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Mission lose the baby weight; Weeks 1, 2 & 3

So, I’m not going to go on about all this “new year, new me thing” that pretty much half the population tend to do in the new year.

I finally feel like I have life, and being a mum under control. I semi feel like I know what I am doing, we sort of have a routine and Bella SLEEPS!

I feel like I can function a bit more like a normal person rather than a mombie.

We have also sort of decided we would like to have another baby at some point, which means more IVF.

We can’t afford to pay for full private cycles, so this means egg sharing again (or if we are lucky getting onto a drug trial).

So basically to egg share (or do the trial) your BMI has to be under 30.

My starting BMI  is 38. So yeah, a teeny tiny bit too high. Gah.

To get my BMI where I want it to be I need to lose 3st 7lb.

I decided not to blog straight away, well because I wanted to make sure I was ready to get my head into the game and start losing weight.

So here I am blogging, and its going well. I’m over 2 and half weeks into my new “thing”.

I’ve decided I’m not going to do any “diets” or any eating plans. I’m not cutting out and food groups. I want something sustainable. I want to change my life, not just lose weight and then it all comes back on when I return back to “normal” eating. I am making a new normal.

I am counting calories, and moving more. It is that simple.

I have joined a buggy boot camp that I do every Thursday, I have started using “Pacer” app on my iPhone (it counts your steps like a pedometer). I have consciously started walking more, it helps that we have gone down from two cars to just one.

I have made myself a few motivational visual aids which I will blog about separately. I find they really help!

I have before pictures, I have taken measurements. I don’t yet feel ok enough about it to share just yet. I am disappointed in myself, when I found out I had fertility problems I lost 7 stone because I knew we would want IVF. I can’t believe I put it back on, I managed to maintain for years but you know what? She is worth every lb. I know if and when we get pregnant again I will take more interest in what I eat, I managed to maintain until 20 weeks with Bella, then we went on an all inclusive honeymoon for 2 weeks and my scales broke (convenient I know!!).

I also just want to put this out there, I weigh daily, this is what I do, its what I’ve always done. It allows me to keep tabs. I don’t throw a tantrum if I put half a lb on, I understand my weight fluctuates, but it stops anything getting out of control.

So, I hope to blog weekly about this. About how I am feeling, how I am doing. Wish me luck!

Week 1 

Week commencing – 2/01/2015

Weight – 17st 2lbs

Started off feeling great, I decided to start writing meal plans, I am prepared the day before, there are no last minute “oh there is nothing in to eat” moments and therefor no take aways.

Increased my walking, started doing a few home work outs.

Really positive week.

Week 2

Week commencing – 9/01/2015

Weight – 16st 7lb

Loss – 9lbs

Well the hard work paid off! I feel great, I feel lighter.

Start my first boot camp this week! Really enjoyed it, hard work but nice to meet other mums in the same boat and Bella enjoyed it!

More walking again, calorie counting going well

Week 3

Week commencing – 16/01/2014

Weight – 16st 6lb

Loss – 1lb

Didn’t expect a huge loss due to last weeks loss. A lb is better than nothing, I googled what a lb of fat looks like and I’m happy enough!

 

 

Car safety and children

Since having Arabella car safety is something I have been thinking about a lot. I had horrible paranoid thoughts whilst pregnant about having an acident in the car and something happening to Bella, I’m pretty sure this is a normal mum thing.

Whilst pregnant I researched car seats, for both newborn and when she gets older. We decided we would like to rear face for longer than “standard” as reseach shows it is much safer and have pretty much decided that we are going to go for the BeSafe iZi Plus. It rear faces up to 25kg when fitted with a seatbelt!

Rear has been shown to be 5 times safer for children.

It seems car safety is also something that my husband thinks about a lot too, he’s constantly checking our screenwash, other fluid levels and the tread on our tyres.

Tyres are such an important part of car safety, if you think about it those 4 little squares of contact you have the road are purely your tyres. If you have no tread you have no grip. The legal limit on tyres in the UK is 1.6mm but anything under 3mm can compromise safety.

I found this page at Point S Tyres really helpful and informative and it shows you how to check your tyre tread properly. Moreover, for convenience and catering to busy parents, Point S allows booking tyres and fitting appointments online without any initial payment so one doesn’t need to wait for their turn at the service centre.

I think the thing that worries me most on the road isn’t our car, or mine or my husbands driving, its other irreponsible drivers. People who don’t maintain their cars properly, who drive round with bald tyres or badly worn brakes. then there are the people who drink drive, and use their phones whilst they are driving.

Now I am going to move onto car safety from a pedestrian point of view, we have one car now so we car share. This means during the week I walk a lot, wether it be with bella in the sling or in her pram. we live on a quiet housing estate, our road is a dead end but the amount of people I see speeding up and down like it is a race track is disgusing, there is no need for it, its going to save them what? a few seconds at the most. I think forward about how I used to play outside in the street when I was a child, playing with a football or drawing on the pavement with chalk, I dont think I’ll be able to do that because I really worry about someone losing control of their car due to speed and mounting the pavement!

Anyway, enough rambling from me, I’m going to finish with a few pictures of Bella in her car seat, we travel a lot as we have family all over the country, shes a very well travelled baby and really seems to enjoy it too!

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A New Brand of Cloth Nappy – Rock-a-bums

We were recently sent a very exciting package!

It contained a couple of cloth nappies and we all know how slightly obsessed I am with reusable nappies. This brand is not yet available in the UK so it is a bit of an exclusive.

The brand is Rock-a-bums they are an innovative 5 in 1 nappy and come in lots of lovely rock and roll designs. You also have the choice of snaps or velcro.

Personally I prefer some brands in snaps and some brands in velcro and we own a mix of both.

We were sent both snaps and velcro to try out, the fit on both nappies was good but I personally preferred the snaps on this brand, how ever the velcro is very good quality and very sticky.

Now let me explain the 5 in 1 bit, this is very exciting as it allows you to use them in 5 different ways, you can use them as a pocket nappy, you can use them as an all in one, you can use them as an all in two, you can use the bomb proof cover as a cover for a fitted nappy and also they can be used as a hybrid with a disposable insert. So very clever! It’s great to have so many options. We decided to use them as an all in one.

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We adjusted the size as needed with the rise snaps and snapped in one insert and off we went. I found them to be a really good fit for Arabella, we are lucky because pretty much every brand of nappy seems to fit her with no issues, she has good proportions but there is plenty of room for adjustment with the rise snaps. The absorbancy of the nappy was good even with just using the one insert, it lasted the normal 4 hour time span between changes with no leaks or issues. If you do have a heavy wetter you have the option of using 2 inserts.

The inserts are made of synthetic fabrics so wash well and dry quickly. This also means they don’t require loads of prewashing, just one cycle and they are ready for the bum.

And lastly here are a couple of picture of Arabella modelling her Rock-a-bums, and I think she is rocking that bum! And as you can see the prints are gorgeous and the fit is just lovely (slightly better on the snaps for us).

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Moving House & Storage Solutions

As some of you know we recently moved house, we have moved from a 3 bedroom end terrace to a 2 bedroom bungalow.

We’ve had the slight issue of losing quite a lot of storage and our spare (junk!) room but we have gained a garage.

Our storage in our old house was all built in wardrobes which meant that we needed to find some new bedroom storage space, IKEA and homebase came to the rescue!

We ended up buying a couple of items of the MALM range which matched our bed and were really reasonably priced. These were the MALM 3 drawer chest of drawers which were very reasonably priced at just £45 and the MALM 2 drawer chest of drawers that we use as a bedside cabinet and cost £35 both in black match our bed. We are big IKEA fans and have used the MALM range before, they come flat pack like everything at IKEA but are super easy to put together.

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The last thing we needed was a wardrobe, sadly the IKEA ranges were out of our price range so we had a browse and a look around to see what we could find in our price range. We wanted something black to match our other furniture and something that had built in mirrors to save space. We came across this Capella 4 door wardrobe at Homebase for £174.99 that was in our price range. It came flat pack and was relatively easy to put together (but not as easy as IKEA flat pack, there was much more parts and you had to do some drilling). It’s good quality but we have had issues with getting the doors to align correctly which is a problem we have never had with any IKEA products.

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The next thing we have to tackle is the garage, I have been looking at Warehouse Storage Solutions Ltd as they do cantilever racking which will be fantastic for all those things that are too big or long for the storage cupboards we have in our house.

On another tangent I have been looking at storage for my masses of make up and beauty products I seem to have accumulated. I have been looking at MUJI which do specialist storage solutions for make up, they are clear so you can see where everything is really easily without having to root through drawers and it also encourages you to keep stuff neater because you can see it all! Haha.

So there we are, I hope you enjoyed reading my random rambling about storage!

Reflecting on Baby Loss Awareness Week

This week has been Baby Loss Awareness week, whether this is a miscarriage, a still birth or a neonatal or even later on death.

I have a lot of friends who have suffered all different types of baby loss.

I personally have suffered 3 losses, all of them early. A miscarriage at 5 weeks, and then 2 ectopics at 6 and 7 weeks. With my ectopics not only did I lose a baby, I lost my fertility.

It’s been a bitter sweet week, seeing how many people I know have been affected by loss, people who haven’t spoken out before, not because they didn’t want to, because they felt they couldn’t. There have been lots of tears this week, for myself and for others.

One thing that has been highlighted to me this week is how many amazingly strong women (and men, after all baby loss affects them too and I often think they are forgotten) I know.

I look at some of them and I am in awe of how they carry on, how they hold their heads up high, how they raise money for good causes to help other people who have suffered loss, for neonatal units, for SIDS and safe sleep awareness.

There are a few people I would like to give a special mention here;

Kirsty; she is a mum to an angel, Noah, he sadly lost his life at only 18 hours old after being very poorl and being born very early. She raises so much money for her local neonatal unit, to help them care for babies like Noah. I am in awe of her strength daily, I am so proud of her, she is now a mum to a rainbow called Madelyn who was born 3 days before Arabella. And I cannot forget her husband Ben who also does so much for charity including bike rides. She has recently started blogging if any of my readers would like to take a look. Her story is heartbreaking. You can find her blog here; http://kirstyaris.wordpress.com/

Next is Naomi; she is one of my IVF friends, she had successful IVF and went through her pregnancy with us all supporting her and following her progress, late on in her pregnancy we had the terrible news that her daughter Bea had passed away in the womb, I will never forget reading her tweets. She then had lots of other terrible things happen to her and her family that I will not go into detail with as its not my place but despite it all she still marches on, she does not give up or give in. She is an inspiration.

Sammi; she is also another IVF friend, she lost her son late in pregnancy but to early to save him. Again another lady who doesn’t give up. Who ploughs on in search of her rainbow.

Vicky; Vicky’s first daughter Chloe was stillborn and then she sadly lost her second daughter Mila shortly after birth, 2 beautiful angels. She has now been blessed with her rainbow. Again, her strength astounds me. I am so proud of her and the mum she is to all 3 of her girls.

And last but not least Jennie who blogs at http://www.edspire.co.uk/ she is an inspiration, she lost her daughter Matila Mae to SIDS. I urge you to go read her blog, I have sat there reading it lots of times with tears streaming down my face.

And there are many others I can mention, you know who you are. The community you become part of after a loss is an amazing thing, but I really do wish none of us had to be part of it.

Baby loss is a life changing event.

You lose a piece of yourself you can never get back. A parent should never have to lose a child.

All we can do is remember and this week has definitely been a week of remembrance culminating in the wave of light, it was lovely to see people remembering.

This has been a very emotional post to write.

Thinking of each and every one of our babies that should be here but aren’t.

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Nib Nibs Review & Giveaway

I’m a sucker for wine and nibbles on a Friday night, put the baby to bed and pour myself a drink (my favorites are red wine, cider or shandy) and have a few snacks whilst watching TV relaxing with my husband.

I was offered some nibnibs to try and who could resist?

nibnibs are premium baked British nibbles. I received 4 different varieties; roasted salt & pepper jumbo peanuts, exceptional cheddar cheese straws, exceptional cheddar & cheeky onion straws and exceptional cheddar & spicy chilli straws.

The company is a British brand and nibnibs are handcrafted in good old Yorkshire.

I can’t resist a bit of spice so decided to open the exceptional cheddar & spicy chilli straws. They were lovely crunchy buttery cheesy little morsels with a nice, not too overpowering kick of spice. Perfection along with a nice cold cider.

My husband is a big fan of peanuts so he went for the roasted salt & pepper jumbo peanuts, he really enjoyed them. They weren’t overly salted and there was just a hint of pepper which was nice as sometimes pepper can be overpowering.

We are saving the exceptionally cheddar cheese straws and the exceptional cheddar & cheeky onion straws for next weekend. Our little treat!

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I am giving away a selection of nibnibs so you can try them yourself. To enter please click the following link; a Rafflecopter giveaway

More information on nibnibs can be found here: http://nibnibs.com/index.htm

Funky Giraffe Personalised Bibs

We are a big fan of Funky Giraffe bibs in our house, we have quite a few (I have a little bit of a bib addiction, but don’t we all?). They are one of our must haves, they are great for when they get dribbly with teething.

We love them because of their quality and all of the beautiful different designs.

I was recently asked if I would like to review one of their personalised bibs and I jumped at the chance.

So off I went to their website and designed my own bib.

The first thing I noticed was how reasonably priced the personalised bibs are, personalisation is usually something you pay over the odds for, but for a basic personalised bib its £5.00!

The design tool is really simple, even I could use it easily. I am also not the most creative person, but there are lots of ready made templates for inspiration.

I chose to add an icon at the tiny cost of £0.70. I decided on a crown because Bells is our little princess. I also added her name which is free of charge, you can have up to 2 lines of text on the bib at no extra cost.

Heres a screen shot of the design tool and my design;

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If you would like to design your own you can choose a bib colour and style here and then have a play; http://funkygiraffebibs.co.uk/personalised.html#.VD_aKRYuaSo

The delivery for the bib was really fast too, I expected it to take a while due to the fact it was personalised but it arrived promptly with in a few days of ordering. It came well packaged and fit through our letter box so no need to wait in for the postman which is always good.

I was excited to receive it and see how it had turned out, when I opened the packaging I was again pleasantly surprised, I expected the logo and the name to be printed on but it was beautifully embroidered, the bib itself was also great quality (like the other standard Funky Giraffe bibs we own).

They would make a great gift for a new baby, or even for a birthday or Christmas.

I put it straight on Arabella. We love it!

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So much so Bells decided it was good enough to lick! Haha.

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You can see all of the Funky Giraffe product range on their website here; http://funkygiraffebibs.co.uk/

Tommy & Lottie – ethical & sustainable baby t-shirts

I’ll start with saying that Tommy & Lottie is a British brand.

They produce t-shirts with images of British nostalgia. Their current lines are fairground and woodland. Both stunning in very different ways. When I was asked to choose a design for Bell’s I had a hard time choosing just one!

Tommy & Lottie came about when mum of 2 Katie decided to start her own business.

I’m personally a huge fan of Scandi style clothing, and the t-shirt’s echo Scandi design but in a very British way. There are bright bold colours and shapes.

We love a bit of matchy matchy in our house, especially with a cloth nappy.

I picked up some new gNappies at the weekend at the baby and toddler show in Manchester. One of them was “good morning sunshine” which is a brilliantly bright yellow that goes perfectly with the yellow of the carousel horse on the Tommy & Lottie t-shirt.

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One of the first thing I noticed when taking the t-shirt out of the packaging was how soft the cotton was, it was beautifully soft. Just what you want against your babies skin. It also has neck poppers that are a must have when you’ve got a wriggly baby that hates being dressed!

The quality of the print is also fantastic, you can really see that it has been done properly and won’t get ruined when you wash it. The lines are crisp and clean and the colours are vivid.

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And as we were leaving the house we thought we should put some trousers on (we are ladies after all 😉 haha) so we teamed the t-shirt with classic denim jeans, but I bet it would also look fantastic dressed up with tights and a little skirt, or maybe even a tutu!

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And as you can tell Arabella loves her t-shirt.

I’m actually pretty jealous they don’t come in adult sizes (is it lame that I would love for us both to match whilst out and about??).

I also have a funny feeling I am going to have the urge to collect every print because they are all so beautiful!

It’s also very nice to see a company being ethical and caring about where their products are made and come from.

If you would like more information about Tommy & Lottie it can be found here on their website; http://www.tommyandlottie.com/