My Newborn Wishlist

Having a baby is very exciting! But having your first baby is also very daunting! I am 34 weeks pregnant, and although I look and act very calm, I do get nervous about the birth from time to time. The best way to distract and relax myself is NOT always yoga or hynotherapy or a bath but a bit of online window shopping for the baby and moi!

Given we are only couple of weeks away from being full term, and Braxton Hicks are getting more frequent and sharp, we have done most of our shopping in terms of baby essentials like cots, nappies, clothes, car seats etc. But there are always those little things that one either doesn’t think of or wouldn’t bother buying either because one can do without them or simply because of budget issues. With a 9 year old and a 7 year old, their VERY expensive music lessons and other extra-cirricular activities, we are a bit tight on budget. So here are a list of things I would like for my bub but they aren’t essential and baby will grow fine without them. But every now and then I will come back to this list when I have a bit of cash in hand and perhaps get one thing at a time.

  1. Ewan the Sheep: This is the sort of thing I would have to make cute faces at my husband to get and hence, it obviously wasn’t in the list of essentials. But I have heard rave reviews about it and how it helps infants find comfort in the world that is not their mothers womb.ewanthesheep
  2. Gro Swaddle Blanket: Although I plan to swaddle my baby in my grandma and mother’s old cotton sarees, this burrito style blanket is perfect for outdoors and for a fancy visit to a friends which my spring/summer baby will be doing a lot. woodland_friends_gro-swaddle_1
  3. KinderGlo Light: I have raised two toddlers who were scared of the dark and I have only just managed to sleep train them. At the age of 9 and 7 years, they have finally learnt the beauty of sleeping in lesser bright environment by using iKea’s Spoka light that turns itself off. But I don’t want to spend another 9 years sleep training this one and so I plan to train this baby to sleep in complete darkness. Having said that I will need a night light to change nappies and for those precious feeding hours. Now what I like about this one is that it has a nice red light which apparently is ideal for babies, suggested by Sarah Ockwell-Smith in her book, The Gentle Parenting Book. But with delivery, it will cost me almost £100 which is too much for a night light. Hence, it is in this list!kinderglo
  4. Babymoov Monitor : We live in a massive house with three storeys. We will need a baby audio monitor, although I have no intention of leaving my baby alone. This one can wait a few months.expert-care-baby-monitor
  5. Sheepskin Rug: Sheepskin blankets and rugs are perfect to adjust the body temperature of the baby, also very safe for the babies if they puke and roll on it accidentally. It has a tendency of soaking things up very easily leaving your baby warm and dry. We have wooden polished floors and this would be perfect for some floor time with the baby. But an ethically sourced one does not come cheap and it has to be sourced properly.Mimosa-Baby-Sheepskin-Rug-Ivory-initialZoom
  6. Little Green Sheep blanket and bed sheets: I have a snuzpod for my baby but I am yet to buy some spare bedding for the cot. Little Green Sheep has a great range of pure cotton and organic bedding sets that are ethically produced and how I would love to own some of them 🙂Organic-Crib-Bedding-Set-initialZoom
  7. BabyMel Grace Changing Bag: Pure luxury! I plan to babywear, in which case, I will need a rucksack for a changing bag but if I wanted something fancy and for days like attending a wedding or a party, this one would be perfect. Again, it is very dear price wise but I am sure, totally worth it!babymel-grace-tote-diaper-bag-tan-10

What is in your newborn wishlist?

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Pregnancy – 32 Weeks Update

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My last update was when I was 25 weeks pregnant. I am clearly, struggling to keep up with the updates. Hey ho! Here is yet another attempt.

Because it has been several weeks, obviously there has been a lot going on that I will try my best to remember, given baby brain is at it’s peak! Also, I will refer to the time gone by as the “phase”.

Highlight: Ok, so many at the moment. But one worth mentioning is NO sickness at all (unless ofcourse I am being driven around). I have extreme amount of energy which feels so good. I am enjoying my time off from my dog walking business finally as I feel strong enough to take strolls with my dogs, keep up with the housework and ummm have sex again (although awkwardly with the bump sticking out, and the baby kicking away)! 😀

With more energy comes more drive to be active, which in returns brings back the sleep. I have gone back to my routine of sleeping by 11pm and up by 7am without feeling sick or tired! Woop Woop!

Another highlight of the phase between week 30 and 32 is the size of the bump. I am finally showing as properly pregnant. Having said that, I can still get away with it if I am wearing a jacket. I prefer people noticing than questioning the size of the bump. Let’s face it, I am a small person, my bump even on the day of delivery will seem smaller.

How can I not mention my bad back. It is sore but not so bad. I haven’t used my masseur during this week at all.

Negatives: I can’t really think of any apart from the clinical fact. I was diagnosed with low iron at week 28, which apparently is very common but mine was too low for the midwives liking. Anyhow, I am on the iron supplements now and I guess they are working because I am on my feet again with a boost of energy!

Cravings:  Nothing in particular. Same old cravings for greens and fruits. I have taken a strange liking to strawberries. But also recently, my craving for dark chocolate has come back and yes I am scoffing off a bar of 75% dark chocolate every evening. That might explain the 3 kg gain in 3 weeks.

Aversions: Well third trimester is when usually women sarcastically say, “Is there anything I can’t eat?” NO. Give me everything and a lot of it! I am averse to things I generally am averse to like coffee. It has nothing to do with pregnancy I don’t think.

Baby Shopping:  Oh this one is interesting! We went to the Baby Show in Excel and brought a few small little things.

We brought something called a Snugglebundl. It is a blanket with a handle. More about it later when I get a chance to use and review it.

Another purchase was a cute little vest in a neutral orange and grey colour from a company called Darlo. All their products are made with organic cotton, ethically produced in India. (more on them later)

I also brought a Close Caboo baby carrier as I plan to do a fair bit of babywearing.

Another purchase includes, a heated air-drier for my bubba’s cloth nappies. A kind friend sold hers to me for very cheap. The one I now own is from Lakelands!

We also purchased a co-sleeping Snuzpod for the baby, (not from the show) but second hand. We will be buying new bedding for it in the coming few weeks. We still don’t have a stroller but honestly, I am not too fussed. This baby will be spoilt rotten by being carried everywhere and I will be doing some serious babywearing!

Yoga and Meditation: Pregnant or not, it is a part of my lifestyle. One has to modify their postures and asanas as the belly grows, ofcourse! I am supposed to start listening to my new hypnobithing cd but it seems to have gone missing. I have ordered a new one and that should be here soon. It is the next level up from Pregnancy relaxation cd that teaches you techniques and prepares you for the labour. I have also got a new gym ball and I have been sitting on it atleast 20 minutes everyday. It helps with my pelvis pain, and I also read somewhere that it helps the baby get into the ‘head-down’ position.

I cannot believe we are in the third trimester already! I never thought I would say this but where has the time gone yet I cannot wait for the baby to arrive now.

My Last Mother’s Day As A Mother Of Two

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This year’s Mother Day is very special and emotional for me. It is my last one as a mother of two. I found myself in the laps of motherhood at the young age of 22 years. My kids were not born from my womb and all my instincts had to come from my heart.

Four years old Reuben (now 9 yrs old) and two years old Irene (now 7 yrs old), left their biological mum and came to England to live with their dad and dad’s friend (myself). Little did I know then, that my life was about to change for good! Little did I know that I was venturing into a big new world of motherhood.

These kids and I have been through a lot. To begin with, we couldn’t speak eachother’s language yet we somehow spent days on end in our little quirky flat in the beautiful sea side town of Broadstairs. We spoke a lot through cuddles, kisses and many other sweet gestures and activities like cooking, baking, taking long walks, playing etc. I tried to impress them by cooking their favourite meals and they kept me sweet by eating it all (even on days it wasn’t really that good).

I remember how one day whilst we were engrossed dancing in our living room with loud music on, the phone rang. When I answered somehow my entire world seemed to have been on the verge of collapsing. After 6 months of no contact, their mother chose to call. I answered the phone and had no idea how to speak to her. When she asked who I was? I suddenly had an identity crisis (identifying myself as their dad’s gf might set her off or lose custody was my fear). I passed on the phone quickly to Reuben. He denied recognising the person on the phone (his mum). He kept asking me who she was and I kept reassuring him that it was his mother. He was polite to her but brutally honest about the fact that he couldn’t remember her. She hung up! And we stopped the music. We went for a walk after that but strangely kids never mentioned anything about the phone call. Throughout the walk, I kept thinking how much in love I had fallen with these two kids in such a small amount of time. How my heart ached to hear their mothers voice, the fear that she might want them back? I felt like I was on some sort of crossroads. I felt insecure but guilty of being selfish. It was a good thing if their mother wanted to be a part of their lives, yet I desired otherwise because I wanted to be their mother.

Those days are long gone, we never heard back from their mother ever again. Almost six years together, my insecurities have almost gone yet from time to time I wonder how incapable we are of controlling the future. How someday, these two will grow up and might want to reunite or reconnect with their mother. What if they decide to leave me and become hers all over again? I know it is a bit shallow of me to be so insecure. But hey ho, all I can do is try my best to give them the best and be the best I can to them. And in return all I can do is appreciate each day I get with them saying “I love you mum”.

But things are about to change, I will be giving birth this year. Now that is nerve-wrecking as heck! But I feel so confident and ready this time around for this child. And that is because of my two loving children Reuben and Irene. I surely raise them and teach them to live well and love all (including their estranged mum) but in many ways, they teach me everyday how to give, how to forgive and how to live. If I know anything about motherhood today, that is because of the kids I have been raising. If it wasn’t for these two putting up with all my failures as a mother (which I have had many), I wouldn’t have had a chance to learn and improve my role as a mother well.

This third child of mine will not only have a confident mother but also a very nurturing pair of siblings. I hope I can teach the baby to realise how special it is to be born in this family of ours!

Homemade Chocolate Brownies

Copyrights @beachwalkmuse

Copyrights @beachwalkmuse

There is something very soothing and warming about baking as we all know it. After a long and windy walk with the kids and the dogs in the month of February, there is nothing as comforting as baking some deliciously rich and chocolatey brownies that are nice and gooey on the inside but firm and crispy on the outside. Also, brownies are one baking miracle that only marvels in it’s taste, presentation can be tossed!

Ingredients:

150g dark chocolate (dark chocolate)

120g butter (I used salted as I think it cuts the extreme sweetness of the chocolate overload)

2 eggs

85g plain flour

90g sugar

1 tsp baking powder

2-3 tbsp cocoa powder

handful of chocolate chips (optional, my daughter insisted)

Method:

Preheat the oven at gas mark 6.

Melt the dark chocolate and butter either in a microwave or place it in a bowl that fits on the rim of a saucepan with some boiling water. The steam from the the boiling water will melt the butter and the chocolate, make sure the water doesn’t touch the bowl of chocolate. Once the ingredients are all smooth, set it aside to cool gently.

Whisk the sugar and eggs together until smooth and set aside.

In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients together.

Now incorporate the dry ingredients, the egg mixture and the chocolate together.

Now place the mixture in a baking tray that is lined with a grease-proof paper or simply brush the tray with some melted butter.

Place the tray in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the outside is nice and firm. Inside will be goey and that is exactly what we want. Let it cool down before cutting them into squares.

Don’t worry about the cracks that form on top, unlike cakes, there is a certain charm in those cracks when on brownies.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and let me know if you give them a go.

Enjoy baking!