Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Creating the perfect nursery

Although I'm only 17wks (as of yesterday) and it'll be a little while before bubs will actually sleep in the nursery, Ste and I couldn't resist from planning this right from the beginning.

Being super organised, long before we conceived we were discussing what we'd like to do with our spare room, what themes and colours would work well and what we would need to equip the nursery with.

Our small spare room has always had a nice feel to it and already has quite a few practical features:
  • It's positioned over the staircase, so there's a cupboard built on top of the part that comes into the room, which has ten shelf spaces inside for plenty of storage and for us to use wicker baskets to store babies clothes, bits and bobs. There's also two drawers built-in which are deep and will be very handy to keep nappies, wipes and cream close to hand.

Spare room as it is (the samari sword will be gone when baby comes, don't worry, and the cot will go where the desk is)
  • It has laminate flooring which makes it much easier to keep clean.
  • It's west facing so sunlight only comes through the window in mid afternoon, so it never gets too warm or too bright.
  • There's four rows of bookshelves, staggered on the main wall on the left, with dividers to create sections, which will be perfect to keep books, pictures and the extra special toys out of harms way and neatly organised.
All we need to really do with the room (aside from find somewhere else to store all the laundry we seem to hoard) is to give it a fresh lick of paint.

The Scheme
As we won't be finding out whether bubs is a he or a she before the big B day, we wanted to choose a scheme that would be gender neutral without being bland. I have a love of children's books and have been collecting traditional tomes and fairy tale collections for a while now. Ste's family have also long had a love of Winnie the Pooh, so we decided that we would display books and toys from these classic stories on the bookshelves and we may also buy some personalised wall stickers, taking quotes from these books.

We weren't really looking to buy a complete look from one store but when we found the collection we have chosen, we just couldn't help ourselves. The bright yet really beautiful Jamboree range from Mamas and Papas caught our eye with its fun characters and combinations of print, purple, orange red and lime tones. Perfect for boy or girl, we have bought most of the Jamboree items, including the following:

Cot Mobile

Nappy Stacker
Bunting (you can add letters to this to spell our baby's name too)
We're storing everything at the moment and will probably paint the nursery one weekend soon or over the Christmas break - before I get too big and become relatively useless for DIY! Can't wait to see the whole room dressed.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

What's in a name?

One of the most important things for parents-to-be to decide is the name of their child. It's a label for life, it has to suit your personalities, your surname, not spell anything rude with the other initials, sound unique but not too weird so they aren't picked on at school... there's such a long list of things to think about.

For Ste and I, this part is easy. Having been together for almost nine years, we have considered baby names for a long time, even before we were planning on starting a family. We compared our likes and dislikes and picked names for a boy and a girl a few years ago which we still love to this day. You never know what could happen over the next five months but we're pretty sure we've picked two great names. Nice to say and to write, with cute short versions if they really insist on not being called their full name when they're in their teens. Both work well with our surname - O'Hanlon - and we think they are special enough without being wacky, what-the-hell-were-you-thinking kind of names.

Even if we did choose something weird and wonderful, what would the harm be? Names are so subjective which is why we aren't revealing the names until bubs arrives. After all, you can hardly turn around when the baby is here and say 'what did you name him / her that for?' can you?

The subject of names has also become a discussion for us about what we and our parents would all like to be called. I don't know about you, but I had a mum / mummy whereas Ste called his mom / mommy. Only a small difference but it does matter as I can't imagine being anything other than a mum / mummy.

As for grandparents, my mum would like to be Nanna (as that was what I called her mum) and I have assigned my dad Gramps. I just think it sounds so cute! Ste's dad will be Grandad and his mum wants to be called Nanny. None of them feel old enough to have such an old sounding title but I am sure they will get used to it when the time comes!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

To Know or Not To Know

The second question everyone has asked us after announcing our news, following 'when's your due date?' has been 'are you going to find out what it is?'.

It's wonderful to see how excited and eager all our friends and family are about our little bundle but for us, the excitement really is in the not knowing.

So much of our lives are planned to the letter and information is at our fingertips, literally, whenever we need it. One thing that can remain a mystery is whether you are having a son or daughter.

From a practical standpoint, I totally understand why people want to find out as soon as they can - after all, sleepsuits aside, finding gender-neutral outfits for baby is quite a task.

But for us, we want to keep that piece of information a surprise, even to ourselves.

After all, it won't change anything one way or the other. As long as bubs is healthy, it doesn't matter one bit if it's a boy or girl. From the trend of women I have known over the years who have had babies, it's 99.9% certain to be a boy but it's one of life's great mysteries and we'll wait until May to find out what Mother Nature has in store.

The Ticking Clock

I will be 16 weeks on Tuesday although it feels like I have been pregnant for a long time - and not a lot has really happened yet!

I know that before too long, I will probably be complaining of kicks and twinges and sleepless nights, but I simply cannot wait until I feel bubs move for the first time.

According to my baby app (there's an app for everything isn't there?!), bubs is going to treble in size and grow a lot in length over the next three weeks so there's a lot to look forward to.

Even though I have a nice little bump coming along, all of this will only truly sink in when I feel that first flutter.


Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Spreading the good news

The best thing since finding out we were expecting was telling other people we were expecting.

It was tricky to work out who to tell when - some friends we wouldn't see for a while so we told them early on, we wanted to wait for the first scan before telling our families, I needed to tell work as I couldn't hide it mucho get but we still had wider family to tell. It's a lot trickier than you think, trying to spread the word!

What has been truly amazing since letting the cat out of the bag and no longer keeping mum, is the comments we have has from people, including close family and people we haven't seen for years.

I wanted to share some of the lovely comments we've had from our rather excited friends and family.

Meet our little bean

No expectant mother has ever said to me that it can take 16-20 weeks before you first feel baby moving.

Am I the only one who thinks that is crazy?! You can be growing this little person inside yet not feel that much different for almost half your pregnancy.

Touch wood, I have been really luck so far and haven't had any sickness - every so often I feel a little perculiar but nothing to really complain about.

That's why, when it came to the 12 week scan, I got myself worked up into a right state. I actually thought I had made the baby up, as nothing seemed to be happening.

But then I saw little bean on the screen, heart beating away, and I knew I was just being silly. And yesterday I heard baby's heartbeat for the first time, at 15 weeks. With just a little bump and not much else to show for it, I was starting to feel a little blue again.

I just had this idea that as soon as you know you're having a baby, everything changes overnight. Now I know it can take a while for things to get going so I've got to be patient and know that bubs will make his or herself known soon enough. And I can't wait.

The thin blue line

Finding out your expecting is one of the strangest things - all of a sudden, this thin blue changes everything and you realise you are no longer alone.

Although you physically don't change, mentally things just feel different. We found out just after the August bank holiday and it was hard for us to keep the smiles off our faces. Hubs and I were so pleased, having planned it all for a while, and we really didn't know how we would keep it quiet for a few weeks.

We wanted to wait until we had the first scan before telling anyone, so it was our little secret for six weeks. It was nice living in our little bubble but it got harder and harder to keep the news to ourselves.

And now, at 15wks, all of our family and friends know the news and it's the best feeling, particularly as all the initial tests have gone well. No more hiding bump!


Welcome to my blog, To Become Mum - my online diary of my experiences from bump to birth to baby.

I've been an avid reader of other mummy blogs ever since hubs and I decided to start trying for a baby, including the funny and heartwarmingly honest Write Like No One's Watching by the lovely Charlotte (@CharlTaylor). So, now that I am expecting a little bundle of joy in early May 2013, I thought it would be a nice idea to start my own blog, as a way of keeping track of all the changes and excitement over the months ahead.

Also, with my side of the family and many friends living all over the country, I thought this would be a handy way to keep everyone up to date on our progress.

I'll try to post at least once a week and hope to be able to share things I learn along the way.

All comments welcome and I hope you enjoy reading about my journey to mummyhood.

Kelly (and little bean) x
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