Sunday, 31 March 2013

... and breathe..

The Easter break has come at the perfect time. Back at work for a few weeks and just getting used to it and now I get a whole two weeks off with my family. I’m more confident now that going back to work was the right thing to do (not that I had much choice anyway).  The pressure seems to have really lifted. Having a routine with work and the little one, getting a bit fitter, seeing friends and going out.. Life seems to have a good balance to it now.
I love my little man so much and he really is my world, my heart is also full of love for his dad and all of my family and friends. I am lucky to have such a great network of support around me. Now I am able to really be me. I’ve got into playing netball and the ukulele and photography as well as looking after my family and myself. Spending some good time with family, a new outfit for a night out last night and this weekend I feel very satisfied with life and well rounded. I’m looking forward to the future.
Now all we need is some sunshine.
I think it’s valuable to take time to think about what is important to you and be who you want to be. What do you do that makes you feel good? I love reading your comments so feel to share your thoughts…

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Photo beginnings...

Here is my favorite photo from last week. This is the little man just after his bath. He always tries to crawl away from me when I'm trying to get him dressed. He goes so fast and then turns around to peek around the corner and see if I'm coming after him!

I've been getting into photography lately. Apps like instagram have made me get into it more and the little man's Dad has been really encouraging me too, telling me I have an eye for it so I've decided to get a camera and see how I get on. I've bought a Fujifim Finepix HS30 EXR bridge camera and so far I'm loving it. Its easy to use, feels and looks good and the settings seem to allow a novice like me to get some lovely snaps. I've used pixlr to edit the photo above and add effects. I love the slightly vintage look to this one.

Everyone always says these days go too fast so I think that capturing the memories any way I can is really valuable and I know I will treasure these memories forever. I think the main thing is to snap away enjoy it and not worry about what you are doing too much. I'm looking forward to learning, getting better and having fun with my little man.

instagram photo of my camera

Saturday, 23 March 2013

The gruesome miracle - If only I'd known...

I never watched One Born Every Minute or Maternity Ward before I'd given birth because I'm a bit of a worrier anyway and didn't need any encouragement to think too much more about what birth would entail. I still don't really watch it but I caught a glimpse the other night of a new life being wrestled into this world and it got me thinking about the gruesome miracle of birth and what I wish I had known...

Everyone knows it can be long, ugly, beautiful, stressful, surprising and will be painful but I didn't know that I would want to have recorded more of that in some way!

I heard the term 'memory collector' the other day and that is definitely what I am. This year I started a journal which I write every day, this blog and I have got into photography. There's also an app called One Second Everyday which I love and creates a great collection of one second of your videos all mashed together (definitely one to look into if you are a memory collector too).

The thing I wish I had known about birth is that the memory of the first few seconds of my baby boy's life would be so clouded by pain, emotion, exhaustion and drugs that 9 months down the line it has faded a bit! I wish I had more photos and although a bit controversial maybe a video of that amazing moment as he took his first breath and I first held him in my arms. My advice to expectant mothers would be to really consider taking lots of photos and writing a journal in those days after your baby is born (and if your brave enough consider some photos just for you during and after the birth). My memory isn't the best so these things are so precious to me. I'm going to be brave and share one of my few labour photos with you... It might not seem like much but it's a memento of that crazy night that changed my life. Next time round hopefully ill be brave enough for a couple more photos!

The clever people over a LittleStuff have teamed up with Aptaclub to create a new app to help mums in their last trimester of pregnancy, there's so much advice out there that these apps can be really helpful. It even has a contraction timer and recorder so you can give your midwife a really clear record of what's been happening so far. Check out the app here.

Good luck if you are expecting soon and get snap happy! You won't regret it!

Epidural Time
This post is beingmebeingmum's entry into the Aptaclub ‘If Only I’d Known…’ competition.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Yummy Mummy?

I have been reading a few posts on  Slummy Mummy's blog about getting back in shape after having a baby and keeping things (like waxing) on the agenda when you might rather have a little nap!

Going back to work has spurred me on a bit to think about who I am (hence the blog) and get back to being me as well as being mum. I was never hugely into sport apart from dance and couldn'd find a place to do that where I live but when I heard about a "back to netball" club near me I thought I'd give it a try... and I LOVE it! All the skills came flooding back from school and it's a great atmosphere to learn again in as all the other ladies are in a similar boat. My fitness wasn't as bad as I thought it was and I've even started jogging now too (well its more half jog half walk at the moment but you have to start somewhere).

I'm really pleased that I am trying to do something about my fitness and I think it will impact well on other areas of my life, I already feel like I have more energy for things and I have felt my body change a bit too. Now all I have to do is keep it up!?

It is hard to get back to feeling like yourself after your body has been through so much and your style sometimes has to take a bit of a hit (finding clothes on your new budget that have easy boob access or arent too tight on the old middle section and suit your new shape can be a challenge!). Im trying to make sure that I still look after myself and make an effort to get dressed up when I can. The sport is definately helping and a little treat here and there like a new nail varnish or top always makes me feel better. These new Models Own colours are a winner! Maybe I'll be a yummy mummy yet!? 

Models Own Ice Cream Sundae

Saturday, 16 March 2013

FIRST chocolate treats!!!

Easter is on the way and so I thought that me and the little one could have a go at a simple bit of  "cooking" to celebrate (although as he is still so small it was really me doing the cooking and him doing the tasting!). As you can see this "fancy fruity chocolate nest" was quite tempting in the end!

This easter our little family of 3 are off to center parcs with the grandparents and my sister to celebrate my mum's 60th birthday. I am so pleased as I havent been since I was little and the feeling that the place gives me inside is something I can hardly describe. It just feels so special and I am over the moon that I can hopefully share this with my little man. I'm worried he might be a bit small to get the benefit of being there but I'm sure the vibes will be really exciting for him anyway and we have booked to take him to the soft play area and some other activites he will like - apart from the SWIMMING which I know he will love. I'm really looking forward to sharing the fun with Jacob's dad as he's never been before and they have an exciting new water ride in Elveden which should be up his street. They have a sweet shop there too which was always an exciting place for me and my lil sis so here is my recipie for the above creation inspired by Easter and the upcoming holiday...

You will need...

mini eggs
rice crispies
greeseproof paper

1. Put out two sheets of greeseproof paper and wash and dry the strawberries
2. Melt the chocolate (if you're careful you can do this in the microwave but keep getting it out to stir it and make sure it doesnt burn)
3. Dip the strawberries with leaves still on into the chocolate and place on greeseproof paper to cool.
4. Pour some rice crispies into the remaining chocolate and stir (add as many as you like so that the chocolate covers them and they still stick together)
5. Use SPOONS to bulild a nest shape on the other piece of greeseproof paper (Don't try to mould a nest shape using your hands as I did - It doesnt work! See pic below. You do get some good finger licking going on if you do try this though!)
6. Allow all the chocolate to cool and set and arrage with mini eggs as the picture! and you're done!

I really like this because it's quick and simple and the strawberry leaves look like grass around the nest. Also because Jacob has never had chocolate before I didnt want him to overdose so the strawberries I gave him only had a really little bit on the tip of each one (the ones I ate were pretty much coated!). So you can vary this depending on how much of a treat you want it to be!

Jacob really enjoyed his first taste of chocolate and the strawberries and I loved our first attempt at cooking together even if he was mostly watching! Such a nice treat for a saturday and a bit of quality fun time after all the time I've spent away from him at work! Happy times.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Work guilt

Feeling guilt for leaving your baby is all part of being a working mum (even if I am working 3 days a week) but the guilt doesn't stop with just leaving him so that I can work...

Nearly two weeks into being back to work and it has got surprisingly less difficult to leave the little man in the morning. My parents seem ok looking after him and he shows very few signs of missing me... This is something I'm obviously happy about (I would hate to think he was sad) but it does make me worry that maybe he doesn't miss me at all!?

Spending more time away from Jacob is also making me think much more about the days we do spend together. Before I went back to work there were days where I'd be looking forward to his naps so I could have a bit of me time but if i feel that now it also makes me feel guilty. I should be treasuring every second and making our time together really count.

I do wonder whether I'm missing out, whether being apart from him is good for us both, whether I could have done more or been more fun so he would miss me more, whether I have made the right decision and whether I had a choice anyway!? I think I am doing the right thing...

I guess I'm still trying to find the balance between being me and being mummy and getting all the other day to day things done too!

(This picture is an example of one of the visual updates I like getting from Jacobs grandparents throughout my working day. We're all still surprised and proud when he guzzles down a whole bottle of milk)

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

9 months already

Jacob is 9 months old today and it has gone so quickly. So much has changed and it has been a roller coaster.

The first few days and weeks I couldn't sleep or eat with a mixture of excitement and nerves, then came what seemed like unending tiredness and a touch of postnatal depression (which thankfully I got sorted pretty quickly). Then we got settled into our weekly routine of groups and going out and about to see different friends and family which was a very happy time although not without its difficulties finding things to do that fitted in with both our routines. I found some groups daunting when older children were there running around and other groups were just at the wrong time of day.
We went to weddings, I had my first night out, we had a family holiday, his Christening, Christmas and learning to feed him real food. (I never realised what a big deal I would think it was!)

Now he is pulling himself up, babbling, has 3 teeth and is looking like he is getting ready to take his first steps! And I am back at work!

Our first nine months together have been full of fun; baby massage, walks on the beach, swimming, messy play (in paper, jelly and even cooked spaghetti), visits to family and trips to the zoo. It's been challenging and wonderful and has brought our family closer.

Every new stage means a change and it really does go so quickly but I am getting used to it and developing as he does. What will we be in another 9 months?

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Happy Mother's Day

I am struggling to know what to write on Mother's Day. A momentous day for a first time mum. Jacob has grown so much in the last 9 months and so much has changed already, I'm sure that nothing will prepare me for all the changes the next year will bring.

Today I have been thinking about my mum and how special she is to me, how much my life is affected by her. The line is blurred between mother and friend and our relationship is so important to me.

I wonder what effect I will have on Jacob's life and what I will mean to him as he grows...

I wouldn't change being a mum for anything, corny as it sounds. Days like this help me to think about who I want to be and what I need to do. First on the list ; bath, book, tea, muffin...

Saturday, 9 March 2013

One Week In...

One week into our new routine and although we got off to a bit of a bumpy ride (quite literally as Jacob is in that stage where he is bumping his head a lot as he learns to get around) now that week one has been endured I think that Jacob, parents and grandparents are all optimistic and getting used to it now.

I feel like I still have a little way to go until I am properly back into the swing of work but it's all coming back to me. My employers have been great in letting me settle in gently and I am really lucky.

I have come across people who are of the opinion that by going back to work I am going to be missing out on parts of my child's life and even that I have chosen money over time with my baby. This obviously upset me but having thought about it I have decided that going back to work 3 days of the week will give me a chance to be "me" as well as "mum" and pursue a career which will have many benefits for my child as well as for me and all of us as a family. I want him to know that part of life is working hard and I am modelling this for him. Also he is learning to spend time with other people and developing really strong relationships with his extended family. Not forgetting that I still have 4 quality days with him a week ( to do things like play in jelly at the baby group! see pic) plus fun mornings and evenings when I am at work.

I've been tired and it has taken it's toll on other areas of my life. I have had to work hard on my relationship with Jacob's dad and we have both been putting in the effort to support each other and talk to each other.

My parents are getting used to it and are doing really well although it is a bit of a challenge for them at times. I also appreciate that I am lucky that he can be with his grandparents instead of with a child minder or nursery.

Feel free to share your opinions ....

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

back to work

Today was my first day back at work after 9 months of maternity leave. Life has changed a lot in these last few months and everything seems different now. Going back to work has just highlighted this and I find myself thinking about who I am now that I am also a mum.

My baby is 9 months old and leaving him was a huge challenge. It seems like I have been counting down to this moment since he was first born and now the day has come it is just weird. I feel like I have been away forever and also that I was never away. I am the same person but so different now. I mostly feel this this tiny man has made me so much stronger. I have to be strong for him and if leaving him to work is part of that then I can do it. I feel guilty that I have to leave him but then I remember that to him it's probably no big deal and really it's just me who feels the strain. This theory seems to have been confirmed today after an eventful day with his grandparents he greeted me with a little smile when I got back from work and then settled down to sleep after a quick feed.

I am looking forward to this new challenge and discovering how life changes even more now....