Baie Trowen Sweetheart – Review

For many years now I’ve been with my (long suffering) husband and been faithful. Now, however I have a new Sweetheart. A Baie Trowen Sweetheart, to be exact.

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Released rather fittingly on Valentine’s Day, Sweetheart is the latest in the very successful Trowen line. It features the same celtic inspired pattern as the other Trowens but with a plum purple to black gradient warp, and a striking fuchsia pink weft. On one side the background features the gradient with a solid colour pattern, and on the other it is the pattern itself that features the gradient, while the background is a solid colour. I am not sure which is supposed to be the ‘wrong’ side – I personally don’t consider there to be one. The truth of the matter is, Sweetheart looks stunning any way round.

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And it wraps like a dream! 100% combed cotton, this is one of Baie’s snug weaves, meaning that it is more tightly woven than a plush weave. The result is a fairly thick, dense fabric that looks and feels fantastic. Having never tried a new Baie before, I was not sure what to expect but right out of the bag this wrapped well. It feels fairly thick but it’s not beastly and it’s very supportive. It holds my ten month old in a fwcc (my least favourite front carry) without feeling diggy, or pulling my shoulders. There’s also practically no sagging or slipping; the material holds well without needing to be re adjusted every ten minutes.

I picked it up en route to Bolsover Castle and just could not resist using it immediately. The setting was perfection, and made me feel like a non murderous Lady Macbeth. In fact, I’m pretty sure if she was a babywearer this is what she’d use. It’s dark, it’s dramatic, it’s elegant and it’s just a little bit gothic.

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I feel like this wrap looks it’s best when dressed up; this is the wrap I’d go for if we were going to any kind of an event. Having said that, that doesn’t mean it’s unsuitable for everyday wear. It adds instant drama and elegance to any outfit. It’s just so classy you can’t help but feel fabulous in it.

In fact, even the tote bag it came with is glamorous. In classic black and gold, this is a sling tote bag I’d actually use as a bag. And the gold is shimmery.

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Speaking of what came with this, I should add that Baie also sent some fabulous literature. Well designed, well written with clear instructions that show you how to do two different carries.

Overall, I’m really pleased with this. It looks and feels luxurious and high quality. It’s beauty and strength pretty much instantly guaranteed it a place in my rapidly growing permastash. There is no compromise with this – you don’t have to substitute good looks for good wrapping abilities. It does everything. And I can honestly say I’m no longer just Baie curious – I’m converted.

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First world mum problems

So, I was talking to a group of my ‘Mum chums’ (what a fantastic phrase) and we were discussing the small inconveniences that happen as a part of motherhood. You know, baby is due to wake up at any second, but now you’re shattered and want to nap. (This is happening to me right now, and I am writing this to avoid dropping off. Tiredness everywhere.) Anyway, a little spark went off in my head and First World Mum Problems was born. Here are what me and my friends came up with.

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And there you have it. What are yours?

Danu Bronte George RS – Review

As my birthday is at the beginning of January, and it’s generally such a cold and miserable month anyway, I thought that maybe I should get a new carrier and cheer myself up a little. I looked around and decided to go for Danu. I had taken advantage of their voucher offer before Christmas so it was practically already paid for.

In need of another ringsling, my husband and I looked at a couple and decided to go for the beautiful blue and white rose patterned Bronte George. Our little girl is Rosie, and if she was a boy she would have been George, which makes this particular design very appropriate.

The Bronte series is so called because the homeland of the Bronte sisters is very near to where these wraps were woven. George itself is named partly to honour George Smith, the editor who published Jane Eyre when no one else would, and also the first birthday of Prince George.

The roses are wild Irish Roses in full bloom, a freehand design that pays homage to Danu’s Irish heritage. It’s  very pretty, and gives the wrap a textured look. The roses look almost 3D, as though you could very nearly reach out and touch them.

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Just getting it out of the packaging

It’s a gathered shoulder with matte blue rings, and the way it’s sewn combined with the pattern means there isn’t really a wrong side, so this rs can be worn either left or right shouldered.

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Gathered shoulder, matte rings.

At 2m long, it’s a good length and there appears to be a decent but not overlong amount of tails. The sewing and hemming is impeccable, and the labelling discreet and tasteful.

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This is pretty much it for wash care instructions. Although you can easily ask in the Danu Devotees group on Facebook, personally I would prefer a leaflet of some kind with some basic care instructions. I had to ask to find out whether I should wash it before use. The answer is yes by the way.

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Nice tail length

With a 55% linen and 45% cotton blend, this carrier has the highest linen content I’ve tried so far. I fully expected it to be beast like, and to be fair it kind of was. However, after a wash, a steam iron, and a good hour or so being pulled through the rings it softened up considerably. Don’t get me wrong, it still has a ways to go, but it’s definitely on its way. With a bit more work I believe this ringsling will be absolutely wonderful.

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We love how supported she feels.

I found that it was easy enough to get Rosie in, and it felt very supportive. It tightened well, and during our trip to, back from, and round Asda she didn’t need adjusting as it held firmly with no slippage whatsoever. Rosie is a smallish 9 months at around 17lbs, but judging by how supported she feels in this, it should last until she’s much bigger. The high linen content will definitely help in this regard, as linen is one of the strongest and most durable vegetable fibres there is. It should also be quite cool and breathable in summer – just think of how lovely linen trousers are on hot sticky days!

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Coming back from Asda

Regarding linen (and this is seriously geeky, so feel free to skip) – it’s one of the more tricky fibres to weave. It has to be done in an air conditioned space with a relative humidity of at least 75%, and during the weaving process the fibres have to be kept as free as possible of dust, as it can reduce the quality of the fabric. It’s therefore very interesting to know that Danu not only wet spin their linen but also, unusually, spray water onto it during the weaving process. This makes the finished product much more pliable and helps to smooth out the fibres, giving the fabric a greater lustre. (Ok, geekery is finished, you may proceed!)

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Gorgeous George

In short, I’m just a bit in love with George. He’s Irish, beautiful, supportive, strong, cool, he’ll get softer with time, and he’ll be able to manage a toddler with ease. What more do you want from a man – er, ringsling?!

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He's so good with kids.

Bronte George is available here for those that wish to share the love. Enjoy!

Joy and Joe SMP Midnight Rainbow – Review

I was very lucky to recently get my hands on the newest offering from Joy and Joe – a beautiful Midnight Rainbow version of SMP.

One of only two currently in existence, this new wrap features a double weave, similar to Moorish . The difference, however, lies in the thread count. SMP has a much lower thread count by comparison, making it rather thinner than the snuggly thick Moorish. It does, however, retain some of the bounce of Moorish, although I have found the SMP can get a little diggy after a couple of hours. In all fairness though, Rosie was attempting to throw herself to one side to watch my feet, and I’m sure that can’t have helped! A double sateen weave, the SMP works great for all sizes, from little squishies to great big galumphing toddlers. It’s grippy, and the passes stayed put very well.

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The very word sateen puts in my mind images and ideas of silky satiny slippery fabric, but this just not the case. The wrap feels like very soft, worn in jeans. Particularly the darker side, which seems to have a little more grip.

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This wrap features the well loved and popular SMP design of paisley skulls, on a very vibrant rainbow background. One side features brighter colours, and the other side features darker rainbow colours. Personally, I think I prefer the brighter side as the contrast between the rainbow and the skulls is much more evident, although I do like the more subtle side to this wrap.

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The brighter side

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The darker side

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Side by side comparison

With it’s bold, bright colours and eye catching design, the SMP Midnight Rainbows is certainly an eye catcher.

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This wrap has been subject to a steam treatment as part of the finishing process. This helps to soften the yarn and remove any debris from the weaving process, meaning that it should be suitable to use immediately and require very little breaking in. Well, having been the first person to use it, I can say here and now that it does what it says. SMP arrived floppy and comfortable already. It does require some breaking in, but it really is very minimal for a brand new wrap. It wrapped very well, and I immediately got Rosie into a ruck with no difficulties, where she promptly fell asleep. Now, I’m informed that this extra treatment will be reflected in the price, but having experienced it for myself I’d say it’s well worth it. When you’ve bought a beautiful new wrap and you’re desperate to use it, spending time and effort breaking it in can be a pain!

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It measures pre wash at 62cm wide, and 3.8 m long, giving it a comparable width to Moorish. As a prototype, the length measurement only serves to show whether washing and ironing shrinks it at all. Post wash and iron, it has no shrinkage, showing the same measurements.

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Overall, this is a grippy, floppy, supportive wrap with a very striking design and vibrant colourway. The steam finishing treatment is worth the extra, as it’s ready to use straight away. I have really enjoyed the chance to use this, and I predict that this will be a great addition to the already hugely popular SMP range.

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Joy and Joe Moorish – Review

Having recently received Moorish Timbre from Joy and Joe Baby, I decided it was high time for another review!

As usual, the wrap came with complimentary tea bag, biscuits and tote bag. It was well wrapped to protect it during transit, and well presented on arrival.

The wrap itself is a double weave, so in effect there is no ‘wrong’ side, although both sides are contrasting colours. This double weave makes it super snuggly and warm, and also adds a bit of bounce. It’s 100% Egyptian cotton.

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The lighter side

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The darker side

The design is influenced by traditional Moorish and Moroccan architecture, in black and a very very pale blue. So much so that the blue colour can quite often present as grey. Personally, to me the design is very reminiscent of snow flakes or spiderwebs. Either way, it’s striking.

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My wrap measures 62cm wide, coming in a good 6cm narrower than Luceo Non Uro, another Joy and Joe creation. You can read the full review here. The size difference is negated, however, as the grippier quality of Moorish more than compensates. LNU by contrast is slightly slippier, so I find that the passes tend to stay in place a little better with Moorish. My wrap measures length ways at 3.9 m, making it a size 4.
My wrap is a second; which means there are some aesthetic defects. This does not compromise safety in any way. These flaws are quite visible when the wrap is laid flat, as shown here:

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However, I have found that they don’t tend to be evident when the wrap is in use. That could be more to do with the carry I use, predominantly a Front Cross Carry but it works for me either way.

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A flaw is visible here, but not hugely so.

Aside from the aesthetics, the stitching and hemming is of high quality, and even, with the middle markers unobtrusive. The labelling is minimal but manages to include TICKS with an additional warning about not allowing babies chins to rest on their chest.

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In short, I really like this wrap. It feels immediately like a workhorse. It’s sturdy, bouncy, comfortable and feels like it will last the distance. I’m not scared of it; I feel I can give it some punishment and it will take it. It has washed and ironed well and needed very minimal breaking in. Certainly, it being a second has added to this, as I don’t feel I need to be overly careful with it. That said, this wrap still manages to be very attractive and I do love the design. I’ll definitely have another double weave at some point.

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Rosie loves it too!

Expectations

We promise ourselves during pregnancy that having a child won’t change us; we’ll still go out and have fun and we won’t turn into baby bores whose favourite topic of conversation is what colour poo we cleaned up this morning. We’ll still dress nicely, and we’ll maintain a clean and orderly home. Myself, I had visions of happily baking with my favourite Cath Kidston apron on, while my angelic child draws pretty pictures as we wait for Daddy to come home. Everything was so pristine and floral. Sigh.

In reality, my kitchen looks like it’s been burgled, my child is doing this:

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Why does she sleep in such bizarre positions?

and I’m hiding in the living room with a cup of coffee while I write this post. (Complete with scraped back hair and ‘cleaning’ clothes on. So incredibly glamorous is my life.)

I did have higher expectations, if I’m honest. Probably too high. As a first time mum, I had no idea what was waiting for me when that first pregnancy test came back positive. I really really wanted my life to be like something out of a gravy advert, where everything is clean and everyone’s smiling. I wanted to be the perfect housewife and mother, with the perfect child.

And I know, objectively, that I’m doing great. I’ve had a very difficult time with the labour, the hospital stay, and of course all the (still unresolved) reflux issues. I get out and about regularly with Rosie, when we go out we’re both well dressed and usually on time, I’m great at organising all her various medical needs and appointments, I cook a meal from scratch everyday, (well, most days) I’m losing the baby weight and I’ve even been able to sneak a bit of crafting in. So why don’t I see all of this?

I think it’s a mixture of my own expectations for myself, and the images we’re subject to via the media. I have impossibly high standards for myself, and when I struggle to reach them I feel like a failure. This is impounded by images in advertising which heavily feature slim, beautiful women with perfectly done hair in a clean, white environment with clean, cheerful babies. This is not reality.

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This could be me, right?

In reality, baby weight may take a while to lose. Your child will probably be sick on you, the floor, the settee, the cat . . . And your house is likely to be more Hoarders than Country Living.

And do you know what? It’s ok. It’s ok to not look like Claudia Schiffer three days after birth. It’s ok not to have a prisitine house. It’s ok not to have a perfectly content and cheerful baby all the time. It’s ok to cry sometimes. It’s ok to feel overwhelmed, in fact it’s normal. It’s ok not to be perfect.

The truth is, if you’ve kept your baby alive, they’re well fed (whether it be breastmilk or formula!) relatively clean, and you’ve managed to not murder the damn cat, you’re doing fine. Really.

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We managed fed. We're working on clean.

We (ok, me) need to stop buying into the standards that the media, sometimes our families and most importantly ourselves set. We need to realise that there are far more important things than beating ourselves up about whether we have achieved a Martha Stewart level of baking, or whether we would qualify to feature in Cosmo as a shining example of post baby body snapping.

And I think once we understand that, life will be far simpler and more enjoyable. So let’s all just relax, scrap the expectations and enjoy our little ones while they can’t answer back. (I mean, are precious and
snuggly.)

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We're not perfect, but it's ok.

A Day In The Life

I know this has been done before, but I wanted to share what a typical day in my life looks like.

6AM Woken by inconsiderate husband’s work alarm. Punch him and go back to sleep.

6.09AM Woken again by aforementioned alarm. Punch him harder and go back to sleep.

6.20AM Woken by husband demanding to know where his socks are. Tell him I’m not his bloody mother, and to look in the sock drawer. Go back to sleep.

7.15AM Woken by cats meowing and scratching the bedroom door. Ignore them and go back to sleep.

8.00AM Woken by Rosie testing out her vocal range. Blearily put dummy back in her mouth, and attempt to go back to sleep.

8.30AM Woken for the last time by Rosie singing a full blown opera. Put dummy back in her mouth, then dodge cats on the stairs as I go to make her feed.

8.45AM Try and wrestle Rosie into a clean nappy, then feed and wind her as she fights me like a pissed off rattlesnake.

9.30AM Rosie is fed and clean, and will happily amuse herself while I catch up on Facebook / check phone calender / make a plan for the day / mentally decide what to wear.

9.45AM Rosie is no longer content with examining her hands, and wants Mummy. Play with Rosie, sing songs, play body games and make faces at her, all the while being clawed by baby talons that I am too scared to cut.

10.15AM Rosie is starting to make the whining noise that means she wants sleep. Take her into her own room, put her in the cot. Dummy in, blankets up. Leave and close door.

10.17AM Get underwear on.

10.18AM Rosie is crying. Go back in. Put dummy in, blankets up. Leave and close door.

10.19AM Get jeans on.

10.20AM Rosie is crying. Go back in. Put dummy in, blankets up. Leave and close door.

10.22AM Rosie seems to have gone to sleep. Frantically get dressed, then run downstairs. Check post, tidy living room, feed cats, wash bottles, sterilise bottles, wash pots, clean kitchen sides, throw hoover round living room, sweep kitchen. Go back upstairs and quickly put make up on in so that people don’t ask me if I’m ill.

11.15AM She’s awake. Take her downstairs, sit her in the bumbo and feed her pre prepared puree. Have a coffee as I do this. Great, now I’m starving.

11.35AM Make some toast for me, change Rosie’s bum as it’s morning poo time. Foot gets in poo, foot manages to rub poo on opposite leg. Clean up all poo and then fail to get a nappy under her in time and she pees on the settee. Clean settee. Put Rosie in bouncer. Wash hands. Toast is cold and burnt, eat it anyway.

12.15PM Grab clothes for Rosie. Get everything together in changing bag, including at least one change of outfit for when she’s inevitably sick.

12.30PM Dress Rosie. She’s a contortionist with the vocal volume of a police siren.

12.45PM Wrap Rosie in a sling, head out of the door. Get halfway up the street before I realise I’ve forgotten something vital. Go back and get it. Now I’m late.

1.10PM Meet friend ten minutes late. Rosie asleep in sling. Go to cafe. Order a large cinnamon latte and a panini. This is going to be delicious. 

1.25PM Food arrives. Rosie wakes up. Start slow dancing round cafe holding dummy in her mouth while everyone looks at me.

1.30PM Rosie now making lots of noise. Food and coffee going cold. Friends baby is all quiet and content. Rosie is trying to communicate with Aliens. Wind her in desperation and she does a burp that sounds like a full grown man did it. Now she’s hungry.

1.35PM Feed Rosie still in the sling as I attempt to eat dinner and drink lukewarm coffee.

1.45PM Wind her in the sling. She’s sick when she burps and it goes down my top and in my bra. Attempt to clean us both.

1.50PM She settles and allows me to chat with friend, whose baby is still quiet and content.

2.10PM Leave cafe with friend and walk into town. Go to the Pound Shop and stock up on cheap bargains. Many people cooing over cute baby asleep in sling. Drunk or crazy woman outside pound shop tries to put hands on Rosie in the sling, touches my boob instead. Answer questions politely and then run away when she’s not looking.

2.45PM Browse some of the nicer shops and look at all the pretty things I can no longer afford because I decided to stay home and be vomited on, rather than earn a living in a respected profession.

3.00PM Rosie wakes. Now her teeth are hurting, and she’s shoving her hands in her mouth and cawing. Stop everything and rummage in overflowing changing bag for teething gel. Find teething gel. It’s not teething gel, it’s hand cream. Rummage again and find teething gel. Rosie screeching now. Get dirty look off old woman who has probably never seen a wrap before, and most likely thinks I’m torturing my child. Get teething gel on dummy and put it in mouth. Rosie sucks all gel off dummy, then spits it on the floor and sticks hands in mouth again. She’s quieter though now, so there’s that.

3.20PM Resume browsing.

3.23PM Rosie has decided she wants a dummy. Rummage in bag, find spare. Put dummy in mouth. Catch up to friend.

3.25PM Rosie spits dummy on floor. Pick it up and put it in bag. Friends baby is happily in sling, smiling at passers by. Rosie is attempting to claw her way out.

3.27PM Rosie wants dummy again. Brief internal battle about germs, then decide to wipe dummy with a baby wipe and give it to her. She goes to sleep, success!

3.40PM Say good bye to friend, and walk home. Creepy Turkish guy in the barbershop waves and smiles.

3.50PM Arrive home, and dismount Rosie. She wakes up the instant she’s out, and starts singing the song of her people.

4.00PM Feed, wind and change Rosie. Strip her clothes off because she’s got sick everywhere. Realise I’ve got sick on me too. Change top.

4.25PM Put Rosie in bouncer.

4.26PM Rosie doesn’t want to be in bouncer. Put her on settee with me and play with her.

5.00PM Rosie is content playing with her teether. Take a minute to myself, check Facebook, go to the toilet.

5.20PM Play with Rosie some more. Encourage her standing and her sitting. Marvel at how cute she is.

5.45PM Rosie starts getting more vocal again. Get puree out of freezer and defrost it.

5.50PM Put Rosie in bumbo ready for food. She is not impressed.

5.53PM Put Rosie in bouncer for food, as she has decided that the bumbo is clearly the work of the devil.

5.58PM Feed Rosie purees. She sneezes with a mouthful of it and sprays her, me, the cat and the bouncer with partially gummed blended pear.

6.25PM Clean Rosie up and give her her toys. She’s happy in bouncer. For now. We watch the Simpsons.

7.00PM She’s nodding off. Turn vibrate on, put dummy in and pull blankets up. She goes to sleep, success!

7.10PM Clear all crap off coffee table. Go into kitchen. Clean sides, feed cats, look in freezer, look in fridge, look in cupboard. Think about what to make for tea.

7.30PM Clean cat litter. Nearly fall down stairs with very full bag of used cat litter. Take it out to bins.

7.45PM Decide to do fish and chips for tea. Start chipping potatoes. Get oven on.

8.00PM Husband phones to say he’s on his way home.

8.20PM Husband arrives home. Threaten him with dismemberment if he wakes Rosie.

8.30PM Eat tea, very quietly, in the living room. Defend tea from marauding cats. Watch Criminal Minds.

9.00PM I get in bath. While I’m there, husband has to give Rosie her Lanzaprazole. This involves boiling 0.5L of water, waiting for it to cool, drawing up 15ML with a syringe, mixing it with one tablet, letting it dissolve, then drawing up 8.8ML in a syringe and very carefully getting her to swallow it while she sleeps.

9.30PM I get out of bath. Clean bath out, start running a fresh one. With towel wrapped round me I get two towels, a nappy, a baby grow, and coconut oil and lay them on our bed. Check bath.

9.40PM Husband fetches Rosie up. I get back in bath, husband fetches her in and puts her in with me. He runs downstairs and prepares a feed.

9.42PM Rosie enjoys bath.

9.50PM Rosie no longer enjoys bath. Starts screeching. Noise echoes off tiles and causes me to have industrial deafness. Husband ignores it, he’s watching the end of NCIS.

9.53PM Shout husband to come and get her. He comes begrudgingly.

9.58PM I follow Rosie and husband into bedroom. We get her nappy on, cover her in coconut oil and dress her with the speed of an F1 pit team. She hates the world and is screaming again.

10.05PM Husband gives Rosie her bottle. I cover myself in coconut oil as I’m now dryer than the Sahara.

10.30PM Rosie is fed and winded. Husband and I talk and play with her in our bed. She does her ‘smiles for Daddy’ trick and then tries to rip his chest hair out.

11.00PM Husband and Rosie both tired. I take Rosie, put her in her gro-bag in crib, blankets up by her face, dummy in, and turn lullaby/nightlight on. Husband can see to himself.

11.10PM Lullaby/nightlight has turned itself off. Rosie starts complaining. She’s spat dummy out and flapped about. Get out of bed. Put blankets up by her face, dummy in, and turn lullaby/nightlight on.

11.20PM Rosie asleep, husband asleep, me wide awake. Can’t sleep. Browse Facebook and the Internet. While browsing the Internet remember I have no idea whether I can freeze pureed banana.

11.30PM Still not sure if I can freeze pureed banana. Look up other puree recipes for weaning. Fall down Internet rabbit hole.

12.05AM Realise what time it is. Put phone down, try and sleep. Still not comfy.

12.50AM Finally, finally, go sleep, where I have nightmares about pureed banana and suitcases.

And that’s it. That’s a typical day. What does yours look like?

Luceo Non Uro – Review

I’m a very lucky lady. My husband, ever supportive of my interests, went ahead and bought me a beautiful Joy and Joe Luceo Non Uro for Christmas. I know, it’s October, but after years of panic buying on Christmas Eve, he wanted to be ahead for once.

With it being the first time I’ve ever had a brand new wrap, I decided that a review would be in order.

To start, although there was some confusion on the website (it appeared as though LNU was a preorder, but it has already been released) I have to say the response on the Facebook page was very fast and helpful. They were happy to answer my questions, and I was pleased to see that they were nice and friendly with it. I like good customer service; it definitely helps improve your opinion of a company. Delivery was via MyHermes, and took just less than a week. Another point in Joy and Joe’s favour, as MyHermes are generally a nice company to deal with.

The wrap itself arrived in good packaging, with a little mystery package as well!

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Inner packaging, with mysterious extra package.

I was very please to discover that the mini package contained English Breakfast Tea and Biscuits – another positive. I like little added extras, and I’m enjoying them as we speak!

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Inside the inner packaging was firstly a tote bag, shown here:

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There was also a user guide, with instructions for how to do a few different carries, and a leaflet from the BCIA about TICKS and safety guidelines.

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And then, of course, onto the wrap itself. My husband selected the forest green colourway, and it’s beautiful. It’s a lighter green than I expected, but it’s very very nice. The detailing in the stag’s head is exquisite, the design is stunning, and it has overall a rather shimmery effect.

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First side

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Second side

The middle markers are at the top and bottom, and the sewing overall is perfection. I inspected it at length and could not find a single nub, slub or weavers knot.

Luceo Non Uro is a cotton/linen blend, and my previous experience with blends led to me anticipate something fairly thick and stiff, that I would need to break into submission. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that straight out of the bag, LNU felt thick, soft and pliable, and I was keen to start immediately!

I took it out the following day, initially in a ruck tied tibetan, and found that it wrapped very well. Despite its softness and shimmer, it was grippy and felt supportive. It measures 68cm in width, meaning that there is plenty there to make a good seat and keep baby well wrapped.

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We got very admiring looks in the cafe!

After Rosie had fed, again it was very easy to get her in a FWCC. The wrap again was easy to use, which was a good thing as we had most of the cafe watching us! We had a little walk into town afterwards and were able to get the following photos:

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Here you can see some of the beautiful design:

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It’s just gorgeous. It was absolutely love at first wrap and I’ll happily buy from Joy and Joe again.

Before I wrap this up (pun definitely intended) I’d like to add a little information about the name. Luceo Non Uro means ‘I shine, not burn.’ This is the motto of the Mackenzie clan of Scotland, and has been since 1605 when the head of the clan fell in love with a woman from the clan McLeod. Their love brought the two clans together and changed the motto and the crest forever. Luceo Non Uro means to not allow yourself to be consumed by all the negativity and evil in the world, but instead to rise above and let your love and kindness shine out for all to see. I absolutely adore this, and I’m going to teach my little Rosie to shine, not burn.

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Before I Was A Mum

Before I was a mum, I used to smoke and drink and go out clubbing. I used to buy lots of makeup and nice clothes. I had lie-ins and did whatever I wanted. I enjoyed my life.

Before I was a mum, I didn’t realise how much my life would change. I didn’t realise how much baby poo I would examine, or how many bogeys I would pick from a nose that’s not my own. I didn’t realise how many times I would need to change my clothes because I’d been thrown up on again.

Before I was a mum, I didn’t know how much I would enjoy ‘nothing’ days with my daughter. I didn’t know how much sheer joy could be had from just one gummy baby smile. I didn’t know how much more love and respect I would gain for my husband when I watch him with his daughter. I didn’t know how much I’d miss her when we’re apart.

Before I was a mum I had no idea that my heart could be this big or this full. I had no idea that I’d ever feel like this; that looking into my precious baby’s big blue eyes would make me cry, or that I’d  have such patience.

Before I was a mum I had no idea that having a child meant I was sending a piece of my heart into the world to go walking about without me; I had no idea.

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Pregnancy – A Survival Guide for Dads

Listen up Dads to be! This right here is your handy guide to surviving pregnancy. Do you have a pen and paper ready? Yes? Let’s go!

1. Cravings.
If your baby mama is craving something, it is imperative that you drop all other tasks and track down that food! Cravings can be very, very, strong,  and I almost guarantee that she will not be able to focus until she has the precious food. Also, cravings are thought to be your body’s way of making you get whatever vitamins and nutrients you need. (Chocolate totally counts. Don’t ask why. It does.)
Also, don’t ever eat the craving food. Death may occur.

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Totally craving Subway.

2. Sex
This varies from woman to woman. Some might not want it at all. Some might want it all the time! If she doesn’t, try not to pressure her. She might be physically uncomfortable, or just exhausted.
If she does want it, go for it! Sex during pregnancy can be very enjoyable, as the increased blood flow to ‘certain places’ can make things more sensitive than usual.
Side note, no, you are not going to injure the baby with your clearly enormous (ahem, cough cough) penis; it’s just not physically possible.

3. Weight Gain
She’s probably going to gain weight. And, shock horror, it might not all be around her middle. As you are probably already aware, a woman who has gained weight may feel unattractive. Let her know how beautiful she is! Tell her you love her bump, that she’s glowing, that you’ve never seen her more gorgeous. Make her feel good. She deserves it.
Taking her maternity clothes shopping might also be a good idea. Maternity clothes can be very flattering, and will be a lot more comfortable than squeezing a bump into skinny jeans.

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Maternity clothes don't need to be ugly!

4. Morning Sickness.
It doesn’t just happen in the morning. It can be alllll day, or at night, or the afternoon, or the evening, or . . . Well, you get the picture. She might not actually be sick. If she is, don’t hide in the bedroom or act grossed out. Fetch her a glass of water, comfort her, and clean up if needs be. I’m sure she will have looked after drunk or poorly you at some point, so now you need to return the favour. Plus, it’s practice for when baby gets here and eventually throws up in your mouth. (Don’t ask how I know this. I’ve mostly blocked it out. Suffice to say, don’t ‘Superman’ a baby who has just been fed.)

5. Tiredness.
No, she’s not being lazy. Pregnancy can be exhausting. So, you know, she might not have tea on the table when you get home, or you might have to step up and actually help out with the jobs around the house. (If you already do, great! Keep it up. In fact, do more. I slept around 16 hours a day in my first trimester. I just couldn’t keep my eyes open.)

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The only baking in our house was in my tummy.

6. Emotions.
Hormones are a huge part of pregnancy, so don’t be surprised if she suddenly starts crying at adverts for nappies, or wants to murder you because you finished off the last of her favourite food. (See point 1 for reference.) Just go with it. Comfort her if she needs it, or threaten revenge on those who upset her.
For example, when I was pregnant, one of the only foods I could eat until the nausea subsided was Coco Pops. We bought an enormous family sized box and I was in heaven. One morning, I clumsily managed to knock said box over, whereupon it spilled it’s precious contents all over the floor. Devastated doesn’t even cover it. I ugly cried like a toddler. Snot and everything. After laughing at me, my husband gave me a cuddle and cleaned up all the Coco Pops, as I was far too upset to manage it. This is what I mean by go with it. She may well get upset over things that seem petty or ridiculous, but to her it’s very important. It’s also worth remembering that she may realise she’s overreacting, but she can’t help how she feels. Be there for her.

7. Isolation.
Pregnancy can be somewhat isolating;  she’s unlikely to be out on the town or going to parties. She may find that as she gets progressively more pregnant, she’s invited out less and less. She might also not want to go if she’s feeling self conscious about being bigger. This is particularly hard on women who don’t have pregnant friends, or friends that have had babies. Here’s where you can help: take her out. Don’t be spending every weekend living the party lifestyle with your friends because she’s just going to feel more isolated. Getting her out of the house will help her mental health enormously, and she’s likely to be much happier as a result if she feels she’s less lonely. Take her out for meals, encourage her to dress up and tell her she’s gorgeous.

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It's good to get out.

8. Stretchmarks.
Not all women get them. Some do. If she does, she’ll probably hate them. Even if each one looks like a bright pink slash mark, tell her you love her and think she’s sexy. Get her some bio oil, or coconut oil, and massage some into her tummy every night. The oil will help the skin to stretch, and you can use this time as bonding time for you and bump. If you sing or talk to her bump while you’re at it, she’ll be so charmed she’ll forget about being self conscious, and you’ll win bonus points for being such a sweetie. Don’t be grossed out or turned off by stretch marks, they are a physical sign of her love for you and your baby. She’s a tiger, and she’s earning her stripes is all.

9. Prenatal Depression.
All jokes aside, this is very serious. We’ve all heard of postnatal depression, but not much about prenatal depression. Prenatal is occurring during pregnancy. ‘Baby blues’ are very common during and after, and she’s very likely to have days where she feels down or tearful. That’s normal. However, if she’s feeling down, depressed, hopeless or dispirited for a number of days, seek help. This link may provide some help for mothers who are experiencing depression. If she is experiencing depression, talk to her and give her whatever support she may need. This doesn’t mean she doesn’t love you or the baby. Help and support is out there; use it. Don’t allow problems like this to go untreated or unchecked. Work together to make things healthy and right for both of you.

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Get help.

So, there you have it, that’s your guide to surviving pregnancy! Next is labour and actually having a child, but let’s not worry about that just yet. Enjoy this time before baby comes, bask in the glow of your gorgeous pregnant lady, and cherish the time you have together. I wish you all the best of luck in starting this amazing journey.

Have I missed something? Get in touch and let me know!