Home Wishlist - Cute, Quirky and a Little Crazy

I have been loving everything cute, quirky or just that little bit crazy over the past few weeks. If you follow my Twitter you will know that I have found myself a nice Lego phone case (and intend to start building things on the back of it at some point!) and I adore all things cat related.

So, during my explorations to find as many cute and quirky things to add to my home as possible, I thought I would put together a few of my favourites to show you all.

I don't know about you but this is the perfect planter for me. Because it waters itself. Yes, I admit it, I am terrible at watering plants and usually end up killing them off. So a self watering planter is exactly what I need in order to grace my house with the scent of lovely flowers whilst not having to remember to water them everyday! That and the panda is super cute!

I chose this one mainly with Bo in mind, as I don't actually know what else I would do with a hand puppet! I love the bright colours and his cute little face, and hand puppets are brilliant for interacting with children as you can react to what they do and make it seem like they are holding a real conversation.

I know the weather in the UK hasn't exactly been the glorious Summer that we have all been hoping for lately, but we are in prime holiday going time and I thought that this little sipper cup would be perfect to sip from whilst sitting by the pool (where we could actually spend some time outdoors without being rained on!). Either that or you could do what I plan to do and carry it around at home and dream of what those holidays could be like.

This cute, smiley cat plays right into my "cat lady" ways. I love his quirky little face and have the perfect little place lined up for him on my bedroom window sill.

Who doesn't love a doorstop? I love the range of soft animal doorstops that have been floating around recently and Eddie is a particularly cute one. I find that doorstops are a wonderful way of stopping Bo from messing with the doors in our house, as they are too heavy for her to lift!

Kittens and tea! Let me say that again... kittens and tea! I mean come on. Enough said.

I love the simplicity of this pillowcase set and the fact it looks really cute at the same time. Especially as we tend to end up with Bo in our bed when she's sleeping particularly badly and we about to be joined by another one, I think the family aspect of this really hit home for me.

Which is your favourite of the items above? Do you like having cute and quirky things around your house or do you feel they look a little tacky? What has been your favourite addition to your home over the past few months?

I have added this post to the following wonderful linkies:
- PoCoLo at the Life at 139a blog.

The Results Are In...

The results are in, we have been for that all important 20 week scan and I am very happy to report that we are having...


That's right, Bo is going to have a little brother and I am going to have a son. I've got to admit, that sounds a little strange - I am so used to saying that I have a daughter now that a son is completely new to me!

So about the scan...

It was actually really special to be able to see every little body part of the baby, especially things like the face and his little feet, and seeing the spine on the monitor was fascinating. 

When we went for our second scan with Bo, we were left clueless half the time as the lady just quietly got on with her measurements, pausing at the end to tell us the gender. 

This time we had someone different and, as she went through each measurement, she told us what we were looking at and whether it was looking as it should. This made it all the more special for us, and we came away feeling like we had just had a thorough look at our child, rather than a bunch of identifiable static on the screen.

So now that we know the gender, it's about time we started properly thinking about names and digging out any of Bo's old sleep suits that aren't pink and frilly! And I think a trip to the shops to buy a new item or two just for him might be in hand!

For anyone out there who has had both a boy and a girl - did you find that there were any major differences between bringing up the two when they were very little? We are now, once again, stepping in to the unknown and I will be doing as much research as I can before he arrives!

I have added this post to the following wonderful linkies:
- BloggerClubUK on the Mudpie Fridays blog.
- A Blogging Good Time on the Diary Of An Imperfect Mum blog.

20 Week Pregnancy Update - Second Pregnancy

It's official - we have hit 20 weeks and are half way through this pregnancy! I cannot believe how quickly it is going. In fact, it's a little bit scary knowing that the mini one will arrive so soon!

Next week we get the second scan and, hopefully, get to find out the gender of this little one (I think it's a boy!) so I will be updating you on all of that early next week. 

I am so excited about this scan, and a little nervous! I feel like everything has been on hold so far with regards to this little one, as we don't know whether we will need to buy new clothes for them or whether we will be able to kit them out with Bo's clothes from when she was very little and we haven't really considered names at all!

Symptoms: Now I am well in to the second trimester, all sickness and nausea has disappeared and I am also feeling quite energetic! The main symptoms this week are round ligament pains when I get up or move too suddenly, needing the toilet all of the time and a slight aching feeling in my hips - particularly when I have been lying down on my side at night. Throughout my last pregnancy, I really struggled with pain in my hips when lying down so, whilst I am fully expecting this to happen again, I am hoping it will hold off for just that little bit longer. My raging appetite has actually decreased, which I did not expect, though I am still eating regular snacks to keep me topped up throughout the day.

Baby's Size: Baby is now the size of a small banana - or a paper airplane, depending on what app you use! My bump is just getting big enough to fit into maternity clothes and also to make it incredibly difficult for me to find any clothes that I like or don't make me look like a frump when I try them on.

Stretch Marks: So far I have held off any additional stretch marks and am applying Bio Oil as and when I can remember it. Last time I didn't apply anything and stretch marks only made their dreaded appearance in the very last part of my pregnancy. However, I am trying to make sure I apply something, at least after a bath or a shower, to try and put off the inevitable arrival of any new ones for as long as possible.

Sleep: Unsurprisingly, bump baby is not the one that is keeping me awake at the moment - it's Bo. However, I am having some discomfort in my hips when lying on my side, as I mentioned before, so when I do get some sleep it can make it a little more difficult to drop off.

Cravings: I haven't really been having any cravings over these past few weeks - my need for Aeros and cheese has gone away and I am actually finding myself just eating for the necessity of it, rather than any enjoyment - which, as someone who loves her food, is quite unusual for me!

Looking Forward to: As I mentioned before, I am really looking forward to the second scan next week and finding out the gender of our new addition.

As I mentioned in my previous update, we are still looking for ideas for names - currently both male and female! Do you have any suggestions?

I added this post to the following wonderful linkies:
- Brilliant Blog Posts on the Honest Mum blog. 
- PoCoLo on the Lifeat39a blog.
- Pick'n'Mix Fridays on the Cornish Mum blog. 
- A Blogging Good Time on the Diary of an Imperfect Mum blog.

Guess What?!

That's right, we are going to have another bundle of poo, sick and giggles join us by the end of the year and Bo is going to be a big sister!

I am currently 17 weeks pregnant and am starting to get super excited, especially now that I can feel the odd kick here and there (well, flutter) and the date that we find out the gender is edging closer and closer.

The First Trimester
During the first trimester of my pregnancy with Bo, I must admit I didn't suffer with many symptoms at all - just a lack of energy and a slight aversion to food. 

However, whilst it hasn't been bad at all this time round, I did find that my symptoms during the first trimester were stronger in this pregnancy - suffering from very slight nausea throughout the day, extreme tiredness (but Bo might have contributed to that) and horrible mood swings that I really admire my family's ability to cope with. I haven't had any particular food aversions or cravings as of yet, perhaps going off salmon a little bit but that was all.

I also found that the round ligament pains returned almost immediately during the early weeks, having felt them at just five weeks - the day before I found out I was pregnant. These then seemed to fade away and then returned for the last couple of weeks of the trimester.

The Second Trimester
I am only a few weeks into my second trimester now and the difference is noticeable. I have lots more energy and the nausea has mostly gone away - only returning if I am hungry. My appetite is still huge and I am starting to crave a lot of cheese and mint Aeros (that could just be because they are yummy though!). 

The round ligament pains are still there, meaning I am having to take things a bit slower especially when carrying Bo around and my mood swings are also making an appearance now and again, although not as badly as before.

I think the biggest difference between this second trimester and my second trimester when I was pregnant with Bo is that I feel huge in comparison. The maternity clothes are out, although I am not yet big enough for my maternity trousers so am having to resort to hairbands around my trouser buttons and belly bands. In my first pregnancy, I wasn't even showing until roughly 20 weeks so this is a huge difference for me.

This was me at 15 weeks (two weeks ago) and you can see me at 15 weeks in this post here. Please excuse the dirty mirror!

During my last pregnancy I did a few updates here and there as things progressed so I think I will do something similar for this one. I am really looking forward to finding out the gender of this little one and will have to start thinking up names as, at the moment, we have no idea!

Do you have any suggestions for names for either gender? I'd love to hear them.

I added this post to the following wonderful linkies:
- Brilliant Blog Posts on the Honest Mum blog. 
- PoCoLo on the Morgan Prince blog. 
- Marvellous Mondays on the Hello Archie blog. 

Why Do I Blog?

You may (or may not) have noticed the slight gap in posts on this blog and that has been due to life getting busy around here all of a sudden and something just having to give, even if just for a little bit. 

But we have finally got to that point where I am missing my outlet and things have eased up enough for me to consider blogging here again.

One of the predominant things that I have been thinking about since being in the position to blog again is why I blog. In the past I have blogging for a number of different reasons - for an outlet since I have been staying at home with Bo, to offer advice and support to other people in a similar situation to me and, yes, perhaps to raise a little bit of money.  

I think it is very easy, when blogging, to put pressure on yourself to blog what other people want to hear about and on a regular basis in order to keep other people interested in reading and push the blog further, especially if you are looking to make an income through it.

However, I think over the past few months - and perhaps even still - that pressure to produce regular interesting content has become too much and has also contributed to the need to step away from the computer and just live my life for a while. 

So now that I am back at my laptop, ready to share with you again, I think it is time to re-evaluate why I blog and the best way to go about that is by looking at what keeps me coming back and what drives me to keep blogging.

It's because I enjoy producing the content and, most importantly of all, it provides me with an outlet and a connection to lots of other mums. As I mentioned in my previous post I am a slightly nervous mum and that can quite often result in me feeling isolated and lonely, and can also feel a lot like all I do, when not spending time looking after Bo, is housework.

So by reaching out here, it gives me somewhere to share what we are doing, as well as the opportunity to make friends who are in a similar position to me and to also have something else to do other than housework. 

In keeping with blogging as an outlet and a hobby, and to avoid putting too much pressure on myself, I have also come to the conclusion that my blogging schedule will go out of the window. I am going to blog what I like, when I like/when I have the inspiration or topic to talk about. After all, what is the point of taking the joy out of blogging by adding pressure when all I want to do it for is for enjoyment?

Perhaps the blogging schedule is something that I can revisit later on, but we will have to see what life brings.

So, tell me, why do you blog? Do you have a schedule for posting and how do you cope with any pressure that this may put on you?

The Typical Week of a Nervous Mum

I am a nervous mum. 

I wouldn't necessarily describe it as anxiety, though the thought has popped up a few times in the past, but I do struggle with nerves over the smallest of things. Going outside, for example, or meeting new people - both of which can make it a bit tricky to get out there with Bo, find new friends and help her to meet up with other babies her age.

I am also a sucker for comparing what I do on a daily or weekly basis to what other mums do. Partially because I'm nosy and I like to see what other people do on a day to say basis, and partially because I like to check that I'm doing everything I should be doing to help Bo grow up to be a happy, confident young lady. One thing I have noticed, during my nosying, has been that the majority of mums are a lot busier and go out and about a lot more than I do with Bo.

So I thought, since I couldn't find anyone who shared their week which was similar to ours, I would share what a typical week looks like for me and Bo - where we go and what we do. That way you get the chance to nosy in on us and see what life is like for a mum who doesn't venture out quite as much!

On Mondays, the idea is to start the week off well - perhaps going into town with Bo to get a coffee and explore a bit or perhaps just nipping to the park or walking round the village. I am terrible at getting out and about and, the longer I leave it, the more nervous I get about it and it also helps to stop me feeling stir crazy as the week goes on. However, this quite often ends up not happening and, instead, we decide to take the day to recover from the weekend, as these seem to be busier (and a little more stressful) than the actual weekdays at the moment.

If we do go out we usually do any activities either in the morning or early afternoon, getting back in time for Bo's snack at around 3pm and giving us the rest of the afternoon to relax and get anything that needs doing in the house done.

Tuesday is a "home" day in which I mean we don't plan to go anywhere. We get up between 6am and 7.30am (depending on how the night before has gone!), wave Daddy off to work, get breakfast for both of us and get dressed. My getting dressed is a little more tricky, as Bo is quite clingy first thing in the morning, so I make use of some good old morning kids TV to keep her distracted whilst I flit back and forth.

At around 10am, Bo goes down for her morning nap, which last roughly two hours. I use this time to clean up the bomb site that she has created in the morning (toys everywhere!), get myself a cup of tea and start any little jobs I have planned for the day such as blogging, or admin for the NCT branch I volunteer for.

Lunch is at 12pm - I try to give us both the same thing and this is usually some kind of finger food such as little sandwiches, toasties or omelette. I am always trying to think of new things to make so that neither of us get bored of what we are eating.

After lunch is play time or bath time, depending on if Bo needs a bath, until about 3pm when Bo has a snack and a bottle. During this time I do the dishes and any washing that needs doing.

Straight after her bottle is Bo's second nap which lasts between an hour to two hours. This is the perfect time to spend a bit of me time or perhaps to catch up on any sleep I missed out on the night before (yes, on these days, I do actually sleep when the baby does!).

The afternoon is spent playing some more, reading books and singing nursery rhymes until 5.30pm when I go to start tea. This gives Bo a bit of time for some independent play.

At 6pm, tea is served and Daddy arrives home. We all sit in the living room (we don't have a proper table just yet, this is something we are going to have to invest in in the near future!) and eat our food. Bo's favourite program, The Simpsons, comes on and, after tea, the dishes are done.

After that it's quiet time, pyjamas are put on, books are read and Bo has a final bottle before going down at roughly 8pm.

Wednesday is Bumps and Babes day!

Bumps and Babes is a group that is held locally by our NCT branch. It is based in the village next to ours so, not having a car throughout the day, we have a nice half an hour walk down in the morning (unless the weather is terrible, of course!). Once we are there, it's two hours of playtime and toast for Bo and lots of tea, toast and a good natter for me and the other parents and carers that go each week.

I really enjoy these days as it is a nice break away from the house in the middle of the week and is a wonderful way of meeting other people in the local area. I was actually really nervous when I first attended (especially as I had only recently moved to the area) but having been there for a few months now, I find that I feel really comfortable going and enjoy meeting up with the regulars each week.

We are back from Bumps and Babes around 12pm, which means that Bo's  first nap usually runs a little late on this day. This gives me plenty of time to enjoy a baby free lunch before getting on with our day as normal at around 1pm.

Thursday is another typical "home day" and is often filled with housework, washing and maybe a small trip out to the local shop to top up on any food we are running short of. It is also a nice day to spend a lot of time with Bo, as I am out of the house a lot over the next two days.

I have recently started going back to work for half a day on Fridays so me and Bo have our usual morning until about 11am, when my mum comes, and then off to work I go!

Bo then spends the rest of the day playing, eating and playing some more with my mum until Daddy and I get back between 6pm and half past. Then it's on with the evening as usual and then a night off for me!

Saturdays can be pretty busy days as I am in work for the full day and don't see much of my little family. I head out of the house at 8am and am back at around 6pm. Although I had originally planned to stay at home with Bo until she went to school, I found that over the past year my confidence has taken a massive dip.

Work has always been able to raise that confidence as you are forced to talk to customers on a regular basis. Therefore, we decided that I should go back to work - even if just for a day or two - to help me gain that confidence back and provide a better life for myself and Bo. That and, of the course, the extra spending money is very useful!

Throughout the day, Bo spends time with Daddy and my stepdaughter. As I have the car, they spend most of the day inside doing various activities, but sometimes they do venture out to the park round the corner to get a bit of fresh air.

Sunday is family day and usually involves us all spending as much time together as possible before the week begins again. This can include playing and spending time out in the garden, going out for a family day out, doing some arty/crafty things (although this is aimed more at my stepdaughter) or watching family films.

We try and make Sunday as relaxing as possible for all members of the family, as it is the only day during the week where no one is working and we can tackle the day all together.

So, there you have it. A typical week in the life of me, Bee and Bo.

What do you do on a weekly basis? Do you suffer with any confidence related issues? Let me know in the comments below!

I added this post to the following wonderful linkies:
- Magic Moments on the Olivers Mad House blog.  
- Share it Sunday on the Oh So Amelia blog.