ONE MAMA’S BUMP DIARY

An honest insight into my pregnancy journey second time round… sharing my experiences, thoughts and happenings in week 22 of growing my seedling of society.

BENDY ANKLES AND BASHED ELBOWS

Hey ladies,

So here it is….the first installment of my “One Mama’s Pregnancy Diary” for baby number 2 due at the end of June. I wish I started logging this all sooner but I didn’t so we’ll just have to pick up here halfway in with a little look back to the first part of baby growing.

The idea just came to me having spotted something on ‘the Gram’ and whilst in the shower the other morning I suddenly thought…hang on a sec – why not document this journey into motherhood take 2 and share with other mamas-to-be. I hope it kinda acts as a friend along the way and reminds you that you are not alone in all things pregnancy, birth and babies and that we are all in it together.

Obviously, these are just my experiences, thoughts and feelings so would love to hear your take on things and thoughts too.

FIRST TRIMESTER

This time round I was a lot more sick. I mean like pop the tot in the highchair and race to the bathroom each morning sick, which was no fun let me tell you. But hey ho it was what it was and thankfully I am out the other side and since my 12 week scan I’ve started to feel a lot more normal. It took a while though. I know I am lucky to have only just experienced a few weeks of it whilst others really do suffer greatly through their pregnancy so feeling grateful about that.

I also popped waaaay earlier than last time and I had to get out the maternity collection very quickly out the loft as things were a little uncomfortable pretty early on. I say “I” but really it was my husband. Our bodies are amazing and it was like mine shifted into baby making gear and stepped on the accelerator. I’m 22 weeks now but feel and look about 28 weeks!

bump comparison
Women are amazing.

SECOND TRIMESTER

WEEK 22

BODY

So here we are 22 weeks in and I have suddenly gone all clumsy. I’ve dropped glasses, spilled food, tripped over shoes and banged my elbow on a door frame. I am not clumsy by nature so this lack of spatial awareness is causing a little frustration in my day to day life. Anyone else experienced or experiencing something similar? I am hoping my yoga classes will help with this though. By focusing on balances and breathing I hope to get a grip on this wobbliness but if not  – o well I’ll just go with it! Another thing I’ve noticed is that my ligaments are loosening. I learnt about this the first time round. Your body prepares your body for birth by loosening our tendons and ligaments allowing for more freedom of movement and flexibility but when you are not expecting it, it can be rather shocking to hear your hip joint in surround sound and see your ankles gain 360 degree swivel space!

ALL THE FEELS

Seeing baby on the screen at 20 weeks was amazing and gorgeous. We weren’t allowed to bring Freddie so left him with a babysitter for a couple of hours so DaDa could meet baby number 2 too. The sonographer was amazing and very thorough in all her checks. She said the heart was a textbook viewing and she wished she had her student with her to show her – good work little one!

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It is definitely true what they say that in the second trimester you do get a burst of energy and I have certainly felt that! I’m feeling a lot less tired this week having walked 60KM around Rome last week in 3 days!  ha but I think the thing that is keeping me going with my little tot is my gorgeous afternoon nap! A total saviour and so necessary to remain calm and human. So I would totally recommend all pregnant ladies to rest when they can. Easier  said than done  – I appreciate that but the amount of energy your little seedling is sapping from you means you need to recuperate more so than you think so that’s this week’s optional homework: see if you can take an afternoon nap for 20 mins each day. Let me know how you get on.

CRAVINGS

I’ve been eating a lot of S***. Can’t help it  – I’m attracted to the sugary delights of chocolate puddings and mainly doughnuts. O…and chips! Anyone else ever made an emergency craving stop off at McDonalds?! Shameful I know but needs must when growing life! I am trying to be better by drinking fruit juices, taking my vitamins, eating lots of veg in the evening and having a lighter lunch but who am I kidding? Sometimes we just need a fix. I hope I am not alone in this!

It always start so well with the best intentions but sometimes we just have to listen to our bodies.

DOWNTIME

Having started “Glow with the Flow” sessions I have really enjoyed putting some poses to paper and then bring them to the mat to share with other mamas-to-be and I am feeling really good about it all. We seem to have created a lovely group so that has been a highlight. The other highlight has been watching “Workin’ Mums” on NetFlix which has had me laughing and crying. It is a snap shot into many different women’s lives post babies and the honesty and rawness is getting to me on many levels. Life does change and we have to try and accept that and embrace it if we can despite the reality being much harder than we might think.

TODDLER TIME

freddie and baby

This week my little tot and I have been having lots of fun hanging out. We went to the beach, enjoyed the sunshine, been swimming,  seen multiple diggers and tractors (his favourite 2 things at the minute) as well as playtime in the woods, building towers and even looking around nurseries.  Going to elaborate in more detail about those trips in a separate post I think.

What have you been up to?

Lulworth

Thank you so much for reading this far and I’ll check in next week with the next entry. Please find me on Instagram @onemamaskingdom. I love connecting with new people so would love to hear from you.

I hope you have a great weekend

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Going Wild

Going wild – a 30 day journey of discovery in the Dorset countryside with mama and baby

The month of June, when summer finally arrives and the countryside is a buzz with nature and the weather entices you outside on a daily basis so what better way than to spend your days outdoors appreciating the beauty of Mother Nature and really enjoying what she has to offer. Having spotted something online about the #30dayswild campaign hosted by The wildlife trusts across the UK, I thought it would be fun to challenge myself and see what I could find and do that involved nature and being outside. It’s hard sometimes to find the motivation to get about and do things especially when you’ve just landed on planet Motherhood but I can not express how therapeutic being outside with your baby is. Not only will you feel great your little one will be encapsulated by nature and experiencing his/her new world first hand with you!

30 days sounds like a long time but it went so quickly and it was amazing some of the things we got up to. Being accountable on social media has its plus points for sure. Mainly it was a chance to really stop and look around and to really see what nature there was right outside our front door, but during the month I realised how much it did for my wellbeing and no doubt little Freddie’s too. He’s always been a lover of the outdoors right from the start when we would go walking everyday and watch the changing of seasons but now, to be able to share in the delights of his surroundings is a real joy. As he is grows, he can now notice the movement of the butterflies cruising from bud to bud and hear the bees buzzing. He loves to watch the trees move in the wind and looks up to see the clouds. I’ve found myself wanting to learn more about what we’ve seen in the hope when he is old enough to ask me “mama, what’s that?” I’ll be able to respond confidently and be able to teach him about the wildlife around us. We’ll see though….

I hope my posts on Instagram might have inspired some of you mamas out there to step outside with your seedlings and share with them the beauty that is all around us, both in cities and in the countryside. I know I’ll be taking part again even if it’s just to nourish the soul. You can find more of my wildlife posts @MrsStrongman. Children remember their experiences, we all love to make memories and so this family is staying wild!

Wood fair fun!

An enchanting country fair exposing a creative and skillful country life.

Sunday 20th May, a beautiful day to be out and about in the countryside and attending my first wood fair up at the Living Classroom where we go to Bush Babies. It was put on by the Dorset Coppice Group who are working hard to promote their love of the woodland, share their skills and passions as well as their services. The Coppice group’s aims are:

  • to promote the coppice industry and its products to the public
  •  provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and information between members
  •  form a bridge between coppice workers, landowners and other relevant agencies
  •  provide an educational resource for schools and other groups to encourage outdoor learning in The Living Classroom 

And they also provide courses throughout the year for anyone who is interested in learning a new skill, working with wood or who would like to know more about the preservation of craftsmanship.

We arrived early and wandered around the lovely stalls of handmade wooden crafts; from toadstools, bowls, walking sticks, coat hooks and even magic wands made from wood that had been constricted by wild honeysuckle. I certainly learnt a few tricks or two. There were birds of prey perched in the shade and a beautiful working horse demonstrating his use for coppicing. What a treat.

 

 

My highlight though was being front row watching a sparring competition and as a new member of the country community it felt like an initiation! I had no idea what a spar even was before I sat down. But that was all about to change ….

The thatchers taking part in the competition take 28 inch long straight hazel sticks, known as gads which have been cut from the coppice at Bonsley Wood, during the winter time when the sap is low. This allows them to be strong enough to use on the ridging (the top part of the roof to you and I). To make the spar each gad is riven in half by splitting the wood in-between any knots, split down the middle following the natural grain of the wood. They can be split multiple times (fours, sixes, eights) and usually the more times it can be split the more skilled the spar maker. The points at each end are then created using an exceptionally sharp spar hook.

They are then bundled up with a colour tie and can be sold by the thousands to working thatchers.

The thatcher uses spars by double twisting them to form a U shaped peg as Rod Miller described for me “like a hair pin with a smooth edging which will allow the water to roll of it on the roof.” They have to be skilfully twisted, not just bent in half in order to work effectively.

The competition was to see how many spars the thatchers could make in 15 minutes. It was tense. Blazing sunshine in the middle of the day was probably not the best environment for the thatchers but they stepped up to the challenge and stayed professional to the end, each perched on their stool or chair with hooks, thigh pads at the ready. Many different techniques were used to split the hazel, each competitor using their own long standing knowledge of how to work the hazel and their tools.

The winner was Rod Miller, founder of R.V Miller Ltd who very kindly shared his knowledge with me to enable me to write this post. He is Dorset thatcher and member of the National Society of Master Thatchers. His business celebrated 50 years in 2016 and it seemed to me what he doesn’t know about thatching, you don’t need to know!

It felt like such a privilege to be witnessing first-hand something I was so ignorant about. To learn from experts and locals who had travelled from all around to be apart of this local woodland fair was a joy and an absolute pleasure. It has certainly made me want to look more closely at thatched roof houses.

To be apart of something where skilled craftsmen are demonstrating and sharing their love for their livelihoods with the local people is fantastic. We need these trades to preserve our history so the more we know, the more we can hope to understand and try to make a difference. Weirdly, a part of me wants to make my own spar and I have kept one that Rod twisted for me as a momento! I’ve been inspired!

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wood fair 2018

 

 

Dean’s Court Café & Homestore

A country courtyard café hidden in the heart of Wimborne

I stumbled across this little treasure whilst taking a mini detour around the lovely market town of Wimborne after Freddie and I went to a Baby Sensory class.  It was a little sensory overload for the little man after a fretful night of teething and then being bombarded with sights and sounds loud enough to be heard in the surrounding villages, not to mention all the other babies! So whilst trying to settle my wee babe and wandering the winding streets, I saw a beautiful sign pointing me in the direction of Deans Court, a little path leading off the main road and couldn’t resist.

Deans Court itself is a very elegant and glorious historic house set within ancient gardens with a wealth of history and stature, but in an old converted garage is the gorgeous cafe, nestled within a beautiful courtyard (it is covered in large stone gravel so be prepared for a bumpy ride with the buggy) complete with a vintage home store in the adjacent 1930’s squash Court.  The shop sells a large selection of vintage and contemporary lifestyle products sourced from all over the world and is worth a peak before or after-lunch! Perfectly placed plants add the finishing touch to the setting for a picturesque alfresco dining experience this spring/summer. You could be fooled into thinking you were in the south of France with the nod to vintage home-ware in every corner both inside and out.

Each morning the Café receives fresh home-grown produce from Deans Court kitchen gardens and serves a selection of healthy, wholesome and delicious food. There is also a large selection of teas, coffees and fruit juices.

 

cake 2 (2)

Inside, there is a lovely atmosphere. The interior is an eclectic mix of old and new with a  country kitchen mixed with Parisien Chic style. Mis-matched chairs and tables fill the space, each table is adorned with beautiful flowers and fairy lights add to the enchanting charm. A true gem of a find. The ladies serving were delightful, wonderfully chatting and Freddie seemed to be charming them a treat!

deans court

 

There was no problem bringing in Freddie and the pram, there are no highchairs but that might be a consideration in the future and there was no problem providing hot water to help me warm up Freddie’s food. The best part was that the lovely ladies even complimented me on my yoga dungarees that I was wearing and even discussed the possibility of a new uniform! Who would have thought that my @satyayogawear might be considered work wear!

The cafe is open Monday to Saturday, 10am – 5pm (cafe closes at 4pm)

Enquiries & Booking: 01202 639249

More information can be found here on the website and Deans Court garden will be open for the National Garden Scheme with teas coffees and lunch available at the Café.

Monday, 21st May & 19th June | 11:00 – 17:00
Adults £4; Concessions £3
Well-behaved dogs on leads welcome

 

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Cracking Crafts for Kids

Keep the little ones Eggcited with some arty activities this Easter

Be an EGG-stra good EGG and keep your little chicks EGG-stremly busy with these CRACKING crafts:

  1. Cute finger stamping card making   –  this is a relatively stress free choice of activity as it only involves fingers, thumbs,  a stamp pad ( ideally pink and yellow) and card. Check out Sarah’s how to guide for something EGG-specially good!
  2. Pom Pom Easter egg pictures – are a great way to keep painting less messy and are super for little hands who are just mastering their fine motor skills. Once it is completed you can hang them up and make your own Easter bunting. All you need is : a paper plate, pompoms, clothes pegs and paper. I would also recommend an Easter egg template you can prep for your children too. The older ones might like to use cotton buds instead to make a more intricate design.
  3. Baking Mini Egg cookies  – Why wouldn’t you?! I am most definitely going to be trying these over the Easter period. Clare’s mini tots page has a very easy and perfect recipe.

mini-egg-cookies-1

4. Salt-dough ornaments– are a fantastic make that you can keep bringing out year after year to decorate your home. I personally like to have an Easter tree on display around this time of year and you can even bring them out at Christmas if your tree is looking a little bare!  Suitable for all ages so a win win! All instructions can be found here
Easter Salt Dough Eggs Easter Salt Dough Eggs

5. Washi Tape Easter Eggs  – MESS FREE! YIPPEE!  – Washi tape is THE best invention. A way to add colour to things with zero mess. You don’t even need scissors as the tape can be ripped with fingers! Get your little one to decorate to their hearts content and smile with glee knowing all is easy to clean up! All info can be found here

covering easter eggs with washi tape, colorful easter eggs, washi tape

I hope this gives you a little inspiration this Easter and I would love to see your makes so why not follow me and use the #onemamaskingdom on Instagram and share what you are up to!

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If you go down to the woods today….

You’ll find the most amazing mum, baby and toddler group called…

BUSH BABIES

bush babies

Before we even moved to Dorset I was trying to find out as much as I could about the area from our home in Kent. I googled, and trawled through Facebook hoping to find some mum and baby groups we could go to so I could make friends and get out the house with Freddie and explore our new home turf.  The first Facebook page I found was Bush Babies and I am so glad I did. Not only do we have fun twice a week in the woods (if we can get ourselves out and ready in time) but I have also made some lovely new friends! Yay!

Bush Babies is a truly brilliant mum, baby and toddler group set up by Rosie and her band of merry helpers. Nestled in the heart of the Dorset’s magical woodland, just outside the village of Durweston, (near Blandford) it takes place every week on Tuesday and Friday mornings, whatever the weather! The session runs from 9:30am – 12:00pm.

The founder, Rosie has a huge passion for outdoor learning, wildlife, plants and adventures and having just completed her Forest School Course, she is perfectly placed to play, explore and educate our Bush Babies in Mother Nature’s own playground.

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The morning begins at The Living Classroom, an area which has approximately 30 acres of mixed, broad-leaved woodland known as Bonsley Wood. At the classroom base there are toilets, water and power so this is where everyone gathers for a morning cuppa and chitchat around the fire. There is usually an activity for the kids to get stuck into to keep mayhem at bay;  today it was Mother’s Day card making and last time I visited the children were having fun with shaving foam on the table for a sensational sensory experience. I am usually a late arrival to the morning meet up so I have to say I usually miss this party… I’m getting a reputation! Then, coats are fetched, wellingtons put on over the top of waterproof all in one overalls, mothers gather their offspring; some plonked into rucksacks or baby carriers and some brave mothers bring their off road pushchairs. Then once everyone is decked out in their outdoor gear, the Bush Babies then take to the forest path for an adventure into the wildwood. It is good to know for those with little legs and the sleep deprived parents, that the walk is a perfect distance, so there are rarely any melt downs or ‘walk refusers.’ Plus, it is a  looped walk so you can’t get lost and you can easily find your way back to base!

owlLC

During the woodland wander the children are set mini tasks to fill their buckets with discovered woodland treasures, depending on the season, such as leaves,  flowers, moss twigs, bugs etc. The children stop to explore, watch, see and hear all the nature around them and are encouraged to keep their eyes open for new discoveries. They build dens, hunt for bugs and plants and bird-watch, socialising and roaming with freedom in a safe woodland environment with the supervision of multiple adults.

Then it’s back to HQ for a rest. Rosie and Co. provide a drink and snacks for the little ones (you can bring your own if you prefer) and another hot beverage for the adults with the occasional cake and biscuits as standard. The session then comes to a close with either a story or a cacophony of nursery rhymes and songs are sung in a circle whilst playing a range of musical instruments sat on tree stumps. It really is glorious!

Depending on who turns up each session activities are tailored to suit all ages. Everyone is welcome 3 weeks – 3 years and there is even Bush Buddies which happens during the school holidays for the older children too.

Honestly, being a new mama to the area has been made so much easier by these ladies and with no commitment needed it is great to know you’ll meet lots of new and interesting people each time you visit.

 

3 reasons why I love Bush Babies

  1. You can turn up as and when you please  – meaning you don’t have to sign a termly contract and pay upfront
  2. The people are amazing and instantly make you feel welcome and apart of something great.
  3. As a new mama, I have found being outdoors in the fresh air totally invaluable and a great source of therapy in the first few months of motherhood. A walk and a talk is the best medicine.

Hope to see you up at the woods soon  – you never know the bears might be having a picnic too!

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Taming the Beast

10 things to do when ‘cabin fever’ sets in – What snow storm?

The ‘Beast from the East’ has certainly made itself known. So, here we are stuck indoors in minus temperatures watching the snowflakes fall outside. The beauty of this winter wonderland is undeniable but who wants to leave the Hygge you’ve created at home? O wait the Utopian Danish dream is quashed as the kids are running round, crying and you have yet to have a warm drink…

The reality of parenting in such conditions is hard and as a new mama not being able to leave the house to go for a walk, see other people (besides my husband and babe) is not the norm and with access to and from the house somewhat like an impassable mountain road (I am exaggerating) I do feel like I could be in one of those Scandinavian crime dramas.

So with hours to be filled I thought I would share a few ideas to keep you sane today whilst the baby naps! Whether you have babies, little or big ones I hope you can find something to inspire you for at least half an hour! Good Luck.

You got this Mama!

SNOW DAY = FUN DAY…….Promise!

  1. It’s time to use those toys from way back when – if you can put them in a big bag or hide them in a sheet and play a guessing game with the older ones and for the little ones just see the joy on their faces of NEW toys!
  2. Forget the laundry  – create your own sensory set up with a variety of fabrics, textures, foil, paper etc. – anything you can find. I raided my craft cupboard and found off-cuts of old clothing (denim, fur and bells are always good) put them in the laundry basket and watch them investigate the goodies.
  3. Make a Den in the living room out of blankets  -because if not on a snowday – when can you?
  4. Put on some great music and DANCE  – I have done this today. The country music radio station was turned on and the sounds blasted through the Sonos as Freddie sucked on toast and I danced whilst I washed up – feel those endorphins!
  5. Have a baby disco – a friend of mine shared her story online and had created an amazing light and sound show  – it was amazing! Rave it up in your PJs!
  6. Have a clear out and donate – {toys, clothes, appliances etc.} I managed to go through some old baby clothes and have already managed to create a gift basket for 2 friends expecting. Get the kids to help or do it whilst the baby sleeps – you’ll feel good for being so productive and for helping others!
  7. Go to the Cinema on the couch  – pop some popcorn and catch up on movies you have yet to see or revisit an old favorite. who doesn’t love to watch Disney movies?!
  8. Get crafty and make a card or two – Mother’s Day is right around the corner so don’t forget your own mama and whilst the kids get messy with glitter glue you can tick another of those to dos off the list! O and playdough is great to get glitter off the table just as an FYI. You could always make Make snowflakes and tape them to the windows.
  9. Read books. This is brilliant thing to do with children of all ages!
  10. Skype or FaceTime Catch up with friends and family you haven’t seen in a while or talk to friends fellow  home-bound friends.