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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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…

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! 

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. 

Feeling Gloomy

Well I’m fed up of being pregnant at the moment. Everyone told me the second pregnancy would race by and I wouldn’t even notice it. Well it’s DRAGGING. And I can’t remember how I was coping last time..if I’m doing worse or if this is how I felt..But I’m finding it hard. 

I certainly didn’t have an easy pleasant time of it with Fred. But I think emotionally I’m struggling more. Maybe because I don’t have as much down time to rest and relax now? Maybe because the morning after a terrible night of tossing and turning, Fred woke up at 5 today because teething. 

Well anyway..this is a self indulgent moany post. Here it is..the tide of moan.nn

Back ache, constant recurring thrush, emotional bag of tears, no time or energy to exercise even though my weight is high and I keep being told I should exercise THREE TIMES A WEEK, a teething toddler who can’t be pleased, a 1.5 hour commute each way, bad skin, I cut my thumb on a mandolin, people keep smoking in my FACE.

Ok phew I feel better now. 

While writing that, all the good things kept creeping in…what about my lovely white stairs that Dan spent all weekend painting? What about my amazing new bed that Dan spent all of last weekend building? What about when Fred CAN be pleased and he runs around in a circle giggling? What about my little girl who resides in my tummy and how she constantly turns and kicks, saying hello?

I told you I’m on an emotional rollercoaster..I’m getting choked up writing this on the tube. 

I think I need to learn some mindfulness techniques for those moments when it all feels helpless. 

Any tips?

Ok I’ll leave it at that..watch out for some house improvement posts!

Here’s a selfie of me at my desk maybe you’ll have a chuckle imagining me checking who was looking first before i surreptitiously took it. 

I HAVE A SON

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Yes, of course you already know this…but I wanted to write about a particular habit I have when Fred’s not with me…which is often these days..

It started as soon as he was born..when he was about 2 months old I got a hair cut..I sat down..the hairdresser asked how I was and what could she do for me..I responded “well, I have a two month old…”.

I needed her to know…I’m a MUM. That’s something I needed to declare because I didn’t have a pram to push or a baby attached to my boob or in a sling.

And this is how it’s been up until today. When he’s not with me I feel weird. I feel like a bit is missing and I need to let everyone know that I’m meant to have a Fred with me. It’s not that I’m missing him or anything like that (obvs I miss him but I don’t spend every minute away from him whittling figures out of pine…PINING)..I just feel a bit naked.

The other day I left Dan and Fred in Sainsbury’s and nipped off to buy some last minute Valentine’s wrapping paper..on the way back to the car there was a lady with a baby..I smiled at her and she smiled back and I wanted to say “NO YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND I’M A MUM TOO..I HAVE A SON!”

The other day at work at an event we had to break into groups and discuss what the challenges are in our life at the moment ..when it was my turn I said “I HAVE A SON!”. And I don’t know if this is real or in my head but I felt as though people saw me through new eyes..not for better or worse but just differently.

A different day at work I was rushing off and someone stopped me to ask me a question..I chatted for a few mins and then blurted “I HAVE TO GO I HAVE TO PICK UP MY SON”.

Just a few incidents where I’ve unnecessarily crow barred it in.

I don’t feel defined by being a mum but it’s part of who I am now and I feel so odd and slightly bare when Fred’s not there. (I’m a poet and I don’t know it) So I bring it up when there’s no need and I feel compelled to shout at strangers.
Look..I don’t show ANYONE at work photos and videos of him. Or give complicated tales of his sleep patterns. Give me this one.

Ps I chucked a Friends quote in this post can you find it?

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30 Days of my Capsule Wardrobe

For 30 days I’ve been living my capsule wardrobe. Every day I’ve taken a photo and posted it on instagram (#30daysofmycapsulewardrobe, I’ve featured some shots through this part but check my instagram @larsville for the full job lot)  and it’s been interesting looking at what I’ve worn each day. Especially how I’ve made it work for my every day mum life and my work wear… I’ve seen some clear trends and I defo haven’t worn half the stuff in my capsule collection.

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I took inspiration from a blog called Unfancy..a lot of people online have based their capsule wardrobes on this blog…Caroline says to have 37 pieces for every day wear. Underwear, work out gear and lounge wear don’t count. Or special occasion wear like for weddings and stuff don’t count. Coats and jackets and shoes do count. Accessories don’t.

So I’ve had a think and here are ten things I’ve learned…

1. 37 pieces is probably too many..It’s actually loads and I haven’t worn quite a few pieces.

2. I think I need to swap out something for another pair of skinny jeans cos my Jamie jeans are already falling apart from over wear.

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3. There are quite a few pieces I don’t really like that much or don’t fit properly or aren’t really in season so they need to go.

4.  Four coats and two jackets is a bit excessive.

5. Investing in good pieces is worth it, I’ll try and slowly build up to replacing the things I swap out instead of going mad in Zara or H&M in one fell swoop.

6. I might include lounge wear and accessories cos you can still go nuts buying these.

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7. Cos I was taking photos every day I wanted my outfit to be different every day too but that’s not really the point of a capsule wardrobe is it?

8. I think a successful one would have lots of possible combos, but I have lots of complete “outfits”..it would be better to have tops and bottoms that can be swapped about.

9. I really am addicted to shopping. I mean it. I just can’t stop. I’ve bought stuff this month even though I’m meant to be living a capsule wardrobe. But I think if I can get the wardrobe right it’ll be different. I hope.

10. I seem to have some clear work wear and clear non work wear but I’ve done quite well making some pieces work for both.

And there you have it!
I’ll do a separate post with my final capsule wardrobe..just need to figure out the best way to show the pieces…

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#pelvicfloor

I recently wrote that I had promised myself I would wash my face, floss, do my knee physio exercises and my pelvic floors every night.

I’m not doing very well.

I also lasted exactly 7 days of dry January. And 1 day of the 30 day crunch challenge.

It was all a bit much.

But my friend Laura recommended this great app that helps you do your pelvic floor exercises. I love it! It’s called Squeezy and it’s made by the NHS. You get an alarm three times a day and it times your “squeezes”.
A lot of the time I’m in the middle of something but I do it normally at least once a day, often more.
It’s like a fun game!

Before I was preggo I never did my pelvic floors..I saw Samantha talk about it once on Sex and the City and thought oh ok it’s for older ladies. And never thought about it again.

When I was pregnant I read I should be doing them every day but blah blah blah I couldn’t be bothered. Occasionally I’d run for a bus and have a little accident (the truth of pregnancy) and thought oh yeah I should do that. And then didn’t.

Then I pushed a baby out and had an episiotomy and had to be all stitched up and now I can’t hold in my wee for long..I CANNOT run for a bus or jump on a trampoline (these statements are evidence based).

It’s time to get serious.

There’s no point in telling pregnant ladies to do their exercises cos it’s too boring..they won’t do it.

They can just get this fun app instead when their baby’s one like me.

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Happyness

Did you see that film Happyness with Will Smith years ago? I don’t really remember that much about it, apart from it was SO GOOD and I cried. You should watch it.

Topical!

I fancied Will Smith so much in school..me and my friend Tash used to write WILL SMITH IS HORNY on our folders with a picture of horns. I don’t think we knew what that meant.

Anyway this post is actually about the things in my life that make me HAPPY right now.
I tend to always be thinking about things I want..I’m such a terrible consumer..so I think I need to start stopping and thinking about the good things in my life instead.

FRED IS SUPER CUTE
Everything Fred does right now is amazing.
One thing he loves doing is bursting into the room and shouting AAAEEEYYY which is Fred for hello. I love it, it’s so good. It’s even cuter than when he was about 6 or 7 months and he would wave at the leaves moving in the trees. And that was CUTE.

I FEEL CONFIDENT
I was talking to some friends the other day and as I was chatting I realised I hadn’t doubted myself in ages..maybe a whole month. I spent a full year doubting myself so this feels GOOD. Also at work I’m feeling quite good and confident although I’ve only been back two days and not had to actually do anything taxing. But a woman said to me that she had come back after maternity leave and felt deskilled…I really don’t feel like that.

I HAVE A LOVELY HUSBAND
Sure, we bicker over the SMALLEST shit all the time but when it comes down to it, we try and make time for each other..we cuddle and tell each other we love each other every day and occasionally we go on a date. That’s about all you can ask for with a small child (is he a toddler?). He’s amazing and I love him!

I’M LOSING WEIGHT!
This certainly isn’t the be all and end all but in two weeks of clean eating I’ve lost two kilos (about 4.5 lbs). It’s nice to know I’m being healthy and it’s working..I don’t want to be a stick but I’m overweight according to my BMI so I’m glad things are going in the right direction. Now..I read when you stop breastfeeding, all the fat disappears from your thighs so I’ll just wait for that to happen yeah?

I LOVE MY HOUSE
There’s loads to do but I love it! I spend so long thinking of things to buy and do to improve it, I can forget how much I love it. It’s so cute and what we’ve done so far has made it the best home I’ve ever had.

I HAVE A GREAT NETWORK OF MUMS
I’ve got loads of groups of mum friends and they’re a constant source of laughs, reassurance and entertainment. And my best friend is a mum now and we meet every week and what’s better than getting to hang out with your bestie EVERY WEEK cos that’s your life now?

THE GILMORE GUYS
I found this podcast by two guys who are watching every episode of the Gilmore Girls in order and talking about it. I LOVE IT. Certainly making my commute a fun journey.

Right I won’t go on anymore but writing this has put me in an amazing mood though I highly recommend it.

Bye!

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An ode to Freddie

Today was my last day off before I go back to work…well…my last weekday..and I’ll only be working three days a week..But still.

I’ve been trying to have a really fun week with Fred to really cherish it.

On Monday we went to an aquarium..

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On Tuesday we went to a soft play and had a fun play date…

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He's just along for the ride

On Wednesday we had our favorite baby group, Tiny Talk…

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I don't have a photo of tiny talk so here's one of him in a cardi from earlier that morning

On Thursday..err…I left Fred with my parents so I could go to Specsavers….ignore that one.

And today I thought we’d go to Crystal Palace for lunch.

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Eating out with a one year old is a tricky business you just don’t know what happen..but he was DELIGHTFUL.
He happily munched on cheese on toast, looking around, saying hi to strangers, laughing to himself, playing with his duck. It was the best meal out I’ve ever had…I’m so happy.

That’s the thing about Fred right now…he throws tantrums sometimes and a lot of the time ALL he wants to do is climb the stairs over and over and then make me read Fame Mouse 500 times to him.
But he’s also the CUTEST he’s ever been…he’s so funny!

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Anyway..Fred thank you for an amazing year…It’s been a rollercoaster and I love you more than life itself. Thank you for a wonderful day and thank you for this.

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At the time of writing I’ll be honest I got a little choked up…espesh as I was writing it one handed while I gave Fred his bed time feed….