Daddy’s Creative Challenge

Hi everybody, Daddy here, aka Hubby.

It’s Mummy’s birthday today, and because I’ve been off with the Monkey and Mummy over Easter, and have a couple of extra days off as well, I thought it was time I put my creative juices to the test, and make Mummy a birthday card, with Monkey’s help of course.

Now, my day job is very much office-based.  There’s more management in my day than there used to be, but essentially I am a keyboard warrior, and pretty much always have been.

I do love doing crafty things, and love gardening and making things, and cooking, but I really have never been that creative, so the Creative Challenge really is for me!

I always have an idea in my head of what I want things to look like, but it’s normally quite vague at the same time, and translating it into something actually in front of me is where I really struggle.

I can look at something and say whether its good or bad, the problem is that I rarely look at anything I have made and think it looks good!

So, onto the card making.  Mummy and Monkey have been doing a lot of card making recently, and I decided to go with the “Monkey Random Painting Generator” technique.
WP_20140422_13_35_35_Pro As you bloggers and blog-readers have probably already seen, Monkey loves to paint, and he loves to mix the colours – a LOT.

WP_20140422_13_41_44_Pro He just can’t let those paints sit all nice and neat together.

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It starts like above, and then very quickly gets to this (check out the Monkey-Eye-View below).

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But it does make for some really interesting patterns which can be great for card making.

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Check out those colour combos!

So Monkey has made all the ingredients for the card, it’s now up to me to make it.  I’ve decided to make this a card from Monkey to Mummy, and the only thing I have had in my head is to try and make something with a birthday cake on it.

Throughout the day, as I have been waiting for the paintings to dry, I wondered if I could make a shape that looked enough like a cake, and tried to think about how to do some candles for it.

Note that at this point I have no idea what else is going to go on the card – I think I’ll wing it!  For such a serious planner, there are times where I just “do it on the night”.  Looks like this is one of those times.

Ok here’s what I have to work with.

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Lots to choose from so as you can see I have cut out the shape for the cake, and also had what I hope will be a great idea for the candles, by taking that fiery looking bit to use the yellow for the the flames.

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WP_20140422_19_43_18_Pro They don’t look bad!

Here’s the cake all stuck down.

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Here’s where the wheels fall off the wagon.

Mummy likes hearts and stars, so I try to cut some out, and, well, they are rubbish.

After several attempts at hearts, I finally get something that does look half decent, and decide to cut out an “I heart U” style motif.  Stupidly though, I write the message on the front of the card without thinking about where everything is going to go, so I have a choice of where to put the other bits.

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So I haven’t cut out the star yet, and still aren’t sure which of the above designs to go with, but I’m pretty happy with both really.  It will all come down to the star I cut out.

I thought the heart was difficult…

I started by reminding myself of the classic freehand, single-stroke star.

WP_20140422_20_02_41_Pro I then started cutting with scissors, and kept looking back at this star for guidance, thinking I should surely be able to do something that looks a bit like it (not that my drawing is very good).

But then, I have no idea how, but as soon as I have finished cutting it out, I realise that despite spending ages cutting carefully and looking back at the star above, I have randomly cut out a Star of David instead! WTF?

WP_20140422_20_05_03_Pro I mean how on earth do you accidentally cut out a 6 point star instead of a 5 point star? Hello?

Anyway, after several other tries later and a few swear words, I have something I’m happy enough with to go on the card.

So here it is.  The finished card.  Now, I know it’s not good, but I am just hoping Mummy can see that it was made with love, and see that it really took some effort (despite how random and slapdash it actually looks!).

WP_20140422_20_18_46_Pro I hope you enjoyed the first Daddy Post.  I promise not to come back too often – Mummy clearly has more skills on the blogging and Creative Challenge front than me – but this has been great fun to write and to share my little attempt at creativity!

Creative Challenge Linky #9

Welcome to week #9 of the Creative Challenge Linky!

Thank you so much to everyone who linked up last week, I couldn’t believe how many lovely bloggers linked up! I really very much appreciate it, and have loved reading all of your creative posts, there are some creative mamas out there!

The Creative Challenge isn’t just about arts and crafts – but it is all about being creative. It is getting increasingly difficult to choose favourites as there were lots of really fab posts. But I loved reading about Ruth’s sewing challenges and really admire anyone who has the guts and drive (let alone skill) to turn a hobby into a business! I also loved the genius Cardboard bus from Tarana at Sand in My Toes, as Monkey loves buses we are going to have to attempt this one day!

I’d love it if you could join in, you can link up anything remotely creative. Decorating, baking, sewing, even being creative in what you wear. This linky is about challenging ourselves to be a bit more creative – in whatever way best suits you!

Getting crafty with the kiddies

Being creative in the kitchen

Experimenting with a new hobby

This week I was all creativity’d out over Easter, and also today is my Birthday! So *gasp* I am handing over to daddy for a guest post about him getting all creative with Monkey to make me a birthday card! Yay! I haven’t seen/read anything yet either so I’m dead excited to see it!

Right, now it’s your turn to link up your posts, and tell me all about your Creative Challenge!

Creative Challenge

Here’s how this works.

  1. Write a new post (or link an old one if it fits the theme) all about your Creative Challenge.
  2. Grab the Creative Challenge badge (by copying the code above) and pop it at the bottom of your post (in the ‘text’ version).
  3. Link your post  by clicking on the ‘Add your link’ button and filling in the form.
  4. Remember: Linkys only work when we take the time to read each others posts and leave comments so please let’s support each other and read and comment on as many posts as you are able to.

The linky opens at 6.30am on Wednesday and will close at 11.00pm on Sunday so there is plenty of time to join in.

VBAC or Elective C?

I had my first midwife appointment today and she asked how I felt about this question, and I can’t say I haven’t thought about it a lot, but I am nowhere near reaching a decision!

VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean) or an Elective C-Section?

During my previous pregnancy I had high hopes of a natural delivery, hopefully including a water birth. Because of my SPD I felt this would be the best route as the water should help support my pelvis and limit at least some of the pain! I was quite open regarding pain relief and figured that as I had no idea how labour felt, or how I would react to that pain that the best approach was to see how it went and make decisions at the time.

Then, Monkey was Breech. After lots of attempts to turn him, ranging from being advised to ‘visualise the baby turning’ which hubby helped with by turning himself around in bed (lol, which was hilarious, and ridiculous, but sadly DIDN’T help!) to having a consultant attempt to forcibly turn him in the womb via an ECV. That was seriously painful and not an experience I’d care to repeat! It obviously comes with some risks too.

So as he refused point blank to turn around it was recommended that we have a C Section. I hate the word elective as it feels like somehow you are choosing that option, for no other reason than you want one. What they mean is ‘planned’ rather than ‘emergency’ so I wish they’d just use the word planned! Anyway, digressing, I know it is possible to deliver a breech baby naturally however I did do a lot of research and found evidence to suggest that since C-Sections have become the more popular option in breech cases, that the skill level required to deliver a breech baby naturally isn’t found as commonly in hospitals anymore. While you may be lucky and have a midwife who has delivered breech babies, and knows exactly how best to do it, you may also have a midwife who has never delivered a breech baby before, as they are more commonly born via C-section. This means that the risks of a natural breech birth are now actually higher than the risks of having a C Section. (That is how I interpreted the research and advice I received at the time – I am not a midwife, doctor or scientist and it may not be correct, all I can do is say how we made our decision.)

So we opted for a C-section. Now, it turns out that I have a Bicornuate Uterus (sort of heart shaped rather than round) and Monkey had no chance in turning round, because he was stuck in one side and could not turn. The consultant advised that there is basically a 50/50 chance that any future pregnancy would also be breech, which would mean there isn’t much of a decision to make and we would go for a C-Section again without question.

But the question is, what would I do if the baby is not breech. Would I go down the road I know and have a C-Section regardless? Plan it in and eliminate all doubt? Or do I think back to my original hopes for my previous pregnancy and aim for a natural water birth?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t relish the thought of going under the knife again. I would much rather not have the post surgery recovery time, the agony of life that is post C-Section, when you realise more than ever before how important your stomach muscles are and how debilitating it is when moving them causes you agony! I don’t want to be in hospital for days post birth again, being kept awake by all of the other babies on the ward, in addition to my own, struggling to care for baby in those hours overnight when hubby has to go home and I can barely move. That I am NOT looking forward to should I choose that route.

BUT, and it is a big but, the birth itself was calm and relatively stress free.We knew the day, I went to a wedding the day before, knowing the next day I would have my baby. We checked in and were second on the list so Monkey was born by 10am. there was no pain pre-birth, it all ran very smoothly and was just lovely and calm.

I am a planner so for me the unknown elements of giving birth have always terrified me somewhat. When will it happen? Will I go to hospital too early and be sent home? Will I leave it too late and not get there in time? How bad will the pain be? How will I cope? (I’ve watched one born and I know some women cope better with the pain than others – not criticising, we are all built differently and can’t compare, it’s just hard not knowing how it will be for me.) Will I need an epidural? What if something goes wrong? What if I need an assisted delivery? What if I need an emergency C-Section anyway and still have all the negatives of a C-Section, without the benefits of the calm build up?

Add to this the SPD, I know women with SPD give birth naturally all the time but there are added complications and there are fewer recommended positions, for example being on your knees is recommended far and away above lying on a bed with your legs in stirrups.

Am I just nervous? Is that why I am hesitating? Am I a coward for wanting to go down the ‘known’ route of a planned C-Section? Am I less of a woman if I never go through the experience of a natural birth? Am I missing out? But then should I take the option of a natural birth (which comes with it’s own risks as well after a C-Section, including tearing the uterus scar) purely to avoid these opinions? Should I be swayed by such negative thoughts?

I am not going to rush the decision as I am well and truly divided over which I would prefer. I may end up having very little choice anyway if this baby is breech too, so in some ways I don’t want to get my hopes up for a natural birth. I am being referred to the VBaC Clinic, where they will hopefully be able to give me some further advice and help me to make an informed decision.

have you had any experience of this decision? Which way did you go?

#AllAboutYou Link & Pin Party Mama and More

Easter Fun 2014 – 23 Months old

Happy Easter!! Hope you have all had a lovely relaxed weekend so far and eaten lots of chocolate? No? Well there’s still time!

We’ve had lots of Easter fun so far this year!

We’ve made Easter Nests, Easter Cards and been on an Easter Hunt, and Monkey has loved every minute!

Easter Nests

There is obviously different ways of making easter nests but I like to use Shredded Wheat, as then they feel a bit more nest-y.

So we used:
1 pack of Shredded Wheat 16s
400g Belgian Milk Chocolate (we are a little in love with the Waitrose own brand Belgian Milk Chocolate at the mo – seriously, you should try it, yummy!!) We actually used a little less than this as I had scoffed some beforehand, but it would’ve been better if we had the whole bars!
Mini Eggs

Easter Nests

Basically you bash up the Shredded Wheat, Monkey helped with this, until it is really fine. I actually find using the end of a big rolling pin is the best bashing method! Lots of fun!!

Melt chocolate, we do it over the hob in a bowl over simmering water, but I hear microwaving is very easy too!

Mix, then scoop into cake cases, and add eggs.

Very simple, tasty chocolatey fun! :)

Easter Cards

After the success of Granny’s birthday card a couple of weeks ago, i thought we’d use a similar  method for Easter cards and involve monkey with some finger painting! The first time we tried unfortunately Monkey just mixed up the paint and we ended up with some murky brown splodges, he had fun, but not very attractive or easter themed!

We tried again at the weekend with some different colours and had much more success! Once the masterpieces had dried I cut them into egg shapes and stuck them onto some cards. Monkey finished them off with some lovely colouring! Easy peasy Easter cards!

Easter Cards

Easter Hunt

Because we would like to avoid too much of a sugar rush, we got some other bits in addition to eggs, to make this an Easter Hunt, rather than an Easter ‘Egg’ Hunt. I dotted the chicks and bunnies, signs and eggs around the front garden (the back garden still being mainly mud at the moment, with less places to hide them!) for Monkey to find. With the weather forecast for Easter Sunday a bit miserable we did the hunt on Saturday afternoon, in case it got rained off on Sunday!.

Monkey loved it, I mean it lasted about 5 minutes but he had lots of fun with all his bunnies and chicks, and putting them in his little basket. He obv loved eating the choccy eggs too!

Easter Hunt

I used to love Easter as a kid, Easter egg hunts, chocolate, but as an adult I didn’t really celebrate it much. Now we have a little man it is bringing the fun back again and I am loving all the Easter fun this year!

Have you had much fun over Easter?
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The Reading Residence
Mumday Monday

First night in a Big Boy Bed! – 23 months

We did it! We have made the move from cot to bed and so far all has gone pretty smoothly!

We talked about making the transition a few months ago, and felt perhaps that neither Monkey, nor Daddy and I were quite ready for it. Then I fell pregnant and the problems with my pelvis started to flare up. With a new baby going to be needing the cot at some point we wanted to make the transition far enough in advance that Monkey wouldn’t feel pushed out of his cot. But then with my pelvis problems meaning that I shouldn’t lift him very often, if at all, we know we really should make the transition even earlier.

A while ago we bought his bed in the sale and he had really liked it in the shop. Keen to involve him in the process we took him shopping to buy some bedding, even though I had an idea of what to get him. A lot of the soft furnishings in his room are already matching, with a lovely cloud pattern which he adores, so I hoped that buying the same range of bedding would attract him to it.

We weren’t sure whether to ease the transition by having both cot and bed in the room for a while, or to go cold turkey and take the cot out straight away. In the hopes that it would make it easier, we did the former. He liked his bed immediately and cuddled up with his bedsheet – though he hated the duvet and pillow and wanted nothing to do with them! We will worry about those at a later stage I think! Too much all at once.

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But even though he liked his bed and lay down on it, as soon as it was nap or night time, he would get off the bed and try and get in the cot. A week of this and we realised that he would never sleep in his bed while his cot was in the room. Which makes sense really, but we were nervous of his reaction to us taking his cot away so we waited until the Easter weekend, when we had a good stretch of hubby being off work, in case we had a few sleepless nights!

Good Friday was the day. After his nap, hubby dismantled the cot and put it away, moving his bed to the position his cot was in, and hanging the little cot pockets that used to be on his cot, onto the end of his bed. I know this seems to be a weird position, but has always slept with his head by the door, and well, why not if it makes him happy?

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Anyway, we had talked about how best to go about it should things not go smoothly and he not stay in bed. I always liked watching Supernanny on TV and while I don’t agree 100% with everything she says, I do like her common sense approach to things, so we have Jo Frost’s book on Confident Toddler Care and looked to see what her advice was. We ended up using her stay in bed technique.

Basically you follow your normal routine, and put them in bed. When they get out of bed, you say ‘bedtime darling’ and put them back. The next time it is simply a firm ‘bedtime’ as you put them back. After that you put them back in bed with no contact whatsoever. No talking, no eye contact, no form of communication. And so on until they eventually give up.

We felt this was definitely worth a try, so hubby took him for bath and bed as normal. Monkey was really excited about his bed being in the place of his cot as soon as he got upstairs, and didn’t even want his bath! Very unusual but we wanted to use his excitement if we could. Hubby did at all as planned and followed the technique to the letter, and you know what, it worked amazingly!

Monkey got out of bed 5 times, then resigned himself to it and stayed put, and stayed put all night long! He can be seriously stubborn sometimes so this really did surprise us! He even slept in a little late in the morning, bonus! We were concerned nap times may suffer, but nope the next day he went straight down for his nap and slept really well!! Hooray!!! The same happened that night.

In hindsight, we probably “should”/could have done it cold turkey, but in the end this worked so well I think because of the preparation and I think the technique really helped too. Either way all is well that ends well and our little boy is growing up! Bless him!

So, while this was a very special event, it will now be a very ordinary moment, a real sign he is not our little baby any more!

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Ethans Escapades

Enjoying getting out and about again! 22 months old

With the combination of sunnier weather, and my new pelvis support, Monkey and I have been out and about loads over the last week.

We’ve played in the sand in our neighbour’s garden…

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and popped to the park near our friend’s house.

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Monkey and my friend’s little girl always play really nicely together, even though she’s just over a year older. Although this week she got cross with him trying to play with her favourite train, then he got a bit nervous of her! Bless ‘em! Sure it’ll be fine again next time!

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Then Thursday our plans with friends were cancelled last minute due to poorliness :( so we popped to a local country park, which I knew had built a new play area that opened for the easter holidays. What I didn’t realise was that the whole play area was basically a big sand pit!

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Monkey had fun, then fell on his knees in a big water play are (thankfully we had spare trousers in the bag!).

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The only problem was that with it being the Easter Holidays it was pretty chaotic in there! We were playing on the slide and there were some bigger kids fooling around on there too which made me a little wary. It was quite a wide slide and they were going down in groups and sideways and tumbling all over the place irrelevant of the tiny tots also wanting to go on the slide. I was keeping a close eye as Monkey desperately wanted to go down the slide. He went down a couple of times then got bashed from behind before he had a chance to get off the bottom of the slide (Monkey was fine). I had a calm word with the boy (who I guess was around 7 or 8?) to just be a bit careful around the little one and then less than 30s later the same boy completely knocked monkey over, face first onto the wooden steps.

Cue lots of bawling from Monkey and I have to admit I got a bit cross with the boy in question. I know he didn’t mean it but it seemed so careless. There were cries of “It was so and so’s fault” and I think I said something like “I don’t care whose fault it was, you all need to be less selfish and more careful around the little ones.” He ran off to his grandparents but with Monkey screaming his head off I don’t think they objected to my calm telling off! Hate having to do it but couldn’t pretend it was ok, the play area was for all ages and they just need to be at least aware of what they are doing around little ones and considerate to others. Maybe I expect too much of them?

Anyway after that Monkey was a bit more wary of the play area so we went for a run around with his ball! He is great at kicking it now and is a good dribbler (in more ways than one as he still needs dribble bibs, eye roll!) .

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Then we played peepo around some trees.

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Before going to watch some kites flying, which he found fascinating, and see the little miniature railway.

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Then it was time to go home!

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It’s been lovely getting out and about a bit more! What have you been up to with your little ones outdoors lately?

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Feeling the Support

After an insanely busy week last week, this week has been much calmer, and thank goodness as I really needed it to be. There has been lots more positivity this week too so that was nearly my Word of the Week, but instead I have gone for “Support” and I will tell you why.

Regular readers will know about the ups and downs I have had with my pelvis so far in this pregnancy, and I have basically been in a lot of pain due to a lack of support in that region. But on Monday morning I met my new physio who was wonderful and positive and supportive and she has made the world of difference already. I won’t go into too much detail here, but I have written more about it in my week 10 update, if you would like to read more.

One thing I will mention though is that I now have a rather fetching support brace, which is MUCH better than anything I have had before, in that it actually supports my pelvis. It’s not a miracle cure of course and the pain isn’t miraculously gone, but I have felt able to do more with Monkey this week. I haven’t been shying away from walks to the park for fear of the pain I would be in. I have been able to wear the support and have it take some of the strain for me and allow me to be more of the Mum I want to be. Yay!

The other reason I have chosen the word support is because my friends have been so supportive of me lately too, and I feel very very lucky to have such lovely supportive friends. They are a relatively new group of friends, we all met working in the same office and we have really got close since we all had children fairly close in age. I popped round to see one of them for a play date last Friday and I was feeling particularly low. I was in a lot of pain and was so tired after a busy week, but I needed to get out of the house with Monkey.

One thing I always worry about is being that annoying person who is constantly moaning. Growing up my Dad used to moan about his back allll the time, to everyone, and I would see people’s eyes glaze over as he banged on and on about it without ever asking anyone else how they were. I would never want to be thought of the way that I know he was. But it’s a balance because I don’t want to be a martyr either and not tell people who are close to me when I am suffering.

So I was at my friend’s and she knew bits of what was going on, but not all and she wanted to know how I was. I still held back a little though and at one point apologised to her for being such a moaning minnie. She looked at me and said “Seriously Caroline, You don’t have to be happy all the time. This is rubbish and you’re allowed to be miserable, and I want to know how you really are!” I think I cried a little (I blame pregnancy hormones) and spilled. And you know what, I felt so much better for it. I worry too much sometimes and need to trust people more.

As a group we went out for dinner on Tuesday and had a lovely time (even though our food took nearly and hour and a half and we didn’t get to eat until 9pm! Shocking service!) and again just felt really lucky to have a great group of friends and they were all so happy for me that the physio went well on Monday. There was lots of fun and giggles all evening and it was just lovely.

My husband and our families have been so supportive too and been rallying around to play with Monkey and get some of the housework done that I can no longer do, and overall I am just feeling like the pressure has lifted. The combination of being able to physically do a bit more because of my support belt, and feeling supported by friends and family has made for a much nicer week.

I think the fact that the week has been calmer and full of early nights has really helped too though! So there we have it, my word of the week is “Support.” What’s yours?

The Reading Residence
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My pregnancy, week 10 – symptoms are improving!

I am now 10 1/2 weeks pregnant (eek, I think the baby is now officially a fetus, and is about the size of a prune!) Sickness has abated very nicely and with getting a few early nights lately I am feeling a bit less tired. A quieter week than last week is definitely helping on that front too! I’m getting a bit of heartburn now though so am relying on gaviscon a lot at the moment, which does help, so we will see how that goes.

The only thing that is draining the joy out of this pregnancy now the sickness is fading, is my Pelvis and PGP/SPD issues. Regular readers will know this already, but if not, the hormone relaxin, which is essential during pregnancy to allow your body to make room for your baby, isn’t kind to some of us, and makes our pelvis relax too far, meaning it is less stable and moves around more. This in turn causes friction and irritation on the joints of the pelvis, and anything from a little, to a lot of pain. It generally comes on later in pregnancy but for some of us unlucky ones it springs up as early as the first trimester. I had it in late pregnancy last time, and this time it appeared at around 6 weeks :(.

There has been all sorts of ups and downs over the past month in regard to this but I am pleased to let you know I am in a very definite ‘up’ at the moment! After a lot of tears I managed to speak to the head women’s health Physio at the hospital last week and I saw her on Monday and she was just as lovely in person as she was over the phone!

The physio session itself was great, we talked a lot and she laid some of my fears to rest. Fear has played a big role in this pregnancy so far, as I know how painful it got last time, and how immobile I was. Information about the condition has also grown since last time. Last time I was warned that I could pull my pelvis apart because it was so unstable, and I was told not to swim, and my physio didn’t even want me climbing stairs. So I have been afraid this time and not known what to do, out of fear of doing permanent damage. The meeting with my new physio has helped set many of those fears to rest.

It is extremely rare to be able to pull your pelvis apart so the key, key thing is that if I cause myself pain, I am not actually causing myself any damage. My biggest fear was that I would damage my pelvis and that the pain would continue after the birth. It is possible that the pain will be there after birth, but it is unlikely, and I can’t pull my pelvis apart. She said that short of falling downstairs with one leg staying up, and the other going down (ouch!), it would be incredibly hard to damage your pelvis in that way. So that is a big relief! It obviously doesn’t mean that I can just carry on as normal, and pretend it’s not happening as it will get more painful. But at least I know if I do overdo it, it should only result in short term suffering.

There is also pain relief I can get! Woohoo! I mean there’s the obvious paracetamol but that just doesn’t really do anything for me, and aside from that it can be so hard to know what to take when you’re pregnant as you obviously don’t want to risk the baby. I am going to try and do without as much as possible, especially this early in the pregnancy, but it is great to know that if things get really bad, I can take some co-codamol – which I will need to get prescribed by my doctor.

She has also given me a proper support band. Basically my muscles in my bum should be strong enough to hold my pelvis in the right position, but apparently they aren’t, so wearing the support will do the job of holding my pelvis in place, meaning I can do more, while experiencing less pain. It’s quite tight (as you would expect) and not very comfortable when sitting – but it does mean I can carry on with going for walks with my neighbour every morning (which had been giving me a lot of pain) and I can take Monkey to the park without worrying about how painful it is going to be. I’ve only had it a couple of days but already it feels soo much better!

She also worked really hard on some of my muscles which were in spasm, it was incredibly painful but so so worth it. She has recommended heat packs, and I am kicking myself for not thinking about a heat pack earlier! I have a microwaveable wheat bag anyway and it is so handy for sore muscles, can’t believe I haven’t thought to use it! It will be in use a lot from now on though!

I’ve got a couple of very simple exercises to strengthen my bum muscles (sounds weird doesn’t it?) which should help without putting too much strain on my pelvis. So hopefully I can do those without too much pain, and they can help my body to support my pelvis a bit better.

She was so lovely too and we were chatting away throughout, and everything she said just made sense to me! So I feel much more relaxed and confident about it all now. I was reading something about PGP the other day, which said something that really struck home. It isn’t just the physical limitations of the condition that cause harm to women in pregnancy, but also the psychological effects. Pregnancy “should” be a joyful time, but when you’re in pain, it is incredibly hard to find that joy. You worry about being seen as constantly moaning, and you want to be able to just do the things you would normally do, but you can’t. It makes it incredibly difficult and because many people don’t know about the condition, it can be hard for them to understand what you are going through, and therefore very hard to explain.

Feeling more positive about the fact that I now have a physio who I believe can help me, and steps in place to improve things already, I feel like a bit of weight as lifted from my shoulders. I know that it isn’t a quick fix and I will continue to struggle with a lot of this, but a little bit of hope really goes a long way!

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Operation Garden Renovation #6 – Work begins!

Regular readers will know that we have been renovating our garden. It has been a real labour of love and we spent about 5 weeks on the clearance side. We decided to get landscapers in to do the actual um… rebuilding of the garden as we know our limits! We couldn’t get booked in quite as early as we would have liked and a few rainy days put them a bit behind schedule (boo :() but we have now started and they are making excellent progress!

They started by digging out where the patio is going to be. It’s amazing how much dirt they have removed from just that area – basically an entire huge skip just of soil! Sadly we don’t have any pictures of the skip so you’ll have to take my word for it! One of neighbours did ask if they could have some of the soil for their garden, and of course I said yes! Why not?

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Then they laid stones down for the foundation of the patio, and flattened with a very noisy vibrating machine.

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WP_20140409_19_20_35_Pro They then re-rotivated the old lawn, as the grass had re-seeded itself since we did it! Their machine was much more heavy duty than ours so it is milled a bit finer than when we rotivated it. They also dug an edge, as they are going to be lining the edge of the lawn with blocks too, to keep things neat and tidy. then they brought some big piles of sand in and we were under strict instructions not to let Monkey loose in the garden while we waited for the stones to arrive!

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So then it was a matter of waiting for the stones to arrive so they can get laying! Eek! It’s so great to see some progress finally! With the combination of the arrival of warmer weather, and all the problems with my pelvis, I can’t wait to be able to just go in the garden with Monkey! Thankfully we’ve been spending some time in my neighbour’s garden but I am so looking forward to a summer of fun in the back garden!!

And just quickly, in other garden news, we have buds on the bluebells! Woohoo! Very excited Hello beautiful bluebells outside my kitchen window :)

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Mammasaurus and How Does Your Garden Grow?

Creative Challenge Linky #8

Welcome to week #8 of the Creative Challenge Linky!

Thank you so much to everyone who linked up last week, I really very much appreciate it, and have loved reading all of our creative posts, there are some creative mamas out there!

The Creative Challenge isn’t just about arts and crafts – but it is all about being creative. Last week I loved the gorgeous baby blanket made by Caroline at Tea is the Answer and of course the award winning Easter Bonnet by Brummy Mummy of 2 deserves a special mention!

I’d love it if you could join in, you can link up anything remotely creative. Decorating, baking, sewing, even being creative in what you wear. This linky is about challenging ourselves to be a bit more creative – in whatever way best suits you!

Getting crafty with the kiddies

Being creative in the kitchen

Experimenting with a new hobby

This week from me has to be my post about decorating Cakes with Buddy Valastro – how much more creative can you get? In my case, probably very much more, but hey I had fun :)

Right, now it’s your turn to link up your posts, and tell me all about your Creative Challenge!

Creative Challenge

Here’s how this works.

  1. Write a new post (or link an old one if it fits the theme) all about your Creative Challenge.
  2. Grab the Creative Challenge badge (by copying the code above) and pop it at the bottom of your post (in the ‘text’ version).
  3. Link your post  by clicking on the ‘Add your link’ button and filling in the form.
  4. Remember: Linkys only work when we take the time to read each others posts and leave comments so please let’s support each other and read and comment on as many posts as you are able to.

The linky opens at 6.30am on Wednesday and will close at 11.00pm on Sunday so there is plenty of time to join in.