lifestyle

February Goals

January is over, the slowest month of the year for some – in my case it has totally flown past. I managed to tick off pretty much everything off my goals list; just two more things to buy/be delivered for baby girl. Now we’re in February, my due date is fast approaching and I have a few things I want to tick off my goals list for the month ahead.

FEBRUARY GOALS

  1. Spend some quality time with Oliver before baby’s arrival. This is a difficult one as I am finding it difficult to do normal activities now I’m 38 weeks which is getting me down a little.
  2. Arrange some play dates for during the February holiday & a day trip to visit my Gran – potentially a bad idea as she lives an hour away!
  3. Write down an action plan for going into labour – who we phone at certain times of the day etc.
  4. Batch cook & freeze, buy some cupboard items etc. especially for Oliver to have healthy snacks and meals once baby arrives.
  5. Minimise/organise my wardrobe & bedroom – throw away/donate items I know I won’t wear & keep out the post-birth items I will be reaching for (including PJs & comfies).
  6. Make a Basket/box in my bedroom for nappies/wipes/baby&toddler bits – for late night feeds etc.
  7. Stay on top of the housework! I do not want to come home to a messy house with a newborn!!
  8. Set up the cot in our bedroom – I left this job until last simply for the space; the bedding is washed and ready to go, I just need Scott to move it from the garage.
  9. Rest as much as I can!
  10. Buy thank you cards; we have already started to receive gifts for baby. You forget just how much stuff people buy you!

What’s your February goals? 

 

 

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parenting, pregnancy, Uncategorized

Second Baby Guilt

I had initially written this post when I was about three months pregnant, hormones flying here there and everywhere, I’m glad I didn’t hit publish!

My experience of second baby guilt was very short-lived indeed. Of course I still have worries at the back of my mind, but they’re not as dramatic as I first thought.

When we found out we were expecting we were both completely elated, we planned a second baby and knew we didn’t want a big age gap and we were most definitely ready. That being said, I didn’t dedicate a huge amount of time wondering how it would affect the relationship between my son and I, and the overall family dynamic.

It wasn’t until after the initial shouting from the rooftops that I began to think, how will Oliver feel about this?

I’m a stay at home and have been for the whole of Oliver’s life so far, add a baby into the mix and surely that dynamic is going to change? Maybe a lot, maybe not so much? All I know is Mummy and Oliver time will be less. And I will have a baby attached to me for at least the first few months. How will Oliver react to that?

I know I will miss our daily routine together as a two, but I am going to make a conscious effort to have Mummy and Oliver dates. (As well as Mummy and baby dates of course.) Time for us to connect and give him my full, undivided attention.

I can also spend some real quality time with him during baby’s nap time, so there are ways around this – it’s taken me a few months to get my head around that!

As I don’t want Oliver to feel pushed aside and everything focused on baby, his weekly schedule won’t be any different. We go to a few toddler groups and that won’t change as baby can come along with us, meaning Oliver can still play with all of his buddies. Going to playgroup two mornings per week gives Oliver time to socialise and do something that is all about him. I think he will appreciate that so much more come baby’s arrival. Being at playgroup means he can do whatever he fancies, painting and crafting, running around outside and playing with all of the toys and it gives him some breathing space.

Oliver is quite chilled out but that doesn’t mean he will take to a new sibling well. I hope he does and I think he will become very protective of his sister as time goes on.

We have been mentioning his sister for a few months now, warming him up to the idea and he does give my tummy a kiss sometimes – which is adorable!

When the day approaches we will talk to him about the baby coming to live with us and talk about it in a more detail – as much detail as a two year old can digest.

We may do the present from the baby, but haven’t decided on that yet. All I know is Oliver will be very involved after baby’s arrival, he will come to the hospital and/or meet his sister before anyone else and we will hopefully spend Scott’s paternity leave as a family of four finding our feet.

Life is going to change but as time goes on I know it’s not as daunting as I first imagined. If he’s anything like me he will love having a sibling – even if just to torture.

I’d be lying if I said I don’t feel a little guilty, but our new daily life as a family of four will take over and soon become our norm.

You do wonder how on Earth you could love someone as much as you do your first. My mum friends have said the same; scared they wouldn’t feel the same kind of love. But when their baby arrived their hearts naturally grew bigger and the love they felt for their children was exactly the same.

Here’s to the next chapter as a family of four.

 

How did your children react to having a new sibling? Did you experience any second baby guilt? Please leave a comment below – thanks for reading! x

 

lifestyle, Uncategorized

January Goals

Happy New Year everyone! I’ve spent the past few days thinking about what I want to achieve this year, planning my list of New Year’s Resolutions. Then I remembered I’m having a baby next month and could really do without the added pressure. I’ve decided to set small achievable monthly goals instead. With jobs still to get done before baby’s arrival, I better get crossing things off my to-do list.

  1. Write my birth plan. I didn’t write one for Oliver’s birth and even if I had, he wasn’t waiting around to let me use it! That said I do have a short list of things I’d like to happen this time around, if baby allows me the time. Although another quick birth is more than okay by me!
  2. Pack my hospital bag. I’ve been washing all of baby’s clothes which are now sorted into sizes and I’ve picking things up over the past couple of months, but still have a few things I need to get. Packing your bag to go into hospital is one of the most exciting things about pregnancy, I’m really looking forward to it!
  3. Buy what we need for baby girl. There’s a few items we need to buy before baby’s arrival i.e. a buggy board for Oliver. The rest is mainly small things like bottles and formula (incase breastfeeding doesn’t go to plan) and a mattress for the moses basket. We have a lot left over from Oliver so the bigger items are covered, I just need to give them a clean from being in storage.
  4. Declutter/minimise the nursery. I really want to minimise every room in the house but this month I’m focusing on baby girls’ room. Of course she will be sleeping in our bedroom for at least the first six months but I still want her room to be organised. There’s a few boxes, pieces of furniture that need to be stored in the garage. Not much needs done but once it’s
  5. Arrange play dates. I’ve found being pregnant and dealing with constant poor weather quite difficult. My back has been giving me a bit of grief recently, along with the usual constraints of being 33 weeks pregnant and the idea of soft plays really does not appeal to me! So planning play dates at home is one way to get Oliver socialising with his friends – and me! We haven’t had any of his friends over for a good while so it’s definitely overdue.
  6. Me time. I feel like I’m getting better at this, but there’s room for improvement. It’s not that I don’t get the opportunity, it’s that I don’t take it as I feel guilty which is ridiculous. I’m going to set aside some time for me – bubble baths, read a book, mooch around the shops or take a walk along the beach. Anything on my own to clear my head and recharge my batteries. It’s good to look after yourself.

I’d love to hear your goals for the month or year ahead. Leave them in the comments below x

parenting

Oliver at 31 Months

Saying 31 months is ridiculous but effective in these circumstances. I guess I’m just trying to hold on to the baby stage for as long as I can, even though he is almost 3!

Time has passed so quickly, especially since Oliver turning 2 in April, it’s quite scary that in five months time I will have a 3 year old! I fear the years will slip away even more quickly from then, which absolutely terrifies me!

Let’s not get ahead of time though, here’s how Oliver is doing at 2.5 years old.

Oliver has slept from 7pm to 7am (sometimes longer!) since he was a few months old, we have been extremely lucky in that department. He was also napping during the day from 12pm-2pm – but the naps are officially dropped. He is still sleeping in his cot, we don’t intend to introduce his toddler bed (which Santa is bringing!) until after baby girl is born. Simply because it’s working well for us and he hasn’t yet tried to escape, so safety isn’t a concern.

I don’t want to jinx it but Oliver has always been a pretty good eater, not overly fussy, however of course this could change at any moment. His favourite foods include curry, pasta, mince, cucumber and peppers! He must be going through a growth spurt at the moment as all I ever seem to do is make snacks for him. I try to keep them as healthy as possible but I do give the odd treat. He’s also loving having a ‘picnic’ at the moment, we just chuck a throw down on our living room floor and have a picnic lunch together – great for a rainy day!

Oliver has been going to playgroup for a few weeks now and he is thoroughly enjoying it. He’s had a couple of sick days which then knocks him off the next time he goes and he does get a little teary when he realises mummy is going home. But when I pick him up he is beaming! He’s only going a Tuesday and Thursday morning from 9-11.45am but I think that’s long enough – for me ha!

He is still such an outdoorsy little guy, he absolutely loves being outside. The weather in Scotland has been freezing recently but we still get outside every day, even for a quick run around. He loves the swings at the park – once he’s in one, he’s not coming out!

Music and dancing is another of Oliver’s loves – we regularly have a boogie together. He’s not one for sitting in a circle singing songs at groups, but loves the radio and having a dance with his mumma!

At the moment he is obsessed with trains and cars, we very rarely leave the house without first stuffing some in his pockets. It seems all I do these days is put together train tracks and tidy them away over and over again – but he’s happy so it’s all good. He’s also still loving puzzles which is brilliant as it’s another activity we can do together and puzzles are top of his Christmas list this year.

His speech is coming on so much and some of the things he says is just hilarious. His personality shines through more and more each day and he’s just a total dream of a boy. Of course he has his moments just like the rest of us but as a whole he has a brilliant temperament. I can’t believe I have a 2.5 year old, that’s just crazy!!

x

parenting, pregnancy, Uncategorized

Bringing Your Newborn Home

I’m thinking ahead this pregnancy so I can be as organised as I possibly can! It’s definitely different this time around with having a toddler to entertain, time isn’t as much of a luxury this pregnancy. So, I’m trying to tick as much off my baby-to-do-list as possible. Which got me thinking about bringing newborns home from hospital.

I’d like to think as I’ve brought a newborn home once before, I know what I’m talking about – sort of? I have definitely learned things from having Oliver and know what I’d do differently this time; so I thought I’d share them with you. These are just a few little things that I think make a huge difference when bringing a newborn home.

Wash & Organise Clothes –

For your newborn I would recommend washing all of their clothing and bedding. Once I washed everything I then organised Oliver’s wardrobe and drawers. I found it helpful to store outfits together, so a bodysuit and sleepsuit rolled together. It takes the stress out of changing as I could just grab and go, especially if I was dealing with a poo explosion in the middle of the night!

Batch Cook & Freeze –

This is something I didn’t do before I had Oliver, to be honest I didn’t even think about it. A family member as part of their gift brought round food for us which was a complete god send. This time around I will definitely be batch cooking and freezing meals, and also buying quick and easy foods I can store in the cupboard.

Pack Comfy Clothes –

Each to their own (and you should pack whatever you want!) but all I wanted after labour and birth was comfy clothing. I had packed a few tops for hospital which were quite tight and they really irritated me; mainly due to the ward being so warm. This time I’m making sure to pack baggier tops and bottoms for ultimate comfort. I will also be packing sleepsuits for baby as I find babies appreciate being comfortable too! It also makes life much easier when it comes to (multiple) changing. I was also discharged at 9pm with Oliver, so a ‘going home outfit’ would have been on him for about 20 minutes – useless!

Quick House Tidy –

Ask your partner or someone to give your house a quick once over before you arrive home with baby – it will make you feel less stressed walking into a tidy home. This time around I will be giving my house a deep clean near my due date (i love nesting!) and then making sure to keep on top of it over the following weeks.

Arrange Childcare –

We live about 10 minutes from the hospital, but our family stay at least an hour away. We need to think about whether we will chance waiting (I had a very quick labour last time), plan a home birth just incase (not 100% sold) or ask a family member to move in near my due date. Whatever you decide, make sure you have something sorted well in advance and it’s one less thing to worry about.

Sleeping & Changing Areas – 

With Oliver I found it helpful to keep our moses basket downstairs to use for naps in the day, and his cot in our bedroom. Keeping a stash of changing supplies both upstairs and downstairs really helped, it made life so much easier rather than running up and downstairs.

Formula

As I found with Oliver, some times breastfeeding just doesn’t go to plan. Scott had to make a late night dash to pick up some formula as we left hospital with an almost-exclusively formula-fed baby. This wasn’t our plan hence the late night ASDA trip but just incase you find yourself in the same boat, the readymade formula bottles are great for night feeds. It does work out quite expensive in the long-run but for those first couple of weeks they are ideal whilst finding your feet! Also make sure you have some sterilised bottles ready-to-go.

Car Seat & Blankets

Definitely fit your car seat before bringing your baby home. My hospital didn’t check our car seat was properly fitted and I’m not sure if many UK hospitals actually do this? So, to save faffing around make sure you know how to fit it securely! Also, keep a couple of blankets inside the car seat for bringing baby home. I had packed a lovely padded snowsuit for Oliver but it was far too thick to wear home. Luckily one of our visitors gifted a blanket which we were able to use! This time I will keeping a couple of blankets in the car seat.

x

lifestyle, parenting

Starting Playgroup and One Emotional Mummy

Oliver has been going to playgroup for two weeks now and I can talk about it a little more easily now. We had a few settling-in sessions together where I played along beside him for the first couple, and then I would go into a different room so he couldn’t see me – he didn’t even look for me once!

Of course as a parent you want your child to not be upset, I would hate for Oliver to be inconsolable when I drop him off in the morning’s; even if they calm down five minutes after the parent leaves. But he didn’t look for me ONCE! Joking aside, I am so, so proud of him. I hope he carries this confidence throughout his nursery, school and working, general life.

The playgroup itself was the only one that was a short enough distance to make it worth our while using, as Oliver attends two mornings a week from 9-11.45am. But as soon as I stepped inside and spoke with the staff and seen the other children interacting with them and giggling; I knew this was the place. Of course, if I didn’t get good feeling about the playgroup – he would not be going.

I know some people will think I’m crazy getting upset about Oliver being away from me for under 6 hours a week, but it really is a massive thing for me. He’s been by my side for his entire life so far, just about every single day, so it is a bit of a shock to the system. It’s also a massive change for Oliver being away from familiar family faces and socialising with strangers, lots of new faces and trying to build trust and relationships, and finding his “safe person” whilst he’s there.

Today I witnessed Oliver going up to his key worker and showing her the trains he wanted to play with and laughing with her and it completely melt my heart. I hope he builds a strong relationship with her and feels safe in her company.

His first day on his own went so well, I had a midwife appointment that morning so luckily Scott had taken the morning off to watch Oliver as we didn’t know when his first day would be. So, mum and dad got to see him off to playgroup. He did cry a little when he seen us leave, which did make me unbelievably guilty but by the time we got to the car the manager had knocked on the window and gave us a thumbs up to say he was completely fine – only 30 seconds later! When I picked him up he was grinning from ear to ear and sitting eating a snack with his little buddies and I was told he was non-stop all day. He’s taken a real liking to the house area, he’s known as the “cutlery thief” and makes lots of tea and chocolate cake (pine cones!).

I know deep down that this will benefit him in so many ways, development, confidence and social skills. I hope he meets a few friends – he’s growing up and it’s bloody scary!

x

lifestyle, Uncategorized

De-stress Your Morning Routine

Before I became a mum I spent quite a bit of time getting myself ready and there was no real rush felt in the mornings. I would pad about the house, taking my time to get ready for work; wash, dry and style my hair before heading out the door. Since becoming a mum I’ve had to change my morning routine as I have a little person to care for and have learned that organisation really is key. Here’s what I do to ensure a positive start to the day.

Lay out Clothes the Night Before – This makes life so much easier for me in the mornings as it’s one less thing to think about. I lay out my own clothes and keep Oliver’s clothes downstairs for after breakfast. We also keep a toothbrush in our downstairs toilet for convenience, so that I can brush Oliver’s teeth straight after breakfast.

Restock your Changing Bag – Every night I make sure I have nappies, wipes and essentials in my changing bag so that I can grab and go in the morning. We have toddler groups and just generally like to be out the house early to enjoy our day so this is a huge help.

Prepare Snacks & Lunch – I usually prepare Oliver’s lunch when I’m making Scott’s for work. Since I’m pregnant I’ve been packing snacks for myself too. I pop everything in a seperate bag in the fridge to grab in the morning. You should never leave the house with your toddler without bringing food – you will regret it!

Shower in the Evenings – Up until very recently, I’ve always been a morning shower person but I find it so much easier if I’ve showered, washed and dried my hair the night before. It saves me so much time and I feel less stressed in the mornings. I can quickly throw myself together, as I wake up only 10 minutes before Oliver – I like my sleep!

Get Dressed First – I found that especially when Oliver was younger, if I didn’t get dressed before getting Oliver up for the day, I just wouldn’t find the time. Now I make sure to get myself ready first in the morning and I feel so much better for it.

Run the Dishwasher Overnight –  There is nothing worse than waking up to dirty dishes. I make sure to fill and start the dishwasher before I head to bed and quickly empty and re-load after eating breakfast.

Evening Speed Clean – Once Oliver is in bed I quickly tidy up the bathroom from bath time, toys or mess in the living room and quickly go over the kitchen. I will load the washing machine to switch on first thing, it saves me running around in the morning gathering laundry.

Make the bed – I don’t know about you but making my bed in the morning makes my bedroom look instantly tidier. It takes two minutes and really does boost my mood.

x