Monday, 28 November 2016

Where Can I Eat on Christmas Day in London?

Christmas is a day of festive joy for everyone around the globe, but no one appreciates it more than those who’ve been slaving away in the kitchen, wrapping presents, and writing Christmas cards all season and are anxiously awaiting a return to normality!  Well, we’ve finally made it!  Leave the excess gift wrap on the floor and relax, because Christmas is our day, too!  Give yourself the ultimate gift by ordering takeaway on Christmas day from one of these great London locations.  They’re open, they deliver and they offer enough goodies to make all your little elves happy and leave your kitchen squeaky clean. Wow, I didn't even know you could get take out on Christmas Day how cool is that!?!??

9 Kilburn High Road, Maida Vale NW6 5SD

Ordering takeaway on Christmas day from Kish may become a new tradition in your home.  Their Persian fare offers the succulent meat and potato dishes you’ve come to expect from an extravagant Christmas dinner, while ingredients like lemon, parsley, mint and saffron add a fresh twist your taste buds are sure to appreciate after a season of biscuits and chocolate.

Tennessee Land Chicken and Ribs
81 Ballards Lane, Church End London N3 1XT

Tennessee Land’s Southern American cooking will transport you far from home, but not so far as to displease picky little ones or your stubborn uncle.  Their handpicked meats are slow cooked until tender, and they’ll have you eating yourself into a Christmas day food coma!  Don’t forget to add coleslaw and extra BBQ sauce!

The Hungry Buddha
4 Pinchin Street, London E1 1SA

Don’t wait for New Year’s to make your resolution to start eating healthily again!  Thai cuisine from The Hungry Buddha is guaranteed to leave you smiling like the Buddha himself, but without the belly!  They offer a variety of delicious salads and curries that are rich in spices and fresh flavours like papaya and coconut.  They’ll leave your family satisfied and feeling great!

El Patrino Pizza
173 Battersea High Street, Battersea London SW11 3JS

Ahh, nothing like a good old pizza to bring the family together and really appreciate what the holidays are all about.  El Patrino offers enough variety to keep the whole bunch happy and features a number of family deals, which include stocking stuffers like garlic bread or chicken wings.  If pizza is a bit too informal for such a festive day, they also deliver homemade pasta dishes like lasagne and spaghetti Bolognese.  Or you could just get both!  Go all out, it’s still the holidays!

Oriental Star
29 St. James’s Street, Walthamstow London E17 7PJ

The classic film, “A Christmas Story,” started the tradition of Chinese takeaway on Christmas day, and it’s stuck for good reason.  Going for a Chinese takeaway is a simple pleasure we forget amidst the many stresses of the holiday season, and enjoying your favorite stir-fry or satay is like seeing an old friend again.  Oriental Star has enough delectable options to bring smiles to the faces of your whole family and at prices that won’t hurt a post-holiday bank account!

Collaborative post

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Win a Little Baby Bum Plush Toy Great Giveaway #LittleBabyBum #RhymeWeek

If you were on Twitter tonight you'll have seen that I was one of a few parent bloggers who hosted a Little Baby Bum Twitter party in order to launch their new range of plush toys.

Lottie was very luckily sent two of them and adores them:
Tonight I posted several videos to Twitter of my Lottie playing with them during the Twitter party. Her face lights up when the melodies play.

Well you can win 1. You'll win either the cow or pig, depending on stock availability.

Do you know the Little Baby Bum youtube channel? It's worth checking out if you have a baby or toddler.

Fun Facts- Little Baby Bum You Tube Channel

#1 Educational Pre-School Channel in the world

Larger digital presence than Sesame Street, Nickelodeon, CBeebies, Pixar, Dreamworks and Thomas The Tank combined! (views and subscribers)

Most popular Little Baby Bum video - Wheels On The Bus compilation (below) viewed over 1.6 billion times! 

Wheels on the Bus video is the 2nd most viewed UK channel of all time

Wheels on the Bus fastest non-music video to reach 1 billion views!

10th most viewed channel (worldwide/all time) - across all genres/channels

Over 8.9 Billion Global Views

Nearly 8.5 Million subscribers

12 Million views per day!

2nd most viewed UK channel of all

Core age demographic for toy 6 months to 4 years  - youtube audience up to 6 years

You can enter to win your very own plush toy here. All entry options are mandatory - do each and every one. Good luck!

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Moved House

Moving house is stressful, isn’t it? In fact, so much so, that it has been rated as one of life’s most stressful events, above divorce, a new job, bankruptcy and even the death of a loved one. 
In a recent poll, two thirds of people voted moving house top of their stress list, with it triggering more anxiety than relationship breakdowns, divorce and starting a new job.
Despite this, we move house, on average, eight times during our lives. So it's a good idea if we can make it a joy rather than a pain. Focus on the pros of the new home and the cons of the old. Remember why we're moving and enjoy the process, seeing it as a time for out with the old and in with the new. 

Personally I find that a positive can-do attitude to moving is even more important when we are being role models to our children. Not simply so that they would move themselves one day when necessary, but also, because them feeling safe, secure and settled in their new home and during the process is fundamental to their happiness and mental health. Moving is fun for children when it's an adventure. "Look at that big truck" (we moved with an arctic) and "look at our new garden" followed by "look at your new bedroom". The stressful side of it can be dealt with when they're at nursery or in bed. Don't get me wrong, I don't shelter him from everything, as children are more well-rounded when they know what's going on, but I certainly made sure moving house was something he looked forward to rather than dreaded.

I have a very negative attitude to moving house but I ensured that I didn't pass this on to Aaron. My issue comes from the fact that my Mum moved back to Ireland and I didn't get to pack up my room before she left, so now when I put down roots I get a bit sticky and like to stay there, hence why we stayed in our flat for 13 instead of 5 years. 

He only knows about the up sides of us having moved - like gaining his own private garden. I want him to grow up to be one of those people who isn't held back by their location, because one's location can be changed in a heartbeat if you don't have any hangups about doing so. Laying down roots is something we can do with ease, once we choose a place that's right for us. A place that draws us in and welcomes us like a big hug.

Anyway I got sidetracked. Back to the logistics of moving...

Misplaced possessions and realising furniture does not fit in the new home tops the list of most stressful moving day moments but, before this, you may also have to deal with slow solicitors, endless phone calls, difficult estate agents and the risk of it falling through – to name a few.

I can personally tick all of the above. Two of Aaron's favourite toys got misplaced in the move and we had to buy them again. A year later they turned up so now we have duplicates. Isn't that always the way. That's why he has four Thomas the Tank Engines too as they often used to fall behind the sofa etc... when we lived in our flat. They'd always turn up soon after you making the decision to purchase a new one. He has two Disney's Planes too - Dusty!

The worst thing though was furniture not fitting. I cried for 2 whole days but was tearful for a total of four when this happened to us. It was a big deal. I'd bought a 3 metre wide wardrobe from Ikea for Aaron's arrival when I was pregnant in 2010. Total £1,000 with just the glass sliding doors costing £500. I contacted our buyer and as they complemented the room so well she wanted to buy them and literally said we could name our price. From what I know of her, she was sincere in that too. But as I was sentimentally attached to them I contacted the seller of our new house and asked the dimensions of the bedroom. He did a drawing with measurements and did it wrong. So I assumed I could bring them and therefore didn't sell them. Big mistake huge! Don't know about you but I can't say "big mistake, huge" without thinking of Pretty Woman :-)

On top of the fact that the wardrobe wouldn't fit in the room, the glass sliding doors of it couldn't go up the stairs anyhow. Ironically our entrance hall was bigger in our flat than it is in a house. The bed slats wouldn't go up the stairs either. It really was a "sliding doors" moment as I can so easily visualise the other Gwyneth, with a couple of hundred pounds in her pocket having sold the wardrobe to the buyer of our flat. They'd love the room with it in. I'd love the money. And we'd have a fresh start with something that DOES fit our bedroom here.

Many of the things that cause us stress during a move are out of our control. But, before you make your next move, read these top tips and you can minimise any extra stress.

Tip 1: Create a checklist

There are so many things to remember when you are moving house from booking a removals company to redirecting your post – so create a checklist, which will ensure you don’t forget anything. List them in the order that things need doing and tick them off as you go. As for booking a removals company, the large ones like to do a "survey" so allow a timescale for this. They don't trust you on how much stuff you have so they literally look at all your belongings (before or while you pack) in order to do the quote. Do get recommendations though as I was thoroughly let down by ours and paid £1300 for a service that was probably worth £500. I should have taken them to the small claims court for the things that they did, so get a reputable one!

Tip 2: Have a clear out

Moving house is the perfect time to have a clear out – there is no point moving things that you don’t really need. Start by throwing out the rubbish, fill bags that can be taken to a charity shop and finally sell what you can. Yes things can be sold on eBay, but often people have more luck on Gumtree or you could have a car boot sale – either way you make some pennies from the items you don’t want anymore, to invest in your new home. There's always the option of giving things to family, putting them on Facebook selling groups or with white goods or large furniture the easiest thing is to sell them to the buyer of your property, like I should have done with my huge Ikea bedroom wardrobes. This and that I didn't declutter are my biggest regrets. I didn't do this and it is HORRIBLE handling old clutter twice, once when you pack it and again when you unpack it. What I would suggest is having the clear out before even putting your home on the market. A decluttered home is more attractive anyway and you don't want to be dealing with it when packing as by then you are on a clock!

When selling things to your buyer, do so separate to the negotiations so that it doesn't become part of the purchase price. It is then binding, as you have to do a detailed list of what you are leaving, some of which you may be leaving free of charge. Like when we moved we benefited from curtains/blinds on all windows which we were and are incredibly grateful for. We left behind a fitted cooker though and came to a property without one, which was a bit stressful as it took way longer to choose a new one than I bargained for. It was the first time in my adult life that I'd bought one, and it took a while to establish what I wanted in a cooker. I would HIGHLY recommend

Tip 3: Take advantage of storage

We recently bought storage from B & Q for Aaron's bedroom, in order to make his toys look more tidy for a friend coming over. But storage can be important while moving too. Get yourself a storage unit through a local self-storage company. This will enable you to start moving items out of your house early – so you don’t have to do it all on moving day, but you can use it on moving day if you have any issues and it is perfect for items that you don’t want or can’t have in your new home straight away, for whatever reason.

Tip 4: Label everything

While you are packing up your boxes make sure you label everything – with not only the room it is intended for but also its contents. This may seem to make the packing process longer, but it will in turn ensure the unpacking process is much easier and you will be so grateful for this when all you want is to be settled into your new home.

I can't recommend this enough. Firstly it means that when the removals men pack the truck they do it in rooms and secondly, it means that they position boxes in the rooms they belong to, when they unload the truck. When hubby goes to work and you're home alone unpacking like I was, having things already in the room they belong in is invaluable. There were about 25-30 boxes in the kitchen alone, so I cracked on with these during day times and if Aaron was at home he would watch a DVD while I cracked on. As the weather was great we had to keep going to the park and getting to know our new area, so this process went on quite a few weeks.

While you are packing up your boxes make sure you put one aside which will be your moving day ‘survival’ kit. This will include the kettle, teabags/coffee, milk, mugs, toilet roll, cleaning products, important documents, plates and cutlery, bed linen – basically all the essentials you could need as you leave your old house and enter your new home. Stupidly I didn't do this and when I DID find the kettle it no longer worked, so our 2nd or 3rd day here was spent trying to find a shop that sold kettles. I am a BIG tea drinker, so I treated this as somewhat of an emergency!

Tip 5: Get to know your new area

This kind of happened automatically, while looking for outdoor spaces and kettles! Ha ha! It is important because it will help you to settle in much quicker. Where is the local GP and dentist – perhaps you could even start the registration process before you move? If you have children where will they go to school and how easy is it to get there from your new home? Are there any clubs you might want to join that you will enjoy but that may also encourage you to make friends in your new area? Gosh! We still haven't even registered with a Dentist even now oooops!

If the house you are moving to is a significant distance away, you can do all this from your current home thanks to the Internet. A quick Google search will bring up all you need to know and you can start signing up to things from there.

A big regret is that I didn't know what signing up for a school would be like and I assumed it'd be the same as where we lived before (in that you had to provide proof of address in the form of many attached documents like Child Benefit and Council Tax). So that meant we did a late application in April instead of an on-time one in January, which meant by that time all of the good schools were already full and over-subscribed. To this day, when we walk to school we walk passed a sea of people walking in this direction to go to our schools when we walk to their area to go to theirs. We had the proximity to mean we'd have had priority had we only done the application on time. I'd have done it prior to moving had I known proof of address was not required. Ironically we were in a chain of 5 and only one link caused the delay, which was our buyer. I should have made her pay for that but she got our flat for the same price she offered 5 months before. Another regret and I know it's bad to have regrets...... Moving really is a minefield, but if you can stand grounded and centred, intuition will guide you to the correct decisions, which in my case would have been leaving my precious wardrobes behind. You don't want to know where those doors are now! Gah!

Monday, 31 October 2016

The Frugal Stay At Home Mum

Where I can I avoid credit. It's funny to think back and remember that I actually used to be a saver. I saved up to go to University by working two jobs the whole of Summer 1991. I didn't get any financial help from my Mum or Step Dad and luckily back then we still had Student Grants which covered fees AND subsistence. I didn't even get a student loan until the final year so I had that paid off within a year or two of finishing University. Plus in my last couple of years of Uni I had part-time jobs there which helped. One, in a theatre bar and then later in the town's night club on the entrance desk.

I only got a credit card because a gang of us at work (after Uni) were going to Magaluf! Yeah don't ask! I was worried I wouldn't have enough spending money after paying for the flights and accommodation. The card actually arrived in the post AFTER I got back so I should have cut it up and thrown it away - hindsight is a wonderful thing. But I kept it and used it. It wasn't my last one either as I fell into that trap of doing balance transfers for 0% interest on the existing balance as they did back then. At my 2nd job after Uni me and my deputy used to regular go out for lunch or dinner and if it was that part of the month when finances were low, it always went on the card. That stereotypical thing of a credit card funding a lifestyle you can't afford. We used to do yoga together every Wednesday and always went to Wagamamas every week afterwards. How very extravagant. It was fine for her as she still lived at home and had no overheads. I'd give myself a good talking to if I had a time machine.

Anyway I've said several times on this blog how I cleared my loans and credit cards prior to getting pregnant as that gave me the feeling of financial security I needed to be a Mum. So now, I only spend what I have and it's a good feeling.
Some of the frugal things I do to save money are:
  • We shop in Aldi and it makes the weekly food shop affordable.
  • I completely dropped top-up shops by ensuring that our weekly food shop contains those items. So I get enough bread and milk to last 7 days and I purchase Aaron's after school snacks with the groceries to avoid expensive trips to sweet shops after school.
  • I breastfeed which saves us money on formula.
  • I'm reviewing lots of baby food which saves us money again now she's on solids (still breastfeeding LOTS though).
  • I try and say yes to those blogging opportunities that save me a purchase. Freshest example being our recent photo shoot with Regatta Outdoors which meant Aaron, myself and Lottie all have coats for the Winter now, plus they both have hats and Aaron has wellies. Also, of course, we had our photo shoot with the Gro Company which means Lottie has 3 new Gro Bags for Autumn Winter. They're gorgeous Orla Kiely ones and I am so proud of Lottie for modelling them. I need to do a whole blog post about it soon.
  • I'm not too snobby or snooty to accept pre-loved bits and pieces for Lottie and this has saved us heaps. Unfortunately we had the huge expense of the pram but hopefully I will get chance to recoup it.
  • We kept all of Aaron's bits and pieces meaning Lottie already had a cot, a Fisherprice Jumperoo, a Baby Einstein activity gym mat and a Lindam Door bouncer amongst other things.
  • I do all of Aaron's haircuts myself even cutting it as recently as last night. Children's haircuts here are £10 so that saves me £10 a month.
  • I haven't had mine cut in well over a year and just bung it back in a ponytail or Mum top knot.
  • I purchased Aaron's school uniform in July when Aldi had it on Special Buys. This saved heaps. A lovely lady from our PTA sewed on the school logos for me.
  • I'd love to say we save money on holidays by travel blogging but alas Bluestone was April 2015 and too long ago. So holidays have been non existent but hopefully I can do something about that in the future.
  • We walk to school which saves us heaps on bus fare. We get the bus once in a blue moon.
  • Most meals out have been blogging related and take aways were taken away ha ha. Although the hubby did treat us to a Chinese in honour of his birthday week. He was modest this year he normally has a birthday month!
  • Days out in school holidays are usually blogging related too like our recent trip to Kidtropolis.
My vice though is coffee. I always buy a Latte or Cappuccino when out and really must put a stop to this. If I knew what it added up to I probably would have done already.

And finally remember, babies don't need nearly as much "stuff" as we think they do.

Any conversation about finances at this time of year though, has to mention Christmas. It's like a big expense looming on the horizon. Last year Aaron wanted a tablet and we got the Kindle Fire (from Santa) from John Lewis and it was only £49 but I then pay about £3 a month for all of the kids' apps that come with it. I am glad as I tried to download games for him on my phone the other day and they all came with in-app purchases which frighten the hell out of me. He nearly bought a virtual basket of gems for £14.99. Why do these games do this when they should know it's not fair on parents. Luckily with the apps that come on the tablet there's none of that so I have no worries and they're all age appropriate. He's starting to find some of them baby-ish so it was the right gift for last year and he does still play with it, but it wouldn't be the right purchase this Christmas.

I'd like to get through Christmas without accruing any debt. Having spoken to all of the Mums at school they're all in a Christmas club where they pay in every week, funnily enough to our lollipop lady. I could never do that as I remember one or two of them going bust a few years back and I can't get that out of my head even if this one is safe, but the idea of saving for Christmas a little bit all year does appeal to me.

Friends online are completing surveys to make money in exchange for vouchers that they can use for Christmas shopping. I really need to join in on this one but haven't had the time thus far. Never too late though must make an effort this week.

Also in my blogging life I need to get better at pitching. I need to treat blogging as work instead of as a hobby. That shift took place for most people a couple of years ago. I think I am a bit of a dinosaur. It's a shame, I peaked too soon. I was up to 3k page views a day a couple of years ago, but hadn't even monetised my blog at the time. What a missed opportunity.

Back to the subject of finances though, have you seen all of the new ways to pay? There's new payment technologies which are discussed over on Money Life.  I love the sound of the Bitcoin but I think I am too traditional and like my cash. In Bristol we even have the Bristol Pound. Traditional money mustn't completely be on the way out though as they have just released the new £5 notes. I don't know about you but I really really like them!

What are your plans to get through Christmas? I hope Aaron wants something affordable from Santa again ha ha!

Pregnancy Got Rid of My Mobility Problems

You may remember I used to have a problem with my right foot. It was heel pain that I mistakenly self diagnosed as gout, simply because it was so incredibly responsive to diet, namely acidity. In fact I was so convinced it was gout I wrote a poem about my pending diagnosis with the good doctor. Coffee = pain. Half a packet of Digestives = pain (I know I know) and alcohol was off the scale pain!!!! What didn't help was I was no longer eating my yogic diet of bygone years (yeah that showed) and acidity in my diet featured heavily. Ironically the pain would make me reach for harmful things. This about summed it up:
a disease in which defective metabolism of uric acid causes arthritis, especially in the smaller bones of the feet, deposition of chalk-stones, and episodes of acute pain.

I had EVERY reason to believe it was gout but I had the blood test for it and it wasn't. The GP and several other people including my lovely (old business colleague and wonderful lady) Podiatrist Beverley Ashdown, diagnosed it as Plantar Fasciitis. Beverley's tip of my wearing heels worked WONDERS so I bought these beauties.

A photo posted by Liska (@newmumonline) on

Followed by these for the Winter again with a heel:

Plantar fasciitis 
(PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis) is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves pain and inflammation of a thick band of tissue, called the plantar fascia, that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes.
Hmmmm! And it seems there is a type of Plantar Fasciitis that is responsive to dietary acidity. So it CAN be that and do that!

Funnily enough when I used to watch my reactions to things I became a pro at it. I'll never forget going to a Nespresso event that Autumn and they said their coffees are really pure - I knew it was totally true based on my body's reaction to what I was drinking. It is ideal if we listen to our bodies and eat what is good for us. So many conditions would be eliminated if we could only as a society do this.

You'll remember that in Reception Aaron and I used to both cycle to and from school everyday. So often in fact, I used to regularly use the hashtag #SchoolPedal (my take on the "school run") on Twitter. The actual reason we did this was I couldn't cope with the walk there and back twice a day. Although when he went through a phase of wanting to be on the scooter after months on the bike I had to, but gosh it made me irritable and so snappy. Pain is a horrid horrid creature, it really is.

Luckily he started school September 2014 and by April 2015 I was pregnant. Two things happened. Firstly the hubby banned me from cycling whilst pregnant as he was convinced I'd have some sort of accident and secondly the relaxants that the body releases to deal with growing ligaments etc during pregnancy (female hormone progesterone, which acts as a muscle relaxant), eliminated my plantar fasciitis. It was so much of a miracle and so welcomed that I really ought to have blogged about it. Instead what I did was tell anyone that would listen, that I walk up to 30 miles a week. I should have given this context by saying, given my recent history, what a huge and amazing thing this was!

Given my lack of mobility it is a surprise to me in hindsight that I was trying to conceive at all, but Lottie was in my energy space and I had to make her a reality. Forgive me if you don't believe in that sort of thing, but Lottie's been a reality in my mind for decades before she was a person in physical form. Souls choose who they incarnate to and I am so very glad she chose us!

I visited the GP shortly after Lottie arrived and he said that the pain would come back once she was 6 weeks' old. In fact, it took till she was 9 weeks' old and lingered fleetingly for a couple of days and hasn't been seen since. I don't know if this is because I dropped the combination feeding bottles months ago and now exclusively breastfeed. Does breastfeeding produce any hormones that provide pain relief? I really honestly do not know! I hope not as I don't want that pain back the days or weeks after we stop breastfeeding........ I'll have to ask him again. Either that or I will breastfeed her until she's an adult *joking* ha!

But I do have a *new* problem now. Well two actually. One, I regularly sit cross legged on the floor and when I get up, my hips hurt way more than they should. In fact until I've been walking around for a few steps I walk stooped like when I get out of a vehicle after a long journey. I think I may just require Glucosamine or something!

Yikes Doctor Google is brutal!
Glucosamine is a naturally occurring substance found in the fluid around our joints. It is naturally present in animal bones, bone marrow, shellfish and fungi. Glucosamine plays a vital role in building cartilage and is commonly consumed as a supplement by people with arthritis, especially osteoarthritis.
The second problem is I find it nearly impossible now to open jars, so I keep being a drama queen and telling myself that I am going to have some kind of muscle wasting disease. Can't believe I am sharing that with you as I don't normally say it out loud. But I want to be an active elderly person, like one of the Teachers on my Yoga Teacher Training was (she was in her 80s and could still do a crab). I wish I could remember her name! Yikes I have memory loss too, I really am a gonner! But given I've not done yoga since 2010 this is looking less likely unless I sort my life out. She did sun salutations daily for about 40+ years. Yes, like I have blogged many times I need consistency and self discipline and self control. Despite being a hard worker in all of my career jobs I don't seem to possess these things in my personal life, which is why the idea of my working from home is kind of hilarious to say the least!

So given my stiffness and achy limbs and unwillingness to change my diet, I do tend to look at mobility aids a little too long, wondering if I will need them one day. Don't get the violins out just yet I am not talking mobility scooters I am talking about things like walk in showers and walk in baths from Premier Bathrooms. The sort of thing that provide comfort and reduce the amount of mobility involved. I've been thinking about age a lot recently. For example, say I live to 100, surely that means I am only 43% of the way there... so why do I feel like I am starting to pack up? The postpartum hair loss has stopped and the hair that is growing back in its place is riddled with greys. I'd say 20% of them are grey. I've always been PROUD that I do NOT dye my hair and I don't want this to become part of my routine, or my budget - like what budget!?!?!? I've had a packet of Henna I bought in Lush like 3 years ago. Putting that finally in my hair is about the furthest I would go.

Anyway, age means I am finding writing this at 00:47 quite challenging so this ole woman best go to bed. I could have done this way earlier given Aaron was asleep by 21:35 but alas Madam couldn't get the late nights out of her system quite as easily so I literally only got her to sleep at midnight. I posted Instagram stories of her earlier showing that she was still up way passed her bedtime. Funny if you'd have asked me this afternoon who would go to sleep first I would have said her. Funnily enough she did, at 2000hrs but was awake by 2100 acting like a crazy loon both waving and clapping. My old age meets her youthfulness! Boom! Yep I need to get fitter for her sake really don't I. Well for both of them. For all of us. Life is what you make it.

Good night people. xxx

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Yes I Would Have Another Baby

I am 43 so these are words I thought I would never say. When I had Aaron I said I would *have* to have a 2nd by age 40 but as the 40th loomed nearer we weren't at all ready and I never ever wanted to have a double buggy or 2 in nappies. I know my limits and although I can be all like Mother Earth, equally I can be a stress head and know that I couldn't cope with 2 under 2 or even 2 under 3. My ideal scenario was Aaron in reception, with me at home bouncing a baby on my knee. Trying to conceive means Aaron was in year 1 when Lottie was born and in year 2 now. This time round motherhood means getting a baby ready for school everyday and being up and out for the school run every morning in all weathers, but actually it is quite refreshing having that routine, after what I remember it being like as a Mum for the first time. Kind of swimming lost at sea for a while. Yes PND did feature.
The truth is, yes our family is complete with a boy and a girl but I am in that "never say never" frame of mind, regularly touting the phrase "if we won the lottery"! Yep! Seriously! This time there's been no trouble breastfeeding (well not nearly as much as with Aaron) and there's been no postnatal depression and yes, despite my age, I could imagine going through it all again. I felt so alive when pregnant. I did do the early nights thing in the first trimester and did need to get the bus for the school run in the 3rd but only literally in that last fortnight. Until then I was able to walk up to 30 miles a week and regularly did. Which is great because I used to be a yoga teacher and we told pregnant ladies they should walk 5 miles a day.

Mother Nature and her need to make us procreate as humanity has made me forget the pregnancy insomnia I suffered from really badly in the final 4 weeks of pregnancy and the butterflies bordering on panic attacks that plagued me too, both at the end of the pregnancy and the beginning few weeks of lil Lottie's life. Gosh it was scary I used to feel like I couldn't breath and regularly had to run out onto the patio. I couldn't sink down into the bath as I felt as if I would drown. The minute the steam would hit my face I'd feel claustrophobic. You wouldn't believe me if I told you what cured it!

Oddly enough that wasn't the only thing I suffered from, in this pregnancy that was so different than Aaron's. In weeks 6 to 14 I had morning sickness. I was never actually ill just nauseous but it was even effected by noise (think YouTube soundtracks) AND the Wifi being emitted by my laptop so blogging took a backseat for quite a while. Such a shame as I quite fancied myself as a pregnant vlogger and blogger.

What made me remember the above things is I just imagined telling my Mum I was pregnant and I could hear her voice in my head and what her objections would be. The minute my mind went down that road I could imagine her reminding me about the things above. Just having a day dream about that fictitious conversation reminded me of the less glamorous elements of my pregnancy even though broodiness would have me forget them. I'm saying that even though she still wakes to breastfeed about 3-4 times a night. I seem to forgive her for it each morning though.

Anyway, once all of my pregnancy and new mum symptoms were dealt with I was finally a glowing new Mum for a 2nd time and could now easily imagine, all too easily, doing it again, if money were no object that is.
When Lottie was born my Mum couldn't afford to fly over and kept saying "if I win the Lottery I will". Thankfully we eventually got a cheap flight and her diary synchronised with mine and she DID come in September. It was only from a Friday to a Wednesday so I cannot wait for her to come again especially as her time here was marred by Lottie being rushed to Casualty with a UTI. I'm glad she was here to support me and take Aaron to school while I was in hospital and Daddy was at work.

Anyway, I digress. Yes, I would have another baby. But I guess age is not on my side, so I probably would in this case have no choice but to have them close in ages. I used to regularly dowse and dowsing said I would win the Lottery but the trouble is I never ever do it. And as the saying goes "you have to be in it to win it". I got tempted a few weeks ago and I did the Euro Millions in a store but only because the Factory Shop had a sign up saying that it was a win of £150 million that Friday. Would you believe that (1) I don't know where the ticket is and (2) I haven't checked my numbers.... well that's due to (1) ha ha! So I think the best solution with these things is to buy your ticket online as then you get notified if you win right? So Lotto Betting would probably be just the ticket (forgive the pun considering it's online and ticketless) for me. My husband plays the National Lottery twice a week every week and I know he does it online. I know we often joke it is like a second tax. Given how many taxes there are, that number should probably be higher than second too!

I already know what area I would like to live in if we did indeed win the lottery. Is it something you dream about? Are there things money limits you from doing? I live quite a simple lifestyle and don't buy designer anything. My well paid job ended Summer 2012 and since then I put my needs last - I know get the violins out. So this Summer I was wearing Birkenstocks that were quite literally falling apart - I really MUST put them in the bin and so it is lovely when I get the odd treat like my makeover with Regatta Outdoors. I particularly like it when blogging achieves the gaining of an item I would have needed to buy anyway, like jackets in that instance as this helps me to be a stay at home Mum for that bit longer.

But back to the Lottery. I know one thing I would do is travel with my Mum, as barring a day trip to France she's never been abroad, and in the last 5 years I've not seen nearly enough of her. I'd also assist a few family members and definitely my best friend, who's been living in a caravan on her drive for the past TWO YEARS whilst they refurbish their house with setback after setback. A win would really change everything, but I'd have to remember that possible 3rd baby, before I down too much champagne, or given I haven't drunk for nearly 2 years perhaps I should quit the breastfeeding, down some champagne and then get pregnant. In that order. I don't even need to consult the hubby as he often asks me, with a twinkle in his eye "would you have a 3rd?" and we've been asked it by friends and family too even though they know our age! I know! I was shocked too! Well we've been together since 1988 and we always said we'd have 3 but we started late. In 2018 we'll have been together 30 years. We got married when we'd been together 13 years so this year we celebrated 15 years married. We got married on our anniversary so there's no confusion and just one anniversary to celebrate. Because we got married on our 13th anniversary I had 13 roses in my bouquet. And no! I do not believe that 13 is an unlucky number. Quite the opposite I believe it is a divine feminine number. My bridesmaids dresses were red velvet and my Aunt said it was a Magdalene Red as in Mary Magdalene. I'm delving into my spiritual side here so should sign off before you switch off LOL!

I really MUST find that Euro Millions ticket and see if I have won anything! I'll let you know. Or maybe I won't, you'll just notice that I'm travelling more and drinking more. Probably what you will notice is an abundance of interior shots as I move into the home of my dreams.......... oh it is lovely to dream!

Lottie would probably react like this if I said she wasn't going to be the baby of the house any longer! But at least it would mean we'd won the Lottery and could afford to buy the Tripp Trapp chair she is sitting on (at The Baby Show we've just been to)!