- February 17th, 8:25
In a week where Valentine’s Day has appeared you might expect a bit of romance but to be honest we’ve never really gone in for it. It’s not that we don’t celebrate by giving each other a card because of course we do but we’re just not really slushy types! I did get offended one year when Jonny forgot to buy me a card but I never really expect many hearts and flowers from the day. Does anyone? We were going to get the ‘Dine In’ offer from Marks and Spencer and have a nice meal but I decided in the end that we should wait and go out for a meal Friday when my Mum is taking Florence for the first time over night so we’re going to do that instead. I guess we could have done both but I’m feeling enormous at the moment and want to try and eat a bit conservatively during the week so that I can splash out a bit at the weekend… I’d love to be the sort of person who doesn’t think about her weight and what she’s eating when pregnant but unfortunately I’m the sort of person who thinks about her weight and what she’s eating all the time.
I don’t want my strange relationship with food to rub off on Florence but I suspect my diet obsession has already had a bit of an impact which is terrible and something I am going to have to reverse. Every morning I weigh myself which is silly I know but it’s something I have done since I was a teen. The thing is that Florence now goes straight to the scales every morning and says ‘weigh me Mummy’! While it’s harmless at the moment and she doesn’t understand, it could easily progress and give her the same sort of bad body image that I have. I suffered when I was younger with many different eating problems. I have over the years starved myself, made myself sick, taken water and laxative tablets and I have also over eaten at times too. Even when I am at my healthy ideal weight I don’t do it in a normal way. I have, since I started being a ‘normal’ weight, eaten hardly anything during the week and then really pigged out at weekends. It’s hard for me to be normal about it, I don’t know why but that’s just the way it is. Once I start eating I find it hard to stop and once I start not eating I find it hard to break that habit too so the rule of weekdays ‘off’ and weekends ‘on’ has always been the only thing I’ve been able to compromise on. Of course while I’m pregnant I do force myself to be a lot more sensible but with Florence I totally just let things go and over ate. I’m not allowing that this time.
I went to a stage school as my main school when I was under 16 and it was not just ‘fairly common’ but I would say 90% of us had problems with food. We would go to the toilets not just to have a crafty cigarette but to eat toilet tissues and fill ourselves up. It was an odd environment and one which definitely bred eating disorders. We were weighed in front of each other, scrutinised by the ballet teachers whilst in our leotards and asked in front of everyone what we had eaten the night before. I remember the principle ballet teacher poking me with a pencil in my bottom while doing bar work and shouting to the whole class ‘Ruth Davies has to lose this by half term’! I was fifteen and weighed 6 stone. It’s hard to believe that when I was full term with Florence I was nearly double that weight. A fact that would have left my fifteen year old self suicidal and still, even though I can cope with it now, makes me feel quite upset. The experience of my schooling definitely spurred me on but my problems with food started well before I hit my teens. I remember being about 7 years old and comparing weight with a friend at school. I remember being upset that she weighed less than me and I remember comparing my chunky thighs to her slim ones. Where and when the nugget of doubt about my body image was set in my mind I have no idea but it’s there for life now, I’m as better as I’m ever going to be, I know that.
At my lowest weight as an adult I would say I was about 19 years old and weighed just under 6 stone. I went into hospital to have my tonsils out and the consultant was horrified at how thin I was. I just remember being incredibly happy that he thought I was so thin it deserved concern. I look back at photographs and I can see I was too thin, I can see how painful I looked but I also still kind of like it. Food, everything about my weight is a constant battle in my mind. I don’t ever eat anything without thinking about it in depth and if I’m ever sick naturally I’m always really pleased, madness, but true. My parents divorce made me quite a sad little girl and it wasn’t until meeting Jonny that I became truly happy for the first time in my life. Since then I have been well, he just kind of knocked as much out of me as he could. We’d go for meals and he’d be so irritated that I wouldn’t eat or I’d dismiss the menu that he started to just be really tough about it with me and it worked. There have been times when I’ve lapsed a bit. Odd days when I might just make myself sick or times when I’ll over eat but on the whole I’m healthy. Healthy with a bad relationship with food is different to being in the midst of just not eating. I know now though, more than ever, that it must not be apparent in my life and the scales must go. It will make me panic not to weigh myself every morning and I don’t think I will be able to get rid of them altogether but for Florence’s sake I’m just going to weigh myself in private, once a week. I will not have my daughter grow up with the same issues as me because if she does it will be my fault and I just won’t have that for my beautiful girl. She will be what she is, fat or thin but I want her happy in her own skin!
The repercussions of what I’ve done to myself are too great to risk Florence being the same. Even at the dentist yesterday, years after I made myself sick daily, the dentist said she could see what the acid had done to my teeth. She says I’m lucky because it’s not very bad but the evidence of it is still there. How silly I was to do that to myself. Florence loved the dentist; it was a devil getting her out of the chair! I think she thought it was a treat and when she got two stickers for being such a good girl she just couldn’t believe her luck! Look how happy she looks to be there!
Something else we did this week which made her smile lots was go to the ‘Lollibop Festival’ mini disco. It was held at the ‘Ministry of Sound’ in London last Sunday to kick off half term and was great fun! It was a little surreal to be in a night club in Central London in the middle of the day with Florence but it was lots of fun dancing with my girl to live bands and brilliant DJ sets. Totally crazy but lots of fun! There were beat boxers, acoustic bands, people on stilts, boy bands, magicians, Scooby Doo was milling about, jewellery making stands and Dick and Dom head lined the afternoon with a super fun DJ set. Mum’s and Dads were dancing and children going wild for the fun! Florence thought it was super to just run about dark corridors going from room to room and loved all the music! She’s so her Mother’s daughter and was pushing her way to the front to see the acoustic band… I’m a sucker for a talented musician, (Jonny is of course one) I suspect Florence may follow suit! It was a fantastic interlude in the year while waiting for the proper festival which is such an amazing day out! (It was great to have not made a fool of myself in front of an old school friend who is now a Hollywood actor which is unfortunately something which happened in the summer! Please see my archive for the full embarrassing incident – the shame) This year the big bash for little people, which is like being at Glastonbury but for children, is going to be held on 17th, 18th and 19th August in Regent’s Park and tickets go on sale soon! It is not one to be missed so watch this space because I’ll bring you all info as and when it’s available. For now, check out the website www.lollibopfestival.co.uk and see what fun was had last year from acts like Rastamouse and The Zing Zillas on the main stage, Baby Loves Disco and Charlie and Lola’s play to simply just bouncing around the sun-swept grass on ‘Happy Hopperz’! It’s brilliant, one of the best days for us last summer!
While out and about this week we’ve been using ‘Munchkin Stay Put Suction Bowls’. They come in packs of three, small, medium and large and stack quite nicely inside each other while in the cupboard; the lids go tidily underneath them for storage too. They’re really great to have at home or to take out and about with you because the lids which click on super tightly. If meals aren’t finished they can easily be covered and popped in the fridge for later and you could even take soups out and about in your little ones lunch boxes, so secure are the lids! Because of the suction pad on the bottom they don’t move around at all once on the table which is a very clever idea as children feeding themselves is often messy enough without bowls flying all over the place! I love the fact that the different sizes mean you can use them for anything. We’ve been putting yogurt in the little one, fruit in the medium size and sandwiches, pasta, whatever’s the main lunch item in the large bowl then taking them out with us every day. On Sunday when we had a party in the morning and then the ‘Lollibop Disco’ in the afternoon, this meant we were out for the entire day so I needed to take lunch, supper and snacks out with us and these bowls were perfect! I’m a big fan of ‘Munchkin’ products, they do great drinks bottles, cups, snack catchers, toys… The list goes on but I actually think these bowls are the most useful product I’ve tried in their range. They’re colourful and fun for children to use, sensible and practical for us parents, a real winner!
‘Munchkin Stay Put Suction Bowls’ 3 pack is an on line exclusive at ‘Argos’ (www.argos.co.uk cat number 399/2885), priced at £.7.99 with FREE delivery. They come in assorted colours and are top rack dishwaher safe. For information on the entire ‘Munchkin’ range please see their website www.munchkin.eu.com.
Another activity we’re awaiting with great excitement in this house is CBeebies Live! It’s about to hit the stage at Easter time and if you’re a regular reader of mine you’ll know I’m running a fantastic competition for one family to WIN themselves a ticket to the show! If you would like to be in with a chance of being the lucky kin then don’t delay, get entering today! (and if you’re not lucky this time, don’t worry because there’s still time to book your tickets to see the show – details of how under the competition!)
Win Family Fun at CBeebies Live! this Easter
CBeebies fans will not want to miss this! We’ve got 1 family ticket for you to see CBeebies Live! brand new arena spectacular, Reach to the Stars, at Wembley Arena, London on Sunday 1 April at 11 am! A family ticket is for 4 people, minimum 1 adult.
A host of the biggest stars from Britain’s most popular children’s channel CBeebies are coming out to play in this new arena tour. Robbie Rotten is determined to show that he is the biggest star on CBeebies! His dastardly plan involves the capture of the other CBeebies characters and it’s up to the audience to work with PC Plum and the rest of the Stars of CBeebies to find out what has happened and set them free.
Mike the Knight, Justin Fletcher MBE, Phil Gallagher, Mister Maker, Postman Pat with Jess the Cat and the ZingZillas will be joined by CBeebies presenters Andy Day, Katy Ashworth and Andrew Agnew in this all-action show that will tour nine cities around the UK in Easter 2012. Combining big screen video footage and live performance, a host of CBeebies favourites including Mr Tumble, Squiglet and the stars of LazyTown will join in the fun, interacting with the audience for an incredible live experience.
CBeebies Live! is at Wembley Arena, London on Sat 31 March to Sun 1 April, 5 performances only. For further information please go to www.cbeebieslive.com No cash alternatives, accommodation or travel are provided in this competition. The tickets are non-transferable.
Q: Who plans to capture the CBeebies Live! characters?
To enter just send you answer, name and address to [email protected] with ‘CBeebies’ as in the subject line by midnight on March 14th. Entries will be put into a hat and drawn at random on 15th March.
And as I said above there’s still plenty of time to buy your tickets for the CBeebies Live! Reach to the Stars tour and ensure that you don’t miss out on the extravaganza! Tickets are now on sale (for more information about the show visit the website www.CBeebiesLive.com) With Children’s tickets from £12.50 and family tickets (for 4 people) from £50 (subject to booking fee) it’s a really affordable treat for the whole family!
MY PREGNANCY DIARY WEEK 29
I’m feeling a lot better with regards to energy levels this week so the supplements must be working! Unfortunately now though, I have a cold. I’ve spent all this last week wiping Florence’s nose so it was inevitable that with my pregnant immune system I would get it next. My head feels foggy and with it being so cold and wet outside I just feel like staying in, cosying up and watching the television. Florence not being so keen on doing that means I’ve still been out and about but I’m definitely not doing anything today because we’re waiting in for an Argos delivery! Who’d have thought that would be a welcome thing! We’ve bought a tall boy to keep all the new baby’s clothes in and a bed side table for Florence to have her light on. I’m going to paint the table with the same paint her chest of drawers is to make them match and add some fabulous knobs and for the baby’s tall boy I have a plan too! I’m going to cut out of news papers articles that I like and decoupage them onto it. I’m going to make sure I get a head line with a date from the day he or she is born and that will be the last piece to go on it! Perhaps it’ll look rubbish but I think it’s going to be fab so fingers crossed! I’m seeing my midwife in a week or so and the main question I want to ask her is about donating my umbilical chord for stem cell treatment. I didn’t realise before now but apparently they can be used for that purpose and I can’t think of anything better to do with it! I don’t need to bury it for religious purposes, I’m not going to eat it and as for making ornamental hangings and prints with it, the thought is pure revolting! If it can help save someone’s life then that’s what I’m doing with mine!
‘Pregancy Product of the Week’ time and it has to be my wonderful dress from ‘Isabella Oliver’! I’ve been wearing this dress all through my pregnancy because I literally couldn’t resist it even when my bump wasn’t big at all; it’s just such a lovely design, so flattering and it feels lovely to the touch too. It is, however, really coming into itself now that my bump is getting HUGE and I’m actually legitimately wearing it because I have a baby bump and not just because I want to! The dress I’ve been reviewing is their iconic ‘The Wrap Dress’ and it definitely lives up to it’s hype! I got it in size 2 which equates to a UK 10 and it fits me perfectly (I am usually a 10/12 when not pregnant). I chose black because I knew I would wear it more but I kind of wish now that I’d gone for the pink because with warmer weather coming up (hopefully) I could have really livened up my wardrobe. I know now, because of the style and the way it fits, that I didn’t have to play it so safe by opting for the black; I could have easily got away with a brighter version! That’s not to say I don’t love it in black though, I do and it has become one of the staples of this pregnancy for me. I have dressed it up with sparkly accessories and shoes at Christmas, worn it with my Ugg boots out and about at play groups and with knee high heels for evenings out; it’s a very versatile dress! It’s also been washed lots of times now but it always comes up looking as smart as ever and the colour as far as I can see hasn’t faded at all (it’s a very intense black so it would be a shame if it faded but so far so good)! I have to admit I can honestly see myself wearing this dress post pregnancy too, it’ll be great for breast feeding and give easy access whilst still being discreet and it wears in such a way that it won’t look like I’m still in maternity gear, it’ll just look like a normal wrap dress. Despite it being longer at the front to accommodate a bump, when there is no real bump there you don’t notice it! It really is a delightful dress, worth the money and will make you feel and look blooming and beautiful! It’ll never go out of fashion either and with hundreds of celeb fans it proves its’ worth! Perfecto!
‘The Wrap Dress’ from ‘Isabella Oliver’ (£95) currently comes in Caviar Black and Pink Rose, Sizes 0 – 6 (UK 4/6 – 20) and is made of 90% Viscose 10% Elastane. Machine Wash – 30˚, Back shoulder at neck to hem – 99cm (39″), Sleeve Length – 45cm (17.5″). For more information on this and the entire collection please see their website www.isabellaoliver.com.
Until next week…
(All opinions and words, apart from those in green, are my own. I have not been paid for this article although I did receive some products to keep after I had reviewed them.)
Last week I posted a very special competition in conjunction with Bebecar for 6 people to WIN a pair of tickets to this years first Baby Show in London at ExCel (24th – 26th February).
Bebecar pushchairs are designed and engineered to an extremely high specification because providing safety, quality, and functionality to you and your baby is paramount to them. Each model is equipped with a wide range of features to ensure that all your journeys are safe, comfortable, easy and enjoyable. Bebecar offer the perfect combination of sleek design with performance. An extensive choice of chassis finishes and exclusive fabrics are available allowing you to choose the look and feel you want for your pushchair. Bebecar pushchairs not only look impressive but are designed to last. If you would like to know more about Bebecar and their products then head over to their website www.bebecar.com or alternatively visit them at their stand at The Baby Show, Excel and if you’re one of our 6 lucky winners you’ll be able to do just that!
Entrants were asked to like and share Bebecar’s facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bebecar/253770784656429 then send me an email to [email protected] with their name, telephone number and address. Well the WINNERS were drawn at midday on 16th February 2012 and here are the luck half dozen!
Shamil Gillani of Surbiton
Hayley Glenister of Ashford
Tolu Imonioro of London
Kim Lui of London
Emma-Jayne Butler of Bedford
Charlotte Beaulah of London
Congratulations to them all but if you weren’t lucky enough to win tickets don’t despair because there’s still a week left to go until the main event and you certainly have time to buy them at some great prices, there’s a special discount code at the bottom of this post! They have some great advice about preparing for your new arrival, take a look!
Preparing for your new arrival
Top tips from those in the know!
Preparing for the arrival of your little one can be a huge undertaking and can often bring worry and stress to you at a time when you should be trying to enjoy your pregnancy, relaxing and maybe even putting your feet up! Here, experts from The Baby Show offer guidance and advice for expectant parents so you can begin your incredible journey to parenthood with only ease and excitement.
Being prepared and organised is the first step in making a stress-free environment for your newborn. Sit down and plan exactly what you think you need for your baby and write a list as it allows you to carefully think things through and consider what you really do need.
Ask for help
Having a baby is wonderful but it can also be quite daunting and confusing so don’t be afraid to ask others for their opinion. Ask friends and family their recommendations on products and key milestones, they will often offer advice that you may not have even thought of. There are always experts on hand to help and you can often find their advice online from teething to sleep and weaning. Remember you can always speak to your health visitor or a GP.
Prepare your home
Bringing your baby home is such an exciting time. After the nursery is decorated you don’t really need to make many modifications or do too much to your home before the birth. Get the basics in place by having freshly washed clothes, nappies, somewhere for baby to sleep and any equipment you may need. You get a few months respite before your baby will be crawling around but it is important to remember that you will need to constantly assess your home for hazardous objects and furniture and purchase some baby proofing equipment.
Organise a few meals
It’s a good idea to prepare a few nutritious meals for yourself beforehand, make a big batch then just pop them in the freezer and you’ll save precious time once you and your newborn are home. Alternatively, get some very helpful friends and family to make something for you! It’s one less thing to think about at such a special time.
Pack a bag
With the big day drawing closer, it’s advisable to pack your hospital bag so you can rest assured when the time comes you are ready to go. Important things to remember include: your birth plan, dressing gown, loose t-shirt or nightdress, snacks and drinks, toiletries, pillows for extra comfort, a change of clothes, baby clothing and blankets, and perhaps some music to listen too. You might want to make sure you have a charged your camera to be sure you capture the special moments of bringing your child into the world.
Don’t forget your car seat!
You’ll also need to remember to have fitted a car seat for your baby, as many hospitals won’t let you home without one.
Finally at such a special time remember to try and relax and enjoy every second!
With 10 years’ experience of sourcing the best in baby and maternity products, The Baby Show is a unique shopping environment purposefully designed for mums-to-be and parents. There are over 250 must-have brands, including niche, designer products not yet available elsewhere, making it the perfect opportunity to test, try and compare before you buy and save money with exclusive offers. From product specialists to first class speakers, including two midwives from hit show One Born Every Minute, there is expert advice on hand to assist in decision making for you and your baby. With everything in one place you’ll be spoilt for choice at The Baby Show without the stress of the high street. Book Tickets In Advance And Save. For one person it costs £12 or you can get two tickets for £20 – that’s up to 50% off the on-the-door price (£20). To book visit www.thebabyshow.co.uk or by calling 0871 231 0844 and quote EX809.