Sleep sleep where for art though sleep?

Who knew a life could be so dictated by another person’s sleep pattern?
I’ve spent a full year obsessed with Fred’s sleep.

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OMG HE SLEPT FOR 4 HOURS STRAIGHT! (Jan)

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OMG HE’S BEEN ASLEEP FOR 6 HOURS SHOULD I WAKE HIM UP? (Feb)

LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT EVERY TIME HE WOKE UP IN THE LAST 24 HOURS (Jan-present day)

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HE ONLY NAPPED FOR HALF AN HOUR (April to August)

HE’S BEEN NAPPING FOR AN HOUR AND A HALF!! (Magic 6 weeks that seem like a dream now)

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Current sleep bore statements are about how he’s only sleeping ten hours at night and only naps for half an hour at a time…oh and he’s up at FIVE AM…

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I have a friend who’s baby sleeps for about 13 hours at night and naps for about 3 and a half hours in the day…

But you have to stop yourself from being jealous..every baby is different..plus, everyone always thinks other mums have it better than them..there’s always something a mum is worried about or wishes was different.

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Also, I know I’ve tried EVERYTHING. I’ve followed all the rules, I’ve tried every technique. Fred is a gorgeous baby..he’s healthy, he’s mostly happy..I just need to ride it out..appreciate what I have and get my mum to babysit every now and then so I can have a lie in..
Barring that..I’m going back to work in two weeks..I’ll sleep on the train!

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The C Word (two words)

Controlled Crying
For those of you who don’t know this is a sleep training method where you let the baby cry for periods of time to teach them to sleep on their own.
And it’s mega controversial.

I didn’t even know it was until really recently..I know quite a few people who have used it on their kids..Super Nanny Jo Frost is an advocate…I thought it was just an accepted thing to do if your baby doesn’t sleep well.

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But I’ve heard a lot of people calling it bad parenting or unkind. I’m a member of a local mum’s network on Facebook and they keep posting messages saying that they’ve had lots of reports of trolling and online bullying from people who are anti controlled crying! Nuts.

But anyways, Dan and I have recently used the method with Fred.
He’s not a terrible terrible sleeper, but he only naps twice in the day for half an hour and at night was waking up at 4 for a feed and then just getting up at 5. Most mornings he was coming into the bed and I was feeding him lying down to try and keep sleep going a bit longer..but he was basically using me as a human dummy and I wasn’t really getting much more sleep after that.
Basically I wasn’t sleeping much after 4am and then having no naps in the day.

The tiredness was making be quite down and emoshe…I’ve never really been tired in my life I now realise..the tiredness of broken sleep on top of early starts on top of full days where you have to be ON IT at all times was getting a bit much. I was crying about nothing…

I cried because I couldn’t think of anything to make for dinner.

I cried because my wardrobe was messy.

I cried because Freddie bit me once and oh god does this mean I can’t breastfeed anymore wahhhh.

So we started using the Super Nanny Jo Frost method of controlled crying exactly a week ago. (Shout out to Super Nanny Jo Frost)

I made sure he didn’t fall asleep on the boob at bedtime and at 4am we used the method..And for his morning nap.

There were quite a few mornings where we were just awake from 4.30 to 6am but he’s slept through the night twice now…his naps are still short but I’ll take that..I can handle that after a full night’s sleep…guys…8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. I’ve only had it twice now but with that I can take on the world. I can do anything.

I feel like it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. It’s the decision I’ve made that I’ve felt most comfortable with.

Maybe it is controversial for other people but for me it’s been great and it’s given me back confidence.
Also my mum did it on my brother and he turned out great! Oh…wait a minute…..

HHAHAHA SISTER LOLS.

Here are some photos of Fred…

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Let’s talk about bras!

Warning this blog post contains a lot of bra talk. Also pictures of bras.

Here’s the secret cost of getting pregnant and having a baby..it’s not nappies..(they’re cheap if you don’t want pampers…I spend about 8 quid every month on nappies, using aldi and Tesco ones)..it’s not baby clothes..it’s fucking bras.

Since I got pregnant my boobs have changed size so often I’ve spent in total probably 200 quid on bras. Maybe more! I’m not exaggerating either.
And not on gorgeous sexy fancy bras that make me feel good..on rank ugly bras that make your boobs look floppy and frumpy..

Before I had Fred I read that I should have 5 nursing bras and to get measured and buy them before the baby came..so I did. And after the baby came my boobs swelled up to enormous hard fake looking things that no bra I had bought could even come close to fitting.

My mum had to go to Mothercare and buy a range of sizes that I could try on at home cos of course I wasn’t going to be able to get to a shop with a newborn.

Freddie was only a week old and I’d already bought 6 nursing bras, none of which fit me.
Oh and by the way most nursing bras come in packs of two..one black one white. Well I NEVER wear white bras I hate them. So I’ve got loads of doubly useless ugly things that look like they’re from the 30’s.

Nursing bras are always cotton, no wiring, no padding, usually 35 quid for two.
I think that’s expensive consisting how crappy they are.

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Since the early days I ended up going to Debenhams and getting measured and bought 2 of their ugly bras. At least they fit though. I’d been wearing a 38e and I was a 34g!

Then I found this site called hotmilk.com…lovely sexy nursing bras..so much nice but in the end still no padding, no under wire.

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Mm gorge but dumb cos when you're pregnant you don't need a nursing bra

I did get one and it saw me through some tough times but I recently decided enough was enough and I’ve dug out all my maternity bras. They fit again cos I guess Fred isn’t drinking as much milk now and my boobs have gone down a bit..

I’m wearing underwire! And lace!
I feel a bit more human and I’m au fair enough with breastfeeding now that I can pop by boobs out in a normal bra.

Ok bra chat over.

Oh by the way another secret expense of having a baby is lattes..I spent about 300 quid a week on lattes on the first 4 months of motherhood.

A little window into my life with a 7 month old

Fredrik turned 7 months this week and I’ve been pondering what an odd time it it’s and how much my life has changed…

At the moment Fred..

Is teething
Is trying to crawl
Loves to stand
Is still breastfeeding but also eating 3 meals a day.

This means sleep is beyond my grasp and the days are spent preparing food and cleaning it up again while also finding activities to keep Fred entertained and happy.

It is great though too..what’s so lovely is being able to actually sit and play with Fred..and it’s not just me doing all the entertaining; we’re playing together!

Sure, I can’t go out each day to meet mum friends and drink lattes..now we go to baby groups or go swimming.

I feel like I’m on this amazing journey with my baby that keeps changing and getting better and better.

I’m more capable too..today started off so rubbish..I was feeling ill and tired from a virus and my morning just went terribly..but I still kept my house clean and tidy, made ice cream, made cookies, made a pasta bake for me and Fred for lunch, made dinner, took Fred swimming and finished off the day with a gorgeous co sleeping nap.

Isn’t life amazing?

Apart from teething..that sucks. Last night there was screaming for a full hour which can feel so upsetting that you can’t help them and make them feel better. But apart from that…oh and that bit earlier when I locked myself out and had to climb over the neighbor’s fence. And when I cried at the doctor’s surgery.

It’s a rollercoaster, guys.

Anyways that’s how I feel today..ask me in a week and it might be different story.

Here are some photos of my precious little boy…

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Judith Chalmers Eat Your Heart Out

So Dan, Fredrik and I just got back from an Italian adventure!
We packed our bags and flew to the land of Limoncello, pasta and mopeds for four days to celebrate the wedding of our good friends Darren and Gemma.

All of our closest friends were there and it really was a lovely four days.
The wedding was in Malcesine (pronounced Malchesiney) , a small town on the shores of Lake Garda and oh my god it’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. And I’ve been places, my friend!

The wedding was in a castle, with a boat ride after and a five course feast to follow. The bride was stunning in lace and as she’s a successful shoe designer, the whole thing was a pretty stylish affair.

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But the reason I’m writing this blog post is to give new mums to be some essential travel tips when flying or traveling with a baby.

So here we go:

1. I found these handy calpol sachets which I bought in case Freddie started cutting a tooth on hols..they can be packed into hand luggage so made me feel a bit calmer about the flight.

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2. I bought this travel pillow from Primark..a friend had recommended taking a best feeding pillow but I don’t have one..This was 4 quid and I just tucked it around Freddie when I fed him to sleep on the plane. Meant I didn’t get a sore arm and kept him safe when I nodded off myself

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3. If you’re going to a hot country, don’t pack loads of cute baby outfits..they won’t get touched..I packed an entire large suitcase for Fred and Dan and I shared one..all Fred wrote were short sleeved or sleeveless vests..it was way too hot for anything else.

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4. Muslins Muslins Muslins..pack millions. Well, I packed about 15 and I don’t regret a thing. I had them in every bag.

5. For the flight, I put wet wipes, a clean nappy, muslin and a small toy in each hand luggage so when on the plane or the airport I didn’t have to worry about which bag was nearest. Both flights were full so the little handy suitcase I packed with all Fred’s clothes, change mat etc was so far away!

6. Weaning! Don’t be afraid to ask waiters for food for your baby..they were so accommodating every where we went, bringing out boiled veg, fruit and in one place a tomato and mozzarella salad! We were really vigilant about picking everything up off the floor though.

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7. We bought this sun visor to attach to our light weight holiday push chair. A lot of these fold up pushchairs have quite small sun visors but this Mothercare one fits any pushchair and folds out to create amazing shade. It also unzips to become a rain cover!

8. Create a facial spritz! A few years ago I filled an empty pump spray bottle with water during a heat wave to keep myself cool..it became a festival essential, especially when I did Glastonbury pregnant…This year it was what I used to keep Fred cool..especially when he was in the pushchair as it can get so hot in there..it’s essentially a little sauna.

9. Don’t go on holiday for four days..The hassle of preparing, packing and traveling requires a longer break in between!

And now here’s a video of me finishing my holiday segment for ITV.

7 Things I’ve Learned in my First Month of Baby Led Weaning

Hi!
BABY LED WEANING!

I say baby led weaning a lot now.

Do you know what it is?
It means basically waiting until your baby wants to start feeding himself solid food and then giving him real bits of food.
There’s no spoon feeding or pureeing of food..you basically give the baby food from your plate. The book says, if you’ll eat it, the baby can eat it. Although you can’t give them a lot of salt or anything processed or sugary.

I love it.
Fred showed me he was really ready for solids when he was 5 months and he’s eaten broccoli, avocado, cucumber, chicken, meatballs, strawberries, banana and loads more!

So here we go..

1. I’m actually able to do something properly with no cheats for the first time in my life.

I read the book on BLW and I have really followed it. I’ve never tried to get Fred to eat more than he wants or put food in his mouth. I’m totally chill. I’m a bit like a cult follower..I’ve read the ethos and I’m living it, man. I think some people worry that the baby isn’t getting enough food on blw but that’s ok..if you’re still breastfeeding them or giving them formula, that’s all the nutrients they need and the food is extra. Most of what I give Fred goes on the floor or in his lap so you do need to be quite chilled out about it all. But I’m sort of manically hyper chilled. Like if my mum tells him good boy you ate some food I’m like…DON’T TELL HIM HE’S GOOD OR HE’LL ASSOCIATE PRAISE WITH FOOD AND HAVE AN EATING DISORDER.
It’s still me after all..I’m very highly strung.

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2. The best way to approach the mealtime mess is to strip the boy to his nappy, put a bin bag (cut open) on the floor under the high chair and keep the kitchen sink clean and empty.

This all came from my friend Tash..it’s brilliant..most of the food drops onto the bin bag which means you can pick stuff up and give it back to the baby..and at the end you shake the baby off over the bag (then wrap up and put straight in the bin) and then put him on the sink and rinse. This’ll work a lot better when we get our new Belfast sink though! Our bathroom is upstairs and I’ve taken him up for a pre run bath or rinse but it’s so far you drop a lot of broccoli bits on the way.

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3. It really is possible to spend 3 hours a day, preparing meals, watching them get chucked on the floor and then clearing them all up.

It’s a constant cycle. BLW is meant to be mega easy cos you give the baby what you eat..no need to prepare extra food! But in the beginning when the baby’s getting used to stuff, all he really eats is softy stuff and you can’t add salt..so what I would normally eat isn’t really appropriate..I do need to make extra special stuff with added salt on mine…it takes time man!

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4. I’m addicted to salt.

It turns out that’s where the flavour is. I made some saltless hummus and it tasted like shit. I also didn’t realise that putting a stock cube in was my go to flavour method. I’m having to find some ingenious ways to flavour food and I’ll be honest it mainly involves lemons.

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5. Planning planning planning is required!

This isn’t really my forte but it’s important. I haven’t cracked it yet but normally we give Fred some fruit at breakfast and I’ll make give him last night’s leftovers for lunch. This means making baby suitable dinners. You have to really think ahead to make this work and not end up just giving him a bit of banana every day. Like I said, I haven’t cracked it but I’m getting there! I need to up my game cos he’s eating more and more and wanting several meals a day. You basically can’t eat in front of him, he wants some.

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5. Homemade pesto is delicious!

Why have I never made this before?
It takes 5 seconds to make, it doesn’t have any salt in it (it’s got parmasan..CHEESE CHEAT!). I’ve made it twice now cos there’s a recipe in the baby led weaning cookbook. I haven’t given any to the baby yet cos it’s no nice we keep eating it all and not saving him any.

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7. I’m a bit of a dick

I keep explaining blw to people really patronisingly and boringly..people don’t really care about the ethos and most people who don’t have kids don’t know what “weaning” is. I’ve learned that I need to shut up. I haven’t actually learned to shut up but I know I should and that’s the first step to recovery.

Ciao! I’m off to Italy!

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Just Another Roadside Attraction

So Fredrik and I had a little adventure this week. It’s half term so I decided not to make any plans with my mum friends to meet out and about…it’ll just be rammo’d with kids. (Bleurgh kids amirite?). So I decided to visit my sister in law, Bec, in Maidstone one day instead. No traffic cos half term..hang out in her garden.

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So there I was pootling down the M20 when suddenly the car goes nuts, revving really hard. I pulled over to the hard shoulder when it had got to the point where I couldn’t drive faster than 40 miles an hour.

It had happened before tbh but I convinced myself I’d accidentally been driving in 3rd gear even though I’m an experienced driver who knows what she’s doing.

Anyway the hard shoulder is SCARY!
Loads of trucks whizzing by, making the car rock.

I rang Dan absolutely crying my eyes out. Then I rang Bec absolutely crying my eyes out. Once I’d suitably scared the shit out of them I pulled it together and called the AA..someone was with us within 10 minutes.

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I pulled the “I’m very scared I have a 4 month old with me”.

I also had to do a roadside wee cos of my post baby #pelvicfloor.

But Fred had a WHALE of a time.
I think he loved the sound of the cars, the wind, the flashing as they passed by.

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It really made me realise how much my life has changed..breaking down on the side of a motorway would have been nothing before..a so what? But with Fred with me I was genuinely afraid something bad might happen even if it was just me being emoshe.

And that’s it really…you probably sit around thinking….What did Lara do today? Now you know.

Ciao…..

Blah Blah Body Stuff

Having a baby is weird. It does weird things to your body image.

Before I was pregnant I was a bit obsessed with my weight. I tried really hard not to be. The media and the patriarchy make woman feel the need to look good and thin=good. As a feminist I wanted to be comfortable with who I am and not strive to be thin. But I can’t help it. I’m indoctrinated OK?

Anyways I probably weighed myself every day and what the scales said really influenced my mood. I was always watching what I ate. When I met up with friends we would talk about food, losing weight, what clothes fit and didn’t fit, what our weight loss goals were. It wasn’t all we talked about but the conversations were peppered.

Then I got pregnant and everything changed… I spent 9 months hoping my tummy would look bigger.. Wearing tight clothes to show off my bump.. Eating cake and ice cream every day.. Just not counting calories and not limiting myself. I didn’t go nuts.. I still ate pretty healthily I just had treats too and I felt so free.

When I had my big bump I don’t think I’d ever felt so body confident in my life.

Then the baby came out and I had this weird jiggly belly.. It was like a water bed! It’s not so bad now.. But I have fatter legs and bum.. fatter arms. I’ve got more cellulite. My boobs are enormous. It’s all different. Bigger. Not necessarily bad.. Just different. It doesn’t feel like my body. My old clothes either don’t fit or don’t suit me. I don’t know how to dress properly.

And now my mentality is sort of halfway between how I was pre pregnancy and when I was preggo.. I’m not obsessed.. I don’t weigh myself.. I can’t diet cos in breastfeeding.. I still talk about it with friends a bit too much.

I’m trying to lose weight but slowly and healthily.. But I still eat a Magnum a day. Sometimes I feel big and fat.. Sometimes I think.. Hey not bad for someone who just had a baby!
And I’m back to trying to be body confident and battling with myself.

It’s different now. But it’s the same.
Circle of life I guess.

Now pass the chockie bickies…. Breastfeeding is my cardio.

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Oooo Missus! What a lovely STRIPE tease

Hi this post is about stripes!
Did you like the pun? I text my friend Hen “send me a pun on “stripes”. She sent me that. I love it.

So basically I read this article yesterday about how Breton tops are the British women’s summer staple. First, I thought hahaha this article is funny. Then I thought yes! I do have a Breton top.
Then I thought… I have a lot of stripy tops and clothes.

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This one, I bought in Topshop some years ago. This is a true Breton top. You know… I don’t know what Breton means. But whenever you see a Breton top it has a neckline like this one.
I wore it all through my pregnancy and I’m wearing it now. I guess it’s tent like quality means it fits no matter what size I am!

Here I am wearing it when was pregs…

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Here I am wearing it now with my pre-pregs skinny jeans that fit me again!

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The other stripes in my life are both new from Zara…yes I’m obsessed with Zara. Always have been.

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This is a stripy maxi dress. So far I’ve worn it with converse and with flip-flops and it looked shit with flip-flops. It looks good with a denim jacket.

I also got this nautical striped t-shirt.

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Yes it’s quite similar to the other one but it’s not you see. It’s got a different personality. The first one is like a laid back kind of girl who prefers to drink craft beer and go for runs. This one wouldn’t leave the house without her red lippy and only likes crisp white wine.

And there you have it.
Here’s a picture of Fred and me in matching stripes.

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OOTD: In the Navy!

So today I’m wearing all navy..navy jersey skirt from Asos and navy top from Zara…both of these are pre pregnancy clothes that I also wore as maternity gear. The skirt is mega versatile and featured on here quite a lot, along with it’s black sister. The top is great for boob access.

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I’ve worn them with my trusty Topshop belt and Converse.

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It’s quite good I’m wearing navy and Fredrik is in a nautical dungarees and whale printed vest, cos I’m visiting my parents who live IN a dockyard….

🎵In the navy!🎵 Blah blah blah blah blah🎵 blah….In the Navy! 🎵🎵🎵

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