- June 29th, 13:31
When I took Jimmy for his 6 week check a couple of weeks ago I was amused by the Doctor’s question about what I’m doing regarding ‘family planning’! Well, I said, not really any need to think about that for a few weeks yet, (poor Jonny) not after my type of labour! He consulted my notes, grimaced and said ‘Ah yes, of course, probably a bit soon for you!’ It got me thinking though, 6 weeks on last time when I had no after complications at all, I was still bleeding and still 100% not in a place where I would be considering family planning preventions! 6 weeks is just not a long time after the trauma of labour to want to do, well, that! For me anyway! I know lots of people do, obviously, but for me, I definitely need a bit of down time… There’s certainly not likely to be any surprise additions to our family just yet anyway!
I went to school with a brother and sister who were in the same year and had just ten months between them! Their Mother must have been super human; I can’t imagine getting to this stage in my new born baby’s life and finding out that I am already 1 month gone with another… I love babies, love being pregnant, love labour even but even I’m not that mad!
There’s nothing like the feeling of finding out you’re expecting a baby! It’s both scary and joyous but I think to be expecting another so soon would be too overwhelming for me and in 9 months time I would find it incredibly hard to cope. TWO babies under 1, yep, it must be a nightmare! I’m sure it’s doable and I’m sure others could handle it all very nicely thank you but I’m definitely going to be preventing any situations like that for our family! Because I’ve not been, well, you know, due to my ‘labour injuries’ it’s not something that’s been at the forefront of my mind but when the time comes I will obviously be being very careful! There are lots of trains of thought, some say it’s very easy to get pregnant when you’ve just had a baby that you’re super fertile even and others say, especially if you are breast feeding that it’s impossible! Well, when we thought about having Jimmy I was still breast feeding and although my periods had come back I half expected the feeding to make me unable to conceive. I did though and on the very first month we sort of thought about trying so that completely dispels that theory!
It had of course been 19 months since giving birth to Florence when I fell pregnant with Jimmy and I really like that age gap; I had decided this was the perfect gap for us and we were very lucky because it just worked out. We don’t use any chemicals in our contraception methods, I just don’t like to take the pill, so I think this may be one of the reasons why when as soon as we start trying we get pregnant but perhaps it’s just luck? I would love to have the same age gap between Jimmy and the next one so I will again be very meticulous when it comes to stopping using contraception and I will just keep everything crossed that we are as lucky next time. It’s funny, because even though both my children were more or less planned, (as in we decided to try but hadn’t really thought too much about it) I was still shocked both times! I expect I will be again! With Florence, and I SO wanted to be pregnant, I even burst into tears the next day on Clacton beach thinking about how my life was about to change; a little bit of a hormonal outburst I think and even though we were thrilled, Jonny sat in his chair staring into space in shock for a couple of hours! Having a baby is the most wonderful, exciting and scary thing you can ever do and we will definitely want to do it again, just not yet… But, I don’t even have to worry about the ‘family planning’ side of things just yet because cor blimey, I’m in no shape for those sort of shenanigans!
I wrote this in the sand on Clacton beach the day after I found out I was pregnant with Florence. We found out on 2/5/2009 and weirdly this is Jimmy’s actual birthday 3 years later! I just found that out as I was finding the photo; quite like that synchronicity!
Donkey does Cambridge: King of buggies visits Kings!
This week we took Le Donk to visit my little brother at his prestigious university college campus in Cambridge! Well, we thought it appropriate that the King of buggies visit Kings and seeing as he is the crème da le crème of baby transportation it seemed only right that he would be mixing with the crème da le crème of students! We had an absolute blast pushing him round what can only be described as the truly awesome looking college and showing him the sights where only the exceptionally academically gifted minds get to study (my baby brother being one of them – proud sister alert number 1)! Now any old soul can pop to Cambridge for the day and have a look at Kings College from the gates but not many people actually get to take a peak inside and witness first hand the famous chapel, grounds, secret gardens (where only key holders are permitted) and take a ride on a Kings College punt! Me being family to one of the students entitles me to be one of those lucky ones (only when accompanied by my brother of course) and since we adopted Le Donk into our family, he naturally has this same privilege. Has there ever been another Donkey (of our variety) inside the grounds of Kings? Well, it’s possible but I suspect ours is the first! Here’s what he made of it!
Cambridge is a place like no other really, it’s beautiful, steeped in history and anyone who’s anyone is on wheels of the non motorised variety. There are few places to park and everything is within walking distance so there’s no real need for cars! With bicycles at every turn the terrain is perfect then for walking with Donkey and we took a gorgeous stroll through the park from the edge of town where we’d managed to park, into the centre of Cambridge and to Kings.
Jonny, had packed up the car and somehow… to my annoyance, forgot the bassinet for Jimmy! I was initially furious as poor little Jimmy wasn’t going to be able to stretch out and sleep; I was also hoping to take some lovely pictures of Le Donk in Cambridge looking his best and without the basinet or the shopping basket I feared he would look silly! He actually didn’t and as you can see, he had a brilliant space then for our otherwise cumbersome picnic basket! I think the picnic basket jauntily placed next to Florence’s seat actually makes him look very ‘Cambridge’ indeed! (Luckily I’d also brought a sling for breast feeding in so Jimmy did have options)!
Donkey being the picnic bearer, me, Florence, Jimmy and my brother Phil who you may recognise from University Challemge (proud sister alert number 2)!
When we arrived at Phil’s college we took the opportunity to join in with the tourists and took this picture outside Kings College gates!
Then we dropped the tourist act and went inside where no one, not even Donkeys are allowed on the grass and we showed him the sights that only the lucky few get to see first hand…
Just inside the gates where most don’t get to go…
Having a picnic in one of the secret gardens!
On the bridge inside Kings watching the punts!
The famous Kings picture – WITH Le Donk (and us)!
Just before we left!
When Florence was a baby we used shop brand nappies because they were cheaper and I didn’t even really think about trying the expensive ones to see if they were better. As she got bigger I realised that the premium branded nappies were often just as economical depending on offers so started to buy them instead and actually did notice that in fact they did seem more absorbent… For this reason I didn’t go back to the store brand ones but when it comes to newborn sizes they are considerably cheaper so it got me thinking… I’d only ever tried the Tesco ones in the past but perhaps other shop brands were better, lots of my friends have raved about the Asda Little Angel ones, maybe I could save some money? It had also been a couple of years since using the Tesco nappies so I thought I might as well give them a whirl too; I got newborn size 1 nappies from Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda and here’s what we thought:
Tesco Baby Ultra Soft Newborn Nappies in Size 1, £2.57 for 24 (11p each)
Although I found them acceptable last time I had a newborn, I didn’t have anything to compare them to. This time round I’ve not been super impressed! I like the price and they did stay quite dry but they are so thick and hard that they do not seem comfortable and they definitely don’t work well for anything other than a wee! I found that they leaked at the legs easily which is NOT what you need with a breast fed baby and they smelt heavily of a strange kind of BBQ smell once they had got wet. Not sure what that’s all about? They looked very bulky under Jimmy’s clothes and I wasn’t keen, will be giving these a miss next time I shop!
Asda Little Angels Newborn nappies in Size 1, £3.19 for 44 (7.3p each)
Ok, well at over 3 pence per nappy cheaper than the others these do work out the best value for money. They come in a bigger pack granted but because these nappies are actually thinner, the bag isn’t much more bulky than the other supermarket brands that I tried. I say they are thinner but they actually do seem far more absorbent than the other ones and are most like the higher end nappies out of all three. As I said before, friends have raved about these nappies for ages and I wish I’d listened because they are really very good. I like the fact they are thinner to the touch as they look more comfortable when on and take up less room in my bag. They are also softer which is a plus point as other supermarket brands seem to have quite a rough feel on the outside. All in all these did their job extremely satisfactorily and I’ve no complaints over price or quality. Will be using these going forward, I’d be mad not to!
Sainsbury’s Little Ones Newborn Nappies in Size 1, £2.89 for 27 (10.7p each)
These are a lot softer than the Tesco nappies but nowhere near as thin as the premium brands or the ones from Asda. I like the fact that they have sweet pictures of insects and I used these nappies for a long time with Florence just because of that, she liked choosing which insect to have. It certainly brightens them up without paying a premium price to have a well known character as some of the higher end ones do. They kept Florence dry but weren’t quite so good for Jimmy. I’d thought it was a load of rot when I heard tales that some nappies are better for boys and others for girls but actually in my opinion, these were no good for boys at all. I have friends who said exactly the same when Florence was tiny and now I see what they mean. They just don’t contain the wee as well, perhaps because it comes out in a different place? These are not bad but they’re not great. I’d buy them over a premium brand which can often work out to double the price per nappy as I think they work better than half as well but they’re not perfect.
Speaking of new born babies we have this week finally managed to capture Jimmy’s little feet on the canvas printing set given to me by Mothercare when I was a VIP blogger at the Baby Show in February. (Unisex Canvas Kit, £15). I wrote about it before to say what a good idea it was and now that we’ve used it I have to say that we think it’s brill in practice too! Everything you need for an at home hand and foot printing session is included in the kit as it comes with 2 canvases, pink and blue pots of paint, paint brush and a stencil for lettering. It was really easy to use, the paint is already mixed up, you just pour it into the tray provided and following the simple instructions we now have two rather beautiful sets of hand and foot prints! The quality of the product is good and the canvasses are something you really would want to put on the wall (I once used a similar product from another store where you had to make prints in a kind of foam faux clay – it was not successful and looked, for want of a better word, crap)! I especially am keen on the fact that it comes with two canvasses meaning Florence got involved otherwise she would have felt left out and I’d have had to do it when she wasn’t here. Of course if you don’t have an older one you can always use the second for an update later on. The paint pots reseal and can be used at a later date. We enjoyed doing this and I would buy it for myself but I also think it is a really affordable little present for anyone having a new baby and because they can do it in their own time it’s something they can leave until they’ve got a bit more settled with their new routine (8 weeks in for us obviously)!. Also, it’s a really welcome change from baby clothes as a gift as even though they are great presents it’s good to have something a little bit different and this ticks all the boxes!
For more information on this and all Mothercare products please see their website www.mothercare.com.
Countdown to Lollibob!
7 weeks to go!
With just 7 weeks to go until the opening of the big bash for little people we are talking eagerly about what we’re most looking forward to and because in our house we have a very little one, it’s the 3ft & under list we are most focussing on this week… There’s lots and lots for children of all ages and although we most definitely will join in with some of the other things, Florence will LOVE them all; we especially like the look of what’s dedicated for little ones as it means Jimmy can join in with some things too:
Music with Maddie Looks great, we absolutely adore playing with instruments and creating music to sing and dance along to! It’s aimed at 0 – 7 year olds so I’m sure Jimmy will enjoy it as well as Florence (and me)!
Tatty Bumpkin Classes Oooh yoga inspired stories designed to encourage movement and enhance development. Perfect for babies from 6 weeks to children of 11 years! We’ll have a ball here!
Baby Sensory We’ve done a little of this before and Florence really enjoys the bubbles and parachute which floats above the children. We’ll love introducing Jimmy to this at Lollibop!
Babyoke’s Teddy Bears Picnic Ok, this looks fab! Bring your own bear to join in and sit on the enormous picnic blanket while you meet the giant cuddly hosts!
Baby Ballet Really looking forward to taking Florence and seeing her try this out! As a girl who did ballet pretty much all my school life I’m super excited to introduce my own daughter to the same!
For more information and how to book tickets please see www.lollibopfestival.co.uk.
MY LIFE WITH 2! WEEK 8!
I was poorly at the beginning of the week, bit of hay fever and bit of sinus trouble, so it was trying at times I have to say! Living so far away from my Mum is the hard part because if we were in the same City it’d be easy for her to just pop over and take the little ones for a while leaving me to have a sleep and recover a bit. When you’re ill and sleep deprived it just makes the illness prolong. Jonny came home a little bit early on Monday but unfortunately his boss is away and as he’s the deputy he really has to be there so we’ve just had to cope – thank goodness for CBeebies is all I can say! And for easy second babies! Jimmy really is such a good baby and is such a happy little boy that it makes my job so much easier! Florence was a screaming ball of frustration at his age, she has always wanted to be doing more, moving onto the next stage and he just seems so much more relaxed than her! I love both of their personalities, even though she’s hard work she’s brilliant and so very entertaining but it’s MUCH easier with a baby who is placid. People always have lots of advice, Gina Ford (I’m not a fan) being one of them but I think nothing would have changed the way Florence was and is about sleep, she just doesn’t need a lot, she’s like I used to be! Jimmy has been cooing and gurgling which lifts my heart and makes me even more in love with him if that’s possible? (Can’t believe I worried while pregnant that I wouldn’t be able to love another baby like I love Florence – he’s the most perfect baby boy that was ever born)!
We have, despite being poorly (I’m not that good at lying around the house), still been out and about and enjoying the sunshine! Well, it’s here today and gone tomorrow isn’t it; you just can’t afford to stay indoors when it makes an appearance. We went to a friend’s wonderful birthday party which was held at the Mamas and Papas Cibo Café and visiting Uncle Phil in Cambridge was fantastic! I’m so proud of my little brother Phil and all he has achieved academically and now my other brother Alex is waiting on his grades so that he can take up his offer at Oxford! Not sure who we’ll support in the boat race next year! I really don’t agree with private education, it seems mighty unfair that just because you can afford to send your children to private school they would have more opportunities but now that I am a parent to these two wonderful people I kind of feel a bit hypocritical and want them to have the best education possible so that they too someday will have a greater opportunity to study at Cambridge, Oxford or wherever they choose… It’s funny how loving your children and wanting the best for them just becomes the most important thing over anything else you believe in…
Florence enjoying the party food at her friend’s birthday party!
Enjoying a picnic in the sunshine!
Another day in the sun with her best friend Zhane!
More alfresco dining!
Jimmy and me at playgroup!
Jimmy Buster Bumblebee in his bumblebee top!
My Little rock ‘n’ rollers!
Punting with my brother Phil!
And my fave picture of the week!
What product have I been loving this week? Take a look…
As I said earlier, Jonny had forgotten to pack the bassinet for the buggy when we visited Cambridge and it was just lucky then, that I had packed a sling. I’d been trying out the Babasling for a week or so prior to this trip but hadn’t yet been confident enough to use it as a stand alone way of travelling with my new baby. With Florence I’d had a sling that I absolutely loved, a wrap around which was flowy and ethereal and we enjoyed using it loads; in fact I pretty much carried her everywhere whilst I pushed an empty buggy at one stage but I never felt confident with her in it when she was as tiny as Jimmy. I just kind of worried too much because her head could often sink under the wrap around and she would disappear in my cleavage. It wasn’t until she held her head up on her own that I really used it all the time so I kind of went in with a feeling that Jimmy was too tiny to use a sling before I’d even tried it. Because of this I was just using the Babasling while I sat in the park to feed him or for a quick trip to the shop.
It wasn’t so bad then that Jonny did forget to bring the bassinet (although don’t tell him that cause I told him off quite considerably) and it forced my hand to use the sling for a whole day because now I feel like it’s my new best friend! With my old sling there were two parts to it and I had to put the main body of it on like a jumper. It was made from jersey material which also could make me quite hot. Florence was a winter baby so it wasn’t so bad but it’s so hot at the moment and it was dire using it in the summer heat plus it was also quite fafftastic with bits which needed wrapping round, tied, pulled tighter… The Babasling is literally one piece of material which is 100% cotton and once the buckle and straps are adjusted to fit you, it need never be changed again then it just slips over your shoulder and is on! I feel confident carrying Jimmy in the Babasling where I wouldn’t have done at this age with my old one. There are 5 different carrying styles with three different ways to breast feed whilst using it and the thing I like most? The fact that three out of the five are suitable for newborn. I seem to gravitate towards Easy Tiger which is where the baby lies across in a sleeping position but a little bit upright too. I’m looking forward to Jimmy being a little older and trying out Little Joey where he will sit in a little ball facing out front, Florence would have loved this position!
I had kind of assumed this sling would be for little ones only but actually two positions take a child up to 15kg so in theory I could still carry Florence in the Koala Cuddle and Side Saddle positions. The latter is a position which will be excellent for just walking round the house and getting on with household chores – Florence never liked to be put down so would have been ideal. At 10kg Florence has a long way to go before she physically couldn’t go in the Babasling and I think she might enjoy being in Side Saddle on my hip to this day because she still likes to come up often. I usually put her in a sling on my back and for any great journeys I still would but round the airport and the like this is going to be perfect, especially as it just slips on and doesn’t require any major skills!
I was impressed with the Babasling on many levels. To start with it’s bright (I chose red) which I love and it looks stylish. It also folds up really small and fits in its own drawstring bag which I can bung under the buggy or even fit in my handbag. I very much like the ease of it, slip it on, in goes baby and away you go. On Sunday I had to get the tube to town for a birthday party and knowing she wouldn’t have to walk far or for long, it was easier to pop Florence’s reins on and carry Jimmy in the Babasling! Before, I would have always taken a buggy of some kind which when there’s little walking for the toddler to do anyway is a bit of a pain as there’s so many stairs on lots of tube lines! Hands free and I was still able to hold her hand tightly and carry my bag. Although Jimmy is still tiny, carrying him normally can get tiring but the way the weight is distributed with the Babasling makes it super easy, you’d hardly know he was there and it’s just like being pregnant still! I haven’t washed mine yet but a friend has and says hers came out looking pristine and looking just like new; with no particularly challenging washing instructions (40 degree wash recommended) it sounds like something even I with my inept washing machine skills could manage! It is obviously my ‘Newborn Must Have of the Week’! I can’t believe I’ve wasted a few weeks not knowing that I had this super easy option!
Babasling Classic (like mine) has a RRP of £39.99 and comes in a range of colours. They also make limited edition prints (I love the look of these) and Light and Breathable ones especially for the summer. For more Babasling information please see the website www.thebabasling.com.
A quick trip to the shop at the end of our road and it’s so easy to just do this!
Perfect for us for our day in Cambridge!
Well that’s it for another week. The sun is out so hopefully next time I’ll be able to talk about all the fun in the sun we hope we will have been having!
In the meantime follow me on Twitter @rocknrollerbaby
(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.)