Category Archives: Gym

Exciting times

Standard

I woke up today very… not positive. Another very bad night with little to no sleep, Laura being so difficult in the morning (poor her, she was also tired), Bea being adorably difficult to put down to sleep (different noises in the house). But as the day progresses, I’m recovering slowly my mood.

Yesterday, Mr. C took the day off to help me with the logistics of taking Laura for her BCG jab (oh dear, thank goodness it’s the last – hopefully – jab for many years, she screamed so so so much, several minutes BEFORE having the injection. times like this, only an ice cream can make things better; not even chocolate helped!). He dropped me off at my photography workshop and when to a soft play area to spend some father-and-daughter time with Laura. She absolutely loved it! As for me, I’m really enjoying spending some time with other mums, and despite the subject evolving around kids, it doesn’t feel like that. It rained like hell yesterday, with 10 minutes of hail during the class, and it was freezing. I went home on the tram and train and by foot and it was alright, I think. I might try this again next time. Car is very convenient, especially when you need a wee, but I’m more relaxed if I am NOT driving.

We are in the process of tiny changes and news here. Nothing exciting for you lot, I guess, but tiny things help my mood to improve. The baby massage course finished last week. It was quite hard to massage Bea with her being so mobile and nosy, but it was fun nonetheless. And she absolutely adores having a back massage. So much that for the past week, she fell asleep a few times just being massaged. Before, I had to rock her for a long time (once, for two hours). I can’t believe how much and how sudden it changed – it’s not always easy, but even when she is agitated, a back massage calms her down. She might not go to sleep straight away, but she stays still and stops moaning (she is a moaner when she is tired, but I think it’s a general thing with all babies and children).

I was going to replace the massage course with a baby yoga class, which would be today, but I had some fitters in to work on the conservatory. Yes, it seems like we will have it done for Christmas. This puts a smile on my face. 🙂 Yes, it’s a pain to get stuck in the house while they are working, but hey, I wanted it, so I have to put up with it.

Beatrice started crawling yesterday, after what seemed the longest training period ever!! She was 6 months and 10 days old, which seems a little bit too soon, but not soon for a 2nd child I was told. Her sleeping hasn’t improved at all with weaning and the crawling training – I would say it got worse. But I have hopes for the near future.

We ordered Laura’s bed from Ikea (the one I mention on this post) and it will be delivered next Friday (oh, boy, Ikea’s online shopping is a pain!). So hopefully December will be some for of goodbye 2013, hello 2014 for us. Then, of course, we are travelling and who cares about routine?

We are also trying to reduce Bea’s dummy usage. Not that she uses a lot, on the contrary, but exactly because she doesn’t like it too much, we are slowly cutting it completely. It’s not easy (for me) though, as a dummy can be a life (for me) saviour. At the moment, I would say that she sucks her dummy about 2 hours a day? Yesterday she fell asleep without it, which is a victory. I’m hoping that it will be easier in Brazil, where I will have extra pair of hands to help soothing her.

Speaking of Brazil, we had some great news. Our friend Italiano, who is leaving in San Francisco for too long now, will join us in Brazil – a week in Bahia and another week in Rio. We are so excited!! Truth is, going to California is not in our plans just now (have other places in the queue) and coming to London is not in his plans either. So makes all the sense to meet up in the middle. And Bahia is a place that none of us know and we can explore together. Now, it is also be a test of our friendship – if he disappears completely after that, means that the girls scared him for good. hahaha If he enjoys the experience, I think we could look at an annual holiday with uncle R, eh?

Now, the last update is in regards my diet. It is going slowly but surely. I can’t get into the habit of exercising enough, so I must try harder. I’ve lost just over 1 stone so far and I would like to lose another 1/2 stone before the trip. I don’t think it’s impossible, but at the pace I am now, it will be hard. Oh well, it took me 8 years to put on weight, I should be grateful that it is coming out.

Learning to sleep

Learning to sleep

Learning to crawl

Learning to crawl

Getting rid of the dummy

Getting rid of the dummy

Press ups

Press ups

Things to do while on maternity leave

Standard

I feel very lucky to have had my babies in the UK and be entitled for a full year maternity leave. Although I don’t get a salary through part of it, I think this time I get to spend with them is precious.

Unfortunately pregnancy and motherhood left me a bit slow in the brain and I missed out lots of things I could have done with both since early weeks. I decided to write this post after trying to enroll in several activities just to find out that it is too late for a few of them and having a friend who just gave birth in New Zealand in mind. I wished I had someone to tell me certain things from day 1 I got pregnant.

NCT classes – I heard of it after having Laura and promised myself I was going to attend when I was pregnant again. Then, around March, I decided to look for a group near me just to hear from my boss that it was already too late, that I should have joined NCT just after the 1st trimester. I was very frustrated. NCT is a charity for parenting here in the UK and they run pre-Natal classes as well as other stuff. The best thing about it, in my opinion, is to get to know mothers in your area that will give birth around the same time as you. These mothers then gather to do things together after their babies are born. I just dropped my local NCT a note to ser if there is anything for mothers with young babies that I can join.

Baby massage – another one that I joined a little too late. Although the instructor told me there isn’t a real age limit (as long as baby isn’t walking), I find it quite hard to massage Bea when all she wants is to roll and look at other babies. I can see that the younger babies – 4 to 12 weeks – enjoy the massage more than Bea will ever enjoy. So, in my opinion, best age to start this is when baby is around 6 weeks old. Price for a 5 week course: £55 (I’ve seen more expensive ones but also seen free ones, from the council).

Baby yoga – I was looking at baby yoga classes to replace the baby massage classes once this is finished, in 2 weeks time, and also found out that it is recommended for babies between 6 weeks up to crawling. Well, Bea is very close to start crawling – she is already on her knees and moving back and forth on spot, exactly how Laura was a few days before she started crawling. From £6/session.

Baby sensory classes – this is way more flexible, and there are different age groups: the one I’m looking at the moment is for babies up to one year. There are other activities for older babies, who are walking. Prices vary from free (council – very basic) to £6-£8/session.

Baby music classes – same as above. I’m going to try one on the 5th november. Prices from £8/session.

Baby swimming classes – same as above. But I wasn’t very lucky with Laura. She was 4 months old when we went for a mum and baby class but the club near me was small and the dressing room wasnt very baby friendly – I had to leave her on a bench to get myself dressed, which was very dangerous and stressful. She wasn’t sitting but was rolling. Also, I found the water very cold and so was the dressing room, and Laura seemed to have a constant cold after we started swimming. I’m planning to give it a go with Bea at the new place I go to the gym, but only next year, as I have to pay for 10 classes (weeks) in advance and I’m not sure I want to commit to it just yet. Each class costs around £7.

Baby ballet – starts at 18 months. Laura is really enjoying her ballet class and I will definitely put Bea in as soon as she turns 18 months. We found classes on Saturdays, which is perfect for working parents. Each class costs £6, but you have to pay for a full term (6 classes) in advance.

Playgroups – there are various and for all age groups up to pre-school age, including free ones in libraries and other council buildings. I have only been to one yet with Bea because the ones I found are on Fridays and I had stuff to do. Sessions can be as little as £1 per
child, when charged for (see free options above).

Activities for mums – I mentioned the gym with creche on a previous post – there are other options like bootcamps where mums exercise with their babies and buggies. I’m also attending a “Family Meal” workshop for two hours a week and Bea stays in their creche. This is organized by our council’s Children and Family Centre. When this is finished, I will start a photography for mums with baby workshop for 3 weeks. Prices varies a lot, going from free (council) to £90 (photography). My gym membership costs £30/month (+ £3.5/hour for the creche).

At the moment Bea is at that age where she is too old for certain things and too young for others, but I don’t want to get to the stage I got with Laura, where I wouldn’t leave the house because I had panic attacks and post-natal depression. Forcing myself to do things with Bea has helped me not to go crazy and with winter coming, there are good chances I go mad if I don’t have stuff to do.

Life, oh life, oh life, tu-tu-tu

Standard

I wrote this post on the train, this evening, but it disappeared from WordPress. I managed to recover it only on the website, it still missing from the iPhone app.  

******

I’m on the train on my way home from a work event. One hour and a bit between three trains. A packed train. Trains were cancelled because a train derailed somewhere. I’m exhausted.

Tomorrow I’m there again. I can’t complain because I wanted to do these KIT days and I’m glad – maybe for the wrong reasons – I did it.

I can’t wait to go back to the gym on Friday though. Don’t tell anybody, but this is actually the best part of my week (yes, there’s all the baby smiles, cute sounds, etc, but you know what I mean, right?). Yesterday – Monday – I went to this brilliant class called Baby Boogie and Tone, which is basically 30 min dance class, 30 min strength exercises carrying the baby on a sling. Luckily I have a small baby, but it was pretty tough. We had a bit of everything: Arabic music (belly dancing with a baby was weird, to say the least), Michael Jackson disco, hip hop… Bea had a “what the f%#k” face and got a bit pissed off 5 minutes to end the class. But I loved it and will be back every Monday. It saved me £3.5 of creche. Hahahaha

Hopefully, from the last week of October I will be able to go three times a week to the gym. Lucky me to have a friend (and comadre) who is up to hanging out at the gym instead of going to the pub. So last Saturday we were chatting and exercising and burned almost 400 calories. Sweet hubby was being the perfect daddy, looking after the girls.

I’m loving these “me time” moments and regret not starting it before. It’s not even about losing weight, but having fun. Yes, I’m having fun going to the gym, that’s how sad I’ve become. Haha

Ha-ha my ass. It’s ok to have fun at the gym, right? Especially because I’m not overdoing it and because I’m not going to start a blog about fitness and how I’m getting fit. Can you imagine me posting photos of the “before” and “after”? You don’t want to see that, believe me.

*****

Life is still about the girls though. I’m taking Beatrice to baby massage classes (I think I’m enjoying it more that her though) and Laura goes to the ballet classes (and she loves it). We are always looking at ways to entertain them although all we want to do is to watch TV (hubby) and to sleep (me).

******

Photos anyone? Yeah, why not. Apologies for the blurry photos, but my subject is always on the run.

20131015-175519.jpg

The old bouncer is now her sister’s, but of course she wants to play with it.

20131015-175557.jpg

My ballerina

20131015-175612.jpg

Where’s Wally?

20131015-175629.jpg

“I love racing cars”

20131015-175639.jpg

Burying auntie Lelei (she is under the pile of cushions)

20131015-175652.jpg

Getting ready for “Baby Boogie and Tone” class

20131015-175701.jpg

Scene from the “new” Star Wars film. I loved the bright yellow-red-white combination and am thinking about using it at home. Yes, there is a doll under the TV stand.

20131015-175734.jpg

Bookshops are fun!

20131015-175719.jpg

Because ice cream is sweet as life should be!

20131015-175746.jpg

“I can’t wait to be able to walk around and drive mummy crazy too”

20131015-175801.jpg

“Shall we go to space now?” – at Waterstone’s bookshop

20131015-175820.jpg

I was told that this is the “real” macaroon. (from the street market in Bromley. I love street markets!)

Keep in touch

Standard

Today and tomorrow I’m away from my babies due to work event. I wasn’t forced into it, it was agreed between my boss and I, but I was actually the one who suggested working on this event even before I went on maternity leave.

In the UK we are entitled to 10 KIT (keep in touch) days, paid of course, during the maternity leave period. I was planning to use all ten, but not sure I will now.

Next week I will work in the office and I don’t know how I feel about it. The thing is: Beatrice is solely breastfed. And I don’t express milk to give her, it’s straight from the source. I have been expressing milk in the last weeks, every day a little bit and I only managed to express enough for these two days. The plan was to express lots, to give daddy some practice time (you know, bottle feed a breastfed baby isn’t the easiest of the tasks), so how Beatrice will accept the bottle will be a surprise for all of us. They will be fine, but I don’t think I will.

Beatrice has been sleeping worse than before for the last couple of days, having milk 5 times between 11 pm and 6 am, and crying a lot if I try to give her the dummy instead of the breast. Yesterday she woke up at 6am, but today she was still sleeping when I left. So no goodbyes.

Laura wet her bed this morning, called daddy at 6 am. It’s the first time it happens since we came back from holidays on the 8th of September. I could blame the juice she had before bedtime, but she had had juice and milk and water several times just before bedtime and didn’t wet the bed. I could blame the cold weather, but it has been cold in our house for a week or so. I didn’t think about blaming the fact that I’m going to work today because she didn’t seem to care when we told her yesterday. On the contrary, she was very excited that daddy was going to take her to school. So wetting her bed is something else, maybe bad dream.

I thought I was going to be thrilled to be on my own for a couple of days, but the fact is that I am holding back the tears. I am a possessive mother. I complain that motherhood can be suffocating, but I can’t be far away from my kids, especially from Bea, who is just too young. She will survive and probably enjoy her time with daddy. I will survive, but not unharmed.

Human mind is something powerful. I think I was so scared about leaving them and going to work that everything seemed to go “wrong”. The hair is all oily and disgusting – and I didn’t have time to wash it this morning. The clothes I chose to wear this morning didn’t fit and the shoes I was meant to wear don’t match the current outfit. The top I’m wearing is itching me. I couldn’t prepare the milk bottles for Bea as I planned because I ran out of time. Laura spilled her juice all over her 5 minutes before I left, the trains were delayed…

Luckily, the girls have the best father they could have asked for, and while I was a pile of nerves this morning, he was chilled out about it all. I think he might even enjoy these two days at home. 🙂