The summer so far

Hello! Yep, I’ve done my usual summer disappearing act. I don’t know what it is about July but I seem incapable of blogging through it.

So, a brief update on what I’ve been up to…

-Weaning… I really wanted to get going on the fun process of giving Sid proper food, so (sshhh, don’t hate me), we started a little bit before the recommended six months. From about five and a bit months, I started offering up little tastes of various fruits and veggies, and for quite a while he was entirely uninterested, until one day, he stole the quesedilla I was eating for lunch off of my plate and stuffed it in his mouth. We’ve been doing food ever since! It probably deserves it’s own post in full, because there’s a lot to talk about. I really really wanted to do baby-led weaning (where you give small baby sticks of food and let them get on with it), but it was SCARY! So we’ve settled on a mixture of finger food and spoon feeding, but over the course of the last three weeks, we’re slowly moving more towards self-feeding, which is cool.

-Holidays… Not yet, but next week, we’re off to Devon with my family. Probably in for a week of drizzle and windswept beaches, but that’s what holidays in England are all about, right? I’m currently making multiple packing lists, in an effort to try not to just pack up the contents of the entire house.

-History… For several years, I’ve been threatening to do another degree, and after putting it off thinking ‘oh, but in a few years, I might want to start thinking about babies, and then where will I be?’, I finally realised that I had the baby and my life really hasn’t changed that much, so there was no reason not to follow the dream. What I don’t have is the cash to fund it, so unfortunately for me, after signing up with the Open University, I have had to put it on hold for six months while I save up the funds. In the meantime, I’m doing lots of interesting reading about medieval history (and watching lots of Time Team… which is history in itself- in one of the early episodes they had to explain what GPS was!).

-Yoga… I’ve been doing post-natal yoga classes for the last three months or so and was interested in doing more, so I did a very very brief search on youtube for beginners’ yoga videos and happened across Yoga with Adriene. I was instantly in love- her teaching style is right up my street and I started doing one of her videos about three times a week, as well as starting on her ’30 days of yoga’ series. Inevitably I fell off the bandwagon, and had a week or so off, but I started again today on day 1 and am going to make a promise to do the 30 days consecutively (rather than every so often, like I had been).

-Slimming down… In the six months since Sid was born, I resolutely hung on to six or so pounds that I wanted to get rid of to get back to where I was before I was pregnant. This was no  stubborn weight that was impossible to lose, it was me eating the world out of crisps and biscuits, so it actually turned out to be no big deal to shed the weight. I signed up to myfitnesspal again and started tracking my calories, and signed up for a buggy workout class and got back to where I wanted to in four weeks.

-Buggy workout… Deserves its own little mention- Twice a week I’ve been joining a group in running round a park with a group of other ladies, with babies in buggies. As well as the running, there’s some pretty punishing hill work, plus circuit training type stuff like tricep dips, press ups and the like. It’s brilliant, a nice bunch of people and is definitely working, given how much my various body parts ache the day after! My only slight worry is that I’m stuffing my decidedly pansy-like wrists up by pushing a reasonably heavy buggy

-Hair dye… I had sort of decided that when I was on maternity leave, I’d dye my hair red again, so I did. That’s it really. It’s a bit of a sod on the upkeep, and needs redoing every three weeks (courtesy of Mr Mark- I can’t afford that many salon visits!), but I’m very much enjoying being a red head, rather than my natural blonde

Yep, I think that’s enough of an update! I shall be back more regularly, honest!

A little bit of me time

When I was pregnant, I did some prenatal yoga classes, which were absolutely awesome- so relaxing and really sorted out my niggly aches and pains. The teacher also ran a postnatal class and said she’d be in touch six weeks post-birth to tell me more. Eleven weeks went past and nada, and I was a little bit sad about it but thought hey ho, until an email pinged up to apologise that there’d been a break in the classes, but they’d be restarting in the first week of May if I wanted to sign up.

I surely did, even though it meant my Fridays would be a little bit jam packed. Typically the one class that I go to with Sid takes place on a Friday at 11.30, and yoga would be at 2. Class in question is Baby Sensory, by the way. It’s ok I guess- Anyone that has ever been to a baby sensory class will know that you have to sing this song at the start, with actions, called ‘hello to the sun’, which quite frankly I feel like more of a nobber singing with each passing week, and I can never remember any of the actions. The class basically involves variations on a theme of bouncing babies on your legs to a song, waving various things in front of them and a bubble machine. Sid tends to have a look of ‘what the hell are you doing, mummy?’ on his face for most of it so I’m not entirely sure if it’s money well spent, although it is a good opportunity for me to show off when we do tummy time exercises, because my boy is totally bossing tummy time. Seriously, he rocks at it </competitive parenting>.

Anyhow, I decided I wanted to do the yoga, and my friends were paying for another term of Baby Sensory, so I’ve reluctantly signed up too, just on the off chance that Sid might miraculously start actually enjoying himself and will be doing the journey from one side of the borough to the other between classes, conveniently with enough time to stop in for a cuppa at my mum’s.

So anyway, postnatal yoga- what was it like? Well, not anywhere near as relaxing as prenatal, that’s for certain, but relaxing in a different sort of a way- Everyone brings their babies, and they recline on blankets next to us while we do the exercises. The teacher’s little boy was there, running in and out and making stuff out of playdoh, and her mum was on hand to soothe or feed any babies that needed it, so everyone could concentrate on themselves for a bit.

We started off with some stretching on the floor (Sid made sure I remembered he was there by repeatedly hitting me in the face), then moved on to some poses, aiming to help knit everything back together again- pelvic floor, abdominal muscles, that sort of thing, then we finished off with a tiny bit of guided relaxation. We used to do this in prenatal for quite a lot of the session, and I’d regularly fall asleep or phase out, but this was much shorter and had a sound track of various babies squiffling around so there was no danger of nodding off! We all had eye pillows which really meant that you didn’t open your eyes and Clare, the teacher, came round with oils and gave everyone a head massage, which oh dear lord was fricking amazing.  At the end of the class, because the hall was available for another hour, Clare made everyone a cup of tea and we all had a chat, which was really nice and I left the class feeling, while not quite as blissed out as I did when I came out of prenatal, certainly ready to face the world!

A little light yoga

A good few years back, Mr Mark ruptured a couple of disks in his spine. Following a lot of physio he got himself back to some semblance of normality, albeit with the help of copious amounts of pain killers.  Eventually somebody suggested yoga, and three years later, he’s quite a few pain killers lighter and has even managed to make his triumphant return to playing rugby. Very very pleased for him I am too!

He mentioned a few weeks back that his school also offered pregnancy yoga and as at the time I was planning my reluctant but graceful temporary retirement from running (it wasn’t graceful at all. I had the right hump- hadn’t even managed to make it half way through to full term and my back was crying out for mercy) I thought I might give it a go.  A nice bit of gentle stretching sounded just the ticket.

The classes started at 10 to 6 (clearly not catering for the 9-5 commuter like my good self!) which meant leaving work early but my boss was happy for me to make up the time elsewhere so I packed up my redundant trackie bottoms and off I went, taking fellow pregnant buddy Lisa along with me

Side note- its really weird but since i found out I was pregnant, no less than 4 other people I know announced due dates within two months of mine. Weird, eh!

So the verdict?  Well, being about as spiritual as a chicken kiev, the majority of the class was a bit too wafty for me- low lighting, incense, tinkly music etc.  We started off with 10 minutes of just breathing, relaxing various body parts and ‘connecting with the baby’, moved on to some stretches that you did with your eyes closed and it didn’t actually matter how you did it because it was about finding ‘your body’s natural rhythm’, and then 10 minutes of laying on the rock solid floor wrapped in a blanket, while my arm went dead.

In a nutshell, I’ve made it sound really rubbish but I definitely took away some useful stuff for *gulp* labour, like ‘x position will be good for the transition stage’, and scarily ‘this is good for helping you not to tear because it will take pressure off of your perineum’ and I definitely felt more relaxed and stretched out afterwards- I’ve slept better than I have in ages in the days after the class, so I guess all that tinkly music must’ve been good for something!