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Preparing for Baby Number 2: Then and Now

Oh how times do change between your first and second baby…..

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Preparing for Baby…..Then and Now……

Purchases

Then: Buy everything new. Shiny and new.

Now: De-moulding the car seat that’s been sat in the garage for 3 years

Baby Fashion

Then: Buy a special ‘just been born’ outfit, as well as a ‘leaving hospital’ outfit, plus spares if required

Now: Finding the old baby clothes and doing the ‘sniff test’ – if they smell OK, chuck ‘em straight in the drawer

Clothing

Then: Spend so much time and money buying baby stuff you forget to buy anything non maternity that will fit post-birth

Now: Buy yourself about 50 pairs of new pyjamas

Cleanliness

Then: Carefully wash (on a gentle wash with Fairy) every soft toy then go over with an anti-bacterial wipe when dry then finish off with a spray of dettol

Now: Use a wet wipe to wipe over a few of the baby toys lying around in the back of the cupboard

Nappies

Then: Research every nappy on the market, only buy those which are gold rated by at least 3 parenting magazines. Spend hours agonising which size to buy for a newborn

Now: Pick up a packet of essential/value nappies each time you shop, in various sizes

Cooking

 

Then: spend your early pre-baby maternity leave days cooking batches of wholesome slow-cooker meals and freeze them in little tubs with labels on

Now: Chuck a few packets of pizzas and oven chips in the freezer, concentrate on stockpiling tea and coffee like a nuclear war is pending

Hospital Bag

Then: Pack about 3 hospital bags because you just can’t fit everything into one bag!

Now: Chuck a toothbrush, PJs, pack of maternity pads, 5 nappies, wet wipes and a handful of used baby clothing in a carrier bag

Knowledge

Then: Read a lot of books about pregnancy and birth. Download baby apps, pelvic floor apps, labour apps until your phone memory is full

Now: Download the Domino’s pizza app and whilst waiting for said pizza do a pelvic floor exercise. If you remember

Birth Plan

Then: Write a very descriptive birth plan, covering every eventuality and including a spotify playlist. This should include Kate Bush ‘ This Woman’s Work’ and with two choices of song to play once baby is born dependent on gender (Isn’t she lovely by Stevie Wonder and Father and Son by Cat Stevens).

Now: Forget to write said birth plan, and you don’t care what music is played as long as it isn’t Now That’s What I Call Disney

What other preperation have you done for baby number 2?!

The Dance Class: A Parent’s Reality

The realities of taking a 3 year old to Dance Classes…..

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Realities of Dance Classes for Parents

Last year I thought it was a great idea to sign Nancy up to dance lessons. It was one of those thoughts, where you think ‘it’s probably time I left the house and started to initiate her into a social world,’ and in paticular I was looking for something for her to do so that she gets worn out and I didn’t neccessarily need to do much to achieve it. It suddenly dawned on me that athletes, musicians or dancers started this stuff when they were really small. So in order to ensure she has the best chance of turning into the next superstar, I duly signed her up.

She actually attends a lovely dance class where she does Tap and Ballet every Saturday. I didn’t think when I signed her up, though, how much of a commitment it is for me, and how you get sucked into the world of dance classes. This is the reality of The Ballet Class:

1.The Early Start

I have to get up every Saturday morning and get her to Ballet for 9.15am in the morning. On a SATURDAY. What the hell was I thinking?

2. Uniform

Every week she has to wear the dance uniform. Which comprises of a leotard, tights and a caridigan, as well as the right shoes. Not only did it cost me a fortune, I have to remember to wash* it and make her look presentable as well as getting her to the start for 9.15am. On a SATURDAY….

I also am still ramming her into the leotard as I refuse to buy one until at least September. Same goes for the shoes, I ordered them a size larger and it was only when she wore them the first time I realised they could slightly affect her dance skills, but she’s better now she’s grown into them a bit.

*I admit there may be weeks where the uniform may not get washed and she may look slightly dishevlled and smell slightly like a PE kit.

3.  Waiting

When I signed her up for classes, I couldn’t wait to watch her in her cute little pink uniform and watch her gracefully piroet around. Well, I wouldn’t know what she actually does, as I have to wait outside the class in a cold church hall. I can’t go anywhere in case I need to help her get to the loo.  It is 45mins of pure me time though, I guess, as long as I take a jumper and a flask.

4. Other Parents

The waiting room looks like a parent wasteland. I’ve seen some parents in their Pyjamas, although I haven’t done that yet. Some look hungover, some look tired. Some look absolutely pristine and as if they’d just got off the jet from St. Tropez. Not many people talk to each other, and seats in the corners by the dividing door to the class are a premium, as you can spy on your child through a crack. My idea of meeting more Mum friends hasn’t really become a reality as yet….

5. Noise

No-one thought to tell me that  group of 3-5 year olds in a tap class are LOUD. There is half an hour of out of rythmn, tap tap tapping as well as children roaring like lions or singing the Frozen theme tune whilst they stomp about the hall like elephants. Also, the teacher is loud. She has to be, to keep it in order. I sometimes wonder if she needs a drink after the class.

6. Progress

I keep taking her, because she seems to enjoy it. But can she actually dance? I have no idea. mainly because we are always too late so I can’t look through the crack to see if she is actually moving. I ask her to show me what she does at home but all I get is a roaring lion and a shuffle on the kitchen floor. So we keep on, keeping on. Maybe I have the next Darcy Bussell right here….

7. Once you join, you can never leave

Once you’re a fully signed up member of the dance class, attempts to leave are futile. You need to give one term’s notice to leave, and not that we are planning to, but I would never be as organised as to work out when that would be! I can barely remember NOT to turn up when it’s half term….

8. You do as you are told

If the teacher tells you to buy something, you buy it. You label all the clothing as you don’t want to get told off by the teacher. You get your fees paid on time and you sit there every week and smile even though you may be dying inside.

9. The Car Park

The car park is a war zone. The later you are, the more likely you are to abandon your car in the middle of the car park, blocking off 5 cars in the process. Some people wedge themselves sideways just so that they can park in the car park. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a school at pick up time, but parents plus cars equals carnage. I am surprised no-one has been run over as yet. Once the first class ends, the real issues begin as people attempt to leave, and the next class attempt to park.

 

Pregnancy Perks and Pitfalls

There’s got to be some perks to this pregnancy lark….right?

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Pregnancy Perks

Not having to pay for the dentist

Being able to get out of anything by saying you’re pregnant

Being able to sit down on buses or stare at people intently rubbing your belly until they let you have their seat. Or give you a sandwich.

Having naps at work

Free prescriptions!

Being able to swim whatever time of the month

Not having to buy any tampons or sanitary towels! Take that VAT loving government!

Not having periods! For 9 months!

Just letting it all hang out. The freedom of not having to suck your stomach in.

If you’re a bit fat (like me) then you will get no annoying “are you pregnant” type questions as people are too afraid to ask

Wearing pyjamas all the time and no one telling you it’s wrong

Bring able to eat whatever you like! No Worrying about dieting….

Being able to fart whenever you like and that’s OK because you’re pregnant

Suddenly getting the energy to plan house redecoration, crafts, spring cleaning the house and pinteresting like a mo’fo

Crying at anything and everything but people don’t mind because you’re pregnant

Being able to get out of any kind of physical labour such as hoovering or lifting 3 year olds

Pregnancy pitfalls

Not being able to have any actual treatment at the dentist because you’re pregnant

Not being able to take Lemsip

Not actually being able to take some medication you can get for free

Not being able to reach and therefore manage your bikini line

uncontrollable flatulence

Forgetting to wake up after a nap

Not being able to eat all the nice cheese. And paté.

Not having any alcohol.

Discovering how you dance sober.

Knowing the mother of all periods will await you in 9 months time

Feeling so sick you can’t do anything you’ve planned

Getting stuck in the car, wedged between the steering wheel. And always beeping the horn when you try and get out.

People assuming you can’t do anything because you’re pregnant. Like run. Or have a bath.

As soon as you get pregnant, you suddenly get invites to parties, weddings, hen dos, holidays and every social event on the calender. Which you then have to attend. Sober.

Bearing in mind the last 12 months your social calender looked pretty empty….

Being the designated driver.

Thoughts on Pregnancy: Second Time Round

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I had just come to the conclusion that one child was plenty enough thank you,  when I found out I was pregnant.

My first thought was: oh shit.

My second thought was: oh shit, I can’t drink anything now.  HOW AM I GOING TO COPE?!

My third thought was: oh god, I’m not going to sleep until 2020.

Don’t get me wrong, I am pleased that we are having another baby. It’s taken long enough. But this time things are just a bit different.

When people ask me “is this pregnancy different to the first?” I immediately think: of course this pregnancy is different.

For a start, I’ve been sleep deprived for most of the last 3 years. So, you know, that adds a little edge to things. Also, this time I can’t just lie on the sofa and do nothing all evening when I feel ill. This time, I have a three year old who still wants you to hold them as you walk along the pavement and who wants me to be the fairy godmother when she’s playing Cinderella.

This time around, I have no time (or energy for that matter) for yoga or swimming. I am drinking too much caffiene and I accidentally ate a cheese board the day after I found out I was pregnant because I forgot about the whole “don’t eat cheese” thing.

This time, I hardly have any time to actually think I am pregnant at all.

I also have the benefit/disadvantage of knowing exactly what I’ve let myself in for. I can learn from my previous experience and I know for sure what I want and don’t want to happen this time. But I know one thing I can’t avoid and that is I’ll still have to push this Bubba out of my Va-Jay-Jay. And I know it fricking hurts.

This time, I pay a fleeting glance to emails telling me my baby weighs the same as an avocado. I don’t have the 26 apps I had last time, all telling me the same information that I poured over night after night. I bought actual books last time to read and studied like I was a student midwife.

I might try and do some pelvic floor excersizes on the way to work if I sneeze and start to panic, unlike the military set schedule I had 3 years ago. (Seriously I bet I could’ve cracked nuts with my pelvic floor).

I don’t have to buy anything this time round; I have everything going moldy in the garage. I just need to have a day sometime to go and bleach it all down. But I have plenty of time for that.

I am not sure if I can be described as “glowing” second time round. I frequently forget to brush my hair and put make up on, meaning I look more like a character out of The Walking Dead each day. Hell, I haven’t even shaved my legs this year yet. I used to pour over maternity sections in shops choosing jeans and dresses that accentuated my bump. This time I’m just wearing leggings and baggy dresses. Looking like a pregnant bag lady is quite a skill you know.

Oh, and symptoms: if you’re any different to last time (which, in fairness was 3 years ago so how could you even remember) then you must be having a boy. Or a girl. Or a hairy baby.

I know I am lucky to experience this again. I am grateful for this experience, no matter how tired I am or messy looking I become. Once August is here, we will have our little family complete and that will be a great feeling. I am looking forward to baby snuggles and seeing Nancy’s face when she sees her brother or sister.

And also, I’ll never have to be pregnant again.

Goodbye Granny Pants

When I was pregnant and I was told that I had to buy some massive pants for after the birth, I was half amazed and half disgusted that I had to buy some Granny Pants. 

They looked bloody HUGE.

I couldn’t find any to start with. I just needed some non fancy everyday kind of granny pants. I didn’t even think I’d wear them. In the end I went to BHS and bought about 5 in varying dark colours. One thing I noticed about pregnancy was that every book I read and everyone I spoke to talked in hushed tones about wearing dark clothes and using dark towels and dark granny pants. I couldn’t imagine wearing them at all.  In BHS, I hunched my shoulders, trying to shield my face in case anyone I knew saw me in BHS and then, buying Granny Pants. It was an ordeal. 

2.5 years later…..

I am wearing the same granny pants. The granny pants moved in and they never moved out. I found the Granny Pants to be quite comfy, actually. Reassuringly secure, if you will. They held everything that was starting to flop down quite well. They also hid the bushy nightmare that was my bikini line.

But.

But I am 32 years old, not 92. I really should wear some non Granny Pants for a bit, right? Something that may make me feel a little more Giselle rather than Granny. I realised one day that I had given up on my pants. I had become accustomed to pants that came up to my belly button. They didn’t exactly make my VPL look any better. Skinny jeans and Granny Pants is probably not such a good idea, in retrospect.

So I set off to look for some sparkly new pants. I felt excitement as I entered M&S (yes, I could’ve picked a sexier shop, but you know, I’m starting off gently). 

As I walked into the lingerie department, I looked around at all the pants. Loads of pants. 

And I got immediately confused.

So. Many. Pants.

What the hell was a Brazilian pair of pants? Why were these pants made of what looked like spandex? I picked up a thong, which looked menacingly floss-like. They were the same size as my daughters pants. 

My head swirled with lurid pink, and black lace and little white bows. 

Shorts, high leg, bikini, Brazilian, no VPL, short leg, French knickers, high waisted, midi, waist cincher, thong….the words meant nothing to me. 

How do you even know what knickers to wear anyway?! 

I just wanted some nice pants. Pants I could just wear and not feel like I had a piece of string up my bum.

In the end I just picked a pair that looked like it covered at least 65% of my bum. Brazilian. That’d have to do. 

I purchased my new pants and felt a nervous anticipation about wearing them. 

The next day, I examined my pants. I seemed to have picked up a pair of pants that looked like they were the wrong way round. My derrière was barely covered by a lacy back and the front was just as bad.  

I realised I needed to sort out the lady garden area pretty nifty too. A VPL was the least of my worries, at the moment I had a VBL (visible bushy leg).

But, they looked nice at least. If I breathed in. So I wore them. I spent half the day scratching my bum due to the lace and the other half trying to sit down without getting a wedgie. 

Does that happen to everyone, I wonder?

Thing is, putting on my Granny pants, I feel comfort and minimal effort is needed to just throw them on. Maybe they’re not so bad after all…..

8 truths about nursery

For anyone not aquainted with a nursery, these 8 truths may help you to fit right in when your child starts….

1. You can never just ‘drop off’ your child….it takes at least 10 minutes and even then you have to crowbar your child off your leg

2. On that point, I break my neck to get there as close to opening time as possible, press the buzzer….and I wait and wait. Be prepated to wait for ages, holding a wrigging toddler and having to remember the password. “SOMEONE LET ME IN!” I want to scream in the frenzy of the morning chaos. I should’ve made that the password, thinking about it…

3. They will always, always get covered in mud, paint,water,  and have lasagne in their hair. There is absolutely no point in dressing up all pretty as they will be in spare clothes within about 10 minutes of arriving.

4. What do they eat? Who knows. If they ate half a veggie roast, what does that equate to exactly? She won’t eat salad without screaming blue murder at home, but you tell me she eats SECONDS? When they write ‘beef lasagne’ then cross that out and put ‘veggie lasagne’, what did she really eat, hmmm?

5. You will always get conned into buying their professional photos….yes I too said I wouldn’t ever bother but oh! the pressure. Oh and I always forget that it is photo day and it’s just pot luck if she’s wearing something suitable…

6. Keep all spare change for charity money that you will have to give to nursery as part of red nose day/children in need/hug a tree day etc.

7. Be prepared to empty your recycling bin and hand this over to nursery for various art and crafts projects. I buy Waitrose milk just so I can look good when I hand over the empty cartons.

8. Get ready to wow the nursery with your child’s fancy dress outfits. Book Day fills me with fear. Luckily this year she wasn’t well and so we didn’t have to do a bodge job with a bin bag and some tin foil. 

Stress eating – a poem

Costa Skinny Latte and a Full fat Muffin

A fruity flapjack fits the Bill and I’m not bluffing

a diet coke or two and a rich tea if it is there

by the time the birthday cakes arrived

I’m starting not to care
you have to pay on debit card £3 is the aim

so grab a kitkat chunky and a double decker to your shame

you know you are in trouble when you have crumbs upon your desk

wrappers piling higher than paperwork that you detest
you consider eating the alpen bar that’s been in your bag a week

when someone asks whos eaten their crisps you turn and do not speak

your diet coke consumption has gone right through the roof

you empty your own desk bin so that you can hide the proof
but when its gets to crunch time, a twix will do the job

at least when you have your mouth full, you do not swear or lob

It really takes the biscuit, when you’re pushed to the extreme 

To have to choose a rich tea as there are no custard creams
You’re on the hit list for the tea fund, as you haven’t paid

But you have consumed their doughnuts and a cake that Mary made

Some people may do yoga, peace and calm, may meditate

But stress eating is the thing that I just have to contemplate

Questions I often ask myself now that I’m a Mum

Questions that go around and around in my head now that I’m a Mum. Can you add any to the list? Let me know! 
How long can I leave her staring at that stranger sitting behind us before it gets uncomfortable? 

Can they tell that she’s just wet through her nappy and now it’s all over me?

Where’s a baby change? Can I get away with changing her nappy here?

Did she just swear? 

If I cut this sandwich into the shape of a horse will she eat it? 

What am I doing?

Do I have enough nappies? Wipes? Change of clothing? Juice? Toys?

Can I bear to listen to If You’re Happy and You Know it again?

Is she going to hit him/her?

When will she go to sleep? Will she go to sleep? What if she is awake ALL NIGHT?

How does that Mum get her kid to stay in the trolley?

When did I stop caring about the stains on my carpet?

Did I just fall asleep?

Why are people so fricking LOUD?

Is it normal for her to stick pretend money down her nappy?

Is it bad that she doesn’t drink water? Unless it’s bath water?

When did I stop wearing proper (not pyjamas) trousers? 

When did I last shave my legs? This year???

Has she eaten enough?

Is she teething or just miserable?

Is it too early to drink Gin? 

Toddlers: The Top 25 Rules

The top 25 rules of having a toddler, as observed by me. These are the things I just know are going to happen. Let me know what you think! 


Toddler Rules:

1. They will always fall asleep when you don’t want them to

2. They will always stay awake when you don’t want them to

3. They will always tip a summer fruits drink all over themselves just before you leave the house

4. They will always do the most disgusting poo ever just before you leave the house.

5. Or, they will always do a massive poo on the way to nursery, making it look like you didn’t change them before you left the house. Which you did. Twice. 

6. If there is a teeny tiny piece of crayon somewhere in the living room, they will find it, and use it. ON YOUR WALL. 

7. They will become obsessed with one song, one TV show, one type of food at a time 

8. They will always eat all the food at nursery even stuff they say they don’t like at home

9. They will always like the noisiest toys

10. If there is an opportunity to fall over and get covered in mud,  they will do it

11. If there’s a puddle, they will jump in it, wellies or no wellies

12. They will always like the weirdest, oddest sounding nursery rhyme on YouTube 

13. They will like random items and call them toys, such as a giant red plastic spade that has to be taken everywhere in case we find sand 

14. They will always rub snot on your cardigan. Always. 

15. They always remember. Everything. Don’t say anything within a 3 mile radius if you don’t want them to know about it.

16. They will always want your dinner, or lunch, or cake. 

17. They will always want your things. 

18. They will try and put your make up on. And eat your lipstick.

19. They will always want the toy that another child has.

20. They will expect you to fix things magically, like a book that has been torn to shreds or produce items at their request instantly

21. They will break stuff at other people’s houses. Or wee on their sofas

22. They will shout BOOBIES or other such body parts in public. 

23. They will ask for milk, then when you give them milk, they ask for orange juice. Like you should’ve known. 

24. They will always want to go on the ride outside of the supermarket, when you don’t have the correct change 

25. They will always want one more, of whatever it is.

Reasons Not To Go To Bed – Toddler vs. Mum




Toddler:

  • It’s already morning (it’s not)
  • Need a drink without water 
  • Need to read the zoo book
  • Need to go downstairs
  • Need to sing ‘Old McDonald Had a Farm’
  • Legs sore
  • Thumbs sore
  • Upsy Daisy needs to go downstairs 
  •  Need to eat my toast (from breakfast)
  • I need to speak to Grandma
  • Where’s the moon?
  • Where’s Peppa Pig?
  • I need to get back in the bath (that I only spent 2 minutes in because it wasn’t purple)
  • I need to use the Potty
  • I need to bake an orange in my kitchen for the baby 
  • I need my bracelet 
  • Can you sing twinkle twinkle?
  • Wrong duvet cover
  • The light is on
  • The light is off
  • Can we go into the garden to look for worms
  • I need you to Rock me like a baby
  • Where’s blankey

Mum

  • Child is still awake
  • I’m going to drink this glass of wine even if my eyes are half closed
  • I want to watch a programme of some kind 
  • I need to watch orange is the new black before it isn’t 
  • I need to eat
  • I need to drink something today 
  • I need to wee for the first time today
  • I have to wash some clothes as mine are all covered in snot
  • I need to do the dishwasher
  • I just want to lie here for a while
  • I’m worrying about tomorrow 
  • I’m thinking about how little sleep I will get tonight 
  • I’m thinking about dyeing my hair sometime this year 
  • I need to stare at my iPad for half an hour 
  • I want to finish my book
  • What am I going to eat for dinner tomorrow?
  • I want to change jobs
  • Thinking about what life would be like if I didn’t have to work ever
  • I need to call my mum back as she called me three weeks ago
  • I’m having such a great time why would I want to sleep?
  • Painting one fingers nails 
  • Listening to 90s songs on YouTube 
  • Googling former child stars of the 80s
  • It’s morning (it is)