Category Archives: Preparation

Wrapping

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Nope, not a post about christmas!

I thought it was time for another post about “babywearing”. My wrap count is now up to 4! There were two other carriers in the past two- one which I now know isn’t very ergonomic and wasn’t very comfy with his weight anyway and one which I upgraded to something a bit more supportive for a heavier toddler.

So the first kind of carrier I had was something a bit like this:
mothercare carrier
The kind of highstreet carrier you’ll find lots of mums and dads buying. It was given to us and was a great entry into the world of slings and wraps, but wasn’t used for very long.

I was also kindly lent a ringsling by a friend. I’ve heard lots of brilliant things about ringslings- in particular they are good for “quick up and downs” especially with toddlers who want to walk but then get tired.
ringsling
Sadly this one isn’t brilliant and I’ve struggled with it. At first it was fine, with small light baby and I could get it nice and tight. Now the extra weight is uncomfortable on long (more than half a mile) walks and the fabric is hard to adjust as the rings are a bit small for the thickness of the fabric.

Third sling was the first that I bought, having tried a mei tai at a local sling meet. Second hand, this BabyHawke Mei Tai served me really well up until about 10 months old, when he seemed to get a bit too heavy for it, and no matter which kind of carry I tried, his weight pulled at my shoulders.I only worked out how to get him onto my back with help from someone else but it was great when it happened as he could fall asleep whilst I did housework or went for a walk.
mei tai
I promise he’s comfier than he looks! The Mei Tai is a soft structured carrier- a rectangle of fabric with a waist strap that you tie up and two shoulder straps that you can tie in numerous ways to support the baby and be comfortable for you.

I also bought a cheap wrap- it’s a Calin Bleu size “L” which equates to about a “size 6 wrap”. I wanted something lightweight for summer and easy to wrap with as the different fiber blends give the wraps different properties. This was perfect for what I needed, and taught me how woven wraps can spread the weight of your baby as you carry them and support them better.
wrap
This was my first successful attempt at getting baby onto my back by myself with the wrap. It wasn’t perfect but it was safe and we were both comfy!

So I decided I wanted a mei tai with “wrap straps”. These are wider than the normal straps, and are used a bit more like a woven wrap, to spread out the weight better. I looked for a second hand one within budget and struggled to find one, despite being on all the second hand sling forums on facebook! However, someone kindly pointed me towards a company called Bebe Sachi who are a Malaysian Social Enterprise, producing wraps in fairtrade conditions in Bangladesh. Though I found their website impossible to navigate and at one point had paypalled a nice lady on facebook with no idea of whether anything would materialise- they are a wonderfully ethical company and I got great service from them. Even better- if you look after them, their resale value is high. In fact most slings keep a decent resale value, and when I bought my Bebe Sachi wrap strap mei tai and sold the old mei tai, I got back the cost of buying it second hand originally.
Bebe sachi
Another back carry, getting from one part of a wedding to the other. It spreads his weight (now 10.5kg) around my waist and over my shoulders in a way the standard straps can’t. It’s my go-to for easy front carries- and now I’ve figured it out-easy back carries too.

So really my collection (Stash as it’s called in the babywearing business) was done (bar replacing the ring sling if I ever decided to)- except I probably spent too long on the facebook forums and learnt about the Legacy Wrap. A legacy wrap is one that is bought because of a special link to it, and is kept as part of your “permastash” and maybe passed on to your child eventually for them to use. Most people start to look by DOB, then if no special wraps or wraps they like were released on that date, they look at other special dates, colours or word associations to find a really special wrap to them. I used the woven wrap database but this hasn’t been updated since March 2014 or so. I found three wraps that were released on baby D’s birthday.

The first was the Artipoppe Tyger Copper- which is a beautiful design and colour but Artipoppe are very high end wraps and quite hard to get hold of in the UK I believe.
Artipoppe

The second was Natibaby Orchid in the Morea colourway. This one was nice but didn’t shout out to me at all.
Natibaby

The final one had me going “oooh” and made me unable to forget about it! It was the Oscha Okinami in Noir (which is the blend and colourway). It’s a wool, cotton and silk blend, so is very thick and chunky. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I also knew that a)it was expensive and b)it was going to be hard to get hold of but I kept my eyes peeled instead.
Oki

A few months later my wonderful husband asked if I might like one for christmas. I can only imagine the hints I dropped were a little too heavy…..
So I managed to source a size three second hand via the facebook Oscha group and on Christmas day I opened it (having tried a quick wrap with it a few weeks before once it arrived to check all was ok).
Oki me

I’ve never used a size three wrap before, so spent much of the weeks leading up to christmas googling which carries I could do. It turns out that because the wrap is also very thick, it’s quite hard to tie off at the end, making some of the different carries a bit harder! I found this website http://www.wrapyourbaby.com/wovenwraplength.html pretty helpful, and youtube has some great videos too.

Now we are back to normal every day life, I’ve been trying to use the new sling a bit more and get to grips with it. Two mornings going to the childminder and two different wraps tried. Turns out I think I did both of them wrong but they were supportive and safe enough for a 15 minute walk.

Must practice more!

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Batch cooking (kindof)

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One of the things that I was told to do on maternity leave was BATCH COOKING. The idea is that you cook extra meals and stick them in the freezer so you have something easy and ready when baby arrives and you’re too busy and tired to cook.

Our freezer is pretty full already (it’s only small), mostly full of Pies from Simon’s Pies Yum yum.

pie2small

However, rather than purposefully batch cooking, I’ve made a couple of extra big meals which I’ve frozen the leftovers of.

On top of that, my parents have an apple tree which overfloweth currently with appley goodness. In fact they are sick of apples and can’t get rid of them quick enough. I’m trading some with friends, but I spent the last couple of days stewing over 7kg of apples and some locally picked blackberries too!

First lot with blackberries
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Done! Lovely apples and blackberries stewed with about a pint or two of water and a bit of sugar.

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The second lot (with massive wooden spoon and hand for perspective).

Technically these were actually second and third lot as I did some last week too.

These apples are really yummy with some natural yoghurt, and I might also blend them with raspberries and fruit juice to make smoothies!

Maternity leave and cheeky Mortgage lenders

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Another day of maternity leave complete, and another few tasks done!

It’s been pretty warm today so I repotted a plant in the front garden (to replace the current dead plants- I am not green fingered) and strimmed the back jungle lawn. Took quite a long time and was very tiring so I had lots of breaks. Maltloaf and tea break was the best!

I’ve written a shopping list of things to buy for the not-quite-a-baby-shower tomorrow and cycled to the library to get some new books. I stopped at a supermarket on the way back to grab some cake making ingredients and spent part the afternoon listening to classic FM and making cupcakes.

I’m not much of a baker but these look pretty good. One set of chocolate and one set of orange and almond.

Husband got out of work early as they are moving to a new site over the weekend so he headed off into the sunshine on his mountain bike. Sadly the chain snapped when he’d almost finished the trails so he came home with a very sore knee. After a cuddle with the cat, he felt a bit better. We are now both hobbling about!

We are also (rockandroll) changing over to a new mortgage provider with the help of our brilliant Financial Advisor Jeff. Annoyingly the mortgage company wouldn’t accept the screen shot of online banking statement as proof of salary (which is weird as they also have our last 3 pay slips each) but did use it to deduce that I’m pregnant (three payments to Mothercare online) and wanted to know more.

The Citizens Advice Bureau say:

A mortgage lender doesn’t have to give you a mortgage. However, they must not refuse to lend you a mortgage, or treat you less favourably than other people, simply because you are pregnant.

If the mortgage lender has turned down your application because of your pregnancy, this is likely to be discrimination and could be unlawful. Get advice from an experienced adviser about what to do.

So we can but give them the information and hope that they abide by the law.

Having done some dull maths- when we first took out a mortgage at a very high rate, when we both earned less, we were paying 33% of our combined post-tax salaries into the mortgage. With the new rate (much lower) and taking into account JUST my husbands salary- we’ll be paying just 25% of his post-tax earnings towards the mortgage. So really they’d be idiots to turn us down!

Cheeky!

Rollercoastering

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I think I’m finally reaching the point that (to be honest) I thought I’d spend all my pregnancy at. Things are feeling like a real rollercoaster right now- not withstanding my emotions!

After the car accident last week, the insurance company have taken it away for fixing. The chap who hit me turns out not to be insured so that’s fun too. Hopefully insurance plus police will sort that out for us.

It’s been hot, and I’ve been suffering. My nausea has felt much worse on hot days and I’ve struggled a bit to stay with it- especially as it’s hard to sleep. We’ve borrowed an airconditioning unit from a neighbour which means we can at least start the night with a cool ish bedroom (from 28 plus degrees down to 21-22), but it’s noisy to run so we shut it off after that. With an increasingly warm room over the course of the night, hayfever, a neighbours baby crying, thunderstorms and all kinds of other things to wake us up, we’re not getting many good night’s sleep. And so comes the contradictions from parents:

“Get used to it! You won’t get a full night’s sleep for the next 5 years!”

Alternated with:

“Get as much sleep as you can now…..”

The weekend was marginally cooler, so we got about to sorting the rest of the jobs in our new kitchen- painting a second coat on the kitchen, two coats of paint on the dining room (after prepping the flakey walls), putting up new light fittings and a blind and getting everything in place. We worked really hard at it, and by Sunday night it was all looking great.

Monday when I got home from a long hot day at work, I found our fridge-freezer wasn’t working. We spent most the evening consulting google and found our only real hope was leaving it off for a while, then trying again. Which we did. Looks like we might have put it back too close to the wall, meaning that it overheated a little. In the process it blew the bulb in the fridge part, which is very confusing! Thankfully friends came to the rescue, with delivering our old fridge back to us and another friend lending freezer space in their huge chest freezer. Much appreciated. Seems (tentatively) to be working now…. At the time I was not very impressed though, and feeling very emotionally drained.

Baby is still super-active! It’s half brilliant and half wearing and uncomfortable.

Everyone seems to think I look huge for 32 weeks, which is slightly worrying… but never mind.

There are two ladies from my Mumsnet thread (now FB group) who are already in early labour- at 32 and 34 ish weeks…. so I’ve been thinking a lot about them and what they’re going through right now! Must be a bit scary to be pre-term, but I know that the babies have great chances of survival if they do come now, and that drs can do a lot to try to keep the babies in for a bit longer! Good luck to you girls!

Tried to take a nice picture of the two (three?) of us last week, but it was getting a bit dark, I think the camera was at a dodgy angle and of course, the cat photobombed us. Standard really. This was the best!

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I’ve been trying to find time to update the hospital bag list, the “things wot we need” list and start to tidy up the baby room (which has been full of diningroom until we finished the decorating on Sunday). I think we’ve got all we need, once our chest of drawers (with changing top) arrives next week.

Catching up again

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I’ll say it again, being pregnant in this weather is not a barrel of laughs!
I normally love the hot weather, but added to the pregnancy, I’m a big warm incubator. A sweaty one. It’s very hard to find outfits to wear. So I absolutely didn’t spend any money in the Monsoon sale to find things that I could bear to wear.

What else is going on?
I read that 31/32 weeks is peak movement time, and they’re not wrong. Baby is very active at the moment which is good fun and a bit tiring.

We have both started to….not quite panic… but worry a little about being prepared. I’m still trying to find a chest of drawers with a changing top for cheap second hand (have been looking since about April!), but ebay might come up with the goods this weekend.

We wrote out two long lists- one being “what we need”- so what things on the big list of baby stuff we don’t currently have. And the other list is “hospital bag”. Husband was amused that the only things on his list were “change of clothes” and “swimming trunks”, whereas my list, the baby list and the general list were very long!

Today I walked past mothercare and happened to pick up a few things in the sale. Everything I bought was on sale, and all on the list so I didn’t feel too naughty! Even if some of them were cute and giraffe themed!

Happiness

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Happiness is a tummy button that looks like a smile

Especially when paired with some googly eyes…..

In other fascinating news, I’ve been adding categories to my blog posts on both my blogs (cycling and pregnancy, not done the photography one yet) and getting it up to date and adding widgets etc.

Baby has been sitting uncomfortably all on my right today, with a foot firmly wedged into my ribs. Very active which is wonderful and fun and distracting.

Kitchen is coming along and we even have a microwave we can use! The best bit is there is now space in the living room to move and breathe and the cat is looking much more content.

28 weeks now!
I had my 28 week midwife appointment, in which I was mostly poked holes in. The Nurse did my Whooping Cough vaccine, then I had my anti-D shot and some blood taken. BP was low 102/56 or something, but measured manually rather than with a digital device, but everything else looked good.

Whooping cough vacc did make me feel a bit ill with a heavy arm, but I mostly ignored it to get some work done, then paint a base coat on the kitchen and then go to yoga! I didn’t cycle to yoga as I forgot that the builders had the cupboard key so I couldn’t get my bike out. Felt a bit sicky the day after, so didn’t go to aqua-natal. Hope to make it along next week though.

Picked up some second hand maternity clothes in a bundle from a localish lady this week (thank goodness for having more to wear) and some friends very kindly donated a huge bag of the most beautiful baby clothes I have ever seen! We are so lucky to have such great friends.

Buy buy baby

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With the imminent arrival of gorgeous niece and Aunty S tomorrow, we got our backsides in gear this morning and did our first actual proper shop of baby things. In fairness we did an Ocado order recently to pick up nappies, wipes, cream, forumla etc, but this was the first time we’ve been on a joint venture into Mothercare with a list of *things*. It was just the last few essentials (i.e what good is a cot without sheets and a blanket?!), but it does make everything feel more complete.

One of the clearest bits of advice I’ve been given is YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MANY MUSLINS. I’m sure if we start with 24….. we’ll be ok! We also picked up a second hand baby bath for £3 today!

The house is slowly being taken over with baby things. The baby room (for some reason I hate the word “nursery”) is looking much more finished with this adorable fleece blanket on sale in Mothercare:

Baby has also received it’s first proper pressie from the lovely A&E (as I call them):

And there’s other evidence spilled around the house….

The last picture is my exciting accidental purchase at a summer fayre I was attending. On my way out, I suddenly saw a fully pram “system” in great condition for £70. Bargain! Sadly the online reviews show a less-than sturdy frame, but fingers crossed we’ll be ok! It’s a Hauck Malibu for anyone interested.

Tonight I’m going to the final part of the exciting big wedding we’ve been attending. I’m absolutely dressing the bump to the nines, and it’s going to be absolutely OUT THERE. Should be fun!

Better go and start getting ready!

Pointless purchase number one

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Husband admitted to me last week that he’d ordered some books for baby. I mean, it’s probably quite a while until we’ll be reading to baby, but it was sweet to think of it!

Since before christmas, I’ve been walking past a gorgeous hippy organic type shop in Oxford and gazing in the window at lots of beautiful organic cotton and hand felted baby items. In particular some felted bunny rabbit design booties. Luckily the shop closes at 5:30pm and I tend to go past after that so I’ve never been tempted to go in. Yesterday I went past at 5:20. I’m sure you can imagine what happened….