Trying to do it all…

So this week I decided we needed to get out and about more..I feel like I’m a very capable mum of two when we stay at home and do nothing..but when I have to go out it all falls apart..especially in winter when everyone has to be bundled up to go out and the park is a wet wasteland…but practice makes perfect! 

So on Tuesday we walked over to stay and play..pushing that bloody double buggy for 20 minutes nearly killed me but we made it! And Joni napped that morning so I could easily shower and get ready, tidy up etc and we were out by 10. 

I was so spurred on by this, the next day we went to the toddler sign class we used to go to…not so successful…Joni wouldn’t nap so every time I put her down she screamed..we had to be out by 9 so I drove us there..3 min drive and no one had a coat, I had no shoes, greasy hair and no makeup. And I was sweating profusely and was WIPED for the whole day. 

And then Fred still only napped for an hour (instead of his sometimes 2) and was a ball of energy all day…so we made dinosaur biscuits. That killed half a hour and then he was happy munching on them all afternoon. But when Dan got home I thought I’d cry with relief.

Today it’s 9.46am…I’m showered, dressed, Fred’s dressed, the kitchen is clean, bed made, laundry on..Joni’s been asleep since 7.30…and I don’t know what to do! I’ve been awake since 5 and I’m flagging..Fred needs to be taken out to run off some energy but it’s freezing and raining…I’ve texted everyone I know to see if they want a visitor..no one does. 

I’m contemplating driving us to a stay and play over in Crystal Palace but that means waking Joni up, feeding her, winding her, putting her in her coat and into the car seat..that’ll take half an hour..argh!! 

And this is the trouble…coordinating the two kids so they’re both happy or fed..changing the environment so they’re stimulated..but also not wiping myself out so I’m not good for nothing. 

I’ll get there..like I said..practice makes perfect! 

Update…it’s now 12.59…we did go to soft play but when we got there it was full and I’d forgotten the buggy..promised Fred cake to stop him crying..got back in car after marching from car park to soft play and back to car park with Joni in car seat and Fred threatening to run into the road…drove to a garage with a marksys simply food so I could buy him cake by running in and leaving kids in car for 60 seconds..by the time we got there he was asleep. 

Fun!

Practice makes perfect

Practice makes perfect

Practice makes perfect

Practice makes perfect

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A Neon Gym Adventure

We’ve come away on holiday for a week to Malta..my parents have a time share in a lovely 5 star hotel by the sea..we’ve come with them a few times now and it’s just so relaxing..various family members come and visit us at the hotel..we eat at the various restaurants, use the gym, the pool, the spa, get room service, sleep in. All sorts! A maid makes my bed and brings me fresh towels every day and I go to bed early. I love it. 

It’s slightly more hectic this visit, cos two kids..the laundry is piling up in the corner of the room, stressing me out (cos I’m just not me if I’m not stressed about something) and I’m breastfeeding the little pretty much every two hours. Also it’s a lot warmer than I thought it would be so I’ve got wardrobe anxiety. 

But it’s still great! 

I’ve been to the gym every day since we arrived..the first day I did a postnatal you tube video, then used the cross trainer the other days..today I’ll do that again and tomorrow another you tube video for toning and strengthening. I hit Marks and Spencer before we came away, to buy some cool work out gear so I wouldn’t feel like a frumpy bag of crap when I work out..and it’s worked! So I highly recommend it…

And here it is! Loud trousers, see through neon top and zip up front sports bra for breastfeeding access…I thought this bra was so clever but actually when you unzip it both boobs spill out and it’s a pain to try and do back up but at least I can get to them without taking the whole bloody lot off. 

One Fine (knit) Day

On the weekend we had a little family trip to the Horniman museum cos Fred loves fish and they have an aquarium as well as lovely amazing gardens. 

I wore all black..black Jamie jeans from Topshop, black fine knit jumper from Uniqlo which is really snuggly and lovely…black Zara jacket and then for a splash of colour, a mustard knitted scarf from Marksys..

I also had on my new “baby bag” rucksack…it’s a Herschel and was my special Christmas, I’ve had a baby treat to myself. I was struggling with all the gubbins I had to cart around with two small kids and this is massive and really does the trick. 

The baby carrier is a caboo which I love for when the babies are small. When she gets bigger, a friend is lending me a note structured carrier. 

I must say time is going quickly…when Fred was born, a week felt like a month..taking in all the newness of being a mum I guess. Now the weeks are flashing by it’s nuts. I’m also enjoying having a baby a lot more this time…no baby blues, no sinking dread when Dan goes to work. I’m starting to get really bored of just being in the house all the time now though..Dan’s been taking the car a lot cos of the train strikes and I can’t even contemplate going on public transport with Fred and a newborn..and I can’t really be out of the house before about ten..so I miss a lot of the local baby groups…oh well I’ll figure it out! 

Ok catch you later! 

Oh here’s Fred with the fish…

Grey Matter

I love grey. I looked over at my wardrobe this morning and almost everything hanging in it is grey. Grey and black. 
I had this idea that post baby I would wear a lot of black with cool boots and blue hair. The day I had booked in for my blue dip dye though, I had my baby by accident. So that has to wait now.

And in my head, wearing a lot of black would make me look magically thin, but unforch these enormous boobies plus skinny jeans on my size 16 body can’t hide my baby weight. 
Oh well. 

I also got bored of black quite quickly and bought this super cosy jumper from Sainsburys on a whim..but I love love love it. 

And this Zara coat. I feel like the snow queen of Narnia in it. 

My boots are my lovely ankle boots from & other stories and I wear them all the time I love them so much. They’re so comfy and they go with EVERYTHING. 

But I think the jumper with the coat are too much grey and wash me out so next time I’ll wear a darker top. I might also cuff the jeans to show the whole boot.

And that’s my style dissection of myself. 

Bye!

Introducing….

Ok so the last time I posted I was almost 39 weeks pregnant..and now I have a seven week old daughter! 

I went into labour when I was just 39 weeks and a day, in the early evening..and out she popped at 15.47 the next day..I should say that it was a bit hair raising as we actually only left the house at 15.00 and I really thought I was going to give birth in the car. The last five minutes of my pregnancy consisted of Dan pulling up outside A&E, illegally parking and rushing me in a wheelchair through the hospital while I screamed HELP ME PLEASE SHE’S GOING TO COME OUT NOW…because she was crowning in my knickers and I couldn’t stop the urge to push. 

Fun!

I just about made it to a bed and I pushed her out a minute later. 
Not even a whiff of gas and air. A lot of people have pain relief free births but I feel like I’m the only one who ever did it. I feel like a hero. A martyr. 

And the only thing I could think of was “we’re going to get towed or clamped!”. 

Anyways they gave me some gas and air when they stitched me up and I was sucking on it like a crack addict. 

But the important thing is I gave birth to the lovely Joni Dolores Hogan..8lbs exactly..

She’s sooo so cute and she’s pretty good..sleeps a lot but doesn’t like being put down..she’s sleeping more and more at night..takes a bottle so I’m regularly pumping and loading up the freezer. I had this with Fred too..an OCD-like obsession with surplus milk. 
And I’m soooo happy I’m not pregnant anymore. And I can drink wine. I spend most of my life breast feeding or trying to get more sleep but life’s pretty good. 

Dan and I are a great sleep tag team and my parents are an amazing help too..I need to get better at just letting the house be messy and not shower. Next week we’ll aim to go and see a friend for the day…getting washed and dressed and out of the house is quite a feat. 

And now I can get back in the blogging driving seat..I’m considering scrapping this one and starting a new one with a better name. But my mat leave resolution is to write more..so watch this space while I find my feet. 

Ciao! 

Getting there…getting there..

So I’m almost 39 weeks pregnant now..I can say my due date is  NEXT WEEK! ARGH! 

Of course, I could still be waiting around for some time after that but I have a “feeling” she’ll be early..even if that feeling is  just wishful thinking. 

I was just remembering two years ago when I was waiting for Fred to come..it was quite a different experience..I don’t think I was so desperate..I was quite enjoying my month of mat leave before my due date..I used to go swimming, watch House boxsets, make casseroles for the freezer..I even went to a show  in central London! Once I popped to the shop for some cash….

IT’S SO DIFFERENT NOW. Basically I can’t walk..the walk to the shop is way too far..I can’t drive to the supermarket cos I can’t handle the walk around with Fred as well..it’s too much. I can’t watch boxsets all day cos I have a toddler to look after..I can’t really look after him cos I can’t walk. I can’t do anything! 

The other day I tidied up and prepared a one pot dinner..it killed me. 

My crying sessions have pretty much passed so that’s good but I obviously get frustrated and have a little whinge..yesterday I woke up at 4am thinking I was in labour but it was just a false alarm..I keep doing this every five minutes…is this it??!! Is this it??!!! 

So I had a good cry about that..”wahhhh why isn’t she here yet!!!”

I’m sure I’m remembering my first pregnancy through rose tinted glasses..I’m sure I was desperate for it to be over then too..but now I’m REALLY DESPERATE. 

Luckily, I have so much support from my family..my parents are coming up three times this week to take Fred out, help me with house stuff so I can rest and take baths, naps etc. 

Here are some things that are keeping me going:

Lipstick

I was messaging some friends that I felt like shit and they said get ready, put lipstick on, you’ll feel better. And I did! I’m going to buy myself a new shade as a little treat tomorrow. 

Epsom Salts

Never heard of them till the other day..you put them in your bath and they soothe all your aches and pains. Lovely!

Hair!

Getting my hair done on Friday..I’m thinking a blue dip dye? 

Gilmore Guys

My favourite podcast about the Gilmore Girls is out today woo! And it’s the season finale..argh!  Getting myself properly geared up for the new episodes that get released on the 25th..

Tumeric Milkshake

We’re all a little under the weather in the Hogan household so I’ve been boiling up milk with turmeric, ginger and honey to make a delicious medicine drink..Dan says it tastes like sweet curry. I love it. Fred won’t touch it. Oh well. 

More chocolate than biscuit biscuits

I love these biscuits from marksys and now Aldi do a knock off version!  Hooray! 

I’ll leave you with that and you never know, next time I post I might have a baby!

A window into my preggo life

I thought I’d write a little post about my current mental state…

I’m 35 weeks pregnant now…I feel like I’ve been pregnant for years. When I was about 9 weeks, my mum and I went shopping..I couldn’t go for long but it was a fun day. I absolutely can’t believe I was pregnant with THIS baby, it feels so long ago. And the clothes I bought have already started falling apart. 

When I found out I was pregnant, people told me it would fly by but it has DRAGGED. Not the same way it did the first time..not the constant worry and clock watching. It’s just slow. 

This pregnancy is hard. I can recall one week when I felt good. When I got the “bloom”. But mainly it’s been a parade of back pain, pelvic girdle pain, headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, heartburn, sleeplessness, feeling weak and low on energy, nausea. It’s all never ending. If it’s not one thing it’s another. It’s become so bad I can barely walk. Yesterday Fred and I walked to the tesco at the end of the road and it took me 20 minutes instead of 5. And it hurt. But I HAD to have a chockie bickie you see. Needs must. 

Anyway all of that makes me feel low. I worry I’m not being a good enough mum; that I’m not giving Fred what he needs. I can’t really cook him meals cos standing hurts. I can’t take him to the park or fun places. On my days off with him I get scared and worried; how will we get through it? I collapse into crying jags and can’t get myself out. 

Then I’ll feel fine after!

Yesterday Dan had to go in a bit late cos I just needed to cry. Then I was fine and Fred and I had a lovely day; I gave in to my limitations and fed him fun snacks, let him watch Thomas and Friends all morning and took him to stay and play in the afternoon (drove there) so I could sit on a chair while he went nuts and worked off some energy. 

It was a good day in the end; nothing to worry about. And this is temporary..soon we’ll have a little girl and she’ll sleep ALL THE TIME and I’ll be able to WALK! I can take them out wherever we want to go it’ll be IDYLLIC. (Come on, let me have this fantasy). 

There were lots of mums at stay and play yesterday with babies in slings, watching their toddlers go nuts. It was encouraging. 

I do get a bit scared obviously and who knows what it’ll really be like. I feel very alone a lot of the time even though I’m not alone at all. But I get all caught up in my head and feel like no one understands. 

I guess I’m writing this partly as catharsis, partly as a reminder to myself; when it feels hopeless and I feel alone..look what I wrote! When I’m feeling good and I have perspective..it’s not true! It’s hormones and fatigue talking. Ignore it! Move on! 

I’m also writing it so Dan might buy me more presents hehe. 

Bye! 
And now a photo of Fred eating a ham sandwich while staring at the telly. 

IKEA HACK: living room cabinet

As you may know, I’m quite obsessed with Ikea hacks..if you don’t know what this is, it means taking a basic Ikea piece and customising it to make it unique or seem more expensive. 

I’ve been pouring over pinterest images of what people all over the world have been up to and they’re incredible. I’m not very handy or patient so my forays have been quite basic so far..I painted Fred’s dresser white and I sprayed some drawer handles with copper spray..i made some cool pendant lights ibn my bedroom (you’ll see more on that when the bedroom is done)…I’ve got lots of ideas though to give my bathroom a mini makeover and some other bits and bobs..

But my most recent foray into Ikea hacking was to take an ordinary plain kallax shelf unit and give it a bit of a mid century modern update. 

I was inspired by this image…

I already had a beech veneer Kallax in Fred’s room..the plan was to paint it white but then it turned out my mum had a white one so she just swapped with me to save time! 

Then I added cupboard door inserts you can get from Ikea for 9 quid each, got some lovely knobs from anthropologie in the sale and some cool furniture feet from prettypegs…they make them with special attachments specifically so you can update ikea furniture! 

And went from here…

To here….

It wasn’t that cheap I guess…I already had the shelving unit so the price of that doesn’t count..but it was only 20 quid anyways..then the cost of the doors, knobs and feet came to just over £100…so boot cheap but not bad for such a useful piece of furniture!

It’s full of nappies, wipes, Fred’s train set, toys etc..so useful for keeping the living room a grown up haven after Fred’s bedtime..which is a big priority for me. Plus it’s extra surface space to add a plant and a lamp! (I’m really into plants)

And there you have it! I’ve got my first commission from my mum to make her one now..I’ll show you when it’s done. 

Bye! 

Freddie’s Room! 

Well Freddie is almost two years old and I’ve finally got his bedroom to a point where I actually I like it! It’s been a long slog really of mismatched furniture, clutter, junk, rank brown carpets. I don’t have any photos cos I didn’t want to take any of such ugliness!

When we bought the house this room had dark brown carpet that had crazy deep marks where the previous owner had almost filled the room with enormous heavy wardrobes. We couldn’t afford to change them straight away so they stayed..but the first weeks of living there we gave it a fresh coat of paint in a sort of yellowy cream. I wanted it to be sunny and bright in there.

We also roped in Dan’s cousin Sarah to paint this rainbow which I love. Dan had asked for a “psychedelic rainbow” which I think he got. 

The furniture in here has changed so much but I think it’s finally right..a big white cot bed, a white and wood blanket box, a white and wood arm chair and an Ikea hemnes dresser which I recently painted white and added a yellow star across the front. I’m so happy with it..compared to the dark brown it was before, it’s made the room a lot lighter.

In Jan we changed the carpets and that instantly lifted the room and made it all seem brighter.
We bought mamas and papas curtains when Fred was small and I really love them…having never bought curtains before I didn’t consider that they were neither lined nor black out..but we just put up a travel gro blind in summer..it’s a bit of a pain but does the job. I keep meaning to buy a black out roller blind to put up behind the curtains but I never seem to get round to it.

The shelves above the dresser used to have lots of storage boxes on them full of muslins, blankets,.nappies etc but they’ve all been moved to my room ready for the little girl’s arrival!
We’ve got colourful Ikea storage boxes on the floor though for Fred’s toys and books..I really want to put up some painted Ikea spice racks..I’ve seen them in kid’s bedroom walls on pinterest, used as book shelves! But I don’t want to put stuff on the walls that would limit how i can arrange the furniture..it’s possible the little girl and Fred will end up sharing for a but depending on whether we can sell up and move before we need to…so maybe in the next house! 

And that’s it! 

It’s not perfect..I’d like to change the knobs on the dresser and the shelves aren’t quite there but that’s life..nothing will ever be perfect! 

Bye! 

An Autumnal Affair (dress) to Remember

Yeah I am still banging on about autumnal dressing. What of it? 

So you all know my autumnal woes..aside from getting to say “autumnal” over and over, I normally suck at dressing for this transitional weather. Not this time! 

I picked up this GORGEOUS dress in..wait for it..Sainsbury’s! 

It’s cotton, light, perfect length, goes over the bump like a dream, mid length sleeves, dark autumnal colours..can wear with ankle boots and nothing else, or add a light jacket and build up the layers if I need to. It can be worn on weekends or to work..or to the pub! If I ever went to pubs. 

IT’S THE PERFECT DRESS AND IT COST ME 16 POUNDS. 

I would have paid a lot more for it. I get constant compliments too..from co-workers, friends,.strangers on the train. 

I love it. 

Bye!