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See posts about: // Isabelle // Parenting // Family //

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Thanksgiving week: Saturday's thanks...

Saturday's thanks: today I am thankful for...

- cloth nappies, for many reasons! Firstly, I love that my cloth nappies are better for the environment. When I think about how many nappy changes I've done in the last seven and a half months it is scary to think that I could have thrown that many nappies into a landfill. Next, after doing some mental maths one day in the supermarket I realised that my cloth nappies will have paid for themselves against disposables by the time Isabelle is 1 - that's pretty amazing I think! So after she turns 1 I will be saving money every time I use them. And lastly, I am amazed at how cloth nappies have opened up a whole new world to me, which includes some fabulous mummies (and daddies!) who I am very privileged to now count as my friends. Plus, working with the Cloth Nappy Library NI keeps me busy and gets me out and about to different meet ups - like today's nappuccino in Ikea! 

- my ring sling and wrap, for allowing me to carry Isabelle close, cuddle her up, and have both hands free to do important things like carry two cups of tea, or eat my churros  at the Christmas Market!

- how easy breastfeeding has been for me. I have spoken a lot in the past about feeding Isabelle and how important it is to me, but not a day goes by when I don't think about how lucky I am that I have been able to feed her with no issues for these last months, and hopefully for a long while to come yet!

'Crunchy' thanks today for me...but what are you thankful for today?

Friday, 29 November 2013

Thanksgiving week: Friday's thanks...

Friday's thanks: today I am thankful for...

- living in a largely rural country. In a time when more than half the world live in urban areas, I am ever grateful that Northern Ireland is predominantly a rural country. I wouldn't describe myself as 'outdoorsy', but I do love being outdoors, and both Simon and I much prefer activities outdoors in the country to being in a town, or being inside. Today, I was able to pop Isabelle and the dogs in the car, and drive less than 10 minutes to this...

What better way to spend the afternoon with my little lady than getting some fresh air in such a beautiful place? 

- baby sensory classes, as these allow Isabelle and I to explore lots of different ideas which we may not have come across otherwise - for example sign language. It also gives us so many ideas about cool, fun and meaningful activities to do at home together, to help Isabelle's development as much as possible.

What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Thanksgiving week: Thursday's thanks...

Thursday's thanks: today I am thankful for...

- family. I talk about my family a lot, but I am continually thankful for the close bond we share, and the love and support which is unconditional between all of us. It's so wonderful for Isabelle to get to grow up in a big, noisy, wonderful family who all adore her.

- the Internet, as it has allowed me to "meet" people who I wouldn't have had the chance to meet otherwise. For example, on Facebook I am part of several NI based groups for cloth nappies and baby wearing, and having the chance to share my parenting experience with local mums - both online and at our get togethers - is fantastic. I am also part of two "birth club" groups, through which I have been able to share my pregnancy and first few months of parenting with some amazing ladies, who offer unconditional support and kind words from around the world. Lots of people probably don't understand having online "friends", but these ladies are simply my friends who live too far away to get together, and I am so thankful to have them in my life.

Happy thanksgiving! 

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Thanksgiving week: Wednesday's thanks...

Wednesday's thanks: today I am thankful for...

- my iPhone. That may sound weird and materialistic, but the reason I am so thankful for it is the camera, which allows me to capture ever special, silly or strange moment of Isabelle's life. Almost all the pictures I live most of her have been taken on an iPhone, and it's so wonderful to always have a camera with me to snap that little face whenever she does something particularly fantastic.

 Isabelle's relationship with her great granny. I've mentioned my granny before, and how much she adores Isabelle, but each week when we visit I continue to be struck by how much joy my little lady brings to my granny. Isabelle is always so pleased to see her great granny, and is always in such a good mood when we visit that it's clear the feeling of love between this pair is mutual.

What are you thankful for today? 

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Thanksgiving week: Tuesday's thanks...

Tuesdays thanks: today I am thankful for...

- Simon being self employed, so he can take weekdays (or any day we want) off and we can spend time as a family. 

- my education: today it allowed me to help my 11year old cousin with polygon angles. My excellent primary, secondary and tertiary education are one of the things I value most, and they have led me to the place I am today

- having "enough" money: we certainly are not 'well off' but we have enough money to mean that, today for example, we can go to the Christmas market and enjoy ourselves without having to worry about how ridiculously over priced everything is. I read so much about how people have terrible money worries, and how families must account for every penny, and I thank god that - for now - that is not us

What are you thankful for today?

Thanksgiving week: Monday's thanks...

Since this week sees the USA celebrate Thanksgiving, I thought I would take the chance to post each day about some things I am thankful for that day, just to give myself a chance to reflect on how lucky I am.

Monday's thanks: today I am thankful for...

- my breastfeeding group as it has given me the chance to meet so many wonderful like minded ladies, and make new friends who I never would have met otherwise. Going along each week for a cup of tea and a chat is great, and Isabelle and I really love our Monday morning outings

- having two beautiful, healthy nephews who (along with Isabelle of course!) bring so much joy to their family, and who are so wonderfully special

- FaceTime, as it allows Simon's mum and dad to chat to us each week, and to get to see Isabelle even though they are so far away. It makes being apart from them that little bit easier

Thursday, 21 November 2013

When mummy gets lazy...

I'll admit it - I am lazy. I have always been generally quite lazy, and I am a pretty lazy mummy too! I try to make life as easy and simple as possible - who doesn't? - but I've realised this week that my laziness may be having a negative impact on Miss Isabelle.

Everybody likes a good lie in, but babies are not well renowned for it. However, over the last few months I have been able to 'boast' a lie in (rising at 8.30am at the earliest) everyday. Not because Isabelle is so conked out on her own, but because I like to snuggle down in the morning for an extra while, and have used Isabelle's Kryptonite - boobs - to keep her compliant. This means we get up late and start the day late, and because we are out so often, we end up rushing around, so Isabelle's naps and meals are squeezed in whenever they fit, and naps are mostly on the go in the car.

My laziness also means that we have fallen into the bad habit of nursing her to sleep for naps and bedtime, simply because it's easier for me, and she is willing to do it too.

Ok, so neither of those things sound unbelievably horrific, but this week I realised that my laziness in those matters means that Isabelle's routine is not quite what it should be, and I am affecting her ability to self settle.

So we've had a bit of a shake up in the Jay household this week. No longer will you find me lounging in bed until 9am, no, the ungodly hours of 7am and 7.30am are my new wake up time. This means that we are able to get up, have breakfast together, and Isabelle can have at least one quality nap in the morning, uninterrupted in her cot. This is something she had been doing for a long time when she was smaller, but our increasingly hectic social life (!) meant it got somewhat shoved aside, as getting up later meant we didn't have time for this nap before heading out for the day.

I've also decided to take some time out, and that Isabelle and I will spend more time at home, rather than always out and about.

I'm hoping that these little chances will be for the better for little miss. Already I have been pleased to find that while she is having her reclaimed morning nap, I can get a few bits and bobs done around the house - and since she decided her morning nap would be an hour and 15mins today (unheard of - she only ever naps for 30 minutes!) I got so much done I didn't know what to do with all my free time!

And lastly, moving away from using boobs as the only way to put Isabelle to sleep. Of course this one is more tough, but I am very pleased to report that for three whole days she has not fallen asleep on the boob during the day once. Small steps with this one to pull her out of the bad habit her lazy mummy let us get into!

Small changes, but hopefully ones which will bring Isabelle's routine up to where it should be. Rather than having a lazy mummy hold her back for her own benefit....

Monday, 18 November 2013

My recent video "awwwws"

I'm sure everyone is the same - their Facebook feed is cluttered up with people sharing pictures, memes and videos. Usually I skip right past them, but recently three videos caught my eye and made me go "awww!", so I thought I'd share them with you today, to help you pass a few minutes of your day and avoid the ironing/cleaning/going to bed! All just links, I'm afraid, but go on....give them a click!

This one is from a friend in America. This just made me feel so sad for the little boy, and I love how compassionate the drill sergeant is at the end.

These next two are both from a new friend, who runs the local sling library (Sling Library NI- check it out if you are in the area and need some sling advice!). Some amazing feats of bravery to help others.

This next one is so strange, but so sweet! This little pair of brand new squishes are truly stupendous, and it's like we are getting a glimpse into what life is like for an unborn baby. It made my ovaries ache a little!!

You're welcome :)

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Baby Christmas Wear

I know it's early, but this week I bought Isabelle's Christmas outfit!

I've been looking at some bits and pieces for a while, and couldn't decide whether we wanted to go all out novelty, totally serious and 'nice', or something in between. Here are some of my favourite bits, and what I actually bought! Every single item is from Next - I absolutely love what they have in at the minute, and their range of Christmas stuff is just great! As always with us, the key thing is that Isabelle is comfy, so these bits and bobs are all geared towards that, with a Christmas twist!

Christmas Fairy Sleepsuit :: £10
I'm not into headbands, so wouldn't use the one with this, but I adore this sleepsuit! 

Christmas Little Pudding Sleepsuits (2 pack) :: £12
They didn't have these in Isabelle's size in our local shop, but they WILL be coming into our lives very soon! 

Elf romper :: £17
This would be a great novelty outfit!

Patched Cardigan :: £20

This is just Christmas in a cardigan! It's insane, and wonderful!

Here's what I ended up getting - the Mrs Claus top and insanely 'Christmassy' leggings are for Christmas day. The top came with a Santa hat too! And the little top and tights set is for the run up to Christmas, and to wear when Simon's parents visit.
Mrs Claus top :: £10.50
Snowman leggings :: £6
Grey penguin and Rudolph top with tights :: £11

She still needs some special Christmas jammies, which I'm on the look out for I may still be swayed into getting a Christmas jumper for her...

Have you got you littles Christmas outfit sorted yet?

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Milestone Mania...

Recently, I've become aware of the 'milestone mania' culture among mothers. Whether we mean to or not, we can't help but compare our little darling to everyone else's - either positively or negatively.

I am incredibly lucky that during pregnancy and during my first few months of motherhood, I have made a wonderful group of new 'mummy' friends. Mostly, their babies were born at roughly the same time as Isabelle - maybe a few months difference here and there, but overall they are all within 2/3 months of one another. As mummies, much of our conversation revolves around our teeny people, what they are up to, how we do things, and generally how we all survive the minefield of parenting! Of course, we are all immensely proud of our littles, and we love sharing their achievements with one another. And because of that, sometimes we inadvertently end up comparing our littles with one another.

Nobody means to, of course, and nobody ever boasts about their little to make others feel bad, but I think that the fact that as mothers we are constantly worrying about our little people means that we hear somebody else's baby has done something....and immediately PANIC sets in that our little is nowhere near doing that same thing!

Let me give you some examples where I have been on both sides..

* Isabelle was pretty early to sit up (so I'm told!) as she started at around 4.5 months, and by 5.5 months she had it perfectly. However, two of my 'mummy friends' were worried as their littles (one at 7 months, one at 6 months) were making no move to sit up alone...

* For months I worried about Isabelle not rolling over. While her friends rolled all around her, she resolutely stayed put. Even now, at 7 months, she does not roll... ( I should just add that she can roll both ways since 4 months - she does on the odd occasion if she can be bothered - but overall, she just has no interest in rolling which is why she doesn't do it!)

I take it all with a pinch of salt and look at the bigger picture - sure Isabelle may not be a crawler yet - but she is a champion sitter, and she can talk the hind legs off a donkey! All the babies have their strengths, and so I try not to compare Isabelle too much to those around her.

However, I know many mums aren't able to push aside the comparisons, and it really upsets them and worries them that their littles aren't 'meeting their milestones'. Add to this that a simple Google of 'Milestone chart' brings up lists of things your baby "should" be doing at a certain age, and it's easy to see how some mummies get caught up in milestone mania.

So, while I encourage Miss Isabelle to reach her next milestone, and record them all in her baby book, I'm not really too worried about when she does what. To quote Michael McIntyre, you never have an adult crawl up to you and apologise that they can't walk. All babies get there in their own time and in their own way.

That said, it's a lot easier to say that now than remember it in baby groups as babies around us crawl off with their rows of teeth...

Have you experienced milestone mania? What do you, or have you, worried about most with your baby's milestones?

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Isabelle's baby cousin...

Our family grew by one person yesterday as Isabelle welcomed her baby cousin into the world!

My sister-in-law telling us she was pregnant in March didn't come as any real surprise as we all knew that there would be more babies before long! As soon as I saw the front of Jacob's "Shhh! I've got a secret..." t-shirt I just KNEW the back would say "I'm going to be a big brother!"- I just had a feeling that Helen had been a little off for a few weeks.

After suffering from horrible morning sickness and an awkward breech baby, little Isaac arrived safe and sound yesterday!

He looks just like his big brother did when he was first born, and when Isabelle and I went to visit him today, I just couldn't believe how SMALL he was! I know it's only a few months since Isabelle was as tiny as that, but I just can't remember her being that little teeny bundle.

Isaac is, of course, just gorgeous, and I could have just bitten a chunk of his cuteness right off!! I can't wait to get to know him, and find out if he is going to be a loveable, silly, outdoorsy, chatty boy like his brother, or if he will be completely different. I think he is going to be a really chilled out boy, and bring a moment of calm to our totally crazy family!

Whoever he turns out to be, one thing is sure - his has a huge family to love him. From his cousin, to his brother, aunties, uncles, grannies and granddads/grandpas, he is one very lucky boy.

No photos of the little one to share as yet - but I'm sure there will be MANY to come in the next few months! Instead, here is a picture of my own little lady when she was the same age Isaac is now - just one day old! 2

Monday, 4 November 2013

All Quiet on the Western Front...

So things have been a bit quiet over here at NMIM lately. I wish I could say that's because I've been so busy, but I haven't been doing anything special, I just seem to have been so busy I haven't been able to find time to blog!

Unfortunately, Miss Isabelle is sick at the minute. She has been ill before, but this time she is really a very sick button. She has a bad cold - maybe the only ever case of a female having man flu? She is snotty, and rattly-chested, coughing and spluttering, heavy eyed and just generally a bit miserable. It's tough to watch and, while she should be getting better any day now, she seems to just continually get worse. We've been dosing her up with anything possible (saline drops, baby Olbas, Calpol) to try and help her, but nothing works for long. I'm very upset to say even boob has failed - probably because she can't breathe and eat at the same time with her stuffy nose.

Hopefully she will be feeling better ASAP as we 'jet off' to Norfolk tomorrow to see Simon's parents, and I can't imagine it will be much fun for any of us if she is still so miserable. We haven't much planned for when we are there, just catching up with family and letting Granny and Grandad spend some quality time with Isabelle. She always travels well, but tomorrow could be a very different story when she feels so rotten. Luckily, I have my beautiful new Oscha ring sling to keep her nicely snuggled up in the airport. It just arrived last week, so this will be it's first big trip and I can't wait to show it off! (Please forgive me for this super cheesy selfie!! I also don't regularly dress Isabelle in bright orange - this was on Halloween so it was her pumpkin babygro!)

Simon and I have been doing little bits of Christmas shopping here and there and - just when we think we have something all sorted - we remember a whole other set of people we need to buy for! And then the realisation that we need to buy people presents 'from Isabelle' too, and we are pretty much back to square one!

Other than that, Isabelle is impatiently waiting for the safe arrival of her little cousin! Hopefully by this time next week, I will have a beautiful new niece or nephew to cuddle, as Isabelle loses her "baby" status in the extended and becomes a big girl! Because of the new baby's imminent arrival, we have handed all the 'little baby' things to Helen - including our much loved bouncer. Here is Isabelle having a 'last bounce' before it headed off!

Hopefully when I get back from Norfolk I'll be back to blogging as well! I do have a few things up my sleeve - look out for my Organics special coming up, along with an exclusive 10% at a brand new website!!

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