A big clear out

Now that we are a family of four, we no longer have the use of a spare room / dumping ground and we have an awful lot of baby and toddler items everywhere!

The overall effect of this on me is the whole house feels slightly too cluttered and claustrophobic. When I find a quiet, clean, empty part of the house (there aren’t many!) I relish it.

So it’s time to do something about it and become master of my own universe. I am therefore slowly going around the house and having a good old clear out. So far I have done the following:

1. Thrown away a bin bag full of shoes from under our stairs
2. Thrown away a bin bag of clothes from our closet
3. De cluttered and tidied my cooking / tupaware cupboard in the kitchen
4. Removed and tidied some of Jakes toys so he has less out at a time and we can do toy rotation

On my hit list still to do is:

1. Streamline my under the sink cleaning products
2. Clear out my make up draw
3. Clear out my socks and underwear draw
4. Clear out my jewlery
5. Tidy out utility room and put more storage in it.

So far I’m on a roll, and am feeling much happier in our living environment with out too much clutter in the way.

Max’s birth story

Max’s birth story

Now that Max is now 10 weeks old it’s time for me to slowly get back into blogging. What better way to do it then to share his birth story with you. I’m very happy to say that this story is completely different to my first birth story with our first child, Jake.

At five days before my due date I was completely desperate to go into labour but I was fully expecting to go overdue as this is what happened with Jake. So at first when I started feeling a mild ache in my bump I put it down to Braxton Hicks which I had on and off for the last couple of weeks.

Jake and I went to my Dads for tea as Jamie was at a work meeting. When we got home home and I got Jake to bed I was still having the ache, which I described to Jamie as going from a mild period pain to a strong period pain but nothing more then that. So I still didn’t think anything of it. At Jamie’s insistence I phoned the maternity ward to ask them how I could tell the difference between labour pains and Braxton hicks, this was at about 7pm. They advised me I need to be having regular pains that were four minutes apart for at least four hours to be considered to be labour so to phone them back in two hours with an update.

At this time I still really thought I wasn’t really in labour. Over the next hour the pains got more regular and more intense, so I had a shower and got the last minute bits of my hospital bag ready just in case. By 8.30pm my ache had progressed to a manageable pain. We phoned the ward and said we wanted to come in. It then took us just under an hour to get Jake out of bed and drop him off at Jamie’s parents house before making our way to the hospital. In this time my pain levels had shot up and my contractions were now three minutes apart and causing me to moan in pain.

The walk from the car park to the maternity ward at hospital seamed to take forever and included three stops for contractions. We then had another two contractions in the waiting room of the ward before anyone came to see us. At which point I was almost in tears and cursing the hospital for saying stay at home as long as possible, as if you do that they should expect you to be in need of pain relief as soon as you get there.

When I was finally examined I was already 4cm dilated and told to go straight through to delivery, cue another walk through the hospital with two more contractions on the way. When I got into the delivery room, I went straight onto the gas and air with gusto! We never even opened my maternity bag so I never had chance to change my clothes or put on our music.

The few hours went by in a complete blur for me. I never let up on the gas and air and was very effected by it, feeling completely high as a kite and finding it quite hard to communicate with Jamie or the midwife. Throughout the next few hours I had two injections of pethadin and towards the end started pleading with the midwife for an epidural, despite saying I didn’t really want one in my birth plan because of my fear or needles. However the midwife informed me it was too late for an epidural.

At about 2.30am my body naturally started to push. It took me some time to get the hang of pushing as I kept screaming at the same time with was making my pushing less effective. Eventually the midwife took the gas and air off me, which I really wasn’t happy about, I was trying to hold onto it with my teeth when she was trying to take it away! Apparently I was too focused on getting the pain relief to really push.

Without the gas and air clouding my head I was able to push much better, but it also hurt a lot more too. The midwife was just about to give me a cut to help me deliver the head, when the head was born naturally, and one more push and Max entered the world.

Max was born at 3.14 am weighing 8lbs 4oz. We are now one very happy family of four : )

Starting my weight watchers journey

One of things I was most looking forward to after giving birth to our second child (other then the joy of a new baby) was getting my body back into shape and getting some new yummy mummy clothes. I’m so fed up of feeling like a frumpy mum with a just throw it on as long as there isn’t too much sick/ snot on it style, I want to start taking pride in my appearance and health.

So I decided that once Max was 4 weeks old I would join weight watchers. I’ve never done a weight loss program before and was quite nervous about going. I mustered my courage and went to my first meeting three weeks ago. I don’t know why I was so nervous as everyone there was really friendly and helpful.

Weight watchers works on a point system. Every food has a point value and you can eat any food you like as long as you stick to your daily points limit, you are also given some extra weekly points to use for treats and extras which you can use as you wish, either all in one go or spread through the week.

The number of points you have to use is determined at your first weigh in as it is calculated using your starting weight. My starting weight was 12 stone which means my daily point allowance would be 26, however as I am exclusively breastfeeding I get an extra 10 points. Which means I have 36 daily points to use, plus my 49 extra points to use weekly.

I joined up to the monthly package so that I have access to the weight watchers meetings and the online resources. I’ve found the online system really useful so I’m really glad I went for the full package as it makes working out the points for food and keeping track of my points really easy, I do it all on our iPad which I always have to hand near the kitchen.

Progress to date has been slow and steady which is exactly what I want as I don’t want any drastic weight loss to affect breast feeding. My results so far are:

Starting weight 12 stone
Week 1: No weight loss
Week 2: Lost 2 and a half pounds
Week 3: I missed the weigh in, but am pretty sure I’ve lost a couple of pounds

I’m going to do some separate posts as to the foods I’m eating and some recipes and the points they add up to. I’ll also keep you posted as to my weight loss sucess. Wish me luck!

I’m back!

This is just a quick post to say thank you all for sticking with me while I’ve had some time away from the blog while I had our second baby.

The birth went well and myself and baby Max are doing great. I’m working on a birth story post where I will go into more detail. Life at the moment is very hectic and tiring so the blog has fallen by the way side for a while – it will never come before the children and family life so that’s fine with me. But I am starting to get the odd few minutes here and there where I’d like to start getting back to doing something for myself, to start with I need to focus on showering lol!! But once I’ve got that ticked off I’m planning on trying to blog again.

The great thing about having a little time away from the blog is that it helps me realise that I do still enjoy blogging and that there are still loads of things I’m excited about writing about.

So watch this space, new blog posts will be coming soon…..

Budget family meal: BBQ pulled pork in Jacket Potatoes

I am typing this post as this meal currently cooks in my kitchen, it’s the first time I’ve made it before and I can already tell you it’s going to be a family favourite! I was running though the costs in me head as I was doing the food prep and I just can’t believe how cheap it is considering how tasty and fresh it is too!

Here is the cost break down:

The pork I’m using is the left over pork from a pork leg I cooked in the slow cooker for Sunday dinner it was £3.80 and I have already used 2 servings for Sunday dinner and 2 in sandwiches for lunch today. This meal is using up the last of it meaning it will have been used for 6 servings in total = £1.26

1/3 of a carton on mushrooms = £0.30
1 cup full of tomato juice = £0.10
4 table spoons of BBQ sauce = £0.35
Two Baking potatoes = £0.50

Total = £2.51 for two people

Total per person = £1.25

Amazing value!

In case you are wondering about my method. I have shredded the pork and then added it to a pan of cooking mushrooms that I’ve finely chopped. I then poured in the tomato juice and BBQ sauce and cooked it slowly until the sauce thickens a bit. This is them sloshed on top of a slow cooked crispy baked potato : )

It’s an extremely simple meal and is so easy to do but somehow has quite a special indulgent feel to it. I’m already thinking of ways I will used the BBQ pulled pork for future parties and BBQ’s as the value is just so great!

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