Harry is one month old!

Little Harry is now one month old! As of last Sunday actually. I can’t believe how quickly the time has passed, and it has been full of so many special moments. The first few weeks were pretty crazy, but now we feel so much more confident and settled and are loving our new life as parents!

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Harry is just adorable and we can’t believe he is ours. He’s really funny and some of the faces he pulls are just hilarious and so cute. I could just stare at him all day!

Unfortunately I don’t have time to do just that though – little Harry takes some looking after haha! It’s a big life change and very busy but I feel like I have got into the swing of things now and I feel much more confident. My husband went back to work about two weeks ago. I was a bit worried about how I would cope without him (he is amazing with Harry and a really hands-on dad) but I have to say I am getting on fine now! Some days are a bit more chaotic than others and some days it’s just fun and things feel under control!

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Having a newborn is such a special experience and it really changes you. Yes, we are still the same people, but suddenly so many things don’t seem that important anymore and your number one priority becomes this tiny little person. Harry is a really good baby (I think anyway!) and we are so privileged to be his mum and dad!

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He is wearing 0-3 months clothes now. He wore this size pretty much from the start as he is a big boy! He weighed 8lbs 9.5oz at birth and is now around 11lbs. He is a very hungry boy and eats every 3 hours, almost like clockwork! He does eat less at night thankfully, more like every 4 hours. The odd time he will sleep for about six hours during the night so hopefully he is heading in the right direction sleep wise!

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As for me, I am feeling fine and less sleep deprived than I expected! We have been spending lots of time with family and friends and I have been really enjoying this stage of life! I just know the time is going to fly in so I am really trying to make the most of every day.

We are still waiting on our first smile (that isn’t just wind). This week he has really found his arms and legs and loves kicking and punching and thrashing about! He loves being bathed and enjoys his bouncy chair and cot mobile. His playmat is growing on him! He loves looking around and is really alert and inquisitive. His favourite thing of course is to be held close and given lots of cuddles. We are doing lots of that obviously!

So happy and so thankful to have him here!

Love, Laurel

Baby Harry

He’s here! Our beautiful baby boy Harry arrived into the world on Friday 17th April at 4.14 am. He weighed 8lbs 9.5oz and was 21 inches long!

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I had to be induced in the end and Harry arrived exactly 14 days overdue – but he was well worth the wait and all those days waiting around and trying all the techniques under the sun to get labour to start now seem like a distant memory!

I knew and hoped the moment he was born there would be an amazing bond and rush of love like I had never felt before. Well he didn’t disappoint and I have been totally besotted with him from the moment he was placed on my chest immediately after being born. It truly was the most amazing moment (after all that hard work!) and I will treasure that memory forever.

We stayed one night in hospital and then we made that all important journey home! Harry was introduced to his big sister Ella the Bichon and they seem to like each other ok so far!

Harry is 9 days old today and it has been a crazy time and a steep learning curve for my husband and I, but slowly but surely we are becoming more confident. We love being Harry’s parents and are so privileged to call him our son. Becoming a mum really is the best thing ever! The love you feel for your child is like no other and I am so lucky. Thank you Harry!

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Love, Laurel

It’s a Boy Cupcakes

I made these ‘It’s a Boy’ cupcakes for my Baby Shower a few weeks ago. They were very nice and so easy to make. The little rice paper toppers were really inexpensive – about £2 for 12 from eBay. And obviously you could choose whatever colour or cupcake topper you fancied! Great for parties and I will be making these again!

It's a boy cupcakes

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

For the cupcakes

  • 110g/4oz softened butter
  • 110g/4oz caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 110g/4oz self-raising flour
  • 1-2 tbsp milk

For the buttercream icing

  • 110g/4oz softened butter
  • 280g/10oz icing sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp milk
  • Your preferred food colouring (I used this one from Tesco)
  • Your prefered decorations

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4
  2. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with muffin/cupcake cases.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale. Beat in the eggs in 2-3 stages and stir in the vanilla extract.
  4. Fold in the flour, adding the milk as needed. Spoon the mixture into the cases as neatly as possible until they are half full.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden-brown on top and a skewer inserted into one of the cakes comes out clean. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.
  6. For the buttercream icing, beat the butter in a large bowl until soft. Add half the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Then add the remaining icing sugar with milk as needed, until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add the food colouring and mix until well combined.
  7. Spread the icing on top of the cupcakes – or use a piping bag. Because I don’t have a piping bag and because I had the rice paper toppers, I just spread my icing on! I actually prefer this because it means you don’t get too much icing on each cupcake; I find the icing can be a bit sickly if there is loads on there.

its a boy cupcakes recipe

The cupcakes went down well and were nice and buttery, but not sickly or too big. My sister made little gingerbread men as well which were lovely!

Love, Laurel

 

38 Weeks Pregnant! Nearly time to meet our boy.

I am 38 weeks pregnant as of today. I can’t believe I am this far along, it’s crazy! But at the same time there is a part of me that feels like I have been pregnant forever, lol.

38 weeks pregnant

It has been a really busy few weeks but the last few days have been nice and relaxing because I am now on maternity leave! Work was pretty busy in the lead up to me finishing up, and I wanted to leave things as ‘sorted’ as I possibly could – hopefully that might make things a bit easier when I return! I got really generous gifts from work and lots of well wishes – which I really appreciated.

Also in the last few weeks I have had some lovely events! I had a Baby Shower when I was 35 weeks – it was a great afternoon and I got some beautiful presents which I am so thankful for. We also played games, had some food and just had a nice girly afternoon. It was the first baby shower I had actually been to, despite it being my own, but I am sure it won’t be the last!

its a boy cupcakes

38 weeks pregnant

I also turned 30 last week and had a lovely family birthday on the day itself, and a party with friends last weekend. Both were great and I don’t really mind turning 30 at all. Obviously it was a bit strange being heavily pregnant on your birthday, but I still really enjoyed it and it was great to see everyone, show off the ever expanding bump and have a couple of fun nights before everything changes in a big way in a few weeks time!

30th birthday cake

Work was making me pretty tired as it was so busy and I was just getting home in the evenings totally exhausted. Since going on maternity leave I have obviously had a lot more ‘me’ time and have not been bored at all, yet! I am always thinking of things to do and have been out for lunch, been to IKEA, and walking Ella a lot so I am definitely keeping busy and having a nice time so far! I plan to make the most of it! I am noticing myself a bit more out of breath and a bit slower generally. Sleeping isn’t that great at the moment but that’s to be expected. Still craving the ice lollies! I have also been to two Parentcraft classes with my husband which were really useful.

So that’s the latest with me! I am getting so excited to meet our baby boy in a few weeks – we just don’t know how many weeks! I know a lot of first babies are overdue, so we are kind of expecting that. If he comes slightly early or bang on time that would be great too! I am occasionally having moments of panic like ‘he has to come out soon’ and ‘life is going to be turned upside down in less than a month’ but for the most part I am just so excited for this new chapter in our lives and am thinking ‘lets just get on with it!’. We will see how things go in the next few weeks! Wish me luck!

Love, Laurel

 

34 Weeks Pregnant – my latest loves!

So is this the part where it all becomes a bit uncomfortable? That’s how it’s starting to seem! I am 34 weeks now so the end is in sight and it is all becoming very real now! I am so excited!

34 weeks pregnant

I am feeling a lot more pregnant these days if that makes sense. Heavier and bigger and like there isn’t much room left in my belly – but I know it’s only going to get quite a bit bigger over the next 6 weeks or so!

I have heartburn, restless legs, and am pretty tired most of the time. I had some quite bad Round Ligament Pain this week – at least I think that’s what it was. It hurt to walk for a day but the next day it was gone! It’s like mentally I am fine, but physically I am not up to much – comes with growing a little human inside you I suppose! Anyway I shouldn’t complain – I have been extremely lucky throughout my whole pregnancy and for that I am really thankful. I have just reached the home stretch and it’s only natural I am feeling it a bit – after all there is a little boy in there growing and moving at a rapid rate – and how amazing is that!

At the moment I am just taking it easy when I can, and doing anything that helps me feel relaxed or more comfortable. Here’s my personal guide to 3rd trimester survival!

Baths – I said it in my last post, but baths just seem to make everything better. The hot water relaxes my muscles, clears my head and gives me a chance to totally unwind. I love using nice bubble baths and oils and a bath before bed really seems to help me sleep too. A nightly soak is a must these days!

Clarins Beauty Flash Balm – This is a lovely product that can be used as a primer under make up, or as a face mask to soothe and rejuvenate your skin. I use it as a mask and it makes my skin feel plumper and fresher. It has seemed a bit tired and washed out recently so this balm used every few days seems to help brighten my skin up a bit.

Eucalyptus, Lavender and Tea Tree oil – I love fresh smells at the moment and these three oils smell amazing to me! I put them in my bath, burn them in an oil burner or just put some on cotton wool and put it beside my bed. Weird how a nice smell can you make you feel better!

Ice lollies – I can’t get enough. My personal favourite are the bog standard Rocket Lollies from Asda. They are quite bland and every night I happy crunch through 3 of them – it’s the main craving I have had! It’s just the cold, crunchy ice that seems so good to me at the moment! Kind of eases the heartburn too!

Dreamgenii pillow – Sleeping hasn’t been too bad. I got this pillow early on in my pregnancy but it’s now that it’s coming into it’s own. It supports my bump and my back and has a longer end that supports my legs and hips whilst in bed. Some nights I love it, and some nights I find it bulky, and one normal pillow to hug/put under my bump is enough. I would recommend the Dreamgenii though. It’s expensive but well designed, and can be used once the baby is born as a support cushion for all those feeds!

Tutti Bambini Glider Chair and Footstool – This arrived earlier in the week and I am really liking it so far. My back was hurting from being slumped on the sofa most evenings, and we had always planned to get a nursing chair for when the baby arrives, so this Glider will fit both purposes. It makes me sit up straight, but it also reclines and rocks so it’s both comfortable and relaxing to sit in. It will be used for feeding the baby when he comes but for now I am enjoying lounging in it! It comes with a footstool as well which is very nice :)

Laughing cow blue cheese triangles – I have missed eating blue cheese so much – I love that strong taste. These triangles however are pasteurized and can be safely eaten (I hope) in pregnancy. Can’t wait to eat the real thing again though!

Leggings! – Wearing these full time now. Jeans and tights are just a no no for me now. Some of them still fit, but are not comfortable at all! Maternity jeans fall down and maternity tights come up too high. So leggings it is!

That’s the main things I can think of for now – if anyone has any good suggestions for helping those last trimester symptoms please let me know! Six weeks until due date  – we can’t wait  to meet our little boy!

Love, Laurel

Pancakes with Flavour First Eggs!

Pancakes

I know they don’t look great in the picture, but these pancakes were yum! I use Nigella’s American Breakfast Pancakes recipe which makes a decent sized batch of batter. If you don’t use it all, you can freeze the rest! They are really easy to make and taste great with maple syrup or even better, maple syrup and crispy bacon.

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients 

  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 2 large eggs (beaten)
  • 30 grams butter (melted and cooled)
  • 300 ml milk
  • 225 grams plain flour
  • butter for frying

Method 

  1. Put all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix together by hand or using a stick blender.
  2. Heat a smooth griddle or pan on the stove and pour batter on, using a jug or ladle.
  3. Turn the pancakes when they start to bubble up. Probably about 1 minute either side.

What put me in the mood for pancakes were the lovely free range eggs I was kindly sent by Flavour First. After having an omelette the day before, and my husband having his usual scrambled eggs for breakfast a few times, we still had lots left over, so pancakes seemed like a good idea!

Flavour First are a Northern Irish company who offer a ‘Local Veg Box Scheme’ as well as other products such as free range eggs and fresh fruit. The produce is homegrown, organic and is delivered to your doorstep free of charge at really reasonable prices. I think it’s a great idea and so did my family when I explained what they were about. You can view their website here.

Flavourfirst.com

Hope you all had a good weekend!

Love, Laurel

30 Week pregnancy update and things I couldn’t do without!

I am now 30 weeks pregnant! That is almost 7 months – wow, I can’t believe it, and I am so grateful to say that I  have had a healthy pregnancy thus far.

30 weeks

Obviously I have had the usual ‘pregnancy ailments’ including nausea in the first trimester, and a large helping of HEARTBURN which began midway through the second trimester, and is showing no signs of stopping now I have reached the third! I am starting to feel more tired, and a tad more hormonal these days! Things like putting socks on and bending over to retrieve Ella’s bloody ball from under the sofa are becoming more challenging, as my bump gets in the way!

My absolute favourite part so far has been feeling and seeing my baby move and kick inside me. It is such a miracle to think he is in there kicking and swishing about. I have also loved picking out baby furniture and all the bits and bobs that are needed. I have had some great advice from friends who are already parents on what to buy – i.e. what is essential and what can be a bit of a waste of money. So thank you so much to those people!

When it comes to getting through the weeks and looking after myself there are some things that have really helped me. They include:

Snacks! – more so in the first trimester, but carb-heavy snacks were a lifesaver to me when the nausea struck. Ready salted crisps, plain bread and rich tea biscuits were must haves. Plain food in general is more my thing at the moment – which isn’t like me at all! Anything that doesn’t cause heartburn (theres not a lot) is good too!

Lots of water – still and sparkling. Staying hydrated just helps everything in general and the sparkling was good for when I felt sick!

Baths – I have never had so many in my life! Lying in the bath reading or having a good WhatsApp convo with friends is a great way to relax.

Support from my husband, friends and family – everyone has been great, giving me insights and information, letting me moan, looking after me and also keeping things light with funny pregnancy chats. Really grateful and hoping I can return the favour sometime (can someone else in my circle of friends please have a baby soon? thank you).

Google – it seems you can Google literally anything pregnancy related, no matter how specific, and some type of information will come up. There is so much useful information online and lots of great blogs and  forums which are brilliant for reminding you that we pregnant people are all in the same (or similar) boat!

Comfy clothes – overall I have found maternity clothing ranges very disappointing. There isn’t much choice and lots of it is only available online which makes trying before you buy very difficult! The fact that you are continually getting larger and changing shape makes it a bit trickier too! I have bought quite a few maternity items, but I have also been buying normal clothes in 1 or 2 sizes larger than normal, as well as gravitating towards all types of comfy clothes! I just refuse to wear anything uncomfortable these days! Maternity work trousers are still a mystery to me! I don’t think comfortable, flattering ones exist! I got a pair from ASOS the other day and they were like pyjama bottoms! Nice and comfy but not very smart looking! Think I will stick to legging and long tops, and dresses with tights. Comfort is key but it boosts my self esteem to wear smart/dressy/flattering outfits at the same time!

Dermol lotion – a mild lotion for eczema sufferers like me – this has been what I have mainly used to moisturise my bump to (hopefully) ward off any stretch marks.

Bio Oil – although a bit strong for me to apply every day, it does feel nice and nourishing and I have been using it every few days on the expanding areas!

Excitement about what’s ahead – I know it will be hard, but it will also be AMAZING! I think focusing on the positives is best and I cannot wait to meet my little boy and see our next chapter in life unfold.

Love, Laurel

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