Thursday, 30 September 2010

Mentoring mothers...

I have a fellow manager in work who has asked if she can mentor myself and another pregnant lady whilst we are on maternity leave.
Nicki is writing a book all about being a working Mum and one of the chapters is around the benefits of being mentored through the process of leaving for mat leave, during and return. Aside from offering to read her material so far we were also both happy to be guinea pigs of a sort.

So we had our first meeting and discussed what we'd like to do at the next couple of catch ups. One of the things we both agreed would be useful was some support and guidence around what to consider / next steps on sorting out your finances.
There seems to be very little on the internet, such as a template for working out how long you can afford to have off work, knowing how much to forecast for child care etc.
We also said we would discuss childcare itself (options, when to start looking into etc).

We have agreed to meet monthly and that once off on mat leave we wouldn't meet for the first 3 months (whilst getting used to the whole change) but then potentially once or twice after that. Not to discuss the detail of work itself but potentially just to talk about any major changes / how we are feeling / keeping in touch etc.

The whole process is a good idea I think and one that many businesses could benefit from doing. It isn't an actual corporate process at work, rather just something that Nicki is interested in, but I think you must increase the chances of women returning to work / engagement generally through doing something similar?

I'll keep my blog updated as we go along...

Maverick is busy doing some major kicks. G Kisby even felt them on his back last night in bed as we snuggled down to sleep. Totally addicted to Mad Men (great series set in New York in 1960's - fab era - I would definitely be sporting a structured fitted dress right now if I didn't have a bump) but have been so so tired of an evening this week that even fell asleep during an episode last night at what must have been around 9pm. Must be the return from hols - either that or Mav's is going through a growth spurt.

We don't know that Mav is a boy by the way - just seem to have got into the habit of assuming so. We have agreed to stop that since we are all (including our unborn child) going to have issues if a girl pops out!!! Only 2 days till baby is viable - whooohoo!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

A week of fun!

We were back in work today after a week of fun. I did try to have full on holiday blues last night(last holiday before baby comes) but Gary gave me short shrift, passed me a big bowl of cereal and turned on XFactor double bill from the weekend, which did help considerably.

So G Kisby is officially the big 30. He appears to have absolutely no issue with it whatsoever (possibly because he does appear to be looking younger than me, not helped by my major acne issues). He was treated to a 'Magical Mystery Tour' which started in Liverpool at Hope St Hotel - where this picture was taken. We had a fantastic meal with Fee & Al including champagne in the room and a very funny incident involving a cake. This was followed by 2 nights on the Welsh coast (near Harlech) in a lovely wee barn. Walks on the beach, tea and scones, a visit to Harlech castle and dvds snuggled up on the sofa.
Finally the week ended with 3 nights in Anglesey with our friends. Unbelievably we had weather which allowed cricket on the beach, fish and chips sat outside and a ride on The Milton's boat. Alongside some organised fun (from my good self) and a great pub 5 mins down the lane, what else could be added to make the perfect birthday.

So I haven't blogged all week but I don't feel bad. One last mini trip with it being just the 2 of us and we enjoyed every single minute...

Friday, 17 September 2010

A cocktail you say?

We have our lovely friends 'The Miltons' round for dinner tonight, it is a Friday and I had a twice as long as expected journey home from Lutterworth on the M1 - all of which leads to me crave a large cold glass of white wine. Hmmm I can almost taste it!

So to save myself (don't get me wrong a small glass will be had with dinner, but in the meantime) I bought a nice sparkling raspberry drink from Co-op on the way home.
It surprises me that there isn't more on offer to drink which is low or no alcohol. Well actually it doesn't, but if there was I would be first in the queue.

There are a few good websites that describe 'mocktails' which are both delicious and non alcoholic. Website below has some good tips:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2009/jun/18/how-to-drink-non-alcoholic There is also a good book, "Preggatinis" by Natalie Boris-Nelson. We tested one which contained milk and fresh orange juice. Sounds horrendous but was actually lovely and good for you (I can't get enough milk so I might be biased)

Another gem of a find is an M&S non alcoholic apple beer. Brewed from hops (so it does taste quite beer like) it also comes in a bottle with a screw top. So from not liking beer previously (I do like an ale for the record) I am now a big fan. I haven't found anything similar elsewhere so am planning to stock up next time we pass.

Here's to an evening of raspberry fizz (that's unless G Kisby doesn't turn his back long enough for me to sneak a small shot of vodka in this bad boy... now that's more like it!)

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Before I forget - Luca joins us!

.
We had Mark and Janet over on Sunday and finally got to meet our new nephew.
He is absolutely beautiful and slept the entire time they were here, minus a tiny interlude just to have a milk based meal.
Think we were both buoyed by this fact, particularly as we have been considering if we could take baby with us for meals and just slot him down the side of the table with no one noticing. When I say slot, in a car seat I mean, lets not have social services alerted at this stage.
Dinner is back on (and I have already bagsized not being the one to get up and remove him if there is any crying....snooze you lose G Kisby). Pictures of our 2 lovely nephews and their trip to the Hudd...





All is well in there

Yey so scan day finally arrived. Had real nervous tummy before we left but felt better as soon as we met our sonographer who was lovely.
We were 20mins early (which I find really irritating) so played a game of speed eye spy to keep us busy (once we had exhausted the collection of good housekeeping mags from the 80's). I think I won but we are still debating it today since apparently play was abandoned which means it is a draw, the debate rolls on. To be fair I do always think I win.
The sonographer was training up a midwife to do scans so talked a lot about what she could see. I had to go and empty my bladder when we started since baby was all curled up - there isn't a lot of room in there. Had a slightly awkward moment in the toilets when found there wasn't any toilet paper so had to waddle my way over to the hand towel dispencer and then work through a dilemma about where you put the used towel. All whilst trying to be quick since I knew 3 people were sat in the room next door waiting for me. I also jumped up and down a bit to try and get him to move position.

He did stretch out slightly when I went back so she was able to see all the bits. It is absolutely amazing how you can see the 4 ventricles of the heart and all the organs. He kept stretching his neck back and yawning. At one point he was putting his foot to his mouth - flexibility clearly runs in the family. He was sleepy for most of the time so we were in there for a decent time whilst she tried to manouvre him around to see everything she needed to check. Eventually he rolled over and she got a good shot of his spine. I was amazed at how much you can actually see.
Anyway everything she checked was fine which is such a relief, and apparently he was the exact size he should be at this stage (which is good since although I am revelling in retaining my pre pregnancy body from behind, I did worry slightly that it might be at the expense of him actually having any room to grow).
We went out for dinner to celebrate - any excuse for G Kisby and I am so easily swayed.
Picture below of Mav at 21 weeks and 3 days. Not as good as the first one but you can see his hand and his face more clearly than last time...


Monday, 13 September 2010

Finally, a picture!

We bought a new Sony camera a while ago now, with the aim of being able to take great pictures and also mini films of our new baby.
Three weeks later and I have finally got round to reading the instructions and getting the initial trial photos onto the computer. See above, Maverick at 20 weeks.
Mav is moving all the time now and starting to have a bit of a routine for waking up. Last night both G Kisby and I could actually see my tummy moving in a couple of places. Too, too wierd.
Scan day tomorrow..nervous and excited all at once.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Not again with the cramp..

Third night on the row now I have woken with cramp in my right calf. Unfortunately due to the fuss I make when this happens, G Kisby has also been woken and on one occasion recruited to help me get rid of it. Very strange.
I have looked it up and apparently it can be due to a lack of magnesium in your diet, or potentially calcium (although the actual advice on this is really mixed and I'm not sure that they know). Am hoping it doesn't continue or I'll ask my midwife about getting hold of some magnesium tablets. I do still have a craving for cold milk so maybe it is something to do with calcium..although sour fizzy sweets continue to be an absolute addiction so maybe not.

And as for GKFC - brilliant. Can definitely recommend it. Not quite the real thing - we decided a tad too much salt and one herb was too prominent, but really close. Make sure you do the double dip so the coating is really thick, then it peels off it bits, just like the real thing. Yum!

Friday, 10 September 2010

GKFC!

So here it is, our first recipe and dinner option and unfortunately it is not the healthy nutricious meal I envisaged it would be good to share.
However, it is a 'treat' tea which actually is probably not nearly as bad as a curry or pizza.

For our Friday night treat tea we are having, GKFC (courtesy of a friend at work who mentioned he had done something similar last week)

Now the colonel has never shared his secret recipe, in fact upon sitting in the kitchen tonight I have relayed to G Kisby some interesting facts around how the secret herb mix is only made in 2 places in the world and how only 3 people know it etc. However, there are a number of rip off options on the web and we have gone for a mixture of the recipe from Will at work and a splash of some other herbs from the recipe below. G Kisby is sceptical but hopeful. I think I am the one who should be more hopeful since due to my moral stance with meat I will never taste the real thing again.

Anyway, see the recipe I found below. We are having this with some potato wedges (just cut, skin on then drizzled in olive oil and a sprinkling of paprika) and the ultimate in condiments, M&S burger mayo (legendary stuff).
Surely the chicken must at least be o.k for Maverick?

1 teaspoon ground oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons salt 
2 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon onion salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons Accent (not sure what this even is)

We also added a bit of sugar. Will let you know how close we got!!!

The maternity band

Ah, now why didn't anyone tell me about the maternity band. A lovely stretchy wide piece of comfort to go under, or over, pretty much any item of clothing. Fits just nicely over the bump and below.
Since I am determined to keep wearing a pair of my favourite jeans I today bought a great pack of 3 (grey, blk, white) from New Look for a mere £10. Bargain considering the options they have made possible. A host of tops become feasible again. Fabulous.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Not a good look!

My latest purchase on the clothing front has been a bikini. It is o.k. Nothing glam, black with a small white polka dot, shorts and a tankini style top. Mothercare £22. I had to do this for the following reason.
Up until this week, for our usual 'twice weekly before work' trip to the pool, I had been forcing my now much larger boobs into my normal bikini. Yes o.k so they bulged out the sides but I genuinely thought I could get away with it for a while (if not forever?) since the material stretched over my bump. However, the other day I needed a wee slightly more urgently than normal so had to go straight from the pool rather than after I was dressed. Now this is never a good thing in itself since when you're wet water drips all over the seat, your toilet paper gets sodden when trying to wipe and it somehow feels wrong to then pull up your soggy bikini bottoms. But that, I was to find, was the least of my worries. Since, whilst walking out of the toilets I caught a glimpse of myself in the full length mirror from behind. In my efforts to keep my modesty at the front I had failed to consider the back, and there it was staring at me...a bum crack.
I have been walking round the side of the pool and getting in/out with half my bum showing.

So that was that. Maternity swimmers had to be bought. My new ones are now a little on the big side so I have to swim fast to catch them up as they float off my body. The drama of going for a quick swim...

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Alien belly button!

What is with the pokey out, almost non human looking object coming out of my tummy?
I have always had an 'outey' so I think it has happened sooner than usual but the sight and texture of it makes me feel a little bit sick.
It can be seen through any stretchy tops now (which is not good) and I have also started to experience some chaffing. No one likes chaffing.
Gaz suggested putting a plaster over it but not sure about pulling off a plaster every night. I have seen some 'pregnancy bands' around (in New Look etc.) so am going to do some further research into one of those.
Must stop the alien escaping!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Just a little bit paranoid...

Yesterday had a slight stomach ache all day which made me a little worried. Didn't feel like a 'baby' ache (and G Kisby did reassure me by describing a 'run' to the toilet he had experienced) but it worried me all the same. It also appeared to get better when I took off my tights - turns out you do need maternity tights if you still want to breathe after all (more later).

Anyhow today I realised that aside from some slight movements last night I hadn't felt anything from Maverick. And this went on all morning. By lunchtime I was convinced that something was wrong and felt distracted from getting anything done, despite having loads on. In true Bryce doom fashion I was reprimanding myself for getting too attached too soon, giving our bump a name, telling too many people etc etc. But most of all I did just feel a bit sad.
However, hopefully I was being just a little bit paranoid since whilst sitting in a long meeting this afternoon I did feel a few wriggles. Nothing very strong but definitely something - big relief.
It is difficult to know at 20 weeks whether you should rely on feeling movements but when you do most days it is hard not to worry when it all goes quiet. All I could find on the internet was around getting used to your babies kicking routines from 28 weeks as a good measure that everything is going well.
Will feel much happier once we have had our scan, a week to go x

Monday, 6 September 2010

Rain rain go away...

Just parking on the drive from one of our regular jaunts to Ikea when the heavens opened. And it hasn't stopped. Not even long enough for me to persuade G Kisby that I am able to take an end of that heavy wardrobe just to get it inside.

We are stocking up on storage. Partly due to our jointly excessive wardrobes but also in preparation for a new baby wanting a share of the action.
Can't deny that Ikea do great 'drawer tidy' things so we have one of those and also another whole wardrobe with lots of space for stacker boxes inside.

Went in for stacker boxes, came out having spent £175. How does that always happen?

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Time to shop..

So I went for a walk on my lunch today around the retail park near work to find some more maternity wear. I have been thinking that looking cool and pregnant is not a common sight and I now understand why. Firstly, you don't want to spend too much money for a short amount of time when you aren't actually looking your best (in my case). Secondly, the offer on the high street is really not that great. Tends to be but one stand of options, including your standard black trouser, jean and a few basic vests. I do realise online would give more in the way of options, but often this does again bring to into play issue one.

Anyhow, the need for maternity wear was fuelled by me naivelly thinking I could still squeeze in a pair of khaki, fully on trend, tapered trousers (you know the type - should be worn with an ankle boot / cut out shoe, vest tucked in and skinny brown belt). I had thought that I could put the vest top over the waist band which would cover my growing, slightly pale bump (since I was already aware that to zip would be a step too far). However a quick glance in the mirror soon made me realise that this was not the right approach. Tapered, when large around the middle, is not a good look. Somewhere between big bird from sesame street (although to be fair that probably gives my legs more credit than they deserve) and a weeble.
Luckily there is a good end to this story, unexpectedly in the form of Dorothy Perkins.
Online there are a few great bargains to be had, including a nice printed dress for £10 and a grey smock dress for work for £20. Free delivery and loved both when they arrived. Definitely worth a look and in the mean time I am going to continue searching for maternity wear which is worth buying!

Happy days...for now...