What have you been doing all day?!

By 8/24/2015

It's a question put forward by every working father to the new stay at home mother, or vice versa. While they've been beating the books and commuting and staring down a spreadsheet, you've been home taking care of the little bundle of joy and avoiding doing household chores.

Now I will put it out now, I am sat writing this while a pile of washing up sits just conveniently outside my field of vision and a pile of laundry sits at my feet.

I'm not lazy. I'm not avoiding it all on purpose; the fact is Isla has finally gone down for her nap and while I should take advantage of this free time to battle the grime around the taps or sort socks into pairs, my head is screaming to sit down and do nothing.

Looking at it from Jack's point of view, I don't really do as much as I should or could- What have you been doing all day?! he cries as he has to spend precious post-work relaxation time de-cluttering the sofa just to sit down on it.

I tell him how hard the day has been- little Isla puked, then pooped, then puked while I was cleaning the poop..then she did something funny with her toy so I spent half an hour trying to get her to repeat it for the camera...then of course I had to feed her a million times and then wash the bottles and then she puked again and I'm lucky if either myself or her are dressed by 3pm.

(Odd, he says, isn't it; how well behaved and easy she is on the weekends...!)

I've been trying to step it up. I am a home-maker and a responsible adult now and I can't rely on threats and groundings to get my chores done... (not that that ever worked when I lived with my parents either).

The truth behind it all isn't a lack of sleep or that Isla is difficult. It's that I haven't had a whole 24 hours of me time for months and when she goes to sleep I try to de-frazzle. I constantly need to be thinking ahead of time for what she might need or want or what needs doing and by the time she's asleep for 45 minutes I'd rather sit and play Candy Crush than clean toilets.

I'm definitely going to be trying so much harder to keep this house clean! I'll be wiping plates and wiping bums with my eyes closed whilst a cake bakes in the oven before you know it.

(Or I'll at least make sure Jack has some pairs of socks ready for work...)

How did you find being a stay at home mum? I can't be the only one who hates chores!

Steph xo

Twinkly Tuesday
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Blanket Houdini tests out the Grobag

By 8/23/2015 , ,

I've always been a huge fan of products that advocate safe sleep in babies; so this week when I received a new gorgeous 'Peek-a-boo' Grobag to try out for Isla I was more excited for bed time than normal!

We always put Isla to sleep in a vest, sleep suit and then a few blankets. She goes down like an angel, we tuck our little bundle up and we quietly shut the door. Five minutes later there's a scuffling noise from the baby monitor and the screen shows a very smiley baby cheekily kicking off her once tucked in blankets and pulling them all around her face and the cot.

The blanket escape has been an on-going battle since the day she was born. Hands covered by gloves or a blanket? Not going to happen mummy! Keep my covers safely tucked in? Never! The little rascal is determined to have me running over to her when she yanks her blankets up over her face. Like most mums, I panic- she could suffocate, and if kicked down to her feet, she could get cold and that would wake her up.

Trying in vain to kick her legs out of the Grobag!

The Grobag is designed like a little baby sleeping bag; however they are sleeveless. This promotes air circulation and allows for heat to leave the bag in the case that your baby may be getting too warm (and keeps our little Houdini happy!)

The Grobag came with a cute stand up room thermometer which lets you know how warm your room is and what tog rating of Grobag/level of clothing would be appropriate.

On the first night, it was a bit of a battle to get her in it- she wasn't so keen once she had her bottle and was ready to sleep. Fumbling around trying to get it on when I hadn't used one before woke her up and she started her usual nightly routine of kicking mummy and kicking blankets as much as she could. Thankfully, the Grobag we received has a handy zip so you don't have to shuffle your baby in- you can just lay them down and zip them up all cosy...(Try and escape from a zip little lady..!)

She of course, attempted to fight her way out of it but once she had worn herself out she was quite content to fall asleep and I felt much more content to not keep checking the monitor to see if she was playing peek-a-boo with her blanket or had left herself vulnerable to cold.

Night feedings were simple as she was comfortable to stay in her cosy bag while eating and it meant I didn't have to faff around with tucking her in and trying to stick her under her blankets (I was honestly considering stapling them to the mattress.)

All-in-all, she was a lot calmer in her bed. She's a little fussy from suspected teething so she has been waking up a little off her normal pattern but at least I can rest assured that it isn't because she is uncomfortable or cold.

It's definitely a product I've wanted to try and one I am going to carry on using; and who can resist when they have such lovely designs? You can see the full range here;  http://www.gro-store.com/grobag-baby-sleep-bag/full-range-of-grobags.html

What do you put your little ones to sleep in?
Thanks for reading,
Steph xo

I received one Peek-a-boo Grobag for the purpose of this review. All words, images and opinions are my own.

MaternityMondaysFamily Fever
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Snot, Naps and Tantrums- and that was just me!

By 8/17/2015

Now you may call me dramatic- and I can be very dramatic when I have even the slightest hint of a sniffle- but the past week or so I have literally never felt more unwell in my life.

That may be an exaggeration. I was a pretty regular tonsillitis/chest infection sufferer as a teenager but this has been my first illness since before I fell pregnant with Isla, and my first illness as a mother.

Picture this; it's 3am, I'm sat on a very comfy beanbag in a dim room feeding my beautiful baby. A pretty picture yes? She smiles sweetly up at me while snot slowly drips from my nose onto her pajamas, she can barely hold the bottle in her mouth because I am shivering so hard and despite the shivering, her hair is saturated from my newly produced elbow sweat (Who sweats from their elbow crease seriously?!)

Disgusting I know and I'm really not sorry. New mums and dads need to be warned. Do not get sick when looking after a newborn!

As hard as it was for me, it was much harder for Jack and Isla to deal with me as like I mentioned above I can get very dramatic and honestly part of me thought I would never breathe through more than one nostril again (resulting in a small crying tantrum in the garden when I insisted to Jack that I was the sickest anyone had ever been).

I found myself so exhausted that my poorly side convinced my mummy side that it was okay to put a dummy back in Isla's mouth to get her to sleep another three minutes- she's tired, she doesn't need me to feed her yet...if I lay down for another ten minutes that nappy wont explode.... the washing up can do itself...

I wish I had asked for help sooner. The fifth day of the worst-sickness-ever found me laying on the sofa in a pool of tears and sweat and snot (note: I'm still not sorry for the TMI) and Jack walking in from work and trying to send me right to bed. He was an angel feeding Isla, feeding me, letting me watch rubbish TV and then sending me to bed when I finally gave in at 9pm with the instruction to actually sleep; not sit up trying to beat him on Candy Crush.

So what advice can I give you ladies and gents who are yet to fall ill while caring for an already snotty enough baby?

Ask for help. Without Jack, my Dad and his girlfriend, and Netflix.. I don't think I would have pulled through.

Hydrate! I ended up very dehydrated which probably lengthened my illness.

Claim control of the TV remote- honestly, it helps- tell your partner I said it helps and stick on a really bad film that you'll sleep through anyway.

Don't take on too much. The house won't explode if it isn't spotless and you can always order takeaway. (But a reputable takeaway because boy do I regret getting a mystery meat hot dog from that glass case on the counter of my local corner shop.)

I'm finally feeling so much better thankfully!

Steph xo

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Weightloss Wednesday #3

By 8/06/2015

It's becoming a bit of a tradition for me to post these updates on Thursday morning isn't it? I should've picked Thursday as Wednesday always gets filled up with a visit from Isla's Nanny and Grandad (Note: I'm not always very good at planning, as you'll come to learn!)

During this week, I broke a few rules by heading out to a house-warming party and drinking more calories than I normally eat, following the day with the standard slightly hungover greasy food fest. Besides this bad weekend of eating I have had some amazing dinners; Jack made the most delicious meatballs I have ever had (homemade sauce countering the amount of carbs I consumed!)

I will add in so many of my dinners have been brown but I've been making a much more active effort to ensure I eat two good sized meals at least every day in the hopes of speeding up my snail speed metabolism.

I've been out and about walking so much and now that Isla needs a lot more attention and likes to be active I rarely find time to slob on the sofa for hours on end!

I weighed in at: 12st 4lbs

Weight lost: I gained 3.6lbs.
(We should rename this segment weight-gain...)

I can't really make excuses anymore. My eating isn't great- I have opted for convenient dinners way too many times and it's starting to be a struggle for me. I need to really gear up and motivate myself. While my figure is shrinking the number on the scales isn't and I guess my figure is what is more important to me but I just want to feel more healthy and lower my BMI!

I can add that the time in my cycle often makes me heavier through water retention so I need more fluids to push the excess water through!

Plan for the next week:
- Healthier lunches- I stick to what is quick and easy and a lot of the time that is where all my excess calories come from

- Less calories from liquid- I drink a lot of fizzy drinks and sugary juices, I definitely need more water in me!

- More colour to my dinner- pasta and rice is always easy so we seem to see a lot of brown on our plates!

It's so hard losing weight when I love food so much- I need to learn to say no! Keep an eye out next week for an update!

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July Round-Up

By 8/03/2015

So July flew by. I'm going to say that every month because since I got pregnant, every month has literally flown by. It has been a really busy month and we made a lot of memories!

Our Holiday to Haven

We went off to Haven for three nights, just a few miles from Great Yarmouth and not only was this Isla's first holiday it was actually mine and Jacks first time on any sort of holiday together! It was a fantastic trip and we made a lot of fun memories losing all our money in arcades, going on funfair rides, Jack swimming in the sea and of course spending quality time with family :)
(Read my post about the holiday here)

Isla's first time swimming

We took Isla swimming for the first time as the pool in our Haven resort was nice and warm and she had recently had her first jabs- the doctor gave us the go ahead and she loves floating gently in the water and listening to all the new sounds


This month (even though she started before July!) she has been a super smiley little girl. She learnt to grin back at us as we sing-song said 'Say cheeeeese!' and by the end of the month her smiles had slowly started to develop into what we know is the start of her laugh- a long squeak with a few heavy breaths 'heurrhurrr' while she grins non stop at us!

Getting out more

During pregnancy and during the first month or so of Isla being here, I didn't really like to go out much. I worried about being away from home or boring my company but over the month of July I have made sure to go out and about at least twice during the week (Thank you Grandad Wednesdays!) and we are always busy during the weekend. It's felt great to be more active!


So this month I tried to get myself back into the blogging world. I really enjoyed it but so much came up with pregnancy and birth complications that I avoided the online world and shied away from it all- now I'm back with a vengeance and absolutely loving it! I'm getting to know some lovely other mums and discovering some great blogs every day. My stats and views have rocketed (although that isn't as important to me) and I'm loving having a creative outlet.


My weight hasn't changed as you'll know from my weightloss updates on Wednesdays but I'm feeling so much more tight and toned- I guess I'm gaining muscle! I feel so much more myself. My episitiomy scar still aches but the doctor has assured me it is normal and it because they severed a lot of nerves which take longer to heal than the actual wound itself. My periods are back and trying to kill me and my boobs didn't stay as huge as I'd hoped they would but really at nearly 12 weeks PP I feel great and hope I carry on doing so!

Hopes for August:

  • Go to our first party/night out since having Isla (We recently did this before I had a chance to post- check the night out here!)
  • Get under 12 stone at last and stay down at size 12
  • Take Isla for a proper swimming lesson
  • Get our spare bedroom organized and set up with the new bed
  • Keep on top of the housework
  • Investigate a mums & babies group to meet more local mums
  • Do something exciting for bank holiday weekend

Did you have a good month? Let me know!
Steph xo

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First night out without the baby

By 8/03/2015

So if you haven't already read my post 'Planning our first night out...' I really recommend you check it out. You'll understand exactly the anxiety and anticipation I had for the night.

I found out I was pregnant last September, and myself and Jack hadn't been out for a long time, probably the last time was at the start of August last year or end of July. That marks an entire year of no alcohol, no socializing without either being pregnant or lugging a travel system and 10,000 nappies with me while people politely coo about how cute Isla is and how they wish we could do this more often...

Needless to say, by the time it hit Saturday afternoon I was raring to go and ready for wine o'clock to hit!

I will add in here- I did have a lot of mummy guilt about leaving Isla but I know my dad is amazing with her and I had every faith she would be happy and well cared for. I deserved the night off and I was going to make the most of it! I waved her happily out to the car and gave her a quick kiss- keep someone else up tonight! I smiled and watched the car pull away and stepped into my now baby free house and it hit me- I was free.

With Grandad and quite happy about it!

Jubilant jumping with glee and cracking open the wine? Oh no. More like crack open the water works. I sobbed and sobbed and got my nice prepped for makeup face all swollen and blotchy and itchy and I cried more and got all snotty and I cried more and got overheated so my hair started to stick to my face. I never expected to react that way, but once I was distracted it eased up and I knew I had to really make the most of it.

(Note: emotionally smelling daughters blankets are not a positive action when leaving her for the first time. Getting wine and dancing to Taylor Swift is far more appropriate.)

The evening did really pick up though! I got far too drunk far too quickly and had to ask the hosts for some snacks. They happily provided me with cold fajita style wraps, a bottle of ketchup and a can of cold sweetcorn. Remembering that last time they only provided sweets I felt quite proud of the boys for at least attempting to give me nutrition and ate till I felt a bit more sober.

I'd aimed to not talk about the baby but oddly it's all other people wanted to talk about- I cut it short when the birth questions got a bit too personal and when someone we hadn't seen for a very long time wasn't sure if I was pregnant or had already had the baby (I guess my dress wasn't as flattering as I had thought).

I felt very confident strutting around in my post baby body and high heels- the little dress Jack got me was gorgeous and comfortable and although I'm still what I'd call 'bigger than my normal self' I felt great. Oh and in case you were wondering, yes I did end up walking around without the heels after about an hour.

All in all, despite a few drunken comments that got me into defensive mummy mode (Note: do not tell a new parent leaving her child for the first time that she must be so glad to of gotten rid of her baby and not expect a lecture) I had a great night and so did Jack.

We got home, threw ourselves into bed (Oh no- a baby blanket. Que the sobbing for about another hour before I decided I was far too emotional and drunk to be awake) and spent the entire night not having to wake up for midnight milk slavery and then we spent the whole next morning watching bad films and eating a lot of greasy food until my dad dropped our baby girl home.

All in all I would call it a success, but due to the amount of crying on my part I think I need to prepare myself better next time or give it some more time until we try it again.

Thanks for reading
Steph xo

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