Friday, 27 March 2015

Hallejuah! We've made it to 6 months!

Hallejuah!, we have made it to the six month mark.
Six months and everyone is still alive and well and fully functioning (just about)
I, the girl who would often forget to eat if I wasn't reminded, had alarm clocks set for 1pm at the weekends, who at times forgot whether her bedroom floor was carpet or wood with the sea of rubbish that covered it; have not only managed to care for a baby 24/7, but keep the house semi tidy (the spare room being an exception....) and put dinner on the table on the evenings. Who would have thought it?
Definitely not me
The first few months were downright hard. Lets not sugarcoat it.
No one could have prepared me enough. No book, no netmums forum, well meaning advice from customers at work.
Not even my own mother. But when you're pregnant for the first time, these things go in one ear and right out the other. In fact It really irritated me when people told me how hard it is.
'Ok lady,  it may be hard, but there's not a great deal  I can do about it now, is there?..'

What I can say is, it has/is getting remarkably easier.

Ok, so we are definitely not out of the woods, not just yet.
Eva still insists on putting up anti sleep protests. Every. Single. Night. 
In fact everyone from the staff in my local Spar to the poor Royal Mail courier guy have had to listen to me drone on about it at some point.
Sleep aside,
We're getting there. 
Slowly but surely.

Those first few months I truly believed I would never be able to dry my hair again or eat my dinner at the same time as Stuart, at the table and still hot. I didn't think i'd ever see the bottom of the ironing basket or ever be able to get out of the house before 9am without help. I wondered if Stuart and I would talk to each other again about anything other than baby things, if we'd ever get drunk together like we used to. I wondered if my life was going to be anything other than a vicious cycle of baby duties, washing and ironing.
Six months on and everything is falling into place, and these concerns feel (almost) like a distant memory. Isn't it funny how day by day it seems like nothing changes and when you look back, everything is different?

The First Few Months: Survival Tips
  • Accept help as hard as it is: Let someone take a basket of ironing, make you dinner, sit with baby while you get some shut eye. Your baby deserves the very best of you and you can't offer that when you could be carrying the shopping in those under eye bags you're sporting. Sleep deprivation feels like the mother of all hangovers, (Think mixing wine and vodka... and a few shots of Aftershock for good measure), it makes it incredibly hard to think straight and lets be honest, those Grandparents will want any excuse to see (spoil) the new little addition.
  • Savour every moment: Get home from hospital, get into your comfiest clothing for the next few weeks, invest in some dry shampoo and savour every minute as a new family unit! These precious moments are fleeting. Blink and you'll miss them. Never worry about the state of your house or what you look like. I  apologized to a midwife who made a home visit a few days after Eva had arrived for the state of our house. I was still in my pajamas with last nights dinner dishes stacked by the sink, with food packaging that hadn't quite made it to the bin yet. She said "Sarah, I would be worried if you had a full face of makeup and a spotless house. It means your time is being spent with your baby." 
  • Don't overload your brain with information: As long as your baby is well loved, fed and looked after, you're doing your job right. Don't let these so-called 'experts' tell you any different. Most of our fights in the early days began when we couldn't understand what it was Eva needed and one of us would pipe up with  'Well I read online that...' All these techniques and methods are excellent in theory and can be so helpful for first timers like myself, but when your baby is inconsolable at 3am after a nappy change, bottle and cuddle you can shove your self help book where the sun doesn't shine. You just do what you have to do.
  • Don't doubt yourself: The worst thing to do is compare yourself to other parents. Everyone has their own way of doing things, there's no right or wrong answers. If it works for your family, stick with it- excellent! New mums don't need these kinds of pressures on them. At times i'll find myself defending a decision i've made when talking to another mum, only to catch myself on. I shouldn't have to justify my choices to anyone else, I know my baby best, I am mum. I scroll through instagram in the mornings and see babies in gleaming white bodysuits with clean faces, while i'm over here wrestling with Eva to put on a vest which will no doubt be covered in food debris within minutes, I'm having a hard time keeping her away from the kitchen bin and the other week I caught her with a daffodil in her mouth, It was a two man job with me holding her down as Stuart removed a petal from her mouth. I've said it before, but people only post what they want others to see, not every day is picture perfect.... but that's what makes it interesting.
  • Spend time with your partner: Graphic nappy reports (i'm talking colours.. textures) are the norm now, so it's nice to have alone time to switch off from baby talk. Going out for dinner, having a few drinks watching Saturday night tv. Now that my hormones have finally settled down  and the sound of his breathing doesn't make me want to stab him in his sleep anymore, it's nice to fit some time in to ourselves. Over the past year he has been an amazing best friend, partner and dad to our baby and I try to let him know as much as possible how much he means to us. Dad's often get forgotten about (while everyone rallied around Eva and I in the hospital, I don't think many people asked Stuart how he was feeling.) While he may have not went through the same physical changes as me, his life has dramatically changed as well and hasn't once complained (whether that's because he doesn't feel the need to, or he knows he'd have to endure a long winded rant about how I never get a break, I do not know.)
  • Look after yourself: Think baths, paint your nails, ditch the maternity wear and buy something new. My cousin put a New Look gift card in a congratulations card for me which reduced me to tears! I had spent the last few months repeating my maternity outfits (if it wasn't the navy stripes it was the grey baggy tshirt) and wasn't feeling overly great about myself so this was a much needed pick me up. You have spent nearly the best part of year going through change after change after change. Treat yourself :)

A letter to Eva.

Little one,

You are now six months old, and what a six months it has been! We have gone through hundreds of nappies, johnstons wipes, countless tubes of Dentinox and kept SMA in business. We have been nocturnal the majority of our journey but not a day goes by that we don't laugh and smile together.

 I sometimes wish I could stop time, even just for a little while, to savour every sleepy morning smile, every belly laugh, every moment alone we have together when it seems like everyone else is asleep.

I am astounded at how quickly you have grown, it seems like every single week there is some kind of developmental leap. Your favourite song is The Grand Old Duke of York, nursery rhymes are your favourite. You love to roll over on to your tummy and often do it when I  attempt to put you down for a nap in your cot (and you like to stick your nosey head out the bars!)

You entertain us every single day, and keep us on our toes. Just as we begin to think we've sussed it all out, we hit the next curveball.
It can feel overwhelming and  challenging at times but we remind ourselves daily that

'Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty…' 

And you little one are worth it all, and even more.
Happy six months xxx


Friday, 20 March 2015

My Pregnancy Facts

  • The day before I took a pregnancy test I was in the worst mood imaginable, I didn't want to get out of bed and felt ridiculously upset over absolutely nothing. We were walking around a shop and I was arguing with Stuart over everything under the sun. (Nothing new there says he...)
  • The next day I bought a pregnancy test, after circling the chemist three hundred and fifty times. I have no idea what possessed me to buy one, it was just an intense gut feeling- it is the strangest thing to describe!.
  • I was so fortunate not to experience any morning sickness at all, and was constantly paranoid about it. I had read morning sickness was a good sign and so was convinced something was wrong, this wasn't the case! (Stay off Google..) 
  • Foods I enjoyed were mashed potato/carrot, pickled onion crisps, Sprite Zero, iced caramel lattes, tuna and red onion and sausage sandwiches with ketchup- every shift in work.
  • Stuart bought me a 'Bump To Birthday' book so we could document our pregnancy. It is hilarious to read back on.
  • I took Pregnacare (supplements) the whole way through pregnancy.
  • I cried when the midwife phoned to tell me I'd showed up positive for Group B Strep.. (another big STAY AWAY from Google..) It didn't make my pregnancy or labour any different, I just had to have an IV of antibiotics every 4 hours that I laboured. I was still able to move about freely and use the birthing pool which I had read wouldn't be possible.
  • Having the cold whilst pregnant was the worst sickness i've ever experienced in all my life! I  literally thought I was dying.  I lived on a cocktail of hot water, lemon and cloves for two weeks and went to bed with vicks vapour rub on my feet.
  •  We had six scans in total. -The 12 week dating scan, 17 weeks or so after a fall down the stairs, 20 week anomaly scan x2 (we were asked if we would like to be guinea pigs for the new scanning equipment) our gender/3d preview and after a night in the maternity ward with an infection.
  • I really struggled to make out the scans!
  • The first time a midwife told me Eva was breach I came out of my appointment, felt faint and then threw up! (She eventually shifted towards the end, thankfully)
  • Being breach my bladder took a constant beating. The bigger she got, the more uncomfortable I was, I phoned the midwives on one occasion as I actually felt as though her foot was making it's way out! - ouch.
  • I didn't appreciate it at the time but my hair and nails were in the best condition they've ever been in. My hair was so shiny and thick and my nails were so strong and white.
  • Stuart's mum bought me 'What To Expect When You're Expecting' and it became my Bible for the next few months.
  • Netmums forums were also a huge help, I could ask anything- regardless of how embarrassing it was and could be sure there were other people out there who experienced it too.
  • I had such a gut feeling I was carrying a boy, I couldn't get my head around it when the sonographer at the gender scan revealed we were having a girl. Stuarts face was priceless, a mixture of joy and absolute fear!
  • Although we thought we were having a boy, we never had a boys name picked.
  • Every single girls name we picked, I had someone in my family with the same name.. Grace, Lily and even Eva! oops.
  • I had the most horrific heartburn/acid reflux and lived on Gaviscon and Rennies. I had to carry supplies with me in every handbag. sometimes it would reduce me to tears!. I couldn't believe it when Eva was born with very little hair, I was expecting chewbacca. I've never had to take Gaviscon since, and i'm scared stiff that if baby no:2 ever comes along, (with hair) I'm in for it.

  • I suffered from extremely bad insomnia towards the end of my pregnancy, I would often still be awake when Stuart was leaving in the morning for work, and could usually be found downstairs at 4am feeding my face with cheerios.
  • Stuart bought me a doppler as I was a paranoid wreck when I couldn't feel baby move. It really helped relax me during the early stages and was nice for him to share the connection.
  • Towards the end, Eva did not stop moving and would be most active around 6-7 am. I always said that she'll be an early riser, and she is, 7am she's awake and ready to start the day no matter how interrupted her sleep has been!
  • We loved watching her move about and have lots of video recordings of her. I think that is what I miss most about pregnancy! - feeling the movements.
  • I used Bio oil and palmers body butters and still got stretch marks towards the end, I was horrified but it's true what people say, they fade extremely fast.
  • I hated getting dressed and thought nothing looked nice on. It kills me seeing how beautiful and glowing Blake Lively looked... HOW?

  • We joked that Stuart was experiencing a phantom pregnancy as he was beginning to crave certain foods as well.. He actually put on more weight than me which I take full responsibility for.. not a weekend went by that I didn't want honeycomb and nutella ice cream. 
  • Pregnancy was the only time I've ever had plates of food as large as his and i'd be ridiculously offended if he didn't want dessert and I did.
  • I've had the biggest needle phobia for years which has seemingly been cured! Through pregnancy I had three blood tests,  3 Iv's of antibitotics, whooping cough jab, pethidine and  diamorphine. By the end I didn't even flinch getting a cannula in which would have before sent me into a panic attack!

  • My mum bought me a birthing ball which I practically lived on from 37 weeks, and only found out during in labour from my midwife that I was using it wrong. 
  • I used to be enraged looking at Stuart all cosy on our leather recliners while I was sat on the floor hunched over my ball!
  • We moved house two days after my due date- it was necessary as we spent the last few months of our pregnancy next door to a middle aged man trying to live a hedonistic lifestyle in Lambeg of all places.
  • I finished work weeks earlier than I had planned but was experiencing shooting pains in my bump, my midwives told it was a sign my body was telling me to slow down.
  • If I could turn back time, I would have spent more time in bed and feeling less guilty about it!
  • I had my 41 week appointment the day I went into labour, they performed a sweep and was told that I was 4cms dilated. Ive never felt more relieved as they were to discuss an induction date with me.
  • We both decided against writing out a birth plan and decided that we would go along with whatever was best for our baby. Labour and delivery can be so unpredictable and  it's hard to know what your pain threshold will be until you are in the situation yourself.
  • Stuart kept me laughing throughout the whole 10 months and while I was at my lowest in hospital in my stripey pjs, insisted on calling me the Hamburglar (Mc Donalds)  
(He still calls me it to this day whenever I wear them)

  • Eva arrived when she was exactly one week overdue.
  • Jessie Ware's 'Say You Love Me' was playing on our drive home from the hospital and to this day makes me bawl my eyes out!
  • I loved the whole experience but slightly nervous if baby no:2 ever comes along, I worry it might not be as smooth!
  • I suffered aches, pains, stretchmarks and sleepless nights and didn't even get to keep my free boob job from Mother Nature. Life is cruel.
  • I could not have asked for a better partner, bestfriend and daddy for our baby and thinks he deserves an MBE for putting up with me for the duration of pregnancy.... (and beyond)


Sunday, 15 March 2015

A Post For My Own Mum On Mother's Day

It was just a couple of weeks into motherhood when it hit me like an unexpected slap around the face.
It was after night upon night of interrupted sleep, waking up in the middle of the night still thinking I was holding Eva when she was actually safely tucked up in her moses basket beside me. I was so exhausted, it felt like the hangover from hell, without even as much as drink passing my lips.
It was the moment I realised just how much you mean to me. 
In that moment I could have literally sat up all night and cried my eyes out for all the times i'd uttered the words 'I hate you,' sometimes worse. The nights we went to sleep on bad terms, or the ones I didn't even come home at all.

You are the only one who has seen me at my very worst, the one that gets the extremes of my moods, the very best and the worst. The soft spoken calming one who resolves problems without even as much as raising your voice, the one that constantly gives and gives and keeps giving, and never asks for thanks in return.

Happy Mother's Day. Here's a little post to share a few little memories, things I love about you, and why i'm so glad that you're my mum.

-I've always admired the fact that you were a single mum and had two little ones to raise on your own in a different country than your family, but I appreciate it even more so now.

There are times I struggle with motherhood with one baby, and I have family surrounded all around me that I could land on their doorstep in minutes if I needed to.
To have two babies under two and raise them on your own? That is so daunting for me to even think about, i'm sure there's people have won Pride Of Britain Awards for less...
As much as it must have been physically and emotionally draining, I hope it was extremely rewarding.
You should be proud, we didn't turn out too badly.

-It's only taken two and a half decades but i've finally earned the rights to your makeup drawer.Why it took so long, I'll never know? (Perhaps it was your makeup brushes that mysteriously kept wandering? Or the Clinque eyeshadows that were never shut closed properly.......) Either way, i'm glad you've finally seen sense.

- It's a cert that in just a few years time my daughter will be coming home to me with an armful of homemade crafts. Pages dripping with PVA and glitter, pipe cleaners and pom poms. You joke about taking Eva up to see your craft room, and there's no part of me that thinks this is a joke, it's a ticking time bomb waiting to happen.

-You came home early from work the morning I went into labour and insisted on cleaning my fireplace while I was contracting. Every four minutes you were subjected to hearing every profanity known to man and you told me to watch my language (which went down like a lead balloon) but your reactions were absolutely priceless.

It brings me back to the time you drove me to A&E when I thought I had an appendicitis. I was hysterical, crying and swearing with every wave of pain, so much so you began to shout at me. It turned into a massive fight "WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO?!"
There's a massive part of me that thinks in that moment you wanted to stop the car and tell me to get out and 'walk there yourself' but your motherly instinct kicked in and brought me there in the off chance that there was actually something wrong.

-I love watching Eva's reaction when she see's you, which is why i'll always carry her up to the window when I see you getting out of your car. She is most definitely Nana's girl, her little eyes light up when she catches a glimpse of you. Even at 8pm when she's meant to be sleeping and you go up to give her a good night cuddle which results in her turning into a little ball of energy. (Cheers for that) it only meant we had to sit a further hour and a half to soothe her into a sleepy state again, but at least you got your goodnight cuddle, eh?

-You have such a calm nature about you, which I definitely didn't inherit. After telling you all about my rough day were everything went wrong and nothing seemed to go right you replied with 'Did anyone die?'

- However I did inherit the awkward side of you. Eva's five months now and there's times we'll be standing in the car park of Marks and Spencers or the town and the pair of us will take a temporary memory lapse and won't have a clue how to put the pram down. What is that about?!

Thank you for making me laugh, for putting a smile on my face when i'm down. For being so unintentionally entertaining. Thank you for being so patient with me and being my biggest supporter no matter what it is i'm doing. For being a fantastic Nana and showering my little one with love. For buying me cookies in your weekly shop, despite the fact i'm twenty three. For always being there when I need you or not.

I love you.


Monday, 9 March 2015

Confessions Of A New Mum!

You lose 'friends' and wonder why you didn't do it sooner: The ones that didn't offer as much as a 'congratulations' when I announced I was pregnant. Others who didn't want to know me when  I couldn't drink and refused to waddle around bars knocking over pints and blocking the view of the tv with my newly enlarged pregnant ass that could have put Kim Kardashian's to shame.
 People often forget just how lonely and isolating pregnancy can be, especially if you're the first in your friendship circle to recreate. Well of course you'd rather be curled up on the sofa wearing your partner's hoodie caressing a share sized bag of pickled onion monster munch, but who doesn't like an invite??
It's always nice to be asked.

You win some you lose some: On the other hand, I have gained so many friendships since being pregnant/becoming a mum. We're all going through the same things, highs and lows. It's been so lovely to have a great support network whether it's in person, a comment on an Instagram post or an inbox on Facebook. When I see  fellow mums on Whatsapp at 3am, I laugh, its so reassuring to know I'm not the only one awake when it seems like the rest of the population are fast asleep.
I've been given so many tips and tricks from people who have been there and done that and it's genuinely made the last five months so much easier .There's girls who i'd pass every day in the school corridors, but never spoke to until now that I wish i'd gotten to know a lot sooner.
Life is bizarre.

Every shop I go into, i'm reeled in by the baby section:  When we visit Tesco's for the weekly food shop, I find myself magnetically drawn to the baby aisle.
Dummies on offer you say? I must pick up some to go along with the other four in the house,
Sure whats one more, especially when they're on offer!?
We'll get home and i'll inspect the receipt with sheer disgust, ready to jump back in the car and demand my refund from the cashier, who quite obviously over charged me by at least £20!
Only to remember those fluffy pjammas I picked up on the way in, and those cute mice shoes (which are as useful as a silent alarm clock, as she hasn't quite mastered the art of keeping her socks on) , and yep, those dummies that we needed so badly.......

I'm now a morning person against my will: 7am and we're up, there's no negotiation on the matter. No amount of stroking her cheek with her favourite blanket, singing Twinkle Twinkle on repeat, playing lullabies on my sleepy sounds app will lull her back to sleep. She's smarter than that. Stuart puts Eva into bed with me every morning before he leaves for work and I endure hair pulling and nose grabbing. I'll not lie though, it is my favourite time in the day when she's all sleepy and smiley.

Things affect  me more emotionally: Watching the 6 O'clock news can reduce me to tears. Famine, disease, missing people, warzones..
not that I was an emotionless ice queen before becoming a parent, (tv ads in the past have had me reaching for the Kleenex) but now  I see things from a mum's perspective, feel so much more empathy for people and really picture myself in their shoes. It's safe to say watching The Pride Of Britain Awards/Children In Need/Comic Relief, like last year is a no go.

I may not be in love with my body, but I respect it now more than ever before: I managed to go through 40 weeks of pregnancy without a stretch mark on my stomach. At 41 weeks, almost overnight  I earned my tiger stripes.
My chest went from non existent to comically big to somewhere in between and I can't see myself ever squeezing into a size 8 again (though I refuse to part with my size 8 bodycon skirt, just in case) but WOW. My body grew and gave birth to a baby, a little human. I look at Eva now and can't quite believe she was the little squirmy one that used to give me a good boot in the ribs when I was trying to sleep, the one that refused to move when I was showing somebody or videoing on my phone.
I had always feared labour and childbirth but it's amazing how your body just instinctively knows what to do. My jeans don't button as easily as they used to (i'm in mourning over the loss of my stretchy, elasticated maternity jeans) but I have a lovely little girl who i'd choose over a flat tummy any day.

It's quite OK to be eating lunch before 10am... I think: I've been up since well before 5am, It's perfectly ok to be snacking on chicken salad sandwiches and crisps. I don't care if Good Morning Britain hasn't even finished, I'm starving. 
The romance isn't dead: When Stuart and I started 'dating' I would browsing the rails in Topshop/Riverisland the morning of a date for a new outfit. I'd spend the afternoon in the bath, and spent hours preening myself. My mum used to laugh and question "What are you going to do if you ever live with the man?!"
The poor man got more than he bargained for.. mismatched sweats, messy buns a lack of makeup. ( ok so not all the time, but definitely after 7pm) These days romantic to me, is when he see's i'm struggling and tells me to go for a bath to unwind, when he makes the dinner and cleans the dishes *stacks the dishwasher, when he kisses Eva and I on the head every single morning before leaving for work and will always text us in the afternoon to ask how our day is going. The romance isn't dead, it has  just taken on a different meaning.

I appreciate my mum now, more than ever: It's only now that I understand why she wouldn't let me wear my new Tammy Girl halter neck at the primary four sportsday, why she didn't want me hanging around the park after midnight at fourteen and insisted on staying awake until I got home. I understand why she had time limits set on the internet so that I actually got at least a bit of homework done in the evenings. hated me drinking, especially when I was notorious for losing bankcards and house keys and phones.
I used to think she was a perpetual pain the backside, but now I realise all these things were done out of nothing other than love.
I dread the first time Eva has a hormone fueled shouting match with me, as I know my mum will be close by with a smug smirk on her face, one that will scream 'I told you so'
She is my biggest supporter and I couldn't have coped the last few months without her by my side. I love you so much, even if you do have my 5 month year old baby watching Create and Craft in your company.


Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Sleeping, feeding and feeling selfish...

As of Saturday night, Eva made the big move into her own room. I had been dreading this moment for a long time, and any time Stuart had brought it up in conversation, I would be extremely swift to change the subject, I was in no way ready for this milestone. The turning point came after we'd endured well over a  month of sleepless nights, literally waking every half an hour to a fussy Eva who seemingly could not be settled. The minute I heard her dummy hit the mattress, I could have cried. And I did cry, a lot. The past month has been emotionally and physically tough for us all, running on a serious lack of sleep. Stuart and I had ran out of explicit words to call each other, and if I was to hear "I've got work in the morning, at least you can have a nap during the day" One. More. Time. 
If only it worked that way, if I could nap on cue and get all the housework done so that our home doesn't resemble a squatter's den, all in the half an hour that our daughter naps.

Many a sleep deprived night I spent on Netmums browsing through the Sleep Support boards for the answer, but it left me feeling overwhelmed with the hundreds of different techniques and routines. I downloaded The Baby Whisperer book on to my Kindle and had to stop after a couple of chapters, as it was infuriating me more than anything. I tried to follow the E.A.S.Y technique (Eat, activity, sleep, you time) and found myself watching the clock and trying to stick to the routine so rigidly, it was making us stressed more than anything when it didn't go to plan. It proves the point that every baby is different and what works for one, won't necessarily work for another. 

I'll no doubt touch on Sleep again on a separate post, but to cut a long story short, after talking to some other mums, Stuart and I decided it was time for Eva to move into her own room. Much to our surprise, she took to it really well, only waking twice during the night but going back over with ease. I thought I would be extremely emotional about the whole thing, considering she's been sleeping by my side for over twenty weeks, but in all honesty I think we were both more than ready and well overdue a good nights sleep.
It's still early days and probably many more tough nights to follow, but we're hopeful we're on to a routine that works for us. Our room feels so spacious now and there's no longer a cot there for me to stub my toe on at stupid o'clock.

(She doesn't look too bothered by the whole transition, does she?)

I purchased this Ella's kitchen book with Amazon vouchers kindly given to us from a relative when Eva was born. I had bought it thinking it would be perfect for meal inspiration but found that there were only a couple of pages that were applicable to babies of her age. There is actually a first stage Ella's Kitchen book being released in the summer and I highly recommend considering it if you're expecting/have a young baby, I wish it had came out earlier as i'm sure it would have made the weaning process a little easier. However, I love this book and have been using the recipes to cook Stuart and I dinner. We've tried the Carribbean Mango chicken, Cosy Cottage Pie, and our favourite, the Beef Ragu. The recipes are absolutely fool proof, and it has shamefully taken a recipe book aimed at kids to get me to enjoy cooking, I'm sure Eva will love it just as much when she's old enough to explore the kitchen. 

On the topic of food I have been making up batches of fresh food for Eva, and freezing them. While I still think pouches are great- they are extremely handy when you're out and about and perfect for keeping in the grandparent's cupboards. (We use Ella's Kitchen - I swear this isn't a sponsored post, just an Ella's Kitchen fan girl!) It's just nice to make it from scratch and know exactly what Eva is eating, it's also enjoyable seeing her reaction to new textures and flavours. It works out a lot cheaper and its good to see our fruit and vegetables being eaten instead of binned by the end of the week. This girl takes after both mum and dad, she can eat.A part of me fears we will be rolling her out the door by the time it comes to start nursery. Long may her enthusiasm for her veggies continue.

Pear & apple
Sweet potato, carrot, broccoli and cauliflower.

 I often feel like i'm being negative at times when I blog about parenthood. It's not that i'm not enjoying the experience- I really am, but I refuse to sugarcoat what hard, hard work it is. I think new mums tend to only talk about the positive side: the new found unconditional love, the late night cuddles, posting pictures of our little cherubs snoozing with captions such as 'I didn't know I could love anyone as much until now...' etc but we tend not to talk about the bad bits, because we don't want to come across as ungrateful, like we aren't coping, which is completely ridiculous, we are more than entitled to have bad days. Days when nothing goes right, when you don't manage to get out of your sick stained pajamas,when  you can't seem to make a bottle up quick enough and the screeching sounds being emitted from your little one's lungs are enough to make you want to run away and not come back.... (well, at least not for a few hours). 

Hannah Magg's posted a link to a blog post yesterday which sums it up perfectly 

You might be so exhausted that you’re crying on the toilet but these are the best days of your life SO BE GRATEFUL - leads to those parents shutting down and never sharing how they truly feel. It leads to parents not having support networks. It leads to parents walking into parenthood without any idea of how hard some moments, some days, can be. It leads to such unfair expectations on parents – enjoy every minute or you’re a f**king monster. It leads to feeling like you’re doing it all wrong.

 ( )

Reading through the comments on that particular blog post made me feel so relieved, so relieved to know that there's people who have felt the same way, people who feel pressurized to feel grateful and happy, all the time. It's just not natural. As much as we love our little ones, unconditionally and wouldn't change them for anything in the world (It's only been five months and I have no idea what I ever did without Eva, she is undoubtedly the best thing to ever happen to me) ,it's ok to dream about the days that you'll be able to leave the house with nothing but a handbag, not have to change your outfit the entire day, and enjoy hot dinners. It's OK.

...And with that, i'm off to give my daughter a kiss. 

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