Late stages of pregnancy, plus toddler, maternity leave, and what we’re up to

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Reaching the last stretch of pregnancy with no.2…


Goodbye flowers - maternity leave - late stages of pregnancy with toddler.

Goodbye flowers – Maternity leave

I have said goodbye to work, and got some very nice flowers and gifts. I’ve mostly packed the hospital bag, just the other day, but I still need a few things to go in there. So far I have a few tops and things to wear, post-natal stuff like pads and other glorious things. One newborn nappy and wipes, mainly because I got these free in some baby pack but I need to buy more (1 nappy obviously not enough!). Hairbrush and a few basic bathroom items in case I’m there for a while. Fluffy comfortable socks! Slippers. I’m not going to take a dressing gown this time. Last time I had two massive bags to take with me, it looked like I was going on holiday. This was mainly due to a large fluffy dressing gown and some old pillows I decided would be a good idea to take cause someone told me that they might not have any spare pillows at the hospital. I think I knelt on one of these pillows for about 1 minute, then got up because it wasn’t comfortable and never used it again, so I won’t be taking any this time. I need to pack snacks! I didn’t want to eat a thing the first time but just in case I’m peckish or for afterwards, i’ll pack some treats.


I’ve also “written” and printed off my birth plan – I say “written” because it’s based on the previous one but I’ve just changed a few small things on it. And even then, the original one was a template from the NCT (National Childbirth Trust). Here’s a link to information about giving birth from the NCT, including pain management, choosing where to have your baby, hospital birth, home birth, tips for labour and more. And, Here’s what the NHS says about birth plans, including some aspects to consider.


Baby clothes to wash - maternity leave - late stages of pregnancy with toddler.

Recycling – baby clothes for the wash

I finally went through all my old baby clothes and tried to pull out the newborn and 0-3 month old clothes. They need a good wash and some need a soak. I’ve forgotten about most of them; there are some little sleep-suits that my Little Lovely (LL) barely even worn because he grew out of them so quickly. I have so many 0-3 month old clothes, mainly because that’s what people buy you for presents and then after that it’s all down to you for providing clothing.


I was leaving for work on my last day and said goodbye to LL in the morning. I then suddenly realised that i’m going to be spending every day now with LL again, just like before. For some reason that had completely not registered with me. I’m not sure what i’m expecting this maternity leave to be like. I have a lot less time to sit around and “rest” at the moment, that’s for sure; there’s a small person that needs entertaining every day.



Eysenck’s Personality Inventory (EPI) (Extroversion/Introversion)

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The Eysenck Personality Inventory (EPI) measures two pervasive, independent dimensions of personality, Extraversion-Introversion and Neuroticism-Stability, which account for most of the variance in the personality domain. Each form contains 57 “Yes-No” items with no repetition of items. The inclusion of a falsification scale provides for the detection of response distortion. The traits measured are Extraversion-Introversion and Neuroticism.

Read More…

Thinking about getting ready for the new baby

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I haven’t done anything yet. I need to plan and sort stuff out for the new arrival.


How I haven't prepared at all for the new arrival!

How I haven’t prepared at all

  • I need to buy some stuff
  • I need to pack a hospital bag. I need to find a bag in the first place and put stuff in it. Actually, I probably need to buy stuff to put in the bag too, like nappies, something to wear, umm, other stuff I’ve forgotten about
  • I need to dig out all the old baby clothes and wash them
  • I need to make a definite list and back up list of people that can come take care of the first child for when I have to go to hospital (added element to this pregnancy!)
  • I need to write a birth plan – or just use the same one as last time, or at least find the last one and actually read it
  • I need to get my whooping cough jab
  • I need to make a dentist appointment (it’s free for pregnant women and 1 year postnatal in the UK)
  • I need to refresh my memory on newborn issues and check out activity ideas again!


Stuff I need to (probably) buy.

A new changing mat. I’ve been using the last one for 19 months and it’s actually falling apart. A new baby monitor. A double buggy or maybe a baby sling to begin with. I have a sling but it’s the wrapping type and although this was nice, it is a bit fiddly and I found that if you tie it up too loose or “wrong” then there’s no saving it and you have to take it all off and wrap it on again. I’m not sure I have the ability to do that whilst attempting to calm one child and having a toddler screaming/running off/needing food/etc at the same time. Clip and go would be better. I probably need more baby bedding as current toddler is using all of the child sized blankets. I should probably buy the current toddler a gift and various things to please him as well.
So, a lot to do!




Verbal progression (19 months)

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Biscuit - verbal progression at 19 months. We can now say Bikkit!


We have progressed from saying “Mumma” and “Dadda” to Mummy and Daddy (but only some of the time). And, more importantly, from “bis” (for biscuit) to…. BIKKIT! Yeah (aged 19 months). Now just need to wait for proper biscuit pronunciation.
We also had a longer sentence uttered to day – He asked “mumma hold the car”, whilst eating his dinner (wanted me to hold his toy car). Very good, although he forgot to call me mummy!

I’m a Tourist Baby – Baby Friendly London & Kensington Palace

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Baby Friendly London - Kensington Palace - places to go with baby and children in London. Reviewed and accessible!

Baby Friendly London, and tourist adventures! This is also relevant to the wellbeing and mental health page where I discuss various activity ideas for fun times but also to reduce cabin fever and increase mood. Be a tourist in your own town, or actually go somewhere and be a tourist, with or without baby.

Anyway – here’s some things the Little Lovely got up as a Tourist, Baby.



Kensington Palace, London, England, UK – Website here


Age when visited: 7 months, 1 week


Baby Friendly London - Kensington Palace - places to go with baby and children in London. Reviewed and accessible!

What is there to do?

Well, in honour of Price George of Cambridge’s first birthday (2014) we went to the Palace (Kate and Wills have an apartment here)! Well actually, it wasn’t in honour of his birthday, we were just going anyway but when we got there we saw some birthday banners and balloons up for him, as you can see in the pictures above of the Little Lovely outside the Palace gates.
  • Princess Diana’s Dresses: Look back at fashion as worn by HM The Queen, Princess Margaret and Diana, Princess of Wales.
  • Playing with Victorian style toys at Kensington Palace. Baby Friendly London - places to go with baby. Reviewed by

    Interactive: Baby playing with Victorian era toys at Kensington Palace

    Queen Victoria: Learn about her life and see what kind of toys they had in the nursery! We played with some of them (not the originals, I assume – see picture). I got told off for sitting on the carpet with no shoes on, though. So keep your shoes on. I’ll assume the baby was fine to go shoeless.
  • Other: Explore the gardens and Orangery – Works of art – the Queen’s State Apartments and King’s State Apartments. There is also a shop.


The pictures below are of the main entrance room, with LL posing under a picture of Princess Diana, then in the royal nursery playing with some toys, in another room in the palace, and then spark out and tired at the end of a busy day as a tourist, baby.

tourist baby - activity ideas with baby - Kensington Palace London UK.

There is a cafe in the Orangery and Palace. I went to the Palace cafe and there are highchairs and kid’s meals available, such as children’s sandwich bags. If you want to bring your own food or do a picnic in the park the nearest shops are a bit of a walk away, and the cafe has tourist cafe prices, so stop off at the shops on the way if you prefer this cheaper option!

Baby and Toddler facilities:

There are changing facilities available. I don’t think there were any specific feeding or breastfeeding areas but a friend and I fed in the entrance area on some comfy seats and no one cared.

Accessibility for prams and those less able to use stairs:

There are lifts to most areas. Staff were very helpful and led me through a step-free route to view the fashion and Princess Diana’s dresses with my pram. I don’t know if this was a temporary arrangement or if this route is usually accessible without staff assistance. But either way, the staff were helpful and you could always ask if unsure. The website also writes that:
There is level access from Kensington Gardens to the palace, a lift to all floors and wheelchairs and portable seating to borrow during your visit. We also offer Describer Tours for blind and partially sighted visitors as well as facilitating British Sign Language tours.

In all, a reasonably baby friendly day out, and there’s the gardens/park to explore as well!


Big news from baby brain! An announcement

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Something’s happening…


News from, what could it be?

Something is happening



We're expecting another baby!

Yes that’s right! We’re expecting again. I won’t go into too much detail but it’s not too far away… I’m into the 30s. I’m at the point where i’m needing to sit up in bed to sleep, again, thanks reflux.

I’m a bit slowed down compared to usual and notice that I can’t walk as fast as I used to. I remember this the last time. Oddly, I haven’t put on as much weight as the first time round, but then I came into this pregnancy heavier on account of not having lost all the weight from the first time (that takes more than a year, right?!).


Disillusioned and deluded assumptions I'm making about the 2nd pregnancy and how it'll be after!

It’ll all be ok, right?

I have various disillusioned and delusional ideas about how things might go this time round, for example, this child will sleep well and won’t mind me putting them down whilst I chase a toddler around/take care of toddler/feed toddler etc. They won’t cry at all, unlike the first one, and need holding constantly, need to sleep in our bed, appear allergic to their cot, Moses basket, anything really that is not us? Also, toddler won’t mind, toddler will get used to new baby very soon, I won’t be more tired that I thought possible, no matter how tired I thought I was the first time round, it’s certainly not at all going to be more difficult?!


Already getting people stopping me in the street asking when i’m due (note to self, I must look fat/huge/add other i’m really obviously pregnant term here). Someone at work I don’t know at all touched my tummy yesterday…
On the plus side, people are actually getting up on the tube, on a few occasions, without me having to ask for a seat! However, on the bus, a different story, people still staring at me in silence when I ask if they mind if I sit down in ONE OF THE TWO ONLY DARNED SEATS AVAILABLE NEXT TO THE BUGGY AREA – COME ON PEOPLE…. ok rant over. But seriously, there are only 2 seats on the whole bus I can sit on, they are the seats in front of the two small spots where I can park my 19 month old child in his buggy. Maybe you could MOVE ANYWHERE ELSE ON THE BUS – oh and these two seats are almost always labelled as priority seats so yes, I am actually entitled to ask to sit there. See my rant here on priority seat hoggers and how pregnant/disabled/less able to stand people really love the additional stress of having to justify themselves for a seat or deal with hogs. Rant really over. Apart from the man a few weeks ago who thought I should get off the bus, despite standing next to my buggy, obviously pregnant, so that he could put some inanimate item there (luggage). He said he didn’t see I was pregnant. Oh and the woman who was extremely concerned that my toddler was touching on her straggly rose plants, but not enough to get up and offer her seat to me. I got called a “princess” for daring to comment on that. Oohhh well. Time for a car maybe?
Anyway, on a more happy note, now is apparently the right time to finish everything around the house like decorating and doing minor building work (yes, really). So hopefully everything will be all new and pretty for when the time comes.
I’m going to have to get onto Pinterest and search again for all the pregnancy, newborn and beyond articles, because I haven’t looked at them for some time!


Simple Bottle Shaker Sensory Activity for Babies & Toddlers

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Simple Bottle Shaker!

We made this simple sensory DIY toy when my Little Lovely was about 8.5 months old, inspired by the home-made sensory bottles I often came across at baby classes:


DIY Simple Bottle Shaker Toy: a great sensory activity for baby!

Simple Bottle Shaker Toy for Baby

This was a quick, simple and cheap way to provide baby with something novel and stimulating!

  1. Wash and dry a used drink bottle

  2. Fill with something that will make a noise when shaken – we used tapioca and dried lentils

  3. I fitted the lid back on tightly. You can’t see that well from the picture but the lid is quite big and so hopefully is not a swallowing risk.


age: LL was about 8.5 months when we did this but we have also used a bottle shaker when he was a bit younger and i’m sure it will amuse him in the future.

Here’s the Little Lovely enjoying his new toy. He enjoyed shaking and bashing it about, and was quite curious about it, as he usually is with new things!


DIY Simple Bottle Shaker Toy: a great sensory activity for baby!

Bottle Shake Baby



A few safety issues: This activity was supervised. The lid is fitted on very tightly so LL will not be able to get it off, chew on it, spill or eat the contents of the bottle, please be careful and decide what, if any, fillings and bottles will be appropriate and safe for your child. Always supervise baby with any activities posted on this blog.




3 parenting “fails” I feel slightly socially judged and guilty about – but also don’t really care!

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3 parenting "fails" I feel only slightly guilty about!

3 parenting “fails” I feel slightly socially judged and guilty about – but also don’t really care!

OK, so there are some things I do that I feel a bit guilty about. I’m waiting for the cognitive dissonance to kick in. I don’t even know if “others” do judge it, or if it’s just in my mind about what’s “bad”. Wonder where I got these views from? Anyway, here’s some things I do that I wonder about (but don’t really think it’s a “fail” – I just wrote that for attention)


 1. Watching television

My child is 18 months old. He was never interested in television in the past but has been able to watch it in the last few months. I can’t remember exactly when this started but when I realised he could be mesmerized by the television and distracted for a few moments it was brilliant (I won’t lie, after giving all my waking time to another, small, person for the previous 12-15 months, this was good). He likes a few programmes such as The Clangers, and In The Night Garden. We don’t watch television that much. Sometimes, it’s at 6am, which is when he likes to wake up, and I’m not awake at all. It’s usually in the evening just after bath and before bed to relax him and so that I can get things ready for bed. It’s sometimes after we’ve been out all day and I need to sit down for a bit and he’ll be occupied.
Interactive television watching is probably better – if I want to feel less guilty I attempt to have a conversation around the programme, asking questions such as what colour is that, or what do you think is going to happen, etc. But also, just sitting together and spending time watching and modelling emotions and expressions can’t be a bad thing, right?


Things I do as a parent I feel guilty about - Placating with food

Have a snack, darling

2. Giving food to placate or stave off further tantrums/crying/grumpiness

So we’re on the busy bus, hot, cold, whatever, busy, screaming, child trying to get out of his buggy straps ALL the time (a recent thing), or he’s tired but refuses to go to sleep. Have a biscuit. Peace for a few moments. I stop feeling the annoyance of all the other bus passengers.



3. Eating in McDonald’s?

Things I do as a parent I feel guilty about - Going to Mcdonalds

Fun times at McDonalds

This is a new thing. I realised they give you balloons, they have free crayons and paper, good highchairs (on wheels!) and sometimes offer to carry my tray while I push the pram to the table. Plus, I like chips (fries) and milkshakes. Don’t worry… he only has a few chips (*gasp*) and then I give him separate food like fruit, a child friendly sandwich etc. And they don’t seem to mind me bringing him in his own food. We also explored the feel and coldness of ice from my drink last time we were there (picture).


So… not really fails, but I don’t feel 100% comfortable with them. But sometimes, they are convenient, and this is probably normal.

Happy Father’s Day 2015!

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Happy Father's Day 2015 - what did you get up to?

What did you get up to? We had lunch out

Happy Father’s day all! What did you get up to? We had lunch out – fish and chips, tasty tasty, and a trip to the park. Hope everyone had a nice day!

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