Daily Walks

26 March 2014

When my mom came over to visit us, she instilled a tradition with me which I hope to keep up as best I can.  My mom walked everyday while she was here and persuaded me to come along sometimes too and I can honestly say it makes all the difference getting some fresh air and excercise.  I slept better and felt better within myself, even when I was exhausted from lack of sleep the night before.



I hope to carry on this tradition now she has gone back to Cape Town, unless it is pouring with rain (this is the only valid excuse really) I would like to get Jack out in the buggy or in my See Me baby wrap and walk 20 minutes each day.  We have a little shop in our village and if I walk there and back it is the perfect amount of time to get the blood pumping and enjoy the sunshine.



Sometimes, being a mom can be a tad bit lonely on the days I don't have anything planned.  And these walks are the perfect way to get out and get life back into perspective.  Now that spring has also made an appearance it makes the walks even more enjoyable seeing all the cherry blossoms and blooming flowers and hearing the birds singing.

So here is to daily walks and making the most of my time at home with the little one.



P.S. Don't forget to enter the giveaway with Mama Tea here - only a few days left!

A little outing

24 March 2014

















I had to share our last outing we had with my Mom and Gran while they were here - we decided to take the short drive to a charming little Cotswold village called Bibury, only 15 minutes from where we live. We have visited Bibury a few times but had not actually been inside the trout farm.  I am so glad we did as we will definitely be going back again and again.  It is something for both adults and kiddies alike and you can even catch the fish if you wish and braai it there too!!!



It was a beautiful sunny day, we walked around Bibury first, visited the little tourist shop and then went onto the trout farm, enjoyed the flowers, fed the trout and had some of the most scrummy cake and tea too.  If you live in Oxfordshire this is a wonderful family outing idea and doesn't cost the earth either.

On the trout farm there was even a path specially for buggies which made it a lot easier than going over the gravel paths.  There were geese, ducks, swans and mallards and the way the trout would jump out the water for the food was amazing, it was pretty hard to capture on camera but I tried!

Here is to many more outings - I can't wait for summer to arrive!!

9 things you should know about becoming a mom

21 March 2014



So having a baby is awesome - honestly it is but there are a few things that happen to you, your body and your relationships which not everyone may share with you or talk about.

Well, I thought I would share my experiences of these things since I have so many friends who are pregnant or who have just had a baby and why not share these real life things?  It is totally normal and natural and comforting too when you realise that you are not alone.

Here are 9 things I reckon new moms would like to know.



Breastfeeding is not easy at first.  If you have decided to breastfeed - well done.  It is not easy.  It is hard and challenging but (in my opinon) is so very worth it.  Your baby is learning to feed just as you are and you both have to learn how to latch on correctly and get the positioning correct.  Your nipples will crack, bleed and scab and when your baby latches on in the first few days (in my case it took 7 days) your toes will curl and it will be excruciating.   But with practise it becomes a doddle and now I don't even think about it when I pop Jack on the boob.  For me, Lanolin nipple cream was a lifesaver and it helped to heal my nipples quickly and it is safe to use with baby.
*Please know that every mother and baby is different and breastfeeding doesn't come easily to everyone - I respect that.  Do what is best for you and your situation.

Giving birth by C-section hurts.  I had a C-section (baby was breech) so can only speak from experience from that point of view but my god it hurts afterwards.  Maybe my pain was not managed correctly but the first week after a C-section is tough.  Remember you have had major surgery so it is going to take a long time to get back to normal.  Take it easy.  Don't lift anything except the baby and rest when you can.  Be kind to yourself, don't overdo it and take the painkillers prescribed to you.

♥  Moving onto bowels - I am or shall I say was a pretty regular person in that department but it has been 9 weeks since I had baby Jack and still I am not back to normal.  Going to the toilet for the first time after a C-section was weird since I had a catheter in for two days and you basically have to get your bladder and muscles getting used to weeing again.  But that quickly got back to normal, it is the other one that takes time and what with all the painkillers you will be taking this can also slow down the process.  Eat lots of prunes and fibre rich foods and drink plenty of fluids.  Eventually it will become less of a strain (ahem) and I am told will go back to normal.

There are going to be days when you will feel you have accomplished nothing expect feed, change, burp and nurture your baby.  I think I was under the na├»ve impression that I would be able to shower, dry and straighten my hair and have a relaxing breakfast and coffee every morning once Jack was here.  Cue raucous laughing - this is not the case.  Some days I don't shower until 10pm at night and some days I stuff toast down my throat in 2 minutes to prevent passing out from hunger.  This is normal and you will figure it out.  You are doing an amazing job.

♥ Following on from this - you will become excellent at multi-tasking or doing lots of things in a short amount of time.  When Jack finally falls asleep in the day, I have a mental note of what I want to do.  I always eat and drink first as this is paramount for a functioning mama but then I hang out the washing, wash up, load or unload the dishwasher, do a quick tidy, any admin etc.  You learn to do things quickly and manage your time smartly.  It is amazing what I can do in 30 minutes.

You will miss your old life.  I have days, now becoming moments when I wish I just could have the day off or even the evening off.  I just want to curl up in front of the TV with a cup of tea and a packet of biscuits and watch my favourite programme uninterrupted.  I want to have a shower without imagining I can hear Jack crying.  I want to go to the shops without taking a tonne of baby paraphernalia with me.  I want to sleep 7 hours like I used to and wake up when I want to.  But these thoughts are quickly dismissed when Jack gurgles, smiles and giggles. 
Then I think to myself, this is so worth it.

Your priorities change.  I am quite a house proud person, my husband and I like things looking a certain way.  Well that has gone out the window (for me anyways).  Housework is just not important to me anymore.  When I get 5 minutes to myself now, I cherish it and don't automatically think I should be vacuuming/cleaning/doing chores.  Those can wait.  And I will tell you that it has taken me 8 weeks to realise this.  It is not easy for me when things are out of place or not done in a certain way but guys, there is more to life.  Remember this.

Hormones will be flying high. One minute you will feel calm and collected and be thinking "I got this parenting gig down" and literally the next minute you will be ugly crying into your husbands shoulder asking how are you going to do this? This is so normal - I cried for no reason in those early weeks - it's natural. Your body is adjusting and is just gone through a major change as well as your life changing dramatically.  Let yourself feel what you feel and talk to your partner about it too - contrary to popular belief they are not mind readers!

Your relationship with your husband/partner will change. Instead of cuddling on the couch or having an intimate moment etc. you will look at each other at 7:30pm in the evenings and both be thinking the same thing.  Lets go to bed....to sleep.  You will see each other cope with things you never thought possible.  You will get cranky at each other from lack of sleep and you will have arguments.  Especially as Jack is a colicky baby it is so difficult in the evenings when you are both exhausted and you have a screaming baby you are trying to calm down. Remember that you are both doing a great job - compliment each other and be kind. It will pass (God, I hate those words) but unfortunately they are true.  Every phase is replaced by another one!

There is nothing like being a parent - nothing can prepare you no matter how many books you read or how much advice you are given.  It is a beautiful journey and everyone is different - that is the joy of it.  You are on your own path of parenthood.  Enjoy it! ♥

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
P.S. Why not check out the giveaway I am running with the lovely Mama Tea?  You could win a range of tea perfect for moms and moms-to-be!  It is open to readers worldwide -  enter for a friend or for yourself.  Only one week left!
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

{Giveaway} with Mama Tea

19 March 2014


So a few weeks back I shared my new favourite tea range with you from Mama Tea (read more about it here.)  Anna has kindly sent me a "Bump to Baba" Full Mama Tea range (worth £17.25) to giveaway to my readers.  A full collection of delicious Mama Teas to take you from the start of your pregnancy through to breastfeeding your new baby! 

The range includes:

♥ Morning Sickness Herbal Tea - Morning Mama
Ginger herbal tea for weeks 1-40. Ideal for morning sickness.

♥ Rooibos Pregnancy Herbal Tea - Glowing Mama
Rooibos herbal tea for weeks 1-40. Ideal pregnancy antioxidant tea.

♥ Spearmint Pregnancy Heartburn Herbal Tea - Cool Mama
Spearmint herbal tea for weeks 1-40. Perfect for pregnancy heartburn.

♥ Raspberry Leaf Herbal Tea - Ready Mama
Raspberry leaf herbal tea for weeks 38 onwards.

♥ Breastfeeding Herbal Tea - New Mama
Breastfeeding herbal tea for breastfeeding mamas.


To win this fabulous collection for you or a friend, simply use the rafflecopter gadget below, it's simple and easy to use (just shout if you have any problems).  
This competition is open to readers worldwide too -   remember to leave a valid email address as this is how I will contact you if you should win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner will be announced here on the blog and on my facebook page next Friday 28th March.

Good Luck! x

I want to remember

17 March 2014

I want to remember is a series of posts written when the moment strikes of things through motherhood which I want to cherish and be able to look back on and read allowing me to dig up those treasured moments of being a first time mother. 



For the past three weeks my Mom and Gran came to stay with us. It was such a special time and the memories we made will be ones that I will treasure forever. Here are a few things I want to remember from these past weeks.

♥ My mom getting up with me at all hours to make me tea and sit and chat while I nurse Jack.  Those feeds at 2am in the morning are the worst and having some company really made all the difference.  I also left Jack with her while he slept so I could get some proper sleep.

♥ Early morning cups of tea with my mom and Gran chatting about life and everything that comes with having a family, watching the sunrise and looking out for all the birds visiting the garden.

♥ Going for drives in the countryside and realising how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful part of the world.

♥ Seeing Jack smile and giggle at my Mom and Gran and seeing the look of total adoration on theirs.

♥ Going for lots of walks - noticing the daffodils and crocuses coming to life and getting fresh air everyday.  My mom walks everyday without fail and i want to continue this tradition for me and Jack. It is so good to get fresh air and exercise - it's good for the soul.

♥ Settling down in the evenings, eating supper together and watching The Chase (we love that show!!)

♥ My gran calming Jack down when he had bad colic at about 11pm one night.

♥ Getting together with family who we hadn't seen in years - I love how a baby can bring family back together again. 

♥ One morning at about 4:30am our cat Tom bought in a (live) mouse while I was feeding Jack downstairs with my mom. My mom tried to catch the mouse but had no luck.  To cut a long story short I took the poor mouse outside and Tom continued to find it (not sure how!) and bring it back in 3 times.  Poor thing.  By this time the whole house was awake and it was 6am.

♥ Having four generations together under one roof - it was so special to see the bonds unfold.

I am finding it terribly hard without my Mom and Gran here. But I will see them again this year when we come over to Cape Town where more special memories can be made.

Jack: 2 months old

11 March 2014

 





Jack my boy, you are two months old today.  And you are not a newborn anymore, you are getting so big and strong.  You are holding your head up more, kicking your legs and moving your arms. You love to bath (as long as Mom & Dad get the temperature right!) and have had a couple of exploding nappies too.  What an adventure we are having.

Your smile melts our hearts, the first time you smiled my heart just filled with joy and I had tears in my eyes.  You just are the most cuddly, happy and giggly baby, we love you so much.  Everyday you smile more and more - your favourite time is early morning for giggles and smiles.  And it has become my favourite time of day too even if I feel worse for wear.

I sorted out your wardrobe the other day as your 0-3 months clothes are getting a bit snug on your little body so your 3-6 month clothes are now in the drawers.  And you look ever so cute in them.  Initially we only really dressed you in babygrows but now we are putting you in little trousers and tops and you look so grown up.

You are having such a special time with your Granny and Great Granny - we are so lucky to have them here helping and Great is very good at making you smile.  Granny is good at settling you in your bassinet and gets up with me at all hours of the morning to help so I can go back to sleep.  I won't lie, the past week has been hard, your colic has really taken hold and I have struggled.  I don't know what we would have done without your Granny and Great Granny.  But we are getting there and the Colief drops are working wonders.

You Dad is just amazing with calming you when you have Colic - he definitely has the magic touch.  He just talks to you and walks up and down the stairs endlessly until you are relaxed.  It is so lovely to watch and you love being on his shoulder, your face lights up and my heart just fills with love.

So lets hope the next 4 weeks are filled with fun, more smiles and lots of giggles.

Latest Instagrams

© Gathered By Claire. Design by FCD.