26 weeks pregnant [baby #2]

26_weeks

How far along: 26 weeks

Gender: We are team yellow, and already SO EXCITED to find out what baby will be!

Maternity clothes: Yes for all bottoms, but I can get away with loose fitting tops and PJ’s instead of maternity tops and pyjamas.

Sleep: Sleep is OK, but I am getting to that stage where I wake up every time I need to turn over as it takes so much effort!  I do have a ‘V’ shaped pillow which helps – I do not think I could sleep without it.  I also need to go to the toilet in the middle of the night almost every night which is annoying.

Best moment this week:  Spending a lovely day with my family and parents this weekend.  On Sunday we went to the park first thing (it was freezing), for a pub lunch and then relaxed in the afternoon – it was just a lovely day.

Movement:  I have felt some proper rolls this week, as opposed to kicks and punches.  Rolls feel so surreal, I love it!

Appointments:   I have not had any appointments this week, my next midwife appointment is my 28 week one.

Looking forward to:  Ordering some baby things!  We have not bought anything really, so I think the time has come.  As I mentioned in my Things to Buy post we have a lot of things already, but some new bits would be really nice!  I think I am going to get some of the Gro-Snugs from GroBag as they look really good, a  grobag and a swaddle in one!

Have you tried the gro-snugs? Do you rate them?

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Current make-up favourites

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Bases – I used to like heavy bases, my favourite was ‘Estee Lauders Double Wear’.  But since getting a little older my skin has become drier and so I now tend to lean towards lighter more glowy bases.  I really like highstreet brands for bases and my favourites at the moment are the ‘Loreal Infallible 24h-Matte’ and ‘Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream’.

Concealer – I use concealer every makeup day, whether it be to cover my dark (sleep deprived) eye circles, or spots (how am I 31 and still getting spots?!).  I bought the ‘Makeup Forever Full Cover’ concealer in Barcelona Sephora.  It felt very expensive at the time, but it has lasted ages.   I really like it, it matches my skin colour brilliantly and stays put all day, it is even waterproof!! And exciting news is that people in the UK can now get Makeup Forever products from Debenhams.

Powder – As with bases, I used to lean towards very matte powders like ‘Rimmel Stay Mattee’, but over the last year or so I have realised that lighter, more dewy powders are actually quite flattering on my skin.  I bought the ‘Bourjois Poudre de Riz’ on a whim, and I love it!  It actually looks quite sparkly in the tub but once on the skin it just leaves a lovely subtle glow.

Bronzer – I never used to bronze up my skin, but again over the last few years I have come to realise that a little but of colour really suits my face and makes me look a little more alive.  I like bronzers that are not too red in colour, but that are still warm.  I find that ‘Benefit Hoola’ fits the bill perfectly.  It is very intense though so I have to be very careful and use a light hand!

Brows – I think my eye brows get more sparse every day.  I keep meaning to get HD Brows done but I never get around to it!  In the meantime I am using the little brow kit ‘Soap and Glory Archery D-I-Y  Brow Bar’.  It contains a highlight shade, a wax, two brow colours and some cute little brushes.  I am not going to lie, I only use the brow shades, the other products are relatively untouched.  But the shades are really good!  Not orangey at all, and stay in place all day with a little bit of brow gel.

Mascaras –  Again, as a rule, I tend to go for highstreet brand mascaras as I really do not think that high end ones are any better!  At the moment I am using the ‘Loreal Lash Architect’ mascara and I really like it.  It has a fibre brush which I tend to prefer over plastic ones.  For my bottom lashes I use ‘Clinique Bottom Lash’.  It has a tiny little wand and does not budge all day.

Eyeliners – I like to line my upper waterline as I think it makes my lashes look a lot fuller.  My eyeliners of choice at the moment are ‘Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on eye pencil’ in the shade Perversion, and the ‘Zoeva Graphic Eyes’ in the shade New Glance.  These are both great pencils, and the Zoeva one is really cheap!!

Blusher – I bought this ‘Nars’ blusher in Orgasm years ago.  As you can see it is very well loved!  It is a lovely colour that brings a nice sheen to the cheek.

And there you have it, my current make-up favourites!

What are your favourites?  Have you ever had HD Brows done?

 

 

25 weeks pregnant [baby #2]

25weeks

How far along: 25 weeks

Gender: We are team yellow!

Maternity clothes: Yes for all bottoms, but I can get away with loose fitting tops instead of maternity tops.

Sleep: Sleep is OK, I just wish that I felt refreshed after sleep.  Even when I have had a good nights sleep, I wake up tired!  I have also developed a bit of a cold which means a stuffy nose and struggling to breathe when I am lying down.

Best moment this week:  Isabelle attended her first birthday party on Saturday, for a little girl that she goes to nursery with.  It was so cute!  Whilst all of the children were playing and making lots of noise, bump was kicking away – trying to join in!  It made me really happy to think that baby can still join in with things even though they have not been born yet!

Movement:  Movement has been a little bit random this week.  Some days baby will be moving lots, whilst other days I have to really concentrate to feel them.  I do think that the days when I do not feel baby move as much correspond to my busy days when I am constantly on the go so I am trying not to stress about it too much.

Appointments:   I met with my midwife this week.  This midwife will actually be my midwife for the duration of the rest of this pregnancy.  She did the usual checks and I got to hear babies heartbeat which was lovely.  I mentioned my concerns about babies size, and she said that she would keep a close eye on my tummy size which was reassuring.  I also mentioned that I had been feeling quite down on and off (which is annoying as I am really happy!!), and I had been quite snappy and not feeling myself (poor James!).  I actually started crying whilst I was there!  The midwife was really lovely and gave me a website to visit and complete a self referral for therapy of some sort.  I did complete the form, but I have actually felt a lot better since my appointment and speaking to her, so I think I will see how I go.

Looking forward to:  I have my leaving date for work finalised, and I will be leaving at Easter!  It is still a fair few weeks away but I am still looking forward to it!!

Has anyone else ever felt down during pregnancy?  Did it get better on its own?

Isabelle’s 16 month update

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Weight

I last had Belle weighed at the beginning of November 2015.  At that time she weighed 8.45kg which is just over 18.5lbs.

Milestones

Isabelle is a proper little toddler now! She started walking when she was 14 months, and there has been no stopping her since.  We got her first pair of shoes from Clarks; we had to get her a pair of cruisers as her feet were too small for proper soled walking shoes (2.5F).  We picked her a lovely little pair of red leather ones.

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Clarks – Little Boo

Belle will wave ‘bye-bye’ to people and try to say it too!  She says ‘quack quack’ for ducks (and most other animals too!) as well.  She will nod or shake her head for ‘yes’ or ‘no’.  If I ask her to get something, for example, a book or a specific toy animal she will usually do so, she does understands a lot!

Food

Food is a little hit and miss, which sometimes stresses me out, even though I try not to let it.  She certainly has her favourites; toast, porridge, scones, crumpets, bananas, pasta (she could eat this all day), chips, fish fingers, baked beans, avocado and raisins.  Hmmm looking back on this list, it does not seem the most healthy! I do try her with new things as much as possible, but I am quite often met with a shake of the head.  That being said, apparently she eats everything from cheese and potato pie to pilchards on toast at nursery!  I need to find out their secret!

Sleep

Unless Isabelle is feeling under the weather she is typically a great little sleeper, sleeping from about 7:00pm to 7:00am.  Naps are a different matter, they vary a lot! At home she tends to still have two naps a day, whereas she only ever has one at nursery.  I know the time will soon come when she only has one nap at home too, so I am trying to make the most of it whilst it lasts!

Favourite things

Favourite things at the moment are cuddly toys, Mummy and Daddy, Caddy (our cat), penguins, ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ and ‘Peppa Pig’.

Social

Isabelle started nursery at the beginning of October 2015.  As I had expected the first few times I left her, she was not a happy bunny.  However that soon passed and she now loves toddling into nursery!  It makes me very proud.  She goes for two full days a week which seems like a nice balance, as she then has one full day a week with James’ mum, two with me during the week and then of course both days of the weekend with me and James.

Funny things

Isabelle is turning into a cheeky, funny little girl.  At the moment, she thinks that it is really funny to pretend to be asleep.  When I go into her room after a nap, she will go from standing up to pretending to be asleep within milliseconds!  She also likes to pretend to be asleep when I mention a nappy change!

 

Things to buy [baby# 2]

Baby#2 will be arriving less than two years after Isabelle was born, so as you can imagine we already have a lot of things that we need.  We are also team yellow so I cannot even go out and buy lots of pink or blue clothes!  There are a few things that I have my eye on however, as it would be nice for baby#2 (and me) to have a few new things 🙂

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  1. Snuzpod 2 – this just looks amazing and I was won over by the review from The Uphill.  It is a co-sleeping crib which enables you to sleep with your baby next to you, but not in the bed with you as it has a removable side.  I had the Chicco ‘Next to me’ crib with Isabelle, and whilst I liked the concept of a co-sleeper crib I did not like the build quality of the Chicco offering.
  2. ABC Zoom double pram – Even though Isabelle is walking now, there is no way we could get away without a double pram – it would take me an age to walk to Tesco with her, and what about when she is tired?!  We looked at all the popular doubles (iCandy, Bugaboo and Uppababy) but none of them stood out to us.  We really like the look of the ABC Zoom as even though it is a tandem, the babies are more or less at the same level – with a lot of other tandems, one baby is stuffed under the other which I do not like the idea of!
  3. Sleepyhead – I am umming and ahhhing about this one.  It is massively expensive for what it is, but check out those reviews!!  This is definitely one that I would have to persuade James to think about, as essentially we would be paying nearly £100 for a cushion!

Does anyone have any experience with any of the goodies I have my eye one?  I would really value your experiences!

24 weeks pregnant [baby #2]

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How far along: 24 weeks

Gender: We didn’t find out the gender at our anomaly scan, and do not have another opportunity to, so we are team yellow!  Obviously it is personal preference, but I think there is something magical about not knowing the sex of your baby until it is born, it is the truest surprise in the world!

Maternity clothes: Yes for bottoms, not so much for tops.  I am living in about 3 pairs of maternity jeans, floaty/baggy tops and a couple of maternity tops from my first pregnancy – I really wish I could treat myself to some new maternity bits but I just cannot justify the cost at the moment, especially when they are used for such a short pace of time.

Sleep: Sleep is good!  I just cannot get enough though.  Last night I slept from 9pm-6am and I am still tired.

Best moment this week: Feeling quite a lot of movement, and continuing to think about names.

Movement: Baby seems to be establishing some sort of movement pattern.  I do worry about movements a lot though.  During my first pregnancy I visited hospital a few times due to worrying about reduced movement.  This triggered an extra scan at about 35 weeks, which showed that my babies growth had tailed off.  She was born at 41 weeks and only weighed 5lb 14oz, so her growth definitely did appear to stop.  This is a worry for me during this pregnancy, what if it happens again but it makes baby ill? What if my placenta doesn’t function correctly?  I am not due to have another midwife appointment until I am 28 weeks, but I have requested an additional one before that so that I can discuss these concerns.

Looking forward to: I am looking forward to a relaxing weekend with lots of naps!

If you are pregnant how are you feeling?  Did you find out the sex of your baby?

 

My tips for mums to be/new mums

I am not going to pretend that I am a parenting expert, I am far from it.  I still have days when I wonder how the hell we have managed to keep an actual human alive for over a year.  However there are a few things I remember from the haze that is the first months of Isabelle’s life that I thought may be useful for any Mums to be or new Mums out there.

Allow yourself time to recover

It is really easy to think that as soon as you have given birth, whether it be by c-section or a natural birth, that the hard bit is done and you should bounce back to ‘normal’  This is not the case.  However you have given birth the fact is that your body has been through an enormous trauma and you need to remember this before you start running around looking after visitors, let them look after you!

Don’t be in rush to loose weight

I know, I know, this is easier said than done. Unless you have amazing genes you will probably feel exactly how did after giving birth – like you have been left with a deflated balloon instead of a tummy.  As long as you eat healthily (despite the fact that you will probably want to live off sugar and caffeine to stay awake!), and take it easy you will be fine.  You will never get these first weeks and months back of your newborns life, my view is that this time should not be spent worrying about a little extra weight.

Enjoy your newborn snuggles

The likelihood is that your tiny newborn will want snuggling – a lot. Enjoy these snuggles is my advice.  Isabelle is 16 months now, and the only time I get a decent snuggle is when she is feeling a little poorly (is it wrong that I enjoy these snuggles?!).  I know that it is easy to fall into the trap of worrying that your little one will not settle without being cuddled, but try not to fret, the time will come when they are happy to be placed in their cot for a snooze without any help from Mummy!

Don’t buy lots of clothes

I did quite well with this before Isabelle  was born actually, but then we were team yellow, so I didn’t want to go too overboard with neutral things.  It really is true what they say though, you will get bought/given a LOT of stuff when baby arrives.  I received things from people I never would have expected to!

Try not to worry about how you decide to feed your baby

This is a tough one.  I received little to no help from the hospital in getting breastfeeding established and I ended up leaving the hospital bottle feeding just to get out of there.  Luckily a fabulous midwife visited me the day after and gave me all the help I needed.  It was all go with breastfeeding from then on.  I had my heart set on breastfeeding from an early stage in my pregnancy so I persevered, but that is not to say that there is anything wrong with bottle feeding – it is your personal choice.  Please do not let anyone make you feel like your choice is the ‘wrong one’.  There is no ‘wrong one’ when it comes to feeding your baby – my moto is “happy mummy, happy baby!”

Accept help

I was really bad with this after Isabelle was born.  Isabelle was a much longed for baby, and once she was born I irrationally felt that I had to do everything for her as she was ‘my’ baby.  I should have asked for, and accepted, more help from people, I know I will be when baby #2 arrives!

Do you have any advice for new mums?

 

Where has the time gone?!

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Life took over! I haven’t written a post for about 8 months, I was busy being a Mummy, returning to work aaaaaand getting pregnant again!! Yep, Baby #2 is due in May 2016 and we couldn’t be more excited to add to our little family.

Isabelle is now 16 months and the absolute LOVE OF MY LIFE! I am absolutely obsessed with her and her cute little ways.  I will do a separate post on her 16th month update shortly.  I think I will also start to do some pregnancy update posts as it would be nice to have a record of this amazing time in my life.

I have been back to work since mid November and I am quite enjoying it.  It is nice to have some time to myself, being me, and not a Mummy (not to say that I don’t miss Isabelle, of course I do).  All being well I should be back on maternity leave in a couple of months, preparing for baby #2’s arrival.  We opted not to find out the sex of this baby (same as with Belle) which, I think, makes it all the more exciting!!

 

YouTube favourites #1

I think YouTube is incredible, there is literally something for everyone.  Whether you are into fashion or food, make-up or watching things happen in slow motion, there is guaranteed to be something to capture your attention.

My most watched channels tend to be quite beauty centred, in case that is your bag here is a round up of my current favourite channels.

Best for fashion – this has got to be BeautyCrush. This girl has got serious style! Together with her boyfriend Jason they have just launched their own amazingly classy clothing range Novem & Knight.

Best for home – this one goes to Gemma Tomlinson. I love Gemma’s home hauls and her series documenting the transformation of her house to a home makes great viewing.

Best for overall beautyLily Pebbles. Lily puts so much thought and effort into her videos and it really shows. Whether it is beauty hauls or ‘get ready with me’ videos your are after, Lily has it covered.

Best for tutorials – This has to be Pixiwoo. There is nothing about make-up that these sisters do not know about. They even have their own (extremely good!) make-up brush line.

Best for daily vlogging – I love Fleurs vlogs.  This girl has a seriously busy schedule, I am surprised that she does not have permanent jet lag! Add three cute doggies into the mix and you have the recipe for a brilliant vlog channel.

Best for weekly vlogging – I really look forward to #sundaynightwiththemichelaks …or in other words the weekly vlogs from Hannah Maggs. Hannah is a down to earth Mummy that I can really relate to, and Steph (her husband) has some serious editing skills! Their son Grayson is such a cutie, I love catching up with how they have spent their week, and get some ideas for activities I can try with Isabelle.

And there you have it, my favourite channels.  I am constantly hitting the ‘subscribe’ button though so keep your eyes peeled for an update soon!

What are your favourite YouTube channels?

Baby weaning: our journey so far

Getting Started

We started weaning Isabelle onto food as soon as she hit the six month mark.  I was adamant that we were going to give baby led weaning (BLW) a go as after doing lots of research I felt like it was the next logical step following breastfeeding on demand.  However, as all mums will know, what we want doesn’t really come into play once you have a child; their wants and needs take president!  To start out with, I was really excited about the prospect of us sitting down to eat meals as a family, this had always been my vision, but the reality is that I have found the weaning process hard, emotional and draining!

A change of plan

My belief is that whilst some babies will take to BLW like a duck to water, others take a little longer to get a grasp the concept of eating.  Isabelle is definitely in the ‘take a little longer’ camp.  After weeks of Isabelle not eating anything, and throwing my lovingly prepared food onto the floor, I cracked one day and decided to try spoon feeding her some fruit puree.  The guilt I felt for straying from pure BLW was immense, which I realise is ridiculous looking back now, but I want to be honest, and that is how I felt! Isabelle loved the fruit puree (which added to my guilt: I had deprived her of something she liked for so long!), but she was not so keen on me feeding her savoury foods.  And when I say not keen I mean she didn’t let me.  This made me feel uneasy as I didn’t want her to only be eating fruit, I want her to have a balanced diet.  Back to pure BLW we went, with added loaded spoons for fruit and yoghurt (this girl has crazy good hand eye co-ordination!).

Fast forward a few weeks and Isabelle started actually ingesting some of the food placed in front of her. The pride I felt was incredible! I started to relax a little bit about weaning as I could see that progress was being made.  So when we went to stay with my parents for a few days, and I knew our evening meals would be after Isabelle’s bed time, I decided to take some jars to try spoon feeding Belle her dinner.  She started off only eating a few spoonfuls, but this was better than nothing, and soon increased in volume.

Current situation

We are currently doing what I believe would be termed as ‘traditional weaning’.  Isabelle gets a mixture of both spoon fed meals, and finger foods.  This seems to be working for us at the moment, and it gives us flexibility; if I know we are going to be eating out at lunch time then I take a sandwich for Isabelle, or give her some of what we have (if it is suitable), whereas if I know our dinner is going to be after Isabelle’s bed time I give her an Ella’s Kitchen pouch or a HIPP Organic jar (these two brands are my favourite as the ingredients are great).

My top picks for weaning

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  1. Stokke Tripp Trapp – I wanted the Tripp Trapp ever since I saw the Saccone-Joly’s using it for Emilia. I love the fact that Isabelle is sitting at the table with us, and we can (for the most part) eat as a family. We initially used the newborn set when Isabelle was unable to sit unaided.  This literally changed my life.  No longer was Isabelle sat in her swing seat at our feet moaning as she could not see what we were doing at the table, she was now at the same height as us, and able to nosey on what Mummy and Daddy were doing.  Now that Isabelle can sit unaided we are using the baby set with the cushion.  When we ordered the chair, we got a complimentary table top.  I initially didn’t think we would need the table top, but actually it is really useful and I am really glad that we have it.
  2. Brother Max catch and fold bibs – these are pretty self explanatory.  The pack I purchased contained a single plastic catch section for the bib along with three fabric bibs.  I like the fact that if you are using these whilst out and about you can stuff the fabric section of the bib and any food debris (ewww) into the plastic section of the bib, use the poppers to secure it and pop it all into your bag to deal with at home (WARNING: it is not advisable to forget that said bib, full of bits of pitta bread and cucumber, is in your change bag, only to find it a week later when pulling a pack of baby wipes out of your bag).
  3. Doidy cup – there is no denying that these look a little strange but the angle of the cup really does make it easy for babies to drink from it.  We use this alongside the traditional sippy cup, as I think it is important for Isabelle to know how to drink from a variety of drinking apparatus for when she attends nursery.
  4. Tommee Tippee Explora Feeding Spoons – these spoons have relatively short handles compared to a lot of weaning spoons.  This makes them perfect for loaded spoons for baby, as there is less spoon for them to navigate towards their mouth…or eye, or nose.

If you have children, how did you find the weaning experience?