My tiger tummy

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As pregnancies go, mine was pretty much as straightforward as they come. I also didn’t develop a single stretch mark as my tummy ballooned, until the last week that is.

Ralph was due on 10 September, but he showed no signs of making an appearance – so much so that I walked into the office and did a full day’s work. That evening I noticed a vivid red mark on my tummy that I remember gleefully showing Ryan as it looked a bit like a lightning bolt (yes, Harry Potter was referenced!). The next day he also didn’t arrive (so I went into work again) nor did he make an appearance the day after that, and so on.

As I impatiently waited, my tummy developed stretch mark after stretch mark – I was literally bursting at the seams! My baby boy weighed 8lbs 3 when he was finally born by emergency caesarian section in the early hours of 18 September. I’m 5ft 2 at best and I really don’t think my body was set up to carry such a heavy baby! And that’s why I now have what I like to call a tiger tummy – literally stripe upon stripe criss crossing across my stomach, not to mention the rather impressive scar too.

I don’t really mind. I was more relieved that the swelling in my legs and feet went down so I could wear something more substantial than a pair of flip flops! Bio-Oil is helping and I’m sure, with time, the marks will become less vivid. Whether I’ll feel comfortable wearing a bikini next summer is anybody’s guess – although this isn’t something I tend to do even on the hottest of days here in England!

 

Who needs sleep?

If there’s one thing I’m learning about this motherhood business is that one shouldn’t get too complacent. Until yesterday, I was convinced I’d cracked the bedtime routine. Bath, feed, cuddle, sleep, feed, nappy change, longer sleep until around 4am. Oh how silly I am!

It all started pretty well. Ralphie loved his bath (as you can see from the picture)…

 

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He also enjoyed his feed. And then off he drifted just in time for us to eat our dinner. Perfect! Or so we thought…

Within 2 minutes of lying him down, those legs of his were kicking wildly and his arms were flailing around – Ralph sure does have a lot of energy, even when he’s supposed to be asleep.

One great thing these days (now he’s a mighty nine going on ten weeks old) is that when he’s awake, Ralph no longer cries when he’s not being cuddled. It’s quite a relief really! So in his bouncy chair he goes, and we’re entertained by his ridiculously cute cooes and cheeky grins as we eat dinner. In fact, every time that we tried to put him down to sleep we failed. I’m a soft touch and so is his dad, so we ended up cuddling and playing with him instead, until he fell asleep in our arms as we sat on the sofa.

At night, Ralphie has been generally great. But this morning I’m going to have to treat myself to an extra cup of coffee or two. I’ve become far too used to my eight hours of beauty sleep, albeit in bitesize four or five hour chunks these past few weeks. Last night, Ralph had other plans – not even the dummy could placate him; he wanted milk, and lots of it!

Maybe he’s having another growth spurt. All I hope is his legs haven’t got too big for his first batch of Tobias and the Bear leggings, which will hopefully be delivered today. Otherwise he will be rocking the not so fashionable three-quarter trousers look – not ideal in this chilly weather!

 

The unashamed instamum

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I posted a flatlay picture on Instagram today. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this, it’s pretty much the picture above (well that’s my take on it anyway!). Some Instagram users post far more accomplished examples; I know the lighting in mine isn’t great. So what’s the point of it? Well, if we’re going to be really pedantic, what’s the point of anything really. This is just a nice way of presenting some clothes that will hopefully look even better on my child. And I think they do. Here we go!

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(Again, the lighting isn’t the best, but it did rain pretty much all day.)

I’m not ashamed to admit it; I think my little boy is completely adorable, and I’ve decided to show him off on Instagram. There’s actually a whole community of us mums doing it. Some, not busy enough being regular instamums, also make and sell some pretty amazing stuff for our cute babies to wear too, and I’ve just recently dipped my toe into this whole new world of baby clothing that’s not on the high street. I’ve been nothing short of impressed so far (I’ll be doing a post on some of my favourites soon).

‘And what does being an instamum, or instababy for that matter, entail?’, you may ask. Well, I’m not totally sure yet as I’m relatively new. From what I’ve seen so far it includes posting some unbelievably cute pictures of our babies, the occasional flatlay, and generally being involved in a welcoming community of mums that stick together and support each other. Pretty lovely eh?

Until now, I didn’t really get the point of Instagram. I’ve been using it for some time to post the odd picture, but I’ve never really interacted with it beyond that. Now, I find myself browsing it for a little bit of inspiration, seeing what other mums are up to, and as a reminder that I’m more than just a walking talking milk cow or punchbag for my son (yes, he kicked me in the face tonight while I was encouraging him to do a poo – and I’m not sure it was entirely by accident!). Instagram is one of my new forms of escapism, and it’s better than daytime tv!

 

Monday blues…what Monday blues?

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We slept in until 10.30am today. Sneaky I know! Admittedly we were up at 4am, then 7.30am (to say goodbye to Ryan who sadly had to go off to work) but I still consider today a lie in – and it was lovely!

Nine weeks in and I wouldn’t say I’ve got entirely used to not having to go into work, but I certainly don’t miss the Monday blues! No more Monday morning meetings – instead the biggest concern I have is making sure I’ve had some breakfast so that Ralphie has a decent feed. Today I had muesli, banana and custard. Yes, you read the last bit right – custard! It won’t make it into the list of all time top healthy breakfasts, but it was darn tasty!

If I’m being totally honest, we haven’t really done much today. Ralphie had his bath, he had a bit of tummy time on his playmat (something he is still not too keen on), we sang (a lot!), and I put on another wash load. It’s bloomin’ freezing outside, but we’ll pop out shortly to make sure Ralph gets some air. And his dad is home early so, all in all, life is pretty good. Now I’ve just got to decide what to cook for dinner.

So much washing!

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When this came through to my inbox I thought it was a joke. The timing couldn’t have been any better! Because as lovely as this weekend has been so far, if I had to use one word to sum it up it would be “poogate!” I know it’s very clichéd to talk about endless nappy changes as a new mum, but this weekend has been seriously pooey…and leaky 😬

It all started yesterday morning when Ralphie simultaneously pooed and vomited in our bed, causing his dad to leap a mile! It was hilarious until I realised that poo was leaking out of Ralph’s nappy. It was everywhere! And from thereon in that’s been the theme of the weekend.

I had a curry on Friday night, so I have a feeling that’s the cause…but I have a curry most Fridays. Maybe it’s a duff batch of nappies, although I don’t think even I can blame Pampers for Ralph’s poo explosions that go all the way up his back.  Whatever it is, I hope it stops soon because I’m getting through my huge tub of Vanish like there’s no tomorrow.

We’re planning to walk into town shortly to see the Christmas lights switch on. I think I’ll let Ryan wear him in the snuggly. My jumper’s too nice to get ruined!

First snow

The snow had melted by the time most people had got up, but Ralphie and I saw it. A few weeks ago I couldn’t have imagined enjoying being woken up regularly at 4am, but I’ve come to quite like it. The two of us sneak downstairs to change his nappy after his feed and although I know I’m not supposed to encourage him to be playful at this early hour, I can’t help it when he beams away at me and excitedly kicks his legs. For someone so tiny, I have no idea where he gets his energy from!

So anyway, yesterday morning we saw the first snow of this winter. I picked Ralphie up and showed him out the window and I know he didn’t know what it was, but it still felt pretty cool. There wasn’t much of it, but it had settled on the pavement and the tops of the cars. I told Ralphie what it was and I like to think the coo noise he made was a sign of his acknowledgement and appreciation. If only he could actually talk and back me up, because when I told Ryan in the morning (as in a suitable time of the morning to be awake on a Saturday) he didn’t bloomin’ believe me! The snow was nowhere to be seen.

Starting a blog post at midnight

 

So I’ve decided to start an online diary. And I’m writing my first post at just gone midnight. Why? Well I’m up feeding my newborn son and I’ve been meaning to do this for a little while, so I figured now was as good a time as any. I’m actually a writer by trade. For more than seven years that’s been my 9-5, and I’ve absolutely loved it. But over the last few weeks I’ve not written a single word (bar the odd text), and that’s because I’ve become a mum.

He’s called Ralph (endearingly known as Ralphie), and his dad and I are utterly besotted. The past nine weeks have been nothing short of amazing, but they’ve also been a complete blur, which is why I’ve decided to start jotting down as much as I can – one anecdote after another. I can’t promise it will be daily. But, in between the feeds, nappy changes and cuddles, I’ll do what I can. Wish me luck!