I'm such a child!!!)

Not only is this particular model (it's called 'simplicity') easy to use, safe, light and a decent size (room for Baby J to grow & stretch) but it's pretty stylish and comfy looking... I'm pretty sure Baby J will be mighty happy snuggled up their, I know I would be! (what a thought... Car Seats for grown ups!!)

I have to say that choosing the car seat was a much easier task than choosing our pram. Why? Because there are only a handful of brands and models compatible with the pram with picked (I actually think this is the case with whichever pram you go with, but I'm not sure!)

The idea 'I believe' is that you don't always use the top part of the pram, sometimes you clip the car seat into the base of the pram to avoid waking the baby, or for short trips, only short mind you...
The shop assistant in John Lewis was very quick to tell me about the issues that can arise from leaving a baby in a car seat for to long… Having read up on it, there is little to worry about! Essentially use your common sense, if your baby is premature, or has any breathing difficulties be cautious but otherwise you're pretty much ok for a few hours.

If you're worried at all, there is a really informative article on BabyCentre about this very issue:

Anyway, when presented with my choice it was once again, an easy decision. I'd read up on the key things a car seat had to do and was confident with the few brands of offer that these were all a given (of course I checked 5 times) this left me to choose based on USPs.... And of course design!

The main thing for me was weight.

To test this out, my mum and I (once again I didn't want to subject the hubs to my research tactics, it's far easier to present him with an obvious chose!) went round lifting each one whilst trying to imaging what it would feel like with the added weight of a newborn/not so newborn baby.

The 'simplicity' won hands down... Not just on weight and design but on ease.

Gone are the days of fiddly, complicated, huge machines. These days, it's a swift manoeuvre  a couple of clicks and you're in! (I'm still impressed with Will's speed at getting Baby George into the car with the pressure of the whole world watching!!!)

In case you were wondering, we opted for a simple black colour, after-all I couldn't have Baby J's pram mismatching his car seat!!

Once chosen, I took the hubs on the pointless outing to 'choose a Car Seat'... He knows me, I know me and I'm pleased to say that he trusts me. We were in and out in 5 blissful minutes (ladies, this form of decision making is the way forward... It may seem a but unequal but it avoids the dreaded in store argument! Equally men, if you're the family researcher, I urge you to try this method out next time you're on the hunt for your next big item!)

So, last weekend it arrived.

There is just one thing stopping me from getting 'quite' as excited about my new toy as I was when our gorgeous new pram arrived....

Aside from the fact that we're still living amongst a sea of boxes, so can't actually unpack and 'play' with it yet i.e. strut around the house with it pretending Baby J is inside (I think that may have been an over share!)

We have no car to put it in.

I know what you're thinking... Who buys the Car Seat before the car?!


The car seat is my domain.

The car is not (that's a big one, so a joint decision) and until we can muster the will to begin the long and painful task of selecting a new car that we can't really afford, the car seat will have to do… with only 13 weeks to go we really should get our skates on!

At least I know that the midwife will let me leave the hospital when Baby J is born… little does she know that I might not have a car to click the seat into!!!

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

On the road to trimester three

Each trimester, so far, has had its ups and it's downs.

Trimester one was definitely the quickest, and slowest in equal measures.

The first half flew by, most likely because I had no idea I was pregnant. A chunk of it was spent honeymooning, and a chunk spent on British soil on a wedding/honeymoon come down (this is the point when the silly two seater car was purchased… we still aren’t ‘discussing’ our plan of action)

The second half? Torture. The waiting. The worrying. The anxiety. Time has never passed so slowly.

Emotionally, trimester one was certainly the most up and down.

The most unbelievable.

The most wondrous.

I went through so many emotions... Is this happening? It can’t really be true?
How though? I never thought it would/could happen so quickly!!

Physically, trimester one was not amazingly pleasant. Acne, growing pains, gas & bloating with no cute physical bump to ease the pain.

Not to mention that you have to keep your news a secret for the majority of the first trimester which is torture in itself... Not only are you full of fear and excitement, but you feel pretty crap and can't tell anyone why.

Overall trimester one was the toughest (I know this is naive at this point) but also the most incredible.

Discovering the news, seeing Baby J's first on screen performance and starting to come to terms with the fact that the Hubs and I will soon be parents, what a huge amount to get our heads around.

Trimester two started much the same as one... I didn't really experience a change until a few weeks in.

Time wise, trimester one has been so fast I can't quite believe it's almost over. Where has the time gone?? Genuinely it's scary. Tuesdays are Baby J's birthday and it feels like I'm constantly waking up, turning to Hubs and updating him on what fruit/vegetable Baby J's size now emulates (today he’s a cauliflower)

Physically, trimester two rocks. My bump began to fully protrude (no cause for a 'baby on board' badge these days) and all those horrid symptoms started to fade. My hair became the shiniest and fullest it's ever been, and my skin is soft and clear.

Emotionally, trimester three once again rocks. This all comes down to ‘kicking’.

Kicking is the best feeling in the world. Scans, tests and doctors are all fab, but actually feeling your baby wriggling around inside of you is just incredible. I actually think I'll miss this sensation when he's born.

As the end of trimester two draws closer you also start to do more shopping, more planning and really start to come to the realisation that this is actually happening.

I suppose the reality of the life change starts to hit you and you start to see beyond the pregnancy. We're not just buying the odd baby grow, which let's face it, sort of takes us back to our childhoods and doesn't bring with it a huge amount of reality. We're buying prams and car seats, and starting to think about furniture. Furniture for our soon to be born child to sleep in.

For me trimester two has come with a big plate full of reality topped with a little fear, and served with a side helping of overwhelming excitement.

So what lies ahead in trimester three?

Let's see... Antenatal classes, the baby shower, an even bigger bump, the fact that I will have officially outgrown my entire wardrobe, the growth scan, serious shopping (furniture, sterilizer’s and so on), hopefully zero stretch marks, I believe the comeback of a few of trimester one's delightful symptoms oh and the birth!!!

Whilst this is all rather terrifying and pretty exciting at the same time... It's trimester four that I can't wait for! Actually being a mum and having Baby J to cuddle and kick me on the outside, rather than inside!!!

Monday, 25 November 2013

Emotions running high… AGAIN

This weekend saw the return of the 'slightly less calm' (understatement!!) version of me!

After a few rather blissful weeks of feeling fabulous emotionally & physically and most certainly looking the best I have for a while... It all went entirely to pot...

Saturday morning I had plans for brunch with one of my closest friend. This particular friend has been in my life since the first day of school and for that reason never fails to bring out the child in me.

There are very few people with whom I entirely relax and be myself; she's definitely one of them. There is (I must say) a third musketeer who evokes the same feelings; she unfortunately had plans this particular Saturday morning.

Anyhow, we were meeting at 11am and I was particularly excited as she was looking after her 10 month old niece, who I have to say is just beautiful.

I was up early (as usual) to get myself ready, wash my hair etc.

Now, I've not mentioned this in any previous blog posts, but I'm particularly terrible with directions. A big part of my problem (I'm ashamed to say) is laziness. I never concentrate when I'm being taken somewhere and if I'm driving I sort of let the Sat Nav do the work... I also (honestly) have zero sense of direction. If it's left, I'll 100% "trust my gut" and go right!

My friend was at her mum and dad's house for the weekend, I've of course been to this house many times in the past, however not in the last decade & not from my new country location.

So, before I left I asked the Hubs (as I was running late, despite being up at the crack of dawn) to plug the address into the Sat Nav. I read out the address and he did as directed (or so I thought)

As he kissed me goodbye he said "don't forget to put petrol in the car". The night before we'd been for a lovely dinner at his Aunts house and apparently the petrol light had come on during the journey home.

Off I went. Smiles beaming.

As I pulled up to the petrol station I noticed it was closed, a little annoying but I thought nothing of it. There would of course be another one very soon.

The Sat Nav was showing that the journey would take 30 mins. This was very much in line with how long I thought it was going to take, so again I thought nothing of it.

It's also worth mentioning here that our Sat Nav is quite zoomed in so you only see the next few steps, you don't see the end point (error!)

Fifteen minutes later I was in quite unfamiliar surrounding... After going round down a number of backstreets I found myself on rather a large road. As I've already mentioned, I'm new to my current area so couldn't really tell if something was up or not….


I had already started to panic at this stage though... Not entirely about my location, more about the lack of petrol in the car. Since leaving the house and passing the closed petrol station, I had not passed another, and the tank was dangerously close to empty.

Now this is where some might question my intelligence. The Sat Nav (who I always listen to) was telling me that at the next roundabout I should turn right and join the motorway... I'm not gonna lie, something didn't feel right considering there is no motorway I could think of that linked my house to my friends parents house.

So, there I was.

 On the motorway.

Clearly going the wrong way with zero petrol.

The next road sign was where I clocked what had happened...

The first exit, which was 3/4 miles away (no, there wasn’t a service station between getting on and the first exit) was where I really started to realise what may have happened, as the name of the location was pretty familiar to me.

As I turned off, in a state of pure panic and fury it all became clear. It was HIS fault.

He'd clearly accidentally pressed the wrong button and told the Sat Nav to take me to the last place it took me too, my friends house who lives half an hour away from us in the opposite direction of where I needed to be.

It was this point I called him.

I'm not going to say I was in anyway my usually lovely self.

No petrol.

In the middle of no where (I’ve only been here a few times and never alone)

Late to meet my friend, and an hour away from her.

I wasn't pleasant.

I also was not at all calm.

He obviously didn't mean for this to happen, nor could he understand how it did happen.

In my mind, I didn't care how. It had happened and it was his fault.

For future reference, nothing annoys me more than being told to calm down when I'm clearly not calm. I'd of thought he'd know this by now. Clearly not. After a good few minutes of shouting (me, not him) he was off the phone after telling me not to move.

Whilst my concern was my friend and how late he had made me to meet her, his (quite rightly so) was the dangerously low amount of fuel in the car.

A few short minutes later he called back. I hadn't calmed at all by this point, in case you were wondering, oh no, I was quite as frantic as ever (poor Baby J)

When back on the phone he slowly and calmly directed me down a few country lanes to a petrol station.

Without saying thank you (I was still raging) I hung up, filled up and purchased an oversized bar of Dairy Milk (very unlike me!!!)

I then sat at the side of the road and ate the entire thing. I started to feel calmer and a little embarrassed.

I plugged in the correct address and the Sat Nav showed me the way. It was going to take an hour.

I text my friend and apologised profusely. She was fine about the delay; she just wanted to know where I'd ended up. I ignored her questions as it was just ‘too soon’ (I know how melodramatic I sound) knowing that at brunch (well lunch) I'd be 'ready' to talk about it.

Ten minutes later, I was back on the motorway heading in the right direction.

At this point I called the Hubs... (hands free) to apologise.

He's such a sweetie and wasn't angry in the slightest at my vile behaviour.

He was relieved I was now calm (he was also thrilled that the car was full of petrol and that he wasn't going to have to sort out a tow!)

Eventually I arrived at the gorgeous little cafĂ©, ‘The Dolls House on the Hill’, it’s such a cute little place which happened to be Suzanne Neville’s shop in a former life (I love Suzanne Neville as she made my gorgeous wedding gown)

After running to the loo (an hour and a half with no toilet break is quite distressing for a pregnant lady!) I sat down and told her the story (minus the oversized Dairy Milk), which she of course found hilarious.

A couple of hours later, I was on my way back home. Calm, happy, full of baby love (her niece really is stunning) and jacket potato.

I know it is silly to get so stressed over things like this, but I can’t say I’ve learned anything from it. I may have over-reacted and I may have not used my brain ‘that’ much but it wasn’t really my fault!!

I will say this though, I read online (not sure if this is true) that at 6 months the baby starts to pick up on my emotions. Well, I’m 6 months today so hopefully he was spared my feelings this weekend, but I do in general need to chill out a little.

I do find that my emotions are heightened (to say the least) at the moment, and I do need to get a grip sometimes…. It’s tough though! I suppose it is good that I am at least aware of it so I can try and have a little talking to myself next time I am about to explode!!!