Tuesday Shoes-Day

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Dune Riff Biker Boots in Black

Just a quick post today whilst my hands are still functioning. I am so over this cold weather. The tiny taste of the sun I had a couple of weeks ago whilst out in the Caribbean working was lovely. I’m desperate for Spring!

You may have noticed that posts have been sparse the last couple of weeks and for that I’m sorry. A week working and then half a week spent on a well-earned mini break meant the blog took a back seat.

Today’s footwear of choice are my Dune Riff Biker boots. It’s snowing. Again. These boots are so comfortable, and when I got them Pre-Christmas, they were not off my feet, and were especially good for Pram pushing.

I live that they aren’t too biker, and they are pretty classic in styling and shape, no studs or detailing other than the lovely gold zips. They look good with trousers and skirts, and are smart enough for the office on a normal day (my office at least).

I’m wearing them with:

Black Jewel Cuff Jumper – H&M
Blue & White Stripe Top (just seen) – Cos
Grey Leopard Jogging Trousers – ASOS
Baby (dressed in TKMaxx romper) – My own!

The trousers turned out to be a bit of a disaster today. I’m not sure what’s happened. Either they have stretched or I have shrunk inwards a lot (unlikely!) but they are waaaaaaay too big. Thats why they fall a little weirdly in this photo. My Mum needs to do a little alteration I think!

Normal service resuming on here from now. Apologies again for the hiatus.

Erin, Love from Cornfield… X

Tummy Lovin’

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My friends and family will confirm the fact that I’m the ultimate consumer. A brand owners joy, that’s easily sucked in by marketing hype (ironic since that’s my day-job!)

They will also vouch for the fact that I’m pretty vain. When I first found out I was pregnant, after the initial elation/shock, my thoughts turned towards my body and the changes that would be taking place over the forthcoming months. I’d been told that stretch marks were genetic, that if my Mum had them I would, and as I wasn’t the smallest baby (8lb10) my poor, very petite Mum (5ft2, size 8-10) shows the marks of having me, even now. Cue aversion tactics by me!

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I was fastidious from the start about using an extra layer of oil on my bump to supplement my usual moisturiser routine, these ranging from Bio-Oil in the beginning, through Clarins Tonic Oil (grew to hate the smell) and Burts Bees, settling on Mama Mio from month six. From then until birth, their Tummy Rub Oil and Tummy Rub Butter were a twice daily ritual, leaving Hubby thinking he was sharing a bed with some sort of Orca!

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However, this is not a post about stretch-marks! Mama Mio also have Bootcamp Kits, and after carrying around Master Johnson for 9 months, my Tummy certainly needed their kit prescribed for the purpose. This is where buying into hype comes in, however, I can confirm, it actually does work.

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After three months of use (its just run out and lasted longer than the 30-day plan), and now 7 months post-birth, with Boob Tube thrown in too for good measure, my tummy is *almost* back to its former self. A few more pounds to go, but nine months on, nine months off as they say.

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I’d recommend this kit to anyone as my skin feels firmer, looks smoother and the exercises that come with the pack have become second nature (the Tupler Technique is actually something I used throughout pregnancy to help me with labour). These are products that are definitely made by Mums for Mums.

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I’ll be buying Skin Tight and Boob Tube again separately now its finished. Has anyone else tried anything from the range? What do you think?

Erin, Love from Cornfield… X

(This post is in no way sponsored. All products were purchased by me.)

Dadulthood: Hypo-google-dirac

I am a hypochondriac.

Admitting it is the first step….I think? Not sure…let me google!

And there in lies the problem.

I have suffered from Crohn’s since the age of 21, a horrible disease that so far I have coped ok with. As well as all the numerous symptoms it does cause, it has left a lasting scar of hypochondria. Every stomach ache is stomach blockage, headaches are brain tumours, leg cramps are DVT…you get the gist.

Combine this with Google and I am a certified nightmare. Give me two symptoms and a laptop and I am writing my Last Will and Testament.

My Wife, god bless her, has put up with this since the day we met, however we now have a seven month old and my hypercondria is being projected onto him.

Each sneeze I google. Twice he has had a high temperature resulting in the out of hours doctor. To be fair he was diagnosed with Croup and Slapped Cheek Syndrome so in some ways I was right (ish).

I think every parent finds it hard, as you want to protect your little ones and seeing them ill is awful. However I am making each illness 10 times worse through my excessive hypercondria.

So today I start again a system reboot. I might never deal with my hypercondria but I can’t pass this onto my boy so my new life resolution is to take a breath, listen to my wife and google only if necessary.

My advice is if you want to try and find out more about symptoms your little one has, the forum on Baby Centre is useful as its other parents sharing their experiences. I know it helps bring me down a little in most cases!

Dadulthood

Dadulthood: “You’re Brave!”

My wife and I have never really been home birds. We have always wanted to explore the world and experience new things.

When we fell pregnant we had the conversation that we wanted our Little One to explore with us.

So five days at home with Little Man post-arrival, we both had cabin fever, we had run out of coffee, milk and excuses and we mounted an expedition to Starbucks in Reigate.

After what seemed like three hours of packing the bag with bottles, nappies, a change of clothes plus several visits to Google on how to keep him warm….in July…we set off. The result? Two lattes, fresh milk and a new packet of organic coffee (have a child and everything is organic regardless of the fact he won’t drink coffee for 10 years).

The trip taught me two very important lessons. 1. We could leave the house and 2. Even strangers think they know best.

Within moments of getting him out the pram in starbucks we had people cooing all over him, and they all asked said almost exactly the same three questions… “boy or girl?”, “How old?” and “Really?, you’re brave leaving the house! Isn’t he a bit young?”

I did feel like pointing out one of the coffees wasn’t for him but felt I’d lose the crowd…

We returned home without incident and decided that we would explore a little further afield. Wherever we went for the next few days we got the same response, the same judging stares, the same questions. So much so that we started to question ourselves and our parenting.

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It took a month or so, and it took finding our confidence as parents, but we realised our Little Man was happy being out and about. He was interested in everything and still is.

We learnt to accept the questions and the judging stares and got on with it. My advice is don’t hide away your little one. They need to see the world at some point but only you can decide when.

Dadulthood

Dadulthood: “Good D”

This is something that Americans scream at sports teams, where half understand the meaning. It means “good defence”, relevant in most sports and in my case, the early days of parenthood.

So why important? Because as Dad you need “Good D”. Mum is breastfeeding, baby is screaming and won’t latch, you’re surviving on two hours sleep and Aunt Doris arrives to see the baby and have a cup of tea. Put baby, Mum and Doris in a room and fireworks will fly, feelings will be hurt and tea could become the weapon of choice.

It sounds dramatic and it is. If you’re a Dad you learn at NCT about “Day 3”. It’s the day that typically the “milk comes in”, the day the amazement that is birth has vanished, you’re normally out of hospital and on your own, sleep is limited and Mum is drained, physically and mentally. NCT warn you that Mum will be ’emotional’ or in male terms…head for the hills, don’t look back. Pass go and keep on going.

However as Dad it is time to fight that flight reflex as Mum and Baby need you. In those early days you have three main jobs… help with baby, feed Mum and manage friends and relatives.

As I said in a previous post, I highly recommend coming home alone and settling before the hordes descend.

It is exciting for everyone and you as parents need the family and friends to help out (never say “No” to a helping hand), but as Dad you need to maintain the balance between excited family and overwhelmed Mum and baby.

I have seen many attempts to manage the early visitor filled days. One friend hid the baby away for three weeks. Another held a BBQ on day three. We had the conversation up front and had parents to the hospital and then friends in time slots between feeds and sleeps when we got home and for us, this worked.

All I suggest is, have a plan. The early days are tough… people will totally understand.

Dadulthood

Dadulthood: Coming Home

Life is not the amount of breaths you take, it’s the moments that take your breath away.

A great line probably said by someone very important, however I am stealing it from the film Hitch (not ashamed to say one on my favourite films) as it works for my next post.

After our little man was born, he and my wife stayed in hospital for a few days but on July 4th, we were going home. Everyone has always said you remember that first drive home. I don’t.

I recall the fear of getting into the lift at the hospital, the distinct feeling that we were on now our own. I remember the click of the IsoFix base as I put him in his car seat, looking so tiny, into the car for the first time. But I don’t remember the drive. It passed in a blur.

However what I do remember is that moment when you close the front door for the first time and you stand in your living room, arm round your wife looking at your baby, big eyes staring back at you. Just the three of you.

It is a moment filled with happiness, excitement and a bit of fear. I wouldn’t change that memory for a second. If someone offered me a million pounds in exchange for erasing that memory, I’d turn them down. It was one of those moments that will flash before my eyes on a near death experience (probably the wife driving) but you must protect it.

A new baby is exciting for everyone… friends and family, especially if it’s a first little one. On talking to friends, many came home to parents or loved ones waiting to greet them with fanfare. Whilst this is great, I would encourage you to come home alone, just the three of you. Its’s honestly a moment you will never forget. Cherish it forever.

Dadulthood

Sent from my iPhone

Being Mum

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On the dawn of me returning to work full-time, my thoughts have turned to the last six months and our Little Man.

It’s safe to say that both Husband and I really can’t imagine life without him. There almost seems to have been this invisible line drawn through our old lives, signalling the start of new ones, and we honestly wouldn’t change it for the world.

Don’t get me wrong, the last six months have not been easy. Any first-time parent that says that it is blatantly fibbing! I do hate it when people describe Maternity Leave as having time off. Being a Mother is certainly the hardest job that I’ve ever done. However the sleep-deprevation, forgetfulness and messy house is all worth it. Hardest job maybe, but most rewarding? Absolutely.

I have to stop and take stock sometimes at how much he’s developed in such a short period of time. From the trauma for them that’s birth to now sitting up and eating, it amazes me at the exponential growth that occurs. Just creating the collage above has made me marvel in his progress.

Born at 6lb10oz and now weighing in at a hefty (no wonder my arms are toned) 19lbs, our little boy is doing very well.

It is with mixed emotions that I’m returning to work, but overall I’m positive. He’ll be looked after superbly by his Nana and Grandma, and will enjoy Nursery twice a week. Being a social little thing will only mean this is great for him.

I’ll be posting more about “Being Mum” from now on, but today, here are a few my many highlights from the last six months.

  • Giving Birth. Strange as that may sound, it was a positive experience for me.
  • Bringing our Son home. Becoming a family of three as we stepped through our front door.
  • The first smile. This really does melt your heart.
  • His laugh. A very contagious chuckle that would get the most hardened person smiling.
  • Swimming. Swimming lessons from 11 weeks. He’s a water baby that’s for sure (maybe as he was born in the water, who knows?)
  • Eating. The sight of him chomping on a Banana for the first time was astounding. Baby-led weaning (and puréed food) is great.

Those are just a few. Would I have done anything differently? Perhaps. Do I yearn for my old life? Very occasionally as I’m pretty spontaneous and having a child changes this, however those big brown eyes make it worth it.

I really can’t believe six months has passed already. I looking forward to seeing what the next six months bring.

Erin, Love from Cornfield… X