Well I can’t quite believe the Easter holidays are already over! Part of me was dreading them to begin with. Three boys on my own for two weeks was always a daunting prospect. As it turned out we had the most fantastic time with friends and family. We made plans for each day and thankfully hubby managed to have some time off too.

Christening Time

 

It started on a high with Roo’s Christening which was on Easter Sunday at our family church. It was a beautiful day spent with family and friends. After the service we came back to our house for some food and drinks. By 6pm everyone was gone again and the house seemed early quiet after such a fantastic build up to a wonderful day. In some ways sad for me as it’s most likely my last baby and so in turn is the last Christening celebration we will hold.

Roo behaved beautifully and when the time came to have him Christened he didn’t cry and was lovely.

During the later part of the service I was grateful to his wonderful God mummy for taking him outside to settle him to sleep as he was getting tired and moany.

The main man himself wore a lovely outfit I bought 7 years ago for the boys Christening. The outfit has been worn by all of the boys for their special days and I’m not sure now the best way to display it. I need to do some research and see what inspiration I can get (all ideas welcome) as I don’t just want to put it in a box and leave it for years to come.

I wore a dress my mummy bought for for me from Monsoon and although I haven’t got back to my happy weight yet I felt good. My shoes I wa thankful to find in the recent Next sale and they went so well with the dress.

The dress wasn’t breast feeding friendly so in order to be abel to feed Roo before and after the service I wore a vest top under the outfit so that I could unzip the dress and lift the top to feed whilst keeping myself covered (for my own dignity as I don’t like to show my tummy etc)

The other two boys wore matching shirts form Next which I bought last year for a photo shoot with some dark jeans.

Back at the house I got to sip some wonderful champagne (keeping the cork for my collection) and was a bit tipsy by bedtime! I had even made his Christening cake, and for a complete novice like me I was quite proud of my work!

christening christening cake


When  bank holiday monday came I was a bit hung over so thankful for our house to hang around in and not get up to too much!

The Rest of the Holidays

Since the christening the rest of the holiday s have been a bit of a blur. I didn’t want to do a day by day list so will do some highlights.

During the first week hubby had to go away for work and so my mum came to stay with us. This worked out well as it was a day we’d been planning for a while anyway. We went out to a local country park with  a great adventure play area. It did rain for a while which cleared the playground off but it didn’t dampen our spirits!

The following day mum took middle boy out with her early and I got to enjoy some time with the original boy (and Roo of course). I needed to pick up a package from a shop so we went together to the Trafford Centre. It was nice to just enjoy some time together. I treated him to a coffee (well not a coffee for him but you know what I mean!)

cafe nero

Easter eggs were abundant in out house despite us not buying many ourselves we are lucky to have such lovely family and friends who gave the boys eggs, my favourite was this chocolate chicken, sat on chocolate eggs with an edible basket! I’m pretty such it’s from Lidl.

There was time spent at St Annes pier and beach on a sunny day, and another afternoon at Blackpool Zoo.

Towards the end of the holiday my middle baby turned 4, how have 4 wonderful years passed so quickly?

He got what he’d asked for, a batman car and a Spiderman outfit! My little superhero loving dude. We spent  the day at Cheshire Ice Cream Farm. Another wonderful day out if you’re ever in the area. Free to get in and you just pay for what you do.

cheshire ice cream farm

And so we are at the end now, the last day. Back to normality tomorrow. Back to school and nursery. There are some exciting things coming up in the next few weeks. Thins to look forward to. I’m trying to enjoy every single day of maternity leave that I have left. Knowing it’s my last time. Here’s to the future and many more happy memories made. I am as always grateful for all that has passed, it has been amazing.

Thank you universe.

 

new baby roo

Homebirth – Planning Ahead

If you’re pregnant you may have been asked by the midwife or friends if you’ve done your birth plan. If you haven’t got a clue what that is or what to write then you’ve come to the right place.

home birth birth plan

 

A birth plan is written down plan of your wishes when it comes to giving birth to your baby. It’s a guide for anyone looking after you during labour. Of course every birth is different and birth plans can’t always be followed to the letter due to circumstances. It is however a good starting point.

Some women don’t want to write a birth plan and just go with the flow and that’s ok too.

It is though good advice to think about what you might like to happen at each stage if things go as you hope. I’ve had birth plans for all three boys. I’m also lucky to have been able to access the services of One to One midwives with two of the boys.

Thankfully my wishes were followed for those two births as my midwifes were familiar with my wishes and birth plan before the boys were born. At my most recent birth there was also a student midwife present who read my birth plan upon arrival.

If you want to watch my birth it’s on youtube and I’ll leave the link at the bottom of the post.

I thought it might help other parents to be if I published my birth plan. Please do remember that this plan is individual to me and my circumstances so feel free to pick and mix bits that you want. This plan is for a home birth and I have blanked out an personal information.

My Birth Plan

I plan to have a home birth as discussed with my One2one midwife

My one2one midwife D****** (07***********) is aware of all my wishes with regards to the way I wish to be treated during labour.

I wish to have a gentle labour, I prefer not to be spoken to while having contractions and I know from previous experience that I don’t like other people to be talking around me. I’m happy to speak in between contractions.

I prefer not to be offered pain relief and will ask for it if I wish to utilise any.

I will not consent to vaginal examinations during labour routinely but may ask to be examined, please do not offer.

I wish to try for a water birth.

I wish to be the first person to touch and hold the baby, when he is born I will pick him up from the water or his place of birth.

If I need to transfer into hospital I wish to go to ****** hospital not ******* hospital

In the event of a transfer to hospital before birth:

I do not give consent for anyone to cut the umbilical cord other than myself or my husband N***** once the baby is born

I plan to have the placenta encapsulated so please do not discard it, please label and refrigerate the placenta as soon as possible after separation from the baby until my husband is able to take it home.

In the event of a caesarean section needing to be performed either under a local or a general anaesthetic I ask that the placenta and umbilical cord stay attached to the baby (Lotus birth) and that I be given the baby for immediate skin to skin contact. In the event that I am unable to give skin to skin, please give the baby to my husband N***** so that he can give immediate skin to skin contact with the baby.

In the event of a transfer to hospital after birth:

If I am to have a manual removal of the placenta please be aware that I plan to have the placenta encapsulated so please do not discard it, please label and refrigerate as soon as possible after removal until my husband is able to take it home.

If the baby needs to go to a special care unit then please do not give any artificial feeds, I will be breastfeeding the baby exclusively.

Emergencies

I or my husband will discuss all eventualities as they arise. Please share any concerns with us as soon as they arise. It will help us to know the answers to these questions:

1. What is wrong?

2. What do you suggest and why?

3. What would be the possible outcomes with and without this intervention?

4. How much time do we have to make a decision?

5. Are there any other courses of action open to us.

We will be guided by balanced, informative advice. We want a healthy baby and mother and will take all necessary steps to achieve this.

 

 

I’ve written about breastfeeding before on my blog. If you want to go back and read them then the link for the posts are here:

Firstly – Breastfeeding my experience

Work – Breastfeeding my experience at work

Problems -Breastfeeding Strike

Breastfeeding Bleb

I’ve breastfed my other two boys and am proud I managed to feed for so long. Believe me I couldn’t have done it without help from lots of people.

Breastfeeding

My second babies first feed.

If theres one piece of advice I’d give it’s know where to access support when you need it. Because believe me if you need it, you’ll need it there and then and not have to wait.

In the UK we are lucky to have lots of lovely charities and helplines.

Theres National Breastfeeding Helpline as well as NCT who offer support. In terms of local support you can always ask your midwife or health visitor for a list of local groups. Groups are not just there if you have problems, they are a place to meet other mums and socialise. You never know you might learn something there too you didn’t know. Groups usually have mix of different aged babies so it can be a good source of information about changes that happen with breastfeeding and make you feel normal about the lack of sleep!

I used to volunteer with the Breastfeeding Network in my areas as I wanted to give back and offer the support that was given to me after my first baby was born. I truly couldn’t have done it without the help I had.

Breastfeeding the Third Time

So this is breastfeeding baby number 3 for me. The other two boys had tongue ties so the first thing I asked the midwife to check when he was born was his tongue. It was obvious to me just from looking at his heart shaped tongue that he had a tie. She immediately agreed and sent of a referral the day after he was born.

Thankfully I was able to get it cut at 6 days old. Yet despite the tongue tie being cut he still doesn’t have a great latch and can make me quite sore. I’ve seen a lactation consultant and she agrees that theres no much I can do to reposition him except keep trying to get as much of the breast as possible in his mouth so that he’s not hanging on the end and making it worse.

It just goes to prove that every baby is different. You’d think by baby number 3 I’d find breastfeeding easy. But it’s not just about me. It’s about baby too. We are both still learning. I won’t be giving up. From experience I know that breastfeeding is far easier for me. I don’t have to think about bottles and formula and boiling water all the time. I don’t have to think about how long I’m going to be out or how many night feeds I might need to make up. Breastmilk is just there, on demand whenever I need it (once you’ve established a good supply) and at the perfect temperature. Breastfeeding will continue, hopefully as he grows his mouth will get bigger and we can hopefully get a better position too.

 

 

 

Slimming World – – Week 2 Results

Well Tuesday rolled around rather quickly and it was time for slimming world again!

Have I been on plan all week? Not exactly. I’m trying to follow the basic principles. Trying to fill up on speed and free foods when I can. It’s a little harder when I haven’t been to the supermarket to get the right foods in. Husband has been doing mini shops here and there so I’ve been trying to add things to the list.

Things I love like the free yogurts to have with my oats and fruit in the morning.

I’ve been making a conscious effort to drink lots of water too which isn’t hard given I’m a thirsty breastfeeding mum at the moment. My main let down is being out of the house and not having water. I need to remember to take some with me.

I’ve done a little exercise but not a lot. It’s hard with 3 children and especially with one being so little still, I can’t really leave him with anyone as he needs me very often. I have however been on a few walks and I’ve done housework whilst I’ve been baby wearing him so I suppose that counts.

I really need to concentrate more this week. Knuckle down a bit and focus on what I’m doing. I find that if I don’t write things down I loose sight of whats going into my mouth so I will try and use the new book I’ve been given to make sure things get written down.

The thing I love most about Slimming World is that you can eat the free foods whenever you want. I can literally go to the fridge and pick whatever I want from the free food category (if its in there!) and just eat when I’m hungry.

So I’ve done another short vlog this week about my progress and how things are going. Also my results for this week are in there.

You can find week one by clicking here.

 

 

 

 

My first vlog!

Ok, so new year new start and all that!

I have long been addicted to watching youtube. I love it. My most recent love being the many speed cleaning videos. They are so motivational for me.

However youtube has taught me lots. I’ve learnt how to tile a bathroom. Change brake pads on the car.  How to mend a big hole in the art ceiling. It really is my go to media for everything.

So in 2018 I thought I’d try starting some regular vlogs. I love watching other people’s everyday life.

first vlog

I know I had to start some where. I’m sure most people hate the sound of their own voice and watching themselves on camera. I am no exception to that.

I have however made my first vlog……I’m cringing just thinking about it.

But I figure if I don’t start somewhere I really will never get started.

So here it is!

Drum roll……………my first terrible vlog. Entitled “My first terrible vlog!”

It’s very short as I kinda have my hands full at the moment with a new born and two others and I hereby promise to do better.

Please be kind…….ekkkk

Babies First Christmas Gifts

So as I’m now counting down the days to our babies first Christmas my thoughts are turning to gifts. I’ve got a few friends with new babies this year too so have a few bits to buy. Our baby will only be 3 and a half weeks on Christmas day so won’t remember anything about Christmas. I’d like to buy him something with sentimental value. Something that he can look back on in years to come and be reminded that it was his first Christmas gift.

I’ve put together a small list of items I’ve been thinking about buying for our little guy and for other babies that I have to buy for.

Of course Christmas isn’t just about the gifts, it’s about love and family and happiness and celebrating the birth of Jesus. To quote one of my favourite Christmas songs, “It’s true wherever you find love it feels like Christmas”

So in no particular order (as they say on I’m a celebrity!) this is my top picks this year!

Guess How Much I Love You Booties

We absolutely love this story in our home. Flixster has the hare from the story as his favourite toy that he takes to bed every night. So when I saw these I thought they’d be perfect for a gift to keep for years. As well as practical while the winter month are here to keep tiny tootsies warm!

find me a giftThey come in a beautiful keepsake box and are perfect for a girl or boy. You can find them here on the Find me a Gift website.

Wooden Car Transporter

For a friends almost 1-year-old baby I have chosen this Classic World car transporter that you can buy from the Hippychick website. I love wooden toys because they always last far longer than plastic counter parts. The car transporter is so well made and comes with 3 wooden cars to load onto it.

classic world hippychickChilds Farm – Baby Bedtime Set

We’ve used Childs Farm products for some time now at home so I’m often recommending them to friends. Especially when my mum or dad friends are worried about delicate little skin. I was recommended Childs Farm by a friend of mine who raved about it clearing up her dry skin, so even I use it now and love it. When I found out that Childs Farm sell a baby bedtime kit I thought it was a great introductory gift for a new mum or dad no matter what age the baby. The set contains full size bottles of Baby Wash, Baby Moisturiser and Baby bubbles. The products are all suitable for newborn upwards.

All the Childs Farm products, of which there are many can be seen on their website.

Babies First Christmas 2017 Set

I’m a sucker for anything with the year on it when it comes to Christmas. Each year we buy a bauble with the year on it somewhere. A tradition we started as a couple when we moved into our first home together. When our boys came along we also bought them their own baubles too with the year on. So when I saw this set in John Lewis I fell in love.

It comes with a photo album, a photo frame, a jelly cat toy and most importantly a first Christmas bauble to treasure.

London Bus Hat and Socks

If like me you have family and friends who live in other countries then you may be looking for small light gifts to send from the United Kingdom. I absolutely adore these items available from the Museum of London Shop. Don’t worry you don’t have to live in London to buy them either. They are available for mail order so you can wrap them up and send them to family abroad.

The designs are super cute and I love the iconic London bus.The socks have little rattles in them to keep baby amused while the hat is sure to keep little heads toastie in winter.

I’ve absolutely adore Christmas and really enjoy scouring the internet for more unusual gifts that not everyone thinks of. I hope my list gives you just  a little more inspiration if you too are stuck for baby gifts this Christmas.

I was not paid by anyone for this post, for some of the items I was sent a sample but I have chosen to feature all the items myself.

I’m 35 weeks pregnant now and have a current craving for syrup sponge pudding! Now it’s hands down my all time favourite pudding so no surprise that it’s a craving. My love of syrup sponge has been long known about by most of my family. Even on my wedding day the hotel chef made it as a special off menu dessert for our wedding breakfast. I even had two helpings as one of my guests knew he didn’t like it and sent his portion to the head table for me! So when Panasonic approached me about their new Panasonic combination microwave range I couldn’t think of a better recipe to include in a post about microwave cooking!

microwave syrup sponge

So I give to you the recipe my wonderful hubby uses to make a quick and easy microwave syrup sponge pudding whenever the mood takes me! I lucky to have such an indulgent husband that he will make this on demand. He knows not to come between a pregnant women and her syrup sponge!

Ingredients you’ll need:

5 Tablespoons of self-raising flour

2 Tablespoons of caster sugar

1 large egg

3 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil

2 Tablespoons golden syrup (also extra for serving with if you are like me and like it to be very syrupy!)

Lemon zest (optional)

Custard to serve (or cream if you prefer)

microwave syrup sponge

How to make microwave Syrup Sponge Pudding

We use a 1 pint size microwaveable bowl to mix and cook in. Put the coconut oil into the bowl and microwave for 10 seconds to soften. Add the flour and the sugar into the bowl and mix together. Next add the milk and egg, lemon zest (if using) and mix again. Last add the golden syrup to the top of the mixture, this will not need mixing in as it will sink to the bottom of the bowl and make a delicious syrup topping when poured out.

microwave syrup sponge

Put the bowl into the microwave and cook on full power for approximately 3 minutes, during this time keep an eye on the pudding and stop the microwave if the pudding stops rising and springs back to the touch.

Allow to cool for a minute then carefully tip the pudding out onto a plate to serve. Split the pudding into portions in bowl and add some custard to serve with.

Ah voila! Syrup sponge in minutes whenever you fancy!

microwave syrup sponge

Panasonic sponsored this post but I have full editorial control over its content.

I’ve been wanting to write a post for a while about ‘Christmas Stash’ photographs. As an avid social media fan I’m often found browsing Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. They are my go to social media. I don’t really get snapchat, maybe I’m too old. A few people have tried to teach me but I just don’t get it!

I’m in lots of different facebook groups. I have lots of varied interests so it really is a wide range of groups. Around this time of year my feed starts to fill up with other parents ‘Christmas stash’ photos. If you’ve never seen one, let me explain. It’s usually a photograph or photographs of a pile unwrapped of toys/gifts for a child (sometimes children). The photos are always accompanied by an explanation and often a question. The question is usually “Is this enough?” or “What else can I get?”.

This is what I just don’t understand. Why are people posting pictures of piles of presents and then asking if it’s enough or what else they can get?

Surely if its ‘enough’ is an individual decision. What some families might consider enough may be way over the top for others or visa versa.

Surely the amount or quantity of presents is an individual decision. I’m often left wondering if the photographs are just to show off? Is it that the person posting the photograph wants people to say that its way to much to make them feel better?

Is the poster feeling better about themselves by proving how much they can give their own child?

Do they do it to make other people feel inadequate?

I just don’t get it, to me it seems like showing off.

I honestly doesn’t bother me how much other parents by their own children.

What does bother me though is that these kind of photographs maybe making the parents feel upset, sad or inadequate.

If it’s your families tradition to buy 100 presents at Christmas then so be it. If you just get one per child then thats cool too. It’s ok to be proud of working hard and being able to afford to buy gifts.

It’s sad that in todays society there are so many people struggling with money, and many can’t afford to buy gifts for children at Christmas. Many can’t even afford food year round not to mention at Christmas.

I don’t even know what the purpose of this post is. Maybe if it makes one person think before posting a picture with the words “What else can I get?” or “Is this enough?”.

Enough is what you personally think is enough.

Enough is what you can afford to give at Christmas.

No two families are the same.

Children remember the love they feel and have felt in years to come not the gifts they receive.

 

 

 

 

3 Children – My thoughts

If you haven’t read my blog before then the first thing you should know about our family is that we have two boys age 6 and 3. Our third little boy is due to join us at the end of November this year.

new baby

Growing up I always saw myself with 3 children if I was to be blessed with any. I like odd numbers. I know some people don’t but to me odd is good. The age gap will be pretty even between them all. They are all boys too which I think is nice. I won’t lie I have always loved the thought of a girl but it wasn’t meant to be and I’m ok with that. I’m head over heels in love with my boys now and I already feel a connection to the one I’m growing inside me.

I do worry though that three is two many for me to cope with! I know millions of mums have done it before me. Lots of families now have three or more children. They all seem to cope fine. With this one being a boy we do already have a lot of things suitable for him. Which is obviously a finiancial saving. We will of course have to pay for him to go to nursery and having already spent an eye watering amount on childcare throughout the boys short lives this is a part I’m not looking forward too. But after this one is born and I’m lucky enough to have had my maternity leave then I will want to go back to work.

I’m not the sort of person suited to staying at home all day, as much as I’d love a job I could work from home, I’m far to easily distracted by the other household jobs, cleaning, washing, tidying etc! Plus after this baby I want to focus on me and my career. I want to try as hard as I can to be the best I can be at work. I want to feel like I’m doing a good job and making a difference.

But how will we juggle three? Two will be in school so thats a single drop off and pick up at breakfast club and after school club. The youngest will be in nursery so thats another drop off. We’ve managed two drop offs before, we can do it again!

What about when we’re walking to school though, I only have two hand, to hold when crossing the road. Will my eldest be ok to hold a younger brothers hand? It’s the small things I’m worried about. What if he starts walking into the road and I can’t grab him back in time as I don’t have his hand?

Being emtophobic I can’t bypass the elephant in my head either, what if they are all ill at the same time? How will I cope? What if we all come down with d&v? The rational part of my head says of course I will cope but the anxious part says how?

I’ve had a baby and a toddler together at the same time but what if this time its different? What if I’m trying to feed baby and the middle one needs the toilet while we are out and about? That’s without adding the eldest into the mix! A sling will probably be my best friend again. I remember writing last time about how I cope with a baby and a toddler at the same time. You can read that post here.

baby sling

Learning to Cope

I’m sure I’ll manage some how but sometimes it just feels like I’m wobbling just a little bit. Of course I don’t regret the decision to have 3. In fact I’m pretty damn excited to be doing it all one last time. I’ve been given one last chance to have and hold my very own newborn. I know how quickly time will pass with a baby so need to make sure I enjoy every single second. Including enjoying the last few weeks of pregnancy. But sometimes, just sometimes the wobble happens and I need to give my own head a wobble to stop worrying. Things will work out, it will be ok.

At 30 weeks time is passing very quickly, it’s now roughly 10 weeks until he joins us and I become a new mum for the very last time.

new mum

 BlogOn Christmas 2017

I’ve been to quite a few BlogOn conferences (I think it’s 4 now?) but I still get nervous going. I don’t really feel like I fit in very well. I have no idea why, everyone has seemed very friendly! In my full time job I am confident in walking into a new room full of people I don’t know and just making networking. With blogging for me it’s very different, I still get very nervous. I love to join in with the link up though as I feel like I get to know something about other people going and that I’m not the only nervous one! So here goes…

BlogOnXmasJumper@2x.png

1. Please share your favourite photo of you.

Ekk do I have to? I’m like most people I don’t like photos of me but I suppose this one is ok. I’m the one in the middle taking the photo, it just makes me laugh when I see this photo. I love the make-up artists style, she was so cool!

BlogOn

2. If you could choose a band to play in your garden for your birthday, who would you pick?

Easy – Take That, I have always been a TT fan but imagine them in the garden, now that would be awesome!

3. What do you take with you for long visits to the toilet?

I’m shy, I don’t use the toilet……

4. What word can’t you spell?

I actually can’t think of that, not because I’m perfect (far from it!) but because by the time I’ve typed things and looked back up the Mac has autocorrected for me!

5. What’s the most unusual job you’ve ever had?

Not had that many different jobs but I suppose driving a tractor on a farm when I was a teenager was pretty unusual?

6. Knitting, sewing or crotchet?

Sewing – I would love to crochet but I have tried several times and I’m pretty rubbish so I’ve given up 🙁

7. Without looking it up, what is a jerkinhead?

I have no idea, at a guess some kind of pickle or maybe a beer?

8. If you could have as much of one food as you wanted forever, what would it be?

Mango – I love mango

9. What is the scariest thing you’ve ever done?

Lived through a sickness bug as I have emetophobia (phobia of vomit and vomiting) so to me its the scariest!

10. If you needed a getaway driver, who would you choose?

My brother, he drives like a maniac but so far touch wood hasn’t hurt himself so I think he could get me away!

11. Would you rather live in Narnia or at Hogwarts?

Hogwarts, the people of Narnia seem to cry a lot and its very very cold!

12. What snack food says ‘Christmas’ to you?

Mince pies – is that technically a snack?

13. Is there life on Mars?

Yes I think so

14. Which Christmas movie would you be a character in, and who would play you?

Jovie in Elf, it’s my all time favourite Christmas film and I’d love to be her singing in the shower with Elf!

15. What are you proudest of?

My children, I’m so proud that I made them and so far have kept them mostly safe growing up!

I’m really looking forward to BlogOn Christmas as it’s my absolutely favourite time of year. I can never have too much Christmas. This time at blog on I’ll be the heavily pregnant one, looking tired and worn out! Can’t wait to see everyone there, please say hi to me it would make my day! I’ll make an effort to say hi to everyone else too without feeling nervous or awkward!

Blog ON Conference