Illustrated Teacup

Family | Lifestyle | Motherhood | Travel

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Our home water birth experience with Dexter


If you'd asked me six months ago what my birth plan was for our second baby, all I could commit to was a water birth, most likely at our local midwife led unit.

However at 34 ish weeks we made the decision to go for a home birth. And this post is probably one of the happiest posts I've written as I got pretty much the perfect birth story, at home, and with that water birth I've wanted since having Henry in 2016. You can read how we planned our home birth here.

We knew we wanted a water birth from the start as it was the one thing I missed with Henry. I had a good water labour but actually gave birth on dry land. So our first step was getting a pool.
We were very generously gifted a mini pool from the Gentle Birth Birthing Pool Hire* and honestly I can't thank Ceri enough for helping make my dreams come true.

So Dexter's home water birth story...
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Sunday, 15 July 2018

Farmers Market exploring - The Ordinary Moments



There's something about finding new local things to do that just makes me really happy. Filling our weekends with new experiences and visiting different places is one of my favourite things to do, and more so with Henry. I just want him to experience as much as possible, and integrating it with our normal life is so important to me.

So when I saw a new Farmer's Market for Southampton, I decided it was the perfect excuse for a Saturday morning trip out.

I love a good Farmer's Market anyway, I think it's because it remind me of home and little town life. Plus there's something very satisfying about supporting small local businesses and finding really great food and products.

So a couple of Saturday's ago we went along to the Oxford Street Farmer's Market for a bit of a look around and a little shop.

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Thursday, 12 July 2018

Our favourite ice lolly smoothie recipes



Review post*
Being the parent of a fussy eater can be a pretty stressful experience.
Luckily though, smoothies are one thing that Henry will drink and eat (in the form of ice lollies) and it's a real saviour for the mum guilt!

With us hitting peak summer, and needing all the nutrients and vitamins we can get, smoothies are one of our go-to's for some extra goodness, that also tastes great! Not only are they great for an afternoon thirst-quencher, they freeze really well so are perfect for a healthy ice lolly. Plus we have a Pick Your Own Farm just up the road from us so need lots of recipes to use up all the fruit we pick.

Making ice lolly smoothies is also a great thing to do with kids. Getting them involved keeps them best entertained, helps educate them, and lets them feel a part of what they're eating which is only ever going to be a good thing. Henry loves adding all the fruit to the blender and "holding down" the lid whilst it's on.

We've been making these up in the recent heatwave (let's face it yes it is Summer, but us Brits don't function too well in extreme heat!) in our new moulds from Steamer Trading Cookshop*, the Zoku fish moulds* and the Zoku Pop Moulds*. Both are so easy to use, and I've become weirdly obsessed with the kids fish moulds as because they are silicone, they are SO EASY to get the ice lollies out of. No running under a tap, no tapping on the kitchen counter. They literally pull out. Plus they're the perfect size for Henry, and as they're relatively small in height, he has no problems with the stick! Also, how awesome do they look?

So what's our favourite go to ice lolly smoothie recipes at home? 
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Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Using up PYO fruit - rhubarb and strawberry crumble


We're big fans of pick your own fruit and veg farms. They make for a great family trip out, everyone can get involved, and you can stock the fridge up with lots of healthy food. You can see the blog post and video we made last year from our first strawberry picking trip. And tips on taking kids to a Pick Your Own Farm here.

Of course, you inevitably end up with way too much food, or at least we always do, and then you need to eat it as fast as possible, or make something with it all.

And one of my go-to recipes is my Rhubarb and Strawberry Crumble.
I adore rhubarb crumble anyway, it's probably my favourite kind of crumble, and with strawberries, it has a but of extra sweetness to it. Plus if you're experience of PYO is anything like ours, Henry enjoyed moving the strawberries from basket to basket, meaning we ended up with quite a lot of bruised fruit. Unfortunately bruised strawberries just don't go so well with cream, so cooking them into a crumble is the perfect way to get them used up.

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Sunday, 8 July 2018

Pick Your Own Fruit Farm - and how to survive it with a toddler - The Ordinary Moments


I always thought Autumn was my favourite season, but since having a kid/s I think I'm a summer convert. I do have two summer babies after all. But oh man, the adventures are what makes the season so damn great. 

I absolutely love spending our weekends as a family exploring new places and trying new things. It helps with my wanderlust for one thing, without having to spend a fortune or leave the country (or renew my passport) and teaches Henry so much. 

Luckily for us, being close to both the city centre and lots of countryside, we have plenty of opportunity for new adventures and repeating old ones from previous years. And this includes our new love for Pick Your Own farms. 

We've already built a little yearly tradition for Pumpkin picking, and now we're developing one for Strawberry picking in the summer too. Last year Henry was just starting to walk and was mainly interested in the straw on the floor. This year, well he wanted to help A LOT!! 
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Thursday, 5 July 2018

Planning a home birth



During pregnancy there's always the thought at the back of your mind of how exactly you're going to bring a new life into the world. And to be honest, that doesn't change when you have your second. Just this time you have a little more awareness on what can happen, and a little bit of additional faith in your abilities.

My first birth with Henry was at our local Birth Centre and it was near perfect with a water labour, but I didn't quite get the water birth I'd hoped for. So this time I want to try and have that water birth. Alongside this we've decided to have a home birth.

A home birth wasn't really a consideration last time for us. I knew I wanted to go to the Birth Centre from the second I heard about it, and was doubly confirmed when we visited it ahead of giving birth. This time though, when my midwife suggested it we didn't say no.

We then didn't really think too much about it, though it was a background consideration, especially as we have a toddler and limited family in the area. Logically it made more sense to have a home birth especially if I'm in labour over night as it means Henry can just stay in bed until morning, and then go to nursery or his Godparents house, but I was still a little nervous. In my head, one good birth at the Birth Centre, meant I should go back and do it again.

At my 34 week appointment, my Midwife Lucinda reminded me that my next appointment would be in two weeks and we'd be discussing my birth plan, and it dawned on me that I really didn't have much of a plan! Luckily Lucinda is very much a pressure-off midwife but is a clear advocate of birth centres or home births. So I went home, did a bit of research on Pinterest, did a call out for stories from fellow bloggers (I'll link some at the end) and talked to Dann.

And we decided, we want a home birth.

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Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Surviving pregnancy with a toddler


Probably one of the hardest and most challenging things I've ever had to do is to be a parent whilst pregnant.
In all honesty, this second pregnancy has been a difficult one, with a lot of ups and downs, but having a toddler in tow as well has made it more tricky.

The big thing is, when you have a toddler, you just can't sit and do nothing when you're not feeling your best. Most toddlers don't really care much for if you're tired, throwing up or generally not well; they just want to play and have fun.

Fortunately there is plenty that can be done to ease life for you, and make surviving pregnancy and life with a toddler a bit easier.

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Sunday, 1 July 2018

Father's Day on the Watercress Line - Ordinary Moments


Review Post*
Nothing beats an adventure on a special occasion. I think it makes that occasion just that little bit more memorable. In fact, trips and travels by far beat physical gifts in my opinion, unless it's something really sentimental. 

Just before Father's Day we were invited along to visit the War on the Line event held by the Watercress Line*, so we went along on the big day to explore steam trains and look around life during the Second World War.
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