Work, vets, baby & chores in one day – I deserve a medal

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So this morning baby decided on a 4:30 explosive poo (one hour earlier than usual) and didn’t think much of going back to sleep, however 25 minutes of vigorous rocking convinced her otherwise, thankfully, and at 5:30 we got back into bed for a lie-in until 7am, when we were both charmingly woken by my lovely other half letting out a huge fart!

So I did my usual Friday start, cup of tea & porridge, then making mine & partner’s lunch for the day – our super healthy wholegrain rice salad with cottage cheese & yoghurt with blueberries & honey. I’m nearly back at pre-baby weight so feeling fine about no naughty food. Then I breastfed baby on one side whilst expressing on the other – I find I get maximum output this way!

At 10 I left my partner to get baby off to nap (something he was worried about as she’s been very clingy recently) to drive to Bristol for a meeting with my bosses. I like my job, but I really don’t want to put baby in full-time childcare yet, and financially to make it even worth it I’d have to go back 4 days a week. I was terrified that going in today & saying that I don’t want to return til at least October would be received badly, but thankfully they’re family men and they were sympathetic. I was so relieved.

Back home I find a shouty baby who’s worried that mummy wasn’t there when she woke up, but who’s quickly consoled. Partner goes back to work, I stuff some food into my face & get out to the shops to get our weekend food shopping. Had a nice chat with the butcher about how it’s been too hot recently for babies, and about his grandchildren.

Back home again, I plan my mission of trying to get two cats into cat boxes.

Both have very recently been in the wars: Dexter had a bite on his back leg a week ago, and although the bite marks have healed, the leg is swollen & the poor boy growls & hisses when it’s touched or he has to move it. Suki got a bite near her tail two weeks ago which we thought had healed, but last Sunday we saw a large patch of hair missing & a deep hole in her – turns out the infected bite had become an abscess which had ruptured. Lovely.

So today they both had check-ups. Suki I thought would be harder to get in the box, we’ve had to chase her round the house in the past as she has a psychic ability to know when she going to the vets. So this time I got the cat boxes ready in the utility room, called them both but pretended not to be interested in Suki, gave them some Dreamies (cat crack) and picked her up, carried her (complaining) to her box & shoved her in before she realised what was happening. Dexter knew something was up as he was hiding under the coffee table, and growled at me when I tried to get him out. I threw a blanket over him, picked him up by his chest & again carried him through & kind of gently shoved him in his box, avoiding touching his poorly leg. If he was feeling himself I think I would have had much more of a fight.

Got up to the vets with baby & Suki shouting, to arrive (on-time! A miracle) to a torrential downpour and I didn’t bring a cardigan. Oh well, everything was going so well, there had to be something. Put baby in the Baby Bjorn & carried both cat boxes in, to the impressed looks of other clients. Fortunately the vet saw both cats at the same time; Suki is fine, healing well & can stop her meds, Dexter’s temperature is down from 40 degrees, thankfully, but his leg is still swollen. The vet said continue on his painkillers & antibiotics & come back on Monday. Again.

Baby got quite worked up at the vets as she needed a nap, but the upshot is she fell asleep almost immediately in the car on the way home, with her white noise on. Fortunately this seemed to drown out the sound of Suki complaining in her box next to the baby.

Back home I tried to get everyone inside as fast as possible but the white noise stopped & baby woke up and started crying, and Suki was still crying, so that was a bit stressful. But got baby back to sleep & gave the cats some milk for their troubles, and I’m finally sat down eating my lunch. My partner will be home in an hour, then him & his friend are going out for drinks & dinner and will no doubt return home drunk & rowdy later! The house is a tip but really, I think I’ve done enough today. The washing up can wait til I’ve at least had a cup of tea, right…? Please don’t make me do it…

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Recently rediscovered porridge

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As a kid in the 80s, I used to looooove Ready Brek, the instant porridge stuff that was advertised tantalisingly with radioactive-looking kids.

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As a teenager & in my 20s, I stopped eating breakfast as I always felt nauseous in the mornings, and wouldn’t eat until around 10am, and then always Marmite on toast, if I could – I had office jobs where they allowed eating at your desk. However my keyboard did get pretty crumby & Marmite-y.

When I fell pregnant, I had to start eating breakfast to combat my dreadful morning sickness, and because I was so hungry all of the time. I’d actually eat two breakfasts – toast & Marmite at home, then honey nut Shredded Wheat at work. I got in trouble for the cereal – my boss complained about the chink of my spoon against the bowl, he thought it would sound unprofessional down the phone if customers could hear it! So we compromised and I ate my cereal with a plastic spoon!

I’d all but passed over it as tasteless mush for old people or people dieting in winter, and after trying a ready-mixed flavoured porridge sachet which was utterly disgusting, I wasn’t about to change my mind.

With baby at 5 months, I’m still eating two breakfasts – I’ve tried cutting the second out, but I just end up eating lunch at 11:30 & starving at 4pm, plus I’m breastfeeding and still losing weight slowly. I started eating porridge after buying oats for a ‘breakfast muffin’ recipe, which was delicious but not a long term solution to my breakfast issue as despite being made with yoghurt, oil and honey they were still too fatty. I was searching for something to eat & found the porridge & pumpkin seeds I’d used for the recipe, and suddenly thought – why have I been eating a muffin when I could deconstruct it & eat the source?!

So using soy milk (partner is lactose intolerant so there’s always some in the fridge) I made up the porridge as it’s a little sweeter than dairy milk, added a spoonful of low fat natural yoghurt, added banana & blueberries & the pumpkin seeds & I’ve found a healthy breakfast that I actually like! I get my carb fix from the oats, protein from the soy, energy from the banana, vitamins and minerals from the blueberries & pumpkin seeds & it’s a good source of fibre. I could add honey I guess but I find the soy milk makes it sweet enough. I’m quite pleased with myself, I know that’s silly over a bowl of porridge, but we have to take pleasure in the small victories, right?!

Buggy Fit – previously ‘Pushy Mums’!

We’re off to Buggy Fit this morning, for the third time – and I really enjoy it. I’m not great at getting going for exercise; not because I don’t enjoy it but I’m a bit self-conscious & basically lazy! But when I’ve done it I feel good.

So when baby massage came to an end, one of the group said she’s going back to Buggy Fit in that time slot, myself & another girl welcomed the chance!

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Here in Bath there’s an enormous park called Victoria Park which is great for the purpose. The lady who runs it is a personal trainer & is lovely, and of course a mum herself. We park up the buggies to run up & round some steps, or do lunges etc, and she keeps an eye on the bubbas. There’s some brisk walking with the pushchairs/prams but no running because it’s apparently bad for your posture.

We also do some resistance training using equipment that she brings & park benches. I know in theory I could do all this myself, but you don’t feel so self-conscious in a small group, and I need the peer pressure and someone telling me to do something to actually do it! Also the mum gossip is a great reason to go! And after we sit on a park bench give the babies a feed, and enjoy the weather (hopefully) and the view (always).

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Trying to bake muffins whilst baby wearing – fail

Have been meaning to do a blueberry muffin recipe I found during the week to use up some overripe blueberries & thought today I finally had my chance. We’d been out for a walk in the gorgeous weather we had again today, and baby hadn’t slept so I put her in the stretchy fabric sling kindly lent by my sister-in-law as baby always goes to sleep well in there. So I thought.

We successfully managed to get the batter made as it’s really quick – it’s at http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/blueberry-yogurt-muffins, and is low fat as there’s no butter, just milk, yoghurt & vegetable oil. I thought it’d be a good idea to do it in the cupcake maker my other half got me a few years ago, from Lakeland – it’s a great invention… It usually bakes cupcakes & muffins in 8-10 minutes.

Unfortunately this is one muffin that can’t be cooked in the cupcake maker – guess it’s too hot for such a moist sponge, as it just burnt the outside and the inside was still raw. And baby woke up & started shouting at me as I was trying to check them. I ate one anyway. I guess I could now stick them in the oven, and if they come out too dry just make them again tomorrow!

Generally wearing baby is a lifesaver, I don’t know how we’d manage without the sling – means whilst my partner is working, I can get on with washing up & making dinner in the evenings. And are sleeps (usually!) really well in it! She cries if I leave her in her bouncy chair too long, or she can’t even me, and doesn’t really sleep in her moses basket, so we all get some rest with her in the sling.

 

 

First alcoholic beer in ten months

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With the gorgeous warm weather today, I couldn’t resist having a beer. I haven’t had one since I had our baby, and the non-alcoholic beers just don’t do it – they’re so unpleasant tasting! So I’m savouring my Peroni, it’s the slowest drunk beer in my life!

This is quite a contentious issue – how much can you drink if you’re breastfeeding? The NHS says 1-2 units once or twice a week is okay, but that it can make your breastmilk taste and smell different, so could affect feeding. Do you think it’s safest just to avoid it altogether?

Best ways to lose weight after pregnancy

My top 5 tips to lose those pregnancy pounds after having your baby – practical, normal people ways! You can feel a bit of a heffalump and even when you’re breastfeeding it might not just ‘drop off’,  so here are my best tips for dropping the dress sizes…

1. Get out of the house for a walk with baby, every day.
Plan something, like going to the shop, walking the dog, or picking your partner up from work – at the same time so it becomes part of your routine. Then it becomes harder to talk yourself out of it. And walk the longer/harder/more uphill version!

2. Drink lots of water
Especially if you’re breastfeeding, you need to drink plenty of fluids – 2 litres normally, and at least 3 litres if you are feeding. And if you drink water 40 minutes before a meal, it can help fill you up a little. Also it’s very easy to mistake thirst for hunger, so ensure you have a drink before you reach for a snack. The best way is to have a glass or bottle of water within reaching distance at all times – then it becomes habitual.

3. Eat healthily
A no brainer of course, but I’ve found I’ve eaten rubbish since baby’s been born. So on this front I’ve made a promise to myself to only buy healthy snacks, like apples, sunflower seeds, carrots, celery & hummus – then when I fancy something quick at home I’m not tempted by crisps & cookies! Also don’t do the shopping – online or in a store – when you’re hungry. If you’re anything like me, you’ll buy total cr*p!!

4. Eat blueberries.
They’re renowned for their fat burning properties, and they’re delicious with fat free plain yoghurt & honey (just a little) – so chow down!

5. Reduce portion sizes
When I put on weight it’s almost always simply that I’m eating more at a sitting. I could never finish a large cod & chips before pregnancy, but 3 weeks after having baby I happily munched my way through it! Don’t forget the stomach stretches when you eat more, so it takes more to fill you up – think back to how much you used to eat, and only eat that much.

Let me know how you all get on, and if you have any additional ideas!