Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Project Nursery - day 1

Today I cleared the nursery of clutter, emptied the cupboard and took my time putting away all the clothes in different baskets according to size and type. It took me a few hours but everything is neatly organised and in its place - at least until baby comes along!

Here's some pics of the progress I've made today. Friday is 'let's build the pram day' and on Saturday we will be building the cot, hanging the curtains and finishing off the nursery.





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Back to school - our antenatal day course

It took us a long time to find out about free antenatal services in the area - my midwife only gave me details of one and the contact there was impossible to get hold of and in the end I called the hospitals to find out if they could help.

I've heard mixed reviews on NCT classes and I'm of the belief that advice on labour, postnatal care and the first few days with baby should be available to all mums for free, not for a fee.

Luckily we found out about a Parentcraft day session run at Sandwell Hospital on a Saturday - another bonus, as Ste works away during the week and a session at 2pm in the middle of the day isn't terribly convenient.

We were there with another eight other couples, all from different backgrounds but all having their first baby. Two midwives ran the day and provided two different personalities, one being a bolder, strong character and another being more gentle in her approach.

We covered the different stages of labour, forms of pain relief, choices for placenta delivery (something I hadn't heard about before), postnatal care and establishing breastfeeding.

The models they used and diagrams we saw really helped me to visualise each stage of labour and I think knowing what happens at each point has actually made me feel more confident as I will know what's happening and how close I am to the end when labour does begin.

I also got to try gas and air which was interesting - by the fourth drag, I could certainly feel the effects, even 10 minutes later!

There was one lady by herself who asked a lot of questions - we asked quite a few but she really had a lot to ask, albeit from a well researched viewpoint. She started to annoy Ste but no one else was asking anything and if it wasn't for us, it would have been a very quiet day.

We learnt about the different stages, what to expect, the choices we could make and ultimately, that we were more prepared than most other people. All of this helped me feel calmer and more in control so I'm really pleased that we went.

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My first Mother's Day

I have a very clever little bean in my belly as I got not one but two surprises on Mother's Day. Baby sent me some beautiful flowers and a teddy bear to my work on the Friday, with the message 'To Mummy, Happy Mother's Day! I can't wait to meet you, Love Bump xxx' ( thank you to my wonderful husband for helping place the order!).

Then, on the day itself, I was given a beautiful bag with a card, slippers, chocolate and a little fabric heart shaped cushion (thank you to my lovely friend Lindsay).

I know it wasn't a 'proper' Mother's Day for me but it was so nice to have been thought of - I'm very lucky indeed.



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Thursday, 7 March 2013

A thank you to my Mum

With Mother's Day a couple of days away, I thought I would post something topical.

It's still hard for me to believe, despite the frequent wriggles and lovely big bump being there to remind me, that I am going to be a Mum. My due date is two months today and I really don't think it'll fully sink in until our little bundle arrives. It's also crazy to think that this time next year, I'll be celebrating my first proper Mother's Day myself!

I'm lucky that this weekend I will be visiting my Mum as it's also my Dad's birthday too. As they live in Hampshire and I live in Birmingham, our visits are every few weeks and this weekend will be my last trip down south before baby comes.

Everyone says you only fully understand your own Mother when you become one yourself but I just wanted to say a big thank you to my Mum now and say I do appreciate everything she has done for me.

Sadly my parents had a daughter before I was born but she only lived for a few hours. I was born two years later and I know how much I meant to my parents. They only wanted one child and I know to this day that my Mum dotes on me. She's very excited about becoming Nanna and I think that this Mother's Day will be extra special for both of us.

Happy Mother's Day Mum!

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Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Crafty mum

I've always liked craft fairs. From a young age I'd love going to any show, county fair or craft show, not knowing what there would be and excited about what new piece of jewellery for me or unique present I could find for my friends or family.

I do have a bit of a creative side myself but over the years I've done less and less, with work being the usual excuse for not indulging in a spot of arts and crafts.

Recently though, I've listened to people's suggestions that the things I have been making for my own home or the cards I give to people on special occasions are worth trying to sell to other people who may be looking for someone different and handmade to give to a loved one.

I'm still learning and have lots of ideas to try out and develop but I've started making items to sell and have done two craft fairs this month to test the waters. It's so hard to know what other people would like and how much they'd pay for something and with the kinds of items I make (small decorations for the home, decorated picture frames and canvases plus cards) there isn't a great deal of mark up to make as the cost of decent and varied materials all adds up. That's before you take into account the time it takes to create an item ready for sale.

When looking at craft fairs, you need to consider how much the table will cost you, the level of publicity in advance, the location of the event (how good footfall may be on the day to get passers by coming in who didn't know the event was on beforehand) and the parking facilities, as if you need to pay to park, that's another cost you have to recoup on the day.

I've done two different events now - one that cost more but both promised and delivered more in terms of footfall and sales and another which cost less but had a smaller turnout on the day. Every day at any location will be different but it has made me think about what will be best to do in the future, if I do keep this up.

I really would like to continue doing my crafts and may do one or two more before baby comes, as I have stock ready for sale. After baby is here, it's something I can do in my (albeit scarce) free time as something for me and a way to make a little extra money. I may look at setting up a Facebook page instead though as friends of friends as well as colleagues and family members have commented on photos I have posted and I've made sales as a result - which I never set out to do.

Anyways, here's some pics from my recent events:





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