Month: June 2014

Eunuchs, Less Than 40 Winks & A Very Naughty Puppy

We’ve reached six months! Onwards and upwards (or rather outwards) to the third and final trimester!

So we’re getting some A* practise in with the whole no sleeping malarky at the moment. Baby likes to donk Suz on the bladder every few minutes just to check she’s still around and Bio-Oil combined with sticky summer nights are, so I’ve been told, as much fun as clapping with poo in your hands. I seem to have developed a heightened need to protect so most of my nights are spent balancing a chess board against our bedroom door as a booby-trap just in case I don’t hear an axe-murderer traipsing up the stairs. They appear to be alarmingly quiet in all the films and I’m determined not to be fooled.

I also got cracking with the nursery last week, which basically involved me hacking one of the built-in wardrobes out and stripping wallpaper… we’ve chosen quite a bright theme and lots of colourful wall stickers so it’s a case of getting the room back to basics before we can do any of the fun decorating stuff. Extra bonus, now we’ve spent so long thinking up nursery designs and seen all on offer, we’re starting to think adults are missing out when it comes to bedroom decor and have decided we’ll probably just turn our own bedroom into an intergalactic medieval safari-themed submarine. Complete with fireman’s pole down to the kitchen. Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen would probably agree with me as long as I agreed to some decadent curtain sashes and a cow-hide chaise longue.

This past weekend I travelled to compete in the European Team Champs in Germany where, while there, a popular past time amongst the GB athletes was to guess the sex of baby. The resounding prediction so far has been girl, although I’m willing to bet my bananas that’s just because they like teasing me about their future sons dating her. Which won’t be happening. Ever. Not unless they’d like their sons to become eunuchs. Speaking of which, my dogs very nearly found themselves living life without any trouser oranges when Suz and I returned home to find one of our kindly-sent parcels from JellyCat torn to shreds in the front garden (which some of you may remember I tweeted about once steam had finished spurting from my ears). Our youngest hound Gus has a tendency to make hamster bedding out of anything and it appears he’d had a whale of a time adding ‘ruining baby presents’ to his usual daily routine of barking at wasps, sniffing, weeing and bum-sliding across the grass. Luckily, he’d found the packaging itself bombastic enough not to care about the cuddly toys held in it and Mr Elephant and Mr Giraffe, aside from a dog-slobber shower, escaped unscathed. They looked a bit miffed following a hand wash but we’re pretty certain Mr Elephant’s perm will go back to normal any day now.

When it comes to all things baby we’re loving this week, check out some of the gadgets and gizmos we’re really excited to give a try once October arrives…

Firstly we’ve got the brilliant TotsBots and their bum-friendly reusable nappies. They come in cooler than cool designs and me and Suz have honestly felt nothing softer. Seriously, I’m considering just giving up pants from here on in. They’re like CLOUDS. We’re quite keen not to go down the disposable route if we can help it and these guys have got tonnes of great tips and advice if you fancy giving it a whirl yourself, so go check them out. Next up is Snugglbundl and their baby-lifting wrap. It’s essentially a fab bit of kit for helping mums lift their babies post birth and (hopefully) reduces the risk of them screaming blue murder should you need to get them from the car seat to the house smoothly. Anything that helps my eardrums gets a thumbs up from me and Suz is pretty keen not to blow too many stitches (should she need them) so we’re really, really happy to add this to our stash. Lastly, Totseat and their chair harnesses are welcomed with open arms in our home. They’re machine washable (I’ve heard a possible myth babies can be messy at mealtimes or something?), great for taking with you if eating out’s on the cards and, again, come in some awesome prints and designs. Suitable from 6 months up, the only way they could improve was if they went into the adult market for when Suz has had one too many vodka lemonades and can’t handle sitting upright…

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Claude or Claudia… Place Your Bets Now




So last week, the big news in our world was that we spent Wednesday morning having our 21-week scan and finding out whether we’re growing a Claude or a Claudia! (Not the names we have in mind). Having been abroad for the first scan, it was also the first time I was getting to see baby and despite it’s absolute refusal to co-operate with the sonographer, I had an amazing hour being shown various limbs, a beating heart and a beautiful face-on view of a pout. The best moment came when, after nearly 45 minutes, they’d bum nudged baby to a point where they could do the checks, only to watch as it slow-motion army-rolled on to it’s tummy. (I’m pretty sure it stuck it’s fingers up while doing it too but the screen was fuzzy).

It was a particularly tense, X Factor finale-esque moment; not only because it seems to make everything that bit more real, but also because Suz and I didn’t agree on what we thought was in there. I was opting for girl while Suz had been saying ‘he’ rather than ‘it’ for about three months already and being the totally breezy, non-competitive couple we are, we were keen to see who’d earned gloating privileges.

We’re not ‘officially’ announcing the sex, but let’s just say everything’s in working order  and we’re expecting a child with just the one set of reproductive organs. So, top banana work to our sperm and eggs.

When it comes to unveiling the sex, quite a few friends and family were quick to say they’d ‘want a surprise’ if in our position. Alongside that, in the newspapers this week, author Ian McEwan bemoaned parents-to-be for finding out and ‘conferring a pink or blue fate’ on unborn children and when Suz mentioned having a scan on Twitter, people jumped at the chance of saying how much it ruins the fun.

In our minds, knowing what’s tucked up in there is really helping us to bond. Obviously we’ve been excited since we found out… but just being able to stop saying ‘it’ or ‘baby’ has already been really nice, as has buying outfits and putting together a list of names. We were always in agreement that whatever it was, it wouldn’t be a ‘pink or blue’ or ‘princess or pirate’ situation (we’re not huge fans of stereotypically ‘girlie’ or ‘boyish’ things), we just wanted to be able to tailor certain aspects a tiny bit. The thought people assume knowing if it’s a boy or a girl ‘ruins the surprise’ seems a bit ridiculous to us. You’re not waiting to see if your girlfriend gives birth to a wooden glockenspiel or a Man ‘O’ War jellyfish… it’s only ever going to go one of two ways, so I don’t really get the stress. We’ve said should we continue to have children, which we intend to, then we’ll possibly consider not finding out again but it’s really not a huge deal to us either way.

Following the scan and about eighteen wees from Suz (they make you drink a LOT of water before those things don’t they?) we headed off for a day with Kiddicare in Peterborough. They couldn’t have been more helpful in guiding us through pram options, nursery furniture and toys (my favourite area) through to car seats, swing chairs and play mats and they’re 100% the people to go see if you’re stuck on what’s worth buying/what’s not. Their Bump, Baby, You club is also brilliant at offering advice and tips through every stage of pregnancy along with tonnes of vouchers for all your little-one’s necessities (They also had really tasty cheesy broccoli bake available at the canteen, so if you need a pit stop around all the fun of nipple pads and post birth sanitary towels then that definitely works wonders).

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Most excitingly this week, baby finally started kicking! After a couple of weeks of wondering whether the bubbly tummy Suz was experiencing was more brewing farts or baby feet, it’s nice to know the frequent and strong movements are indeed now baby booting away at my girlfriend’s innards. In a particularly heart felt moment the other night I gave bump a kiss… and it boxed me in the chops. Good to know I’ve been put in my place this early on.

Finally, as the weeks run away with us, I’m going to be including some of my favourite buys/baby necessities. Some of these products are things we’ve been lucky enough to have gifted, some are items we’ve bought and others stuff we’ve been treated to by friends/family. We’re far from organised as we’ve got a few months to go yet, but it’s nice to have a few things underway and please feel free to drop me a tweet with any recommendations on products, nursery decorations, clothes etc. We’re always up for some shopping! This week, we’ve been testing out Pacapod‘s amazing ‘Portland’ 3-in-1 pod system, but also their ‘Hastings’ knapsack from their new ‘lite’ range (both of which I’m modelling here). Even Mary Poppins would be jealous of these bags and we can’t wait to test them out once baby arrives. We were really keen to purchase a changing bag which was dad-friendly in the style stakes (i.e not covered in flowers and pictures of cupcakes) and these definitely hit the nail on the head, all while being beyond organised; there’s a compartment for everything. Not sure I’ve seen Suz this excited about a bag since every time we walk past a Mulberry counter…