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Return Of The Slummy Mummy

With mat leave nearly at an end (boo) I’ll be returning soon with updates from the past 8 months. Just why did I drop off of the face of the planet as D day approached? How have we coped as a family of 5? Birth stories and Birthday parties, new jobs, crazy cleaning sprees and plenty of school run mishaps to come:

For now I leave you with the lovelies…

BIg Girl H, Little Roo and our newest addition Nergy Noo
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It’s the final countdown

So I’ve hit the 27 week mark, hello third trimester! I’m sure my body knew instantly over night that the blooming stage of pregnancy was over. My eyes are worse than normal and once again im writing in ten min slots. I recently found out little one is lying transverse and boy do my hips hurt at the moment. I wouldn’t normally worry, it’s just that my first two nestled snugly into the head down position very early and didn’t turn again from this point onwards, but every pregnancy is different they say so fingers crossed eh?

With the final lap underway we headed to our local boot sale this weekend to pick up a few little bits for baby, We have become booty addicts of the past few months and I’m pretty sure we should start some sort of therapy before it gets out of hand. We have managed to get everything we will need for little one now and, at under £100 for the lot (bar the cot), its easy to see why we would spend our weekends walking past stalls of silk flowers and crystal hedgehogs in search of a bargain or two. We’ve even managed to get the two eldest summer outfits for less than the cost of fuel needed to get to the various venues, providing you can see past the mullets and tat it’s amazing what you can collect.

Feeling pretty darn pleased with ourselves this weekend after adding hats and scratch mits to our collection, we headed home to the sound of Phil Collins in the Cd player (not my choice but the CD got stuck weeks ago…. If I hear ‘against all odds’ one more frikkin time…..). On the way we spotted a sign for a local baby show and felt we could justify a quick look… plus I really needed to pee.

Unfortunately, given the lovely weather, the place was a bit quiet…. My husband also had to point out to the security guy on the door that I had indeed put sun screen on and that my face was red because I had acne…. Ever seen a 6ft 5 bald man in an orange vest cringe?? Think giant satsuma! Serves him right for telling me what I should and shouldn’t put on my face!

I did find a great product at the show though. Cherub Chews! I remember looking for something similar when Roo was a bit younger but talking myself of it because of the price but with products starting from just £6 I couldn’t resist this one.

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Remember when your little one was a newborn? They would nuzzle in for cuddles and nurse snug in your arms? Well fast-forward a few months and you have arms flailing, toes waggling and hair pulling…. In fact recently Roo has taken to poking a tiny mole I have on my shoulder during his limited nursing sessions…. Sometimes he would play with his feet, other times, if I was silly enough to wear earrings, he would play magpie and see how hard he could tug on them before I yelped in pain. Who hasn’t has to wrestle a tiny fist away from grandmas priceless silver necklace when she leans in for a cuddle and is shocked to find herself wondering if she will escape the house alive?

Cherub Chews have been inspired by Mums for Mums & are designed to attract babies attention while nursing & Babywearing.

Cherub Chews was created out of a need for a distraction for an inquisitive little one whilst feeding and babywearing. Necklaces have been tried and tested by ‘Head of quality control’- Oaks, Cherub Chews Owners Son. He gives them a toothy grin and thumbs up!

Each necklace is handmade in Exeter, Devon, with materials sourced as locally as possible. As a small family run business we try to source everything from small business’ and as we continue to grow quality and craftsmanship is always at the forefront of our products.

photo 3I must admit I was quite seduced by some of the brighter products but in the end I settled for The Coconut Button Necklace only because I have trouble co-coordinating my socks in the morning let alone putting together a stylish outfit with matching accessories, I figured this one would go with most of my clothes and also be quite subtle.

Little man loved it and actually sat happily playing and chewing on it for a good half an hour that evening, leaving me to watch nearly a whole episode of ‘Buffy’ while hubby cooked tea. That’s got to make it a winner right? I wonder how the littlest will get along with it? Three months to go…. And yes, I’m counting!!

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The Smug Beastfeeder

I hope this this post isn’t as controversial as you may think, I’m a proud breast feeder, I’m one of those annoying women who do like to slip it into conversation whenever I get a chance. Now not many bfeeding mums will admit this, but we are bloody chuffed with ourselves and, actually it gets on our goat when we feel we have to dumb this down for fear of offending our formula feeding friends. But do we judge you for your choices? This is a difficult one perhaps outlining the real reason I breastfeed will help you see there is no prejudice.

I’d love to say that I’m motivated purely by the health of my child, that I’m selfless, which in turn would mean I consider formula feeders to be selfish right? This simply isn’t true. We hear about the guilt women feel when they give baby a bottle, the pressure and expectations on mothers to breastfeed is very very real and this is a strong motivation for me. I’m a perfectionist, I worry a lot about the opinions of others and I couldn’t cope with that guilt even though I know it is ridiculous that any mother should feel this pressure. I’m motivated by fear of judgement…. Not the health needs of my baby

I’m a ‘slummy mummy’ we know this, That is to say I’m not a domestic goddess, I had much admiration for women who have to spend time cleaning, sterilising and making up bottles, I would never call formula feeding a lazy option. I couldn’t do it, bottles would build up and cause stress and anxiety, I know myself well enough to say that if I had to deal with this endless stream of washing I would struggle emotionally, I’m motivated by my own limitations….not the health needs of my baby

Having had a turbulent childhood I have struggled to form attachments in my life, I had never been in love until I met my husband and having children does full fill a need in me to connect with others. That is not to say that I’m unaware that my children need to form identities outside of their family unit or that they are merely extensions of myself, It’s very important that our children are encouraged to be their own person right? but, breastfeeding is vital for me personally as it enables me to form a bond with my child which I may struggle with ordinarily given my history. Childhood attachment is built by many different factors and formula feeding would not prevent a strong healthy attachment from forming, however, for a mother who struggles understanding even the basics of human attachment it provides a foundation to work from….. I’m motivated by my desire to connect….not the health needs of my baby

Having outlines these reasons I hope to show that it is these reasons which kept me going in those early hours of the morning, there seems to be a misconception that if you breastfeed you were lucky, In fact I often find myself saying that to people, well my children nursed well, I had a good supply, didn’t encounter difficulties etc. But it’s not true, I struggled through pain, thrush, lazy attachments, hours of nursing, tears and arguments with my partner, feelings of being touched out etc, Once I remember going for a drive and leaving my baby and husband at home for half an hour just because I could bare to draw my baby to my breast for the eighth time that morning, but it’s for the reasons above I pushed on through…

I’m not a saint, motivated my some earth mother like desire to selflessly provide for my offspring, I’m not judging you for doing what any sane person would do given the many difficulties faced by breastfeeding … but the health benefits which are so pushed at us as new mothers are merely a bonus to me. I breastfeed because it’s the best thing for me and my child and if you formula feed well, I can pretty much guarantee you do so because you know it’s the best thing for you and your child also.

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Things that annoy me when I’m pregnant

Ok so hormones go a little bit crazy during pregnancy, and most of this stuff is my responsibility, but that doesn’t stop me breathing fire once in a while.

1. When people do a pee in the toilet I just cleaned……

2. Cooking disasters

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3. When my cup of tea goes cold

4.When people put anything other than books on the book shelf

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5.When I get up for the 3rd time that night to pee

6.and the toilet roll hasn’t been replaced correctly

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7. Having to adjust the seat in the car

8. When things are left on the stairs

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9. Forgetting why I have walked into a room

10. When the stair rail is used instead of the coat hooks

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11. Finding myself sobbing during the opening sequence to Fireman Sam

12. Tea bags left on the side

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13. Toothpaste in the sink

14. When the table isn’t cleared from breakfast before creativities begin…. mmmm toast crumb cards

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15. When my husband has hic-ups…. or sneezes, or snores, or burps…. or breaths too heavily

16. The vacuum cleaner lead….. enough said!!

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17. Discovering there’s no milk….. after brewing my cupa

18. Forgetting to remove the veg crate before using the microwave and praying for thanks that the house didn’t go up in flames

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Scans and Belly Jiggles

We had our third scan today, the first being for some reassurance and the second to tell us we were only ten weeks (that was a bit disappointing). Today we were set back once again, but only by a day. We now have a EDD (finally)! little bean is due 21st of September, looks like I’ll be doing the school run in my final weeks then…

It was an emotional but rather interesting morning… Having woken up from a slightly odd dream to the sounds of baby Roo cooing away at 6:30, we managed to convince him that 20 mins of Peppa Pig (which is permanently in our bedroom dvd player), while having mummy and daddy cuddles, was a far better option than a crack of dawn breakfast…

Pregnancy dreams are the best! Mine seemed to involve underground greenhouses(?!), a flight round New York city, and plastic dolls… I also recall getting angry will fellow contestants in a cooking competition during the night… the husband says I snored! Grrr this is possibly because I seem to have picked up a nasty little cold from some snotty child at a toddler group last week, I knew there was a reason why I don’t attend such events often aside from the competitive parenting, (my Chelsea tractor is bigger than yours, little jimmy was potty trained at 5 weeks etc) dam this constant coughing and sneezing, we know I have pelvic floor issues!

Baby Roo, hubby and I throw breakfast down ourselves and bundle out of the door leaving the eldest with our wonderful Mother’s Help, who is both more efficient and more organised than myself. H is in capable hands and would no doubt arrive at school with all equipment necessary, no toothpaste down her top, well fed, refreshed from a lovely walk and without the sound of ‘we’re running late again’ echoing in her ears. Its a shame she can’t join us but hopefully next time!

We stop at a garage on the way and grab a bottle of water before heading into the city, Roo seems excited by the change of routine and even more excited when he realises he can see the fish tank in the hospital again… there’s something about taking a toddler into a room full of broody mother-to-be, I only wish he would return their smiles, just once… but no, he’s so serious, just gets on playing peek-a-boo with the fish (until the power cuts out and he looks more confused than normal). ‘He actually has a dimple’, I tell people when they attempt to coax a smile from him. I don’t think anyone believes me… I wonder if this little bundle will be just as serious around strangers? or if they’ll be like their confident and bubbly big sister?

We make it into the scan room and I’m mortified to find that I’m required to hold my existing ‘baby apron’ up so she can scan… dam big babies!! But, apparently, muffin top aside, my bottle of water was not enough, I’m asked to drink more fluid and wait another half an hour….

By the time I re-enter the room, 7 polystyrene cups of water later, I’m bursting for the loo and praying I won’t sneeze. There were a few intense moments of belly jiggling to get little one to turn around and a more than one close call where I thought I might lose all dignity, but here he/she is… dated 12+2 weeks, with two arms and two legs and a strong heart beat….. Yes it’s starting to sink in… baby number three… a beautiful little blob…

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The Thin Red line

So, we’re pregnant! I hope this goes a little way to explain my absence of late, I’ve either been with the kiddies, working, or sleeping. Bfeeding a toddler during the early stages of pregnancy is exhausting not to mention slightly painful but, we’re still pushing forward in an earth-mother-with-kids-hanging-of-her-boobs kinda way….

The day the red line appeared I had stocked up on the following at Tesco…. A bottle of Malibu, 3 ovulation kits, a pregnancy test and a big box of tampons…… I secretly snuck away to the loo when we returned home (thanks to ‘In The Night Garden’) and obviously was delighted when the line appeared! But my second thought, was ‘dam it!….. What a waste of a shopping trip’

I hadn’t really expected to be pregnant that month, I mean, my cycle had been all out and all attempts had failed for 3 months previously. Plus, with the pressures of Christmas and various house guests, hubby and I are certain we didn’t actually do the deed….we still don’t remember when said event took place….. gosh is that marriage for you? I mean I often forget when he asks to me wash certain jumpers… and in turn he has forgotten to sort the tv wires for 6 months now, but sex… erm that’s never happened before…

Yes Aunt Flow was late, but it wasn’t the first time since she reappeared following Baby Roo’s birth, I took the test out of habit really… and low and behold, there it was, the thin red line!DSCF4218edit

Our dates have been very hard to decipher as this line appeared a week after conception (even odder now that I don’t remember). Those hormones must have been strong… I spent the first 8 weeks thinking I was two weeks ahead of myself and couldn’t understand why I didn’t feel particularly sick…. An early scan revealed our ‘Macfly’ (After the BTTF character, not the band) was strong and healthy but wouldn’t be sharing my Virgo birth sign as suspected (no I don’t believe in that, but sounds cool right?….. ok, I couldn’t think of another way to wrap up that sentence).

Surprisingly the sickness is so much easier to manage than both my previous pregnancies, maybe its because there’s little time to dwell and wallow but I feel so much better than before. The problem with third time around is the good old pelvic floors are less forgiving…. I’m not trying to gross you out but, ever puked and peed?…. its humiliating!! I’ve taken to attempting to reinstate them every time I boil the kettle…. This is fairly often, as, when you have a toddler the kettle is re-boiled at least four times before you actually get round to making a brew!

As you can see I’m not going to be sharing the glamorous side of pregnancy (does it really exist). I’d love to do a bump update every week for you but erm at the moment I look about 6 months gone, the joys of close pregnancies! Ill simply relate as I always do, the reality of being a slummy mummy of two three!!DSCF4155edit

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Happy New Year!!!

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas!

What are your plans for New Year? Are you hitting the town or, like me, are you curled up inside in the warm wondering when you last hit the dance floor? I think the last time I stepped into a club was quite possibly my hen party. I sobered up fairly quickly when the DJ was greeted to a huge cheer on asking ‘who here was born in the 90’s’! This was my cue to leave.

I’ve just got over Christmas, the last thing I want to do is go for a night on the tiles, instead, my husband is pouring over his Game of Thrones 4D puzzle at the dining room table (4th day in a row) and I find myself reliving my youth by watching Buffy re-runs: (incidentally it’s the episode where the adults of Sunnydale revert to their youth).

I’ll try and make it to midnight as this will be the time other half and I turn to each other, briefly mumble ‘Happy New Year Love’ then continue our separate thrilling pursuits. Who wants to be on the wrong side of 25 in a night club anyway?

Normally the new year is when I make a Bridget Jones style list of everything I intend to achieve….. It should look like the following although of course, It looked very similar last year

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• Lose weight
• Always hang the washing out as soon as the cycle has finished and not just refresh the machine every 5 hours
• Sort through all the cupboards which have been filled over Christmas in order to fool guests that I do truly live a neat, minimalist lifestyle
• Donate the Xmas chocolates
• Donate all the skinny clothes in my wardrobe because I’ll never fit into them
• Deal with the charity/boot sale boxes from last year’s (half) sort out, which accompanied us on our move and are now piled high in the bedroom
• Accept I’ll never look at old xmas/birthday/wedding/new baby cards again, bin them, thus freeing up space in 99% of all household drawers
• Make a start on clearing my student debt (boo)
• Decorate my office (cute Cath Kidson style florals)
• Stop using my husband’s office as a laundry room
• Remember to take up any items on the stairs when passing them
• Take painkillers the moment I sense a headache rather than moaning to my husband for 3 hours
• Remember to take the pushchair out of the car the night before if walking to school the next day, thus avoiding the rushed ninja routine with baby on hip at 8:30am
• Take all meat out of the freezer the night before rather than worry all day that it will not defrost in time for dinner
• Spend some time actually improving the house rather than googling design inspirations
• Be assertive with our half job cleaner rather than tipping her an extra pound every week
• Partake in spontaneous creative activities with the children rather than having to mentally prepare myself for the mess a week beforehand
• Take up running
• Update ipod for said running trips
• Buy running shoes
• Decide against running due to initial start-up costs
• Update this blog more….. maybe when I feel guilty about not running

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Maybe I’ll update you on the progress of this next year…….. I’m off to set the Big Ben countdown to record now in case I should fall asleep before midnight……. Might go an open some of those yummy Xmas chocolates also…..

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The Shame of a Messy Car

Today, as I procrastinate on the web I find myself thinking of those little jobs that never get done. Sure, I could be working my way through them now, but cleaning the car out won’t enhance my career as a writer will it?

Of course I could do what I’m sure sensible people do and bring the rubbish in after each trip rather than letting the footwell’s fill up with wrappers, books, children’s clothing and various debris: That would be far too simple wouldn’t it? I have instead, a boot full of plastic bags, each one signifies my intention to tidy….. Before I set off on various exciting expeditions to the supermarket or the thrill of the school run, I load up the children into their car seats and add a carrier to the boot: for when I return home I shall bring in the wildlife!! On the very few occasions I have managed to achieve this, the plastic bags sit on the stairs for at least a week before my long suffering husband decides he has had enough of me walking past them and sorts them out himself….. Many a suitable child’s jumper has be worn and discarded in that car, only to be retrieved with such a lapse in time that it nolonger reaches the wrist.

But who cares right? I don’t often have car visitors. The other half has a quick jog round if the in-laws are coming for fear they will see it as another reason why I’ll never be good enough for their son….. If the MIL starts clearing it out then I know I’ve gone too far. Shame on me for allowing life to get in the way of a spotless car eh?. She does have a small point though, if passive aggressively made: It is fairly shameful isn’t it? I mean, I hate that moment just before I step out the car door, where I pray that a red bull can will not clatter out after me or heaven forbid, someone finds out we had drive-through Macdonalds a week ago… oh the shame!

Not too long ago the eldest opened her door, only for a sudden gust of wind to blow 10 sandwich bags across the playground (leftover from our half term trip, should H get travel sickness). Of course I then had a choice, do I run after them thus alerting even more people to the fact that I’m a complete Slummy Mummy, or do I leave them and risk the raised eyebrows of the few Chelsea tractor driving yummies who did see….. I opted for a third option, yes, I made it into a game…. Quick H, chase the bags, catch the bags, oh isn’t this fun….. Since that day the eldest has continued to ask me ‘when can we play the bag catch game again mummy?’….

The upside to all this however, is that as the car gets messier and messier I HAVE to get more organised in the mornings (?). I can now be found leaving the house at a reasonable time in order to avoid having to park at the school: I’m officially a walker now. The shame of being the parent who gets in THAT car is all consuming. I’ve seen more than the odd glance at the dashboard by families walking past, ‘wow mummy look at that’ the children point at the lose change, pair of sunglasses (yes, in the middle of winter) pieces of lego and wetwipes which festoon the ledge….. I can only hope that such families passing have the same walk/drive debate and can empathise…. If not, well…. Maybe they are cleaning out their cars rather than writing about not doing it..….
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Twas the night before Christmas- A Birth Story

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
I began some deep breathing, leaning over the couch
My hubby inflated, the birth pool with air
In hopes that the midwives, soon would be there.

While our daughter was nestled, all snug in her bed,
I located the waterproof sheet from the shed.
And carefully placed it, (I hear waters can snap)
Over our bed, to takea short nap

Next from downstairs, arose such a clatter,
I rolled off of the bed, to see what was the matter.
away to the door, I hobbled between
contractions that made, me feel very green

My husband, through nerves, had neglected to see
the presents placed under the Christmas tree.
so, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a confused dad-to-be, with a face full of fear.

With an increase in nerves, and a baby so keen
We knew the moment had come, ‘call the jubilee team!’
More rapid than eagles, with pain relief she came,
Despite the awkward date: Cheryl by name!

‘Now try to relax, take deep breaths and count
I’ll take your vitals and write an account’
Why not walk up the stairs, or bounce on your ball
This could take a while, I’ll be here through it all

Between each belly tightening, I declared it quite easy
Only during contractions, did I feel fairly queasy
So bowls were fetched, in case I needed to spew,
Not glamorous no, but I’m being truthful with you

And then, in a twinkling, I heard up the stairs
Some prancing and dancing, ‘Santas been’ she declares
And I held in the pain, and turned myself round,
Down the stairs little Harriet, came with a bound.

She was dressed in her jammies, so excited, oh bless her,
We decided the grandparents, place would be better.
The bundle of Toys, would just have to wait,
We promised her Christmas, but at later a date.

Next my waters were broken, and time it stood still
‘Rest and be thankful’, Cheryl told me ‘just chill’
The pushing stage, would be tough as could be
But I’d not be alone, and ‘power to me’

Well try as I might, with gritting of teeth
Our bundle of joy, was unwilling to leave
while a transfer to hospital, was my greatest fear
I was tired and grumpy, (swearing a lot- so I hear)

Though the journey was 10 mins, it felt like an hour
I cried and I winced and I felt I’d lost power
But when we arrived, I gave it one final shot
And stuck-baby turned, (much to my shock)

‘It’s a Boy’ cried my husband, ‘with lots of dark hair’
Overcome with emotion, I did nothing but stare
Finally here after nine month of waiting
So perfect, our Rupert (all 9lb 1 of-him)

Cheryl quietly worked, to her team gave call,
We’re very grateful for, the support of them all.
She passed on her wishes, when she took her leave,
‘Happy Christmas to all, look at what you’ve achieved’1003824_10152019283914498_238448189_n