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Boy? Girl? Boy? Girl?

The sex of our baby has been a hot topic ever since we announced we were having another back in March. The reason? I decided that as we found out the gender when I was pregnant with Isla, I really wanted a surprise this time and didn’t want to know. Hubs, on the other hand, didn’t want to wait and wanted to be as prepared as possible.

So at the 20 week scan, I shut my eyes while the sonographer showed Hubs what sex our baby is. 14 weeks later, he’s not told a soul – I’m really proud of him as I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to keep schtum! I’ve had a few moments of weakness where I’ve wanted to know, but just reminded myself that it’ll be a wonderful feeling to have the big reveal at the birth.

Having said that, I have wondered if there are ways to tell what we’re having. A quick Google search revealed so many old wives tales which apparently will allude to the baby’s gender. So I decided to give them a few of them a try…

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  • Wedding ring test – the legend goes that if you tie a thread around your wedding ring and hold it above your belly, the way it swings will tell you what you’re having. If it swings back and forth, it’s a girl; if it turns in circles, it’s a boy. I tried this and the ring swung very clearly back and forth. So this apparently means… Verdict: girl.
  • Dry skin? – apparently if your skin dries out during your pregnancy, it’s a boy. I can certainly attest to this one as I’ve been having to smother myself in Aveeno all over every day or my skin resembled a flapjack! Verdict: boy.
  • Pupils – the saying goes that if you stare into a mirror for a minute, if your pupils start to dilate, baby is a boy. I tried it and, as well as reminding me of all those times me and my cousin sat staring into mirrors trying to see ghosts when we were kids, nothing happened to my pupils. Verdict: girl.
  • Linea nigra – you know the lovely brown line that you get on your belly when you’re pregnant (I didn’t know it was called this either!)? Apparently, if the line extends over your navel, it’s a boy. If not, it’s a girl. The jury is out on this one because while it does stretch way past my navel, it did when I was pregnant with Isla too. Verdict: inconclusive.
  • Bump high or low? I’m sure every pregnant woman has had people stare at their bump and declare that as they’re carrying “all out in front” that it’s a boy, etc etc. So the theory is that if you carry baby all out front and quite low, it’s a boy, whereas if your bump is high and all around you, it’s a girl. I carried Isla quite high, almost all the way up to my bust, whereas this one has always been very low, all out in front, and I’ve been told you can’t even tell I’m pregnant from the back (😀) so on that basis: Verdict: boy.
  • Hair growth – supposedly boy babies also make your body hair grow thicker and faster too, whereas with girls, it stays the same. Without going into too much detail, I can’t say I’ve noticed any difference to be honest. Verdict: girl.
  • Baby’s heart rate: some midwives agree on this one, whereas others don’t (mine dismisses this one as nonsense). The thought is that if baby’s heart rate is below 140 beats per minutes, it’s a boy, whereas above 140 means it’s a girl. Every time I’ve heard baby’s heartbeat, it’s never once gone above 140, and has averaged between 100-120bpm. There’s also the thought that a girl’s heart rate sounds like galloping horses, whereas a boy’s sounds like a train, although this one is open to interpretation as when I asked my midwife at my most recent appointment, the trainee midwife and I both heard galloping horses, but my midwife heard a train. Hmmm… Verdict: inconclusive, possibly boy.
  • Looking good? – ever heard the saying that girls take your beauty? Well when I was pregnant with Isla, my hair was lank and greasy and my skin was so oily. This time around, my skin has never looked better and my hair is so glossy and thick. If this expression is anything to go by…Verdict: boy.
  • Chinese Gender Prediction Chart – this one has been popping up everywhere. According to this chart, the age of the mother and the month of conception determine the baby’s gender. So i was 30 when baby was conceived, and the conception occurred in November… Verdict: boy.

So what have we learned? Not a fat lot to be honest, although it was fun tying some of these theories! Ho hum, only 6 weeks til we find out for sure!

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The Adventures of Piggy Wiggy Part 2

He’s been a very busy boy…

As I mentioned in a previous post, Piggy Wiggy is Isla’s favourite cuddly toy and even though there’s been more additions to her cuddly toy collection (including Baa Baa the sheep and Dave the elephant), Piggy has been number one pretty much since he accompanied her to hospital when she had a chest infection.

 

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Isla love looking at photos of what Piggy Wiggy gets up to, so whenever I’ve been able to, I’ve started taking photos of him in various places. He’s been into the office a few times and I’ve also photographed him playing with his friends and she loves it! So here’s more of Piggy’s adventures…

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My daughter is a cat

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Don’t worry, I’m not a crazy cat lady gone doolally!

It’s a well-known fact that cats love boxes, for whatever reason. Isla also loves boxes and her latest favourite thing to do is to plonk herself down into a cardboard box (or sometimes our washing basket!) with her favourite books and her sippy cup and settle in for a while! Anything that keeps her quiet for a while is fine by me!

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The Adventures of Piggy Wiggy

Hands down, Isla’s favourite cuddly toy is her Piggy Wiggy we bought her from Sainsbury’s over Easter last year. He goes everywhere with her and she loves giving him kisses, and making us give him kisses!

But we don’t let her take him to nursery with her in case he gets lost or one of the other children throws up on him. So sometimes she takes him in the car with her and then leaves him on the seat when we arrive at nursery.

This whole silliness started because one time she left him in the car when we had that horrible cold, snowy weather a few weeks ago, and I couldn’t have her favourite toy left in the cold car all day while I was at work, what if he got cold, or lonely…?! So I brought him into the office with me for the day, much to the bemusement of my colleagues! I took some silly photos to show her what P.Wiggy had been up to that day and she LOVED them!

Someone suggested I make a photo journal of Piggy’s adventures to show Isla what her favourite toy gets up to in the day, so here it is! Here’s just a few examples of how Piggy Wiggy helps me in the office when he comes in…

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A year in review

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This year has flown by in the blink of an eye! Our little monkey has grown so much, from a wriggling baby into a full grown, mischievous, loving little toddler who has such a personality!

Now she’s nearly 16 months, her appetite has increased threefold and she eats like a gannet! There’s very little she won’t eat, her favourite is still the tomato and butternut squash pasta I make for her, and she also loves sweet potato fries, Petit Filous and grapes. I can guarantee though, as soon as I publish this, she’ll go through a stage where she won’t want to eat, the contrary madam…

Her vocabulary is coming along nicely, as well as the usual ‘mama’, ‘dada’, ‘nana’ etc she also like to say ‘uh oh’, ‘this’ or ‘that’ while she’s pointing at something she wants, ‘ta’ when we give her anything (she’s learning her manners!) ‘hiya’ or ‘hello’ (which she prounounces ‘hewwo!’) ‘ratbag’ (Hubs called her ratbag as a joke twice and now she won’t stop saying it!) and bizarrely, ‘doctor’! Since we bought her back from the hospital last month, everyone she sees she calls doctor! She’s also said ‘kiss’ once but hasn’t said it since!

Isla is a big bookworm and loves to sit with her books, turn every page and point at everything on every page. She’s really placid and happy to play with her toys while I enjoy a hot cuppa every now and then. She’s such a little charmer as well and smiles and giggles at anyone who comes over and makes a fuss of her. She’s also brilliant at sharing her toys with other children, and offers the toy she’s playing with to her friends when they come over and join her. We’re so lucky, she sleeps brilliantly at night (7pm to 7am) with a good nap around mid morning. I’m really chuffed with how well her social skills are coming on.

My only concern is that she’s still not walking unaided yet. She’s brilliant at cruising around the furniture andpushing her walker round and round the living room and kitchen, but when we try to get her to walk holding our hands, she just sits down and crawls over instead. I’m fairly sure it’s mostly a mixture of laziness and the knowledge that she can get there quicker by crawling, but it does worry me slightly. I know babies do things in their own time and she’ll walk when she’s ready, but I can’t help but wait anxiously for those first steps.

Here’s hoping Isla will see in the new year by walking!

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Little things to make me feel less mumsy 

Sometimes it can feel like I’ve lost touch with my pre-Isla self, something I didn’t want to do before I had her. Don’t get me wrong, I love my baby girl with everything I have and I love being a mummy, but sometimes I miss the woman I was and while I swore I’d never become one of those mums who can only talk about their babies, I admit I’ve already committed some mumsy sins. Having a baby changes your entire life and sometimes I feel like I’ve lost my identity.

So it’s the little things that make me feel like my old self again that I really appreciate and I need to feel normal again. Here’s just a few of them:

  • Wearing nice, matching lingerie – I’ve never been a “throw on whatever bra and knickers I can find” person, I’ve always tried to make sure my underwear is a) matching and b) decent looking. My stint working in lingerie for M&S has made me very OCD about throwing out bras that are ill fitting and/or old and as soon as I stopped breastfeeding, I treated myself to some really nice bras and knickers from Rosie for Autograph lingerie. Now just something as simple as popping my silk Rosie underwear on makes me feel like a million dollars
  • Putting on make up – as I’ve touched on before, I don’t tend to wear much make up but when I do, I feel much less of a slummy mummy. I’m not one of those effortlessly polished mummies who leaves the house with a face full of perfect make up, most days just a quick swipe of tinted moisturiser and mascara is considered making an effort! But when I do get all dolled up, it makes me feel like a prebaby version of me again and I love doing my nails. These Maybelline ColourShow ones are my current favourite
  • Enjoying me time with historical porn – relax, I’m not admitting to a fetish to a blue movie entitled ‘The Dick-torians’, I mean the tv show The Tudors! Hubs works away 2 days and nights a week so I make the most of these evenings as ‘me time’. Once Isla is in bed at 7pm, I eat tea and then have a nice relaxing bath with bubbles and everything, then curl up in bed with one of my favourite box sets. The Tudors is my favourite, so I can drool over Henry Cavill without judgment!
  • Going out with my child-free friends – I adore my mummy friends, they’re amazing and supportive and I’d be lost without them. I’m also lucky enough to have some wonderful friends who don’t have children and who have not only stayed in touch with us (it’s shocking how many friends stop calling when you have a baby) but who have been incredibly supportive and helpful. I’m aware that constant baby talk is terribly dull for non parents, so going out with my friends who haven’t had a baby gives me time to switch my baby brain off and give my mummy self a break.
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Mum’s the word

Some days, I look at Isla with fondness, and more than a bit of sadness, as I think how much my mum would have adored her.

For those that don’t know, my mum died of breast cancer in November 2007 when she was just 52, I was 20 and at university at the time. I miss her every day, especially now that I’m a mum myself, and I know how much know that my mum wanted grandchildren to spoil. 

I’ll be honest, when I see or hear my fellow mummies saying that their mums have been looking after their little ones, taking them out for the day or just babysitting them for a few hours, it breaks my heart. And when it’s been a crappy day, I wish so much to have my mum around for some motherly advice.

My mum was an incredibly brave and inspiring lady. She’s the reason why I try to raise money for cancer charities every year, and just generally try to be a good person. I think to myself, would doing is make mum proud?

Although we fought like cat and dog when I was younger, once I grew up and got out of the “omg mum you’re so embarrassing/annoying/mean phase, we became really close. My dad plays snooker with his friends on Monday nights which became mine and mum’s girlie night. We’d have what mum called “a little drinkie” (Lambrini when I was younger and then gin and tonic for her, vodka and orange for me when I was old enough) and watch romcoms such as Dirty Dancing or Ghost (mum was so hot for Swayze!) 

The last photo in the slideshow was taken during one of the breaks in chemo in January 2007, we went down to London for a weekend to do some shopping and to see Phantom of the Opera, our favourite musical. That’s actually a wig she’s wearing there as she lost her hair. One of my funniest memories of this horrible time was when it started to hammer down with rain while we were shopping and we ran into a McDonalds to dry off. Not giving a shit, mum took her wig off and stood there drying it off under the hand dryer. The look on some snooty bitches faces was hilarious! 

Understandably, the chemo made mum feel like shit so I did what I could to help her feel better. I’d give her pedicures and manicures during our Monday nights and when her hair grew back really curly, I’d help her straighten her hair to style it like this wig as she liked it so much. 

I miss her so much every day, and now I try hard to raise money for cancer charities in her name so that hopefully, one day, no one else will have to lose a beloved family member to this shitty disease. 

Next year will be 10 years since we lost mum, so in September 2017 (you heard it here first!) I’ll be taking part in the Wolverhampton half marathon to raise money for Breast Cancer Now. I wanted to do something big for the 10 year mark and doing something as challenging as a half marathon in my home city is perfect. The route goes past the street where I grew up and my uncle’s house (mum’s twin brother) is right on the route too.

So now I’ve got to get myself fit, I’m hoping to do it in around 2 hours and I have a dodgy knee so this will be tough. But compared to chemo, what’s a little running?