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When I became a mum it was like someone flicked a switch. I went from enjoying getting dressed up and doing my hair and make up to go out on the town for the evening to preferring to stay home and watch a good TV series in my pyjamas.

Nothing’s changed in the eight years since having my first baby; I still prefer to stay in then go out. I think I’ve just become a bit lazy! It seems like such a faff getting myself showered, doing my hair and make up and then choosing an outfit. My body certainly isn’t what it used to be so I’d prefer not to have to squeeze myself into something dressy and my tolerance to alcohol isn’t what it used to be either so I’d likely lose my phone or purse! I’ve learnt over the years to ensure my home insurance is up to date – it’s not something i think about until it’s too late so if you’re anything like me if might be worth getting a quote for yours here https://www.chill.ie

Staying in, especially during the winter, seems so much more appealing to me. I guess a large contributing factor to this is that I don’t need to organise babysitters for the kids. That itself is hassle enough before you’ve even begun to plan the evening. Nowadays I reserve nights out for special occasions; birthdays, weddings and hen dos. I think I appreciate them so much more than I used to but I’m not sure my feet do! I’m only 32 years old….am I old before my time or is it common for mums to prefer elasticated waistbands and hot chocolate to peep toe shoes and sex on the beach?!

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With the emergence of streaming sites such as Netflix staying in is quite appealing. Matt and I are really into Breaking Bad at the moment – I know, we’re about ten years behind the rest of the world! That’s my ideal evening; a good TV show, a curry and some comfy jogging bottoms! It’s not rock ‘n’ roll but it’s how i roll.

How do you spend your evenings? If you’ve got an opportunity to go out, do you?

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PAMPER ME TIME RELAX

Everyone needs some ‘me time’ but never more so than when you’re a parent. I’ve tried to be a super parent and just power through but it just doesn’t work. You get tired, you get frustrated and you turn into a shouty parent. The parent that’s at the end of their tether and looks a bit crazy on the school run.

I know it’s one of those things; easier said than done. As a parent you always feel like there are a million other jobs to do before you get around to yourself. You need to clean the kids schools shoes, listen to them read, hang up their uniforms which have been left crumpled on the floor…..the list goes one. But, looking after number one is just as important as any of those jobs. What use is a frazzled, grumpy parent to a child which needs help with their science project?

When I eventually get around to some me time I like it to be just that – just me. It’s so rare I’m on my own nowadays that I love nothing more than being left with my own thoughts, a book, a laptop, perhaps a bath or tanning using my own tanning supplies. Just having the time to do a few tasks without rushing or having a small voice wittering away in the background is enough for me.

It sounds silly to think that tanning or having a bath could make you feel so good but it really does. I guess you relax more, you feel better about yourself after and you then feel ready to put your all back into your kids and what they need. It’s like pressing pause. I know the kids are asleep or with Matt and I can fully relax knowing I have an hour or so to think and do what I like. Sometimes I just like to do something really boring but have been meaning to do such as tidy my bedstead. There’s something so satisfying about getting around to something you’ve been putting off.

So go on, get the kids in bed a little earlier, get a takeaway – do anything to free up some time and spend an evening pampering yourself. You deserve it and I promise you’ll feel a million times better immediately afterwards!

 

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bravado maternity nursing bra

I definitely didn’t look after my boobs during my first pregnancy or whilst nursing. I continued to wear the same old underwired bras I’d always worn and just stuffed them in as best I could. Not ideal. As I have been through each pregnancy and nursing journey I have definitely come to appreciate my boobs. They might not be in the best state now but it’s what I have and I like to make them look the best they can as well as being comfortable at the same time.

I came across a post on Facebook the other day where a group of women were all discussing how pregnancy and breastfeeding had ravaged their boobs and they had been left with flaps of skin or ‘pancakes’ where they used to have perky D cups! It was actually quite sad to read.

Now, during my pregnancies I have tried pretty much every maternity and nursing bra out there but the one I’m currently wearing is a real game changer. It’s from Bravado Designs, I’m sure you’ve heard of them, and it’s the Body Silk Seamless Yoga Nursing Bra. I have the bra in the limited edition shade ‘Dove Heather’ and have been wearing it for three days straight (I did take it off for bed)! I really don’t want to have to put it in the wash as it’s so unbelievably comfortable and soft against the skin I know it will make my other bras feel like torture devices. The Silver Breeze™ technology prevents the growth of odour-causing bacteria thus keeping the bra fresh and odour-free.

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It has all the usual features of a maternity and nursing bra; for example it has the easy to use nursing clips on the shoulder straps for easy nursing but it also has extra features which I think make it a cut above the rest.

bravado designs nursing bra

For example, the back of the bra has a multitude of clips and fastening which you can adjust throughout your pregnancy and breastfeeding journey and the back strap is lovely and wide for extra support. I love the elasticated band; it’s deep and provides enough elasticity to feel supportive yet comfortable. The bra itself also comes with a conversion kit to convert the bra to a regular bra once your nursing days are over or you can opt to have the straps in a criss cross formation – ideal for all you gym bunnies and yoga fanatics.

And, as you might be able to see, it’s not underwired but it doesn’t leave your boobs as a trip hazard. The bra uses the patented Silverbreeze™ technology to support low impact activity such as yoga or pilates or, if you’re more like me, shopping and getting your nails done. It provides a lovely shape even for my spaniels ears.

bravado designs nursing bra

Adjusting to being a mum to a newborn is hard enough already – give yourself one less thing to worry about and opt for the multi award winning Bravado Designs to keep you comfortable and secure throughout your pregnancy and nursing days. Check out the website as not only is it full of lovely products and images but it has useful information too such as how to fit yourself for a nursing bra.

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baby bedtime routine

We’ve been using the same bedtime routine for Elsie since she was around four months old. At around 6-6:30pm we’d take her for a bath, get her dressed and ready for bed and then sit in her darkened room and feed her. Usually she’d nod off drinking the last few ounces and we’d put her down. Yep – we put her down asleep! Call the police. Seriously though, we’ve probably made a rod for our own backs and now we’re battling a baby that wants milk in the night to get herself back to sleep.

It’s definitely time to change our routine but it’s hard going and it’s only day three.

We discussed all the ways we could wean her off these night time feeds but we’ve opted for cold turkey. Sounds harsh doesn’t it but so far so good. We’ve had two nights of no feeds. But we’ve also had two nights of listening to her cry it out. I’m not all clued up on the techniques and their names but I guess we’re doing a form of controlled crying or sleep training?! We go in and settle her and put her music on and then leave her for five minutes. If, after five minutes, she is still crying we go back in again and do the same. We repeat this to a maximum gap of fifteen minutes. So far she has settled herself after the third time of going in and so we’ve kept at it. Supposedly it could take a week or so to break the cycle but we’re thinking of the long term and hopefully a week or two of pain for us both will mean a better nights sleep all around.

I hope that doesn’t sound selfish.

The Health Visitor agreed she needs to sleep through and was happy for us to crack on weaning her off bottles but she suggested offering water. I think part of the reason Elsie wakes is for a cuddle so I don’t think this would help much.

Unfortunately, this week has been pretty rough for Elsie as she also has a cold and seems to be teething (they may be linked) so we’ve had the Calpol out and we’ve had a cot covered in vomit. It’s hard to implement any kind of new routine when your baby is ill but now we’ve started we need to see it through. Matt is so much better at being hard on her then I am but I know it’s in all our best interests.

It’s bloody hard though. Although we’re not feeding her we’re still awake three times a night trying to settle her and listening to her cry on and off. I’m praying that when the cough and cold disappears she will sleep much more soundly. Every time she lies down at the moment she coughs.

Did you need to implement some kind of new routine to get your baby to sleep or did they do it by themselves? If they managed it on their own how old were they? Elsie will be 11 months old on April 21st and so I don’t think we’re expecting too much but she’s just such a cuddly little duck I feel so awful for her!

You can read about Elsie’s five month update here.

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fisher-price

We were recently asked if we would like to review the Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Puppy’s Activity Jumperoo and I jumped at the chance as we’re big Fisher-Price fans! When the product arrived I was surprised at how compact it is yet how many toys there are on it; I love that there are activities all around the seat where Elsie sits as well as dangling from the arch above her head encouraging her to move and bounce. The free standing frame lets baby bounce safely and helps strengthen gross motor skills.

The seat Elsie sits in rotates 360 degrees to allow her to reach all of the toys. One of her favourite things to do is reach up and grab the toys which dangle above her. She likes to chew on these especially as she is teething. There is also chew toy located on the activity ring which is great for teething as it’s made from a hard material to help relieve little gums.

elsThe jumperoo can be used in Musical Fun mode where baby can discover lights and sounds as they move and play or they can learn songs, animal sounds and first words in English, Russian, Spanish and Italian in the Early Learning mode. Elsie loves to have the sounds turned on – especially the animal sounds and songs.

fisher price laugh & learn jumperooAlthough Elsie is ten months old and on the cusp of walking she still loves to be in the jumperoo and it also provides a safe place for me to place her whilst I tidy the room or relax with a cuppa (yeh right)! The jumperoo can be used from when baby can support their own head until they weigh 12kg. Elsie is just over 10kg so we still have plenty of time to make use of it. Thank goodness!  There are also three height settings so the jumperoo grows as your baby does. We’re currently on the second setting so as Elsie gets a little taller we can still make use of the jumperoo.

fisher price laugh & learn jumperoo

I’ve never used a jumperoo with my previous children, purely due to space constraints and finances, however I would highly recommend making the investment early on as we used Elsie’s daily from when she was around four months old. It allowed me to have my hands back as well as help her own development. It was lovely to hear her giggling as she played.

fisher price laugh & learn jumperoo

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