Maternity Style: Here we go again

So now that I’m 12 weeks pregnant,  I’m having to figure out maternity style again.. I looked back over my early blog posts from the last time and I learned a few things.. I was a lot thinner then.. Plus I had a lot of time to stand around in the garden while Dan took photos of me.  Plus,  I started showing a lot earlier this time around and none of my clothes fit already.. I think I held out til 20 weeks for maternity jeans last time.. I bought them at 11 weeks with this pregnancy. 

So far I have about a million lovely dresses that are perfect for maternity.. I’m all set for hot days off and weekends.. I’m NOT set for work. Especially with this transition season of sometimes cold sometimes boilsville.

On Friday it was a gorgeous day and I knew I’d be warm so I spent about 45 minutes pulling clothes from hangars and getting stressed that nothing looked professional enough.. Nothing fit.. Nothing was cool.

image

I ended up with this Jersey skirt I’ve had for few years that was a maternity staple last time around but this time is already a bit tight and won’t stand the test of my ever growing belly.. For now it would just about do.
I wore it with a black body suit and I think I look like I’m about to do an interpretive dance. I added red Boden shoes which I love and my yellow rucksack.

It was comfy and I didn’t get too hot, plus I got a compliment on my colours.. So that’s good! But I felt daggy.

Here’s to my 3 day a week struggle. Watch this space for solutions….

Be Prepared!!

So as you may know I recently returned to work part time after 14 months of maternity leave.

I mentioned in a previous post, I think, that I’m just not feeling on top of things..it’s really hard to do meal planning, a weekly shop, cook healthy nutritious meals for me, Dan and Fred AND have healthy snacks for Fred, AND stay on top of the laundry AND have a clean, tidy house. AND find a way top actually spend quality time with my son on my days off.

Well, before I went back to work I got a cleaner. I don’t see it as a luxury AT ALL. See above for evidence of why.

Everything else is a bit of a struggle.
Fred’s been eating a lot of stuffed pasta, pasta with cream cheese and peas, fish fingers, pasta, fish fillets, pasta.
Yeah I know.

He also is a big snacker and I’ve just been keeping the Freddie Snack Cupboard stocked with various bought “baby” snacks like rice cakes, biscuits and fruit oat bars. The sugar content is pretty high even though they’re “baby” food.

Today I was inspired to change my ways and get on top of stuff. I filled a Tupperware in the fridge with washed fruit, another with cucumber sticks and made him 6 fish pies for his dinners.

I froze half of them and tomorrow I’ll make up 6 portions of vegetable Mac n cheese (yes I know it’s pasta again but it is mainly veg).

Now my plan is to make a daily snack box for Fred and always have a dinner pre planned for him for the days I don’t get home until late.

image

I even got this fun lunch box to put it all in so I can have it in the fridge and my mum or dad (who watch Fred when I’m at work) have it all to hand!

image

image

I want to keep this up I really really do.

And finally, for all you mamas, here’s a great, super healthy, super quick and easy fish pie recipe…

Combine fish pie mix with grated carrot and grated cheese. I don’t add any salt for Fred but I do put in some pepper. Put into one large oven proof dish or some smaller individual portion sized ones…

Boil or steam, then mash some sweet potatoes. Top the fish mix…bake in the oven for about 30 minutes for individual portions or 40 minutes for one big one.

I make these for Fred but it’s great for the whole family…we don’t all eat dinner together so I just make them up as “ready meals” for the kid.

image

How do you stay on top on being organised when you have to juggle the pressures of motherhood?

SPRING into my Capsule Wardrobe

I was going to try and feature everything in my spring wardrobe but that’s NUTS.
So I thought I’d feature some of the new bits I bought to update my capsule wardrobe for spring.
As you can see..spring for me equals YELLOW.

image

Jamie Topshop jeans, yellow cashmere Boden jumper, Boden Dolly dress, patterned H&M skirt, Zara black jacket,

The Zara isn’t actually new but it’s a top item for Spring.

Someone told me once that I shouldn’t wear yellow but I don’t know why…maybe I should get my colours done in Debenhams.

I think I’ve learned that I suit bold colours rather than pastels so I think this yellow Boden jumper is ok for me.

The Boden dress, I wear with a bright yellow necklace to break up the pale colours near my face and also the high neck so it’s not a sea of  boob.

image

I love it the H&M skirt..especially paired with the yellow jumper and this necklace from Zara.

image

And there you have it!

I HAVE A SON

image

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?

image

The end of a(n) (boob) era

I decided to stop breastfeeding the other day…for about a month now Fred’s only been having a bedtime breastfeed and I really treasured the milk cuddles at the end of the day especially as I have to leave him 3 days a week. On those 3 days I only see Fred for about 2 hours and in the mornings I have to rush about getting ready while he follows me about, crying. Then he cries when I leave.

Actually, on Tuesdays when my parents are there cos they stay over Monday nights, he really couldn’t give a shit about me and he follows them around crying instead.
But the point is, on those days I don’t get much quality time with him so I thought I’d carry on that bed time feed FOREVER.

However, the last week or so Fred’s been spending the whole feed sticking his fingers up my nose and yanking…or pushing my face side to side in a sort of elaborate comedy slapstick move..then laughing. He’s barely been doing any drinking and I thought..ok..this is it. Time to stop.

Now I give him a bottle of cow milk before bath time and it’s only been 3 days but he’s gong to sleep absolutely fine without me.

This is a bit of a difficult time for me…3 days a week I’m learning about my new role, trying to establish myself as a professional and also stay on top of meal plans and laundry and baby groups.

So far I reckon I’m not doing so great…meal planning and shopping has gone out the window..we’ve been just picking stuff up every day and getting by like that..Fred’s eating a lot of pasta with ricotta mixed in. I’m eating a lot of pret instead of carefully prepared quinoa bowls or the healthy leftovers I’d imagined.

And now I don’t have my milk cuddles.
I’m writing this post from a bit of a teary, emotional place.

I know from experience that giving up a feed throws me into emotional turmoil as my hormones cope with the change in my body..But it’s more than that. I’ve spent over a year nourishing my baby with my body..It’s what my boobs are for! Now they’re just boobs again.

Boring boobs.

And Fred doesn’t need me. That’s irrational..I know he still needs me and loves me..But as I deal with this shift where I’m not his main care giver anymore..and I don’t have all his meals taken care of and the fridge is bare…I also have this. And I’m taking a moment.

Ok…breath.

Here are some pics of my independent dude.

image

image

image

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.

image

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.

image

image

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.

image

image

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…

image

image

image

image

image

My First Day Back: LIVE BLOG!!

Hi everyone..today is my first day back at and I’m LIVE BLOGGING IT!

Stay tuned for my updates throughout the day…
image

6.51
I’m on the 6.51 train which bodes very well as I did assume my first update would be me moaning about the trains.
I woke up way before my alarm today and snuck around trying not to wake the baby which wasn’t easy cos I had to make my nutribullet..also packed myself a flask of coffee!
I got a bit emoshe walking out the door but now I’m listening to the Gilmore Guys podcast and feeling better…wondering if my makeup is ruined yet..also my fringe looks terrible..catch you later!

7.39
On my third train…have done so much fast walking already I’m bound to lose a stone in the next month.
Keep getting panicked I’m on the wrong train and I keep smiling at strangers cos I forgot you’re not meant to do that. Forgot I was streaming my podcast so it cut out as soon as I went underground. Dammit. I’ve just left the earphones in though to “blend in”.
Got my flask out too…mainly cos I was worried about spillage..I’m not even tired..I’ve had SEVEN HOURS CONTINUOUS SLEEP…. I can do anything on that…
image

10.15

I seem to be running on some kind of crazy adrenaline..I’m in a super good mood, I keep smiling at things that aren’t happy or good..like how the organisation is basically collapsing and no one will have a job anymore soon…he took his nap at the usual time and hasn’t woken up yet guys! Stop panicking!
Side note..my office is a dump.
I’m not even hungry yet and all I’ve had to eat today is nothing..just my veggie shake..maybe putting half an avocado in it worked!

Have texted my parents twice for baby updates..I’m so lucky Fred’s with them and not at a nursery that I have to call up for reassurance.

10.58

Been on hold with IT for twenty mins already.
image

12.58

Popped out to try and buy some ginger tea bags and get a fringe trim…
I’m feeling pretty good..people seem genuinely happy to have me back and interested in how I’ve been..just had a chat with two people about Baby Jake and In the Night Garden..
I’ve been very careful not to go into detail with anyone about Fred’s nap schedule because as I learned on my keep in touch day..people don’t care!

I’ve also had a colleague give me a really great compliment on my skills..
One person said oh god how do you feel being back do you feel like you have no skills and I was like no not really..would a man feel like that? No way. So neither do I ..shout out to Kirsty for that gem of advice!

3.48

Well I’m done at work for the day! I’m on the tube home at the moment…as a jolly little treat, my entire water bottle emptied in my bag and I had to pour it out into my coffee flask on the floor of the district line train. Fun!

Apart from that I’ve had a good day. It’s been so surreal..I’ve felt completely normal being there..doing profesh stuff and discussing projects. It’s been a pretty easy day but my manager and friend, Felicity, asked me to do a piece of work and she was pretty chill about it..like hey if you have time for this could you do it but don’t worry…but I felt like I HAD to do it quickly and get it back to her..my first challenge! And she was really impressed. It’s such a small thing but I’m glad my first day wasn’t just sitting on hold with IT and sorting my badge out.

Now I’ll drip home to Fred..
I’ll update later on our tearful reunion.
FYI he’s apparently been having the best day ever, laughing his head off and sleeping for hours on end.

image

image

7.22

Well the baby is asleep…I managed some precious time with him..It actually wasn’t that precious cos he shoved me out of the way to get to my dad when I got in..then my mum kept hogging him..But it was still lovely to see him.
We had a lovely milk cuddle at bedtime too.

All in all, I had a good day..this is doable. I’m a capable professional womanmum.
Yes. Womanmum.

Thanks for sticking with me today I hope you enjoyed my blow by blow account!

Here’s a pic of our tearful goodbye this morning..well..I was tearful..he was trying to watch Baby Jake.
image

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..

image

image

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

image

He's just along for the ride

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

image

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.

image

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!

image

image

image

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.

image

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….