Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Life : Lately

It's been a busy few weeks here as we get closer to my due date. Baby is holding out, despite me feeling like it's arrival will be imminent for a few weeks now!

Our little man turned four at the start of the month, which was a surprisingly emotional day for us.

We are so proud of the little boy he is growing into, always smiling, chatting, a constant blur of movement and noise yet simultaneously affectionate, sensitive and well behaved, I couldn't be happier. I often find myself taking those Mummy moments, where you sit back and think wow, this is my child and look how lovely he is! I always wanted a "little James" and the pair of them are definitely two peas in a pod.

We kept his actual birthday fairly low key and celebrated at home with family and a couple of his friends from down the street. I imagine this is the last year I will get away without organising a proper kids party so I'm making the most of it!

Jessie on Jack's third birthday, with her Aunty Helen
The day was also unexpectedly emotional as I couldn't help but feel Jessica's absence, probably as Jack's third birthday was the last time a lot of people saw her, as she passed away 11 days later.  Grief is a funny old thing, it really does sneak up and grab you when you least expect it to, for example Christmas passed relatively easily, however a day which should technically be all about Jack was filled with thoughts of Jessica. Early February was definitely a time for the "this time last year" game.

So what else has been happening?? I've been growing a small human! Pregnancy has been kind to me in so far as I've been lucky enough not to have any major issues, but I certainly haven't escaped the usual complaints! I don't think I've had a full nights sleep in weeks now, the pulling of my belly on my back just means that I can't get comfortable in bed regardless of how many pillows I prop myself up with. I am definitely at the stage where I feel I'd rather have the baby here now! However, it won't be long and I am so excited to meet this little one.

I paid a visit my wonderful best friend Emma who has recently opened her own photography studio in Preston.  Whilst it isn't her usual line of work, she offered to take some maternity photos for me before bump becomes a baby.  I couldn't be happier with the results, she's an incredibly talented photographer and even brought along a make up artist for a little confidence boost, which made a lovely girly day out for me!

I finished work for maternity leave in the middle of February, which I was very much ready for. It's been a relief to have a couple of weeks where I don't *have* to rush in the mornings and can take the day at my own pace. My lovely colleagues treated me to some beautiful flowers, lovely chocolate (I guess I must have spoken at length about my love for Reese's this pregnancy...) and some vouchers for Cath Kidston. I'm really going to miss them over the next 12 months, I enjoy my job and am lucky to be part of a really great team where we all get along really well.

I had the biggest surprise on a snowy day in February when Emma arrived clutching a large wrapped gift for me from a group of friends. I assumed it would be something baby related, imagine my surprise when I opened the paper to find a beautiful Kitchen Aid stand mixer! I'd said that I really didn't want a baby shower this time around so they had taken it upon themselves to arrange a surprise which was just so thoughtful and touching. I've already given it a good workout, I've been baking cakes and bread and it came in very handy for whizzing up batches of pancake batter!

Being at home has of course given me some time to start work on the garden for this year.  I'm feeling really eager to get out there on some warmer days and start making a few changes and getting seeds sown but for the time being I've managed to get my seed potatoes out to chit, the grass mown and a little clearing of weeds and old growth from the flower beds. I've created a planting plan and ordered all of my flower and vegetable seeds for the summer, James and I are also planning how to overhaul our broken patio and completely change the bottom area closest to the house which should create a really exciting new space for us.

Inside, I've been nesting like only a third trimester pregnant lady can. I'm happiest wiping down my worktops, mopping floors and running the hoover around! I'm completely in love with the smell of cleaning products and laundry powders (something I've had all 3 times!). I am a bit of a neat freak at the best of times so it has been a new level of clean and tidy in here!

We've also been working hard to get things ready for baby, our little bedroom is now a nursery rather than a home office and whilst it's awaiting some finishing touches once we know what gender the baby is all the furniture is in place and we are good to go. Hopefully once everything is in place I will put together a nursery reveal post.

I've spent a little time crafting for baby, and finished a couple of little knits which I'll share in another post - they deserve their own blog space!

A big part of getting ready for baby has been getting established with the CONI scheme. CONI stands for "Care of Next Infant" and helps parents who have lost a child to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome to deal with the inevitable emotional difficulties of having another baby. So far we have met our new health visitors who have been really lovely, we have been given lots of information about the support available, and even had a baby CPR demonstration and been given a set of weighing scales and an apnoea monitor. My feelings are very mixed at this stage about how much extra support we will want or need but we are taking the approach of setting up as many support channels as possible and we can choose whether or not we want to use them as the time comes.

If you've made it through all this waffle, well done! Hopefully I'll be back soon to share the news of our new arrival.

Jenny xxx