OUR THOUGHTS ON PULL UP PANTS [ BY NATY]

When I first heard about pull up pants, I totally associated them with potty training. Well, I was wrong. Pull up pants are actually one seriously cool invention when it comes to keeping our little ones’ happy, and keeping us parent’s sane.

Changing table terrors – does this sound familiar at all? Boy oh boy, this is a serious game changer (or nappy changer – whichever way you look at it) when it comes to changing our little one. Changing a wriggly worm can quickly turn into serious moments of fear, more so, when  you have a dirty diaper on your hands – literally!

In general, we use Natys eco friendly nappies for Harps, but when I heard about their range of pull up pants, we of course had to give them a go.

The sizing is fantastic, for a snug fit. Very often, because of my little wriggly worm, I sometimes find that I don’t fasten Harper’s nappy as tight as it should be. Sometimes it can be quite a challenge when your child has her legs squirming left, right and centre, arms flapping and squeaking like a baby dolphin in every effort to escape from the person who is so willingly attempting to give her a cleaner bottom. For this reason, pull ups really do come in handy. You can pretty much pull up and go (as you would with panties) off of the changing mat, letting your bub stand/ lean on you while pulling them up from their ankles.

All the stretchiness in the world.

We have had no leaks while using the pull up pants, as they are the perfect little fit. The waist band is also super stretchy and comfy, and doesn’t leave any red marks along Harper’s tummy. There’s nothing worse than little red lines when a nappy has been put on too tight.

We have found ourselves in a bit of a pickle a few times with changing a dirty pull up nappy. At first, it seemed like a real scientific affair, trying to suss out how to get Harper’s pants off, without getting the contents of her nappy everywhere. We find that snipping the area where the clasps would go on a normal nappy, with scissors seems to be working well.

We really love alternating between pull ups and nappies and they both offer their own unique qualities when it comes to keeping our bub dry, fresh and happy. Pull ups are fabulous for evenings and throughout the night.

A comfy waist band

The cute little patterns make them even more adorable and are 100% breathable, which helps prevent nappy rash. My favourite part about these is that they are of course eco friendly and biodegradable which leaves our hearts super happy, along with Harper’s bottom.

If your baby is between 8kg – 16kg, then these are perfect to try. These pull ups also have a non bulky fit, are chlorine and perfume free, and have a compostable corn based film which is what helps prevent leakage.

You can find these online for £7.49 for 18 pull ups. These really are a great investment for our planet and our children.

Best friends in their pull ups!

Until next time,

Mycaila – Jade

XXX

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BEING A STAY AT HOME MUM

There is a common misconception when it comes to being a stay at home mum. For some reason, there seem to be people who confuse being a stay at home mum with having an “easy” or “stress free” life. We are often put into the category of “not needing to work because we can afford it”, and we are often undervalued by society.

Thought patterns about being a stay at home mum seem to go along the lines of being able to sleep in, relax all day and pretty much just fart arse around to our hearts’ content. People often categorise being a stay at home mum as easy, because, well, we’re at home, right?

I couldn’t be more proud of my baby girl! I love being a stay at home mum for now, even though there are many tough days. It’s all worth it and I am so grateful to be able to spend every day with her!

Generally speaking, a day in the life of a stay at home mum goes something along the lines of professional flapping about like a headless chicken when baby sleeps, while trying to get the house in order after the last 2 hours of trying to entertain and stimulate an 8-month-old. You’d be surprised just how messy things can get. Crumbs on the floor, broccoli under the couch, spew on the blanket, toys scattered everywhere for tummy time/play time.

In between dodging certain obstacles, namely play chairs, high chairs, bouncing chairs, and play mats, comes the daily adventures of trying to teach baby how to crawl, stand and play. While doing this, come the tasks of making fresh food from scratch, dealing with tantrums, soothing a screaming teething baby, trying to remain level headed when your house is upside down with an occasional trip to Turkey (tripping over things) because you didn’t have enough time to pick up the damn sippie cup, before a certain pair of eyes resurfaced after a 10-minute nap.

Certain objects that one tends to trip over/dodge on a daily basis. Generally during times of panic and rushing around LOL!

As exhausting as this may sound, the majority of this happens before 9am because our day starts at 6am. Oh yes, bright eyed and bushy tailed! And heaven forbid you’ve had a “sleepless” night before all of this, waking up every hour because of your little one’s sleep regression. Tough luck pal! You’re in for a real treat today!

Along with being a stay at home mum, comes a sense of essentially running the household. This means doing chores that you once thought you’d escaped when you were 16 years old. Balancing the laundry, a clean home, dinner, happy baby, and my absolute favourite – “popping” out for the weekly shopping trip. Yes, this is all part of adulating, BUT when you have a little one, doing these become a priority every day, otherwise you would be kicking yourself in the foot, being in an unorganized house. Basically, it is essential that you have your shit together. Survival is key, my friends.

Potentially speaking, all of this resembles feelings similar to the ones when you realise that you’re possibly lactating in public – a moment which could be somewhat soul destroying or soul building. Very similar feels to motherhood, yes. There are fabulous days where everything runs as smoothly as your favourite peanut butter, or where things go absolutely balls to the walls and gives the term “tits up” a whole new meaning.

Those ongoing chores. At least i’m doing them with a smile in this picture though LOL!

This all comes before doing anything for yourself, might I add. My personal favourite is trying to balance daily exercising to lose my baby weight, because let’s be honest, a few kg’s lighter could possibly make one a little more aerodynamic for mentioned household chores and moments of wild flapping, trying to get things done.

And just when you finally thought that your little one had nodded off comes the horror of hearing a squeak subtly loud enough to let you know that “I’M STILL AWAKE” or the long winded nap time tantrums. These are always fun when you’re at your wits end on a tough day.

Oh, the daily nap tantrums that go down – as pictured here. These are always fun.

When I do very rarely have a moment of silence, I try my best to blog and study for my final year of university. I absolutely LOVE being a stay at home mum for now. I have no idea how I’m going to feel when I have to put Harper in day-care when I return back to work.

Being a stay at home mum teaches you so much about yourself. You get to know the exact amount of coffee it takes to get yourself feeling like a Fabulous Fred, ready to take on the world, a baby and a household. You learn that it’s okay to be in your pyjamas for most of the day while sprinting around the house to get shit done. You understand that it’s okay to answer the door in one sock, child on your hip and hair funky enough to hold chopsticks in place when mail arrives.

The truth about being a stay at home mum is that it is the furthest thing from easy. As with any day job, it tests your patience. It can be tiring, and it is challenging. We often don’t get a break during the day and we generally walk around like zombies, but my oh my, do we get to experience and take in all of the new things that our little ones learn and do in a day.

We get to be there to experience many firsts!

A loving moment of sharing a cuddle with your bub or making them smile is so valuable. Being there at hand for their first-time experiences are indescribably rewarding in so many ways. There are days where running around seem endless, and the feeling of accomplishing nothing can sometimes get you down, but our purpose of being stay at home mums for the stage of life that we are in is enriching and precious. And to the mums who are doing this with more than 1 kid or who are single working mums and working mums, you are such bloody heroes.

We are all doing our best. We are all warriors. And our kids love us. They look forward to seeing our faces, first thing in the morning and they know hard to push our buttons.

But most importantly, they love us hard. And we are appreciated.

Well done, mamma! Keep doing an amazing job!

Until next time,

Mycaila – Jade
xxx

FITNESS UPDATE: MY POSTPARTUM WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY FEBRUARY 2018

This month’s journey has been an interesting few weeks of trial and error, making space for room to grow (well not literally – we’re trying to shrink in size LOL).

I’ve been on this journey for EIGHT short WEEKS!  When I realised how long I have been on this journey, I couldn’t help but feel a little sad, thinking that I should have lost at least a minimum of 8kg this far. I had a pity party moment, sulked, might’ve eaten a Cadbury’s crème Egg (or I might not have), and read back over my progress chart to try and figure out where I have gone wrong.

And besides for the Cadbury’s Crème Egg, I realised that I hadn’t really gone wrong anywhere! I’m not going to pretend as though I’m a Positive Percy 25/7 (25 (not 24/7) because wannabe over achiever).

Thank heavens for the progress chart, because that ended my pity party very quickly. Although I have had a month of crazy toy – toying with my weight on the scale, my measurements have really fly kicked through what I thought were feelings of disappointment of thinking that I could do better. Only losing 1.6kg this month can send one into a state of such thought, especially after losing almost 5kg the month before.

January 4th 2018 to the left and March 4th 2018 to the right.

So, what’s going on? Why is the scale playing with my feelings like this?

First things first, anyone who is on a weight loss journey should know that the scale is NOT a true reflection of how your body has changed for MANY reasons – especially if you’re a lady, but more of that for another day.

I have always used the scale to measure my “success”, but have also let the number that reflects back at me control how I feel when it’s not what I want to see. For this reason, I have made a big decision going forward, which is to DITCH THE SCALE and my weekly weigh in and only go by measurements.

I’m doing this because for the last month of hopping on and off the scale every week, with minimal results and fluctuations more disastrous than the stock market, I have been second guessing my progress, feeling somewhat demotivated. I will be doing a casual weigh in once a month to keep myself in check and relying mostly on the progress of my monthly measurements results.

THIS MONTHS UPDATE

Although I have only lost 1.6kg, I have also lost a total of 13cm – which backs my decision even more to ditch the scale.

This brings my total weight loss over the last 8 weeks to 5.8kg with a total of 29.5cm lost all over. My measurements have gone done the most around my “mum pouch”. I have lost 11cm around that area so far, which makes my little heart very happy as this is a VERY difficult area to lose from and a total of 6.5cm around my waist.

January 4th 2018 to the left and March 4th 2018 to the right.

Throughout this month, I have also tried to put my fear aside of exercising my abdominals after my C section – and I have managed to do an abs session at least twice a week now. I can feel that this area is getting stronger, slowly but surely. Abs have always been one of my favourite exercises to do, which is now becoming more of a reality again since having Harps – and I AM SO FRIKKEN EXCITED!

January 4th 2018 to the left and March 4th 2018 to the right – Not the best look, but small victories count!

So, if you are on this journey too, and you feel like you are taking one step forward, and … you guessed it – 2 steps back, then try and find the denominator as to why this is. Mine was the scale which was tugging at my heart strings ever so viciously, but I’m hoping that this new strategy going forward will help change the mind-set to get where I (you) want to be.

Until next time,

Mycaila – Jade

xxx

 

ECO-FRIENDLY WET WIPES BY NATY

And just like that, we are wiping away another month of 2018, a squeaky-clean wipe to be exact, one with a choice of lightly scented, unscented, or an Aloe Vera swipe of pure hygiene. If you’re struggling to choose, let me take you down the road of eco-friendly baby wipes and explain just how happy they could make your baby’s bottom, along with a few other uses for your everyday family wipe.

Our family have been using these wipes for a couple of months, and so far, our daughter has come out with a squeaky clean, irritant free beeeehind, while being super kind to mother nature and her planet.

Below is the range that Eco by Naty have to offer. They’re all sensitive towards our little ones skin and are both unscented and lightly scented. These wipes smell fresh, are gentle and have the softest texture!

Naty baby wipes are fully biodegradable, which leaves us mums with a happy heart and our children with happy bums! They don’t contain any harmful chemicals, are 98.5% water, totally chlorine free and perfume free (besides the lightly scented wipes, which has a SLIGHT but almost minimal fragrance) and are “OK Biobased“. An added bonus besides being made from 100% natural and renewable material is that these wipes are also cruelty free! Always a winner in my books!

I have found that these wipes are quite a bit thicker than the other brands that we have tried in the past. I much rather prefer the thickness because they almost seem more absorbent and the actual wipe folds out into quite a big size. That may sound silly, but when you’re changing an explosive situation, you might find yourself counting your lucky stars because you have a bigger wipe to work with.

Being a young mum, it has become a motherly desire to lesson our environmental footprint by using greener products to better our daughters future. We go through nappies and wet wipes like it’s nobody’s business, which is why we decided to switch to eco friendlier products.

I have also found a few other great uses for these wipes, which you can try too. Besides for our daughter, these wipes also come in handy with removing make up which is super gentle on the skin and doesn’t burn, cleaning around the house, cleaning Harpers toys, cleaning our kitchen bin, food waste bucket and the inside of our recycling bin pod, and can also be used as a toilet paper substitute because Naty have FLUSHABLE wipes too! How exciting and convenient for all the potty training mums out there – we’re not at that stage just yet! These flushable wipes also come in handy if you find yourself sitting on the bog with an empty toilet roll staring at you in your face (thanks, kids AND husband!). Always keep a spare pack of these in the bathroom to spare yourself havoc and potential family fueds!

Thanks so much Naty, for being kind to our planets, our baby and from saving us from embarrassing bog experiences!

P.S You can find Naty wipes on the shelves of Sainsbury’s, Tesco, and Waitrose for around £1.80 for 56 wipes, or online at Amazon and plenty of others.

Until next time and happy wiping,

Mycaila Jade and baby

xxx

LEARNING TO LOVE YOUR CHANGING BODY THROUGH PREGNANCY

Pregnancy can be tough at times. Every experience is different, which is what makes your journey so unique. If it were all the same, our experiences wouldn’t be our own. As with many things, pregnancy comes with plenty of ups and downs, and well sometimes, they can get the better of us. Other times, we just have to keep our head held high and keep on cruising.

Pregnancy is not the time to be harsh on yourself with your change of appearance. Your newly found shape is something that speaks so much more than what any handful of words could ever amount to. Your new shape is the reality of what your body is capable of doing.

There’s a teeny – tiny bump there!

Sometimes, it’s not just your tummy that grows. Sometimes it’s everything else in between that you might find escalating in size too. I sure am experiencing this. Yes, there are the odd few women who are lucky enough to hardly gain much more than what they should, and this is okay, they are beautiful too, but for the majority of us, we can end up gaining a lot more than what we bargained for. Is there anything wrong with this? No. Should we be ashamed? No.

Pregnancy is a time when we are supposed to feel more beautiful than ever, and so we should! It’s a time during which we are meant to GLOW! We are meant to shine bright and radiate nothing but happiness and new life.

Don’t sacrifice your pregnancy experience by worrying about what you look like. Don’t wish your pregnancy away because you want to be back to your pre preggy weight. Weight is just a number. Embrace your new shape. Show it off. Make people wish that they could be as confident as you are, belly and all. You’re glowing for not one, but two humans. Let your stretch marks appear, and your butt get bigger. Enjoy your feet being swollen and your cheeks looking chubbier. It’s all part of the experience.

Loving the bump unconditionally!

Don’t upset yourself because your stretchy leggings no longer fit. It’s okay, we’ve all been there. Some of us are still going through it, some of us might only be starting it, but at the end of the day, our bodies are OUR bodies. They respond to how WE treat them. If you look after your body and treat her properly, in turn, she will look after you. She will grow and nurture your sprouting bean.

Fill your body up with appreciation and love. Respect your body. Don’t think of your body as ugly, or too fat. You are growing another human. That is a gift. Some people aren’t able to even experience what your body is capable of doing. It’s some peoples biggest wish and dream to be able to nurture and grow their own baby. Appreciate what your body can do.

As women, our bodies are capable of absolute magic. Your tummy grows to make space for your beautiful bundle. We feed, protect and are able to GROW an actual human being over 9 months – in our TUMMIES of all places. We then give birth and bring our little humans into the world, only for our bodies to heal all by themselves and to do it all over again, if you choose. Don’t let something as small as your weight define your comfort around people while you’re pregnant. Something so miniscule in comparison to what our bodies are doing is not worth the emotions of being upset about something like our physical appearance.

 

The smallest 15 week bump!

Having a positive body image while you’re pregnant is important. We are, after all, the creators of nurturing new life, and our bodies are possibly one of the most incredible creations to walk the planet. Not to mention the cute little baby you have growing bigger day by day.

Give yourself a break. Show yourself some love. And enjoy your own personal experience.

Until next time,

Mycaila – Jade & baby

xxx

FOODS TO AVOID DURING PREGNANCY & OTHER ADVICE

If you read my previous post, you will remember that I spoke about having a ton of unanswered questions which I had to wait 6 weeks to ask at one of my first doctors’ appointments. Yes, 6 long, but exciting weeks of an overworking mind, and endless googling with plenty of forum reading in between. All of which gave me mixed answers with unclear views of what I SHOULD and shouldn’t avoid during pregnancy.

For any new pregnant fairies out there, this is what I learned from all of my questions and wonders which I had to wait so long to have answered by my midwife, who gave me professional advice. Have a read through my top worries that I wanted answers to, and a few things that I wished to have known sooner.

PRENATAL VITAMINS

Make sure you are taking a prenatal vitamin when you find out you are pregnant.

Pregnacare Max is what I have been taking (UK product). Preg Omega (South African product) is also fab for all of the pregnant SAFFAS. Your daily vitamin NEEDS to include 400mcg folic acid, which is the synthetic form of folate (vitamin B-9).  This is a key ingredient that helps prevent neural tube defects like spina bafuda.

You should also opt for 10mcg of  Vitamin D in your daily vitamin if you’re in a country that doesn’t get much sunshine. It’s totally crazy to think that in the UK you have to take this as a vitamin. I mean this is something that we would normally get from the sunshine in South Africa, but alas, those capsules can only make one shine brighter, surely?

And lastly, your prenatal vitamin should also have 500mcg of calcium. Those little beans LOVE to zap up all of mammas vitamins while they’re sprouting! Also be sure to discuss whether you should be adding other vitamins to your prenatal one, and have your midwife/gynaecologist check out your prenatal vitamin during your first check up.

Don’t take any supplements containing Vitamin A. Too much of this can be harmful to your baby.

FOODS TO AVOID

One of my biggest questions was “OMG, WHAT CAN’T I EAT?”. To me, being little Miss Piggy, food is life. And if you don’t agree, then I’m afraid we can’t be friends! Here is my list of foods to avoid during pregnancy. WARNING: Be prepared to let go of some of your heavenly foodie moments over the next 9 months.

Watch out for those eggs in your favorite hollandaise sauce! Sad, I know!

Raw/undercooked eggs. This could be hidden in everyday sauces like homemade mayonnaise and hollandaise sauce (OMG – my fave!). Make sure the yolks are not runny and that they have been cooked until hard.

Soft cheese (Yes, cry with me!) Brie, Camembert, Goats cheese, Blue cheese, pretty much any mould-ripened soft cheese and soft blue-veined cheese like Danish blue, Gorgonzola and Roquefort (TBH I have never even tried this type of cheese and have no idea if it’s worth missing out on). The mould in the cheese can contain listeria bacteria which can lead to severe illness in your unborn baby if a mild form of this infection occurs in a pregnant fairy, – and we don’t want, do we?

Pâté. Again, this could also have listeria bacteria, so all types of pâté should be avoided – even the vegetable ones!

Raw meat – ALL raw meats are out of the picture! No more medium rare fillets. It’s cooked or nothing. Yes, I know, it’s a tough life!

Fish – Be careful with the type of fish that you might eat. Limit your tuna and oily fish intake. Fish with high levels of mercury should be avoided. Also, don’t eat raw or undercooked shellfish while you’re pregnant. This too, can lead to food poisoning. Limit yourself to 3 portions of fish per week.

Caffeine – Limit your caffeine intake! Yes, bouncing off the walls needs to become a thing of the past. Make sure to stick to the guidelines of no more than 200mg of caffeine a day (more about this to come in my next blog post).

Get ready to start living the decaf life!

WATER

Keep yourself hydrated! Blah, blah, yes, we hear it all the time, but this is super important, even if you don’t think it is. Your body will thank you, and you too need to thank your body with some fresh H20. She is growing another human, after all. Think of it as watering the grass. All grass needs water to grow! This will pretty much be the only thing you’ll be chugging for the next 9 months. Bottoms up!

EXERCISE

Oh look! There’s me in the second trimester, when exercising was still easy!

As someone who loves to be as active as possible, exercising is (or was) quite a big part of my daily routine. A light exercising routine is totally safe to do during pregnancy, but as you get bigger, you will notice that you will get tired quite a lot quicker and some exercises could actually be a bit difficult to do. It’s super important to listen to your body while pregnant. Those sprints will become a thing of the past, and brisk powerwalking will be the new “in thing”. Yes, mamma, no more strenuous exercising, ab crunches, or training while lying on your tummy.

BATHING

I enjoy a hot bath, I mean, who doesn’t? One thing I have learnt through my pregnancy is that super-hot baths are totally off limits! First the food, and now the long hot baths – and so the sacrificing begins!

 It’s not the actual bathing that’s the problem, but the temperature of the water. Make sure your water isn’t scorching hot. The hotter the water, the higher your body temperature. It’s important to make sure that you don’t become overheated while pregnant, which is why we sadly should also say goodbye to saunas and hot tubs while being a pregnant fairy.

Watch out for those hot baths, ladies!

I hope this helped with any of your unanswered questions – I know I had SO MANY! Take it easy on yourself, and don’t be too harsh on your body. Listen to her. If she’s tired – rest. If you’re hungry eat. Don’t force yourself to do anything that you don’t want to. We are all human, and some of us totally count for more than one! 😉

Keep your eyes peeled for my next post about “Your top 10 pregnancy questions answered”.

Until next time,

Mycaila – Jade & baby

xxx

BOOTY AND BEAUTY IS HAVING A BABY!

For most young couples, being the 23 and 24 year old type, and the lovebirds that happen to relocate themselves halfway across the world to meet up with travelling plans, a baby would seem to be the last thing on their minds, surely?

Parents to be!

Well my friends, in life, surprises happen, and this one seems to have been the best one yet! The thought of an itsy-bitsy dumpling, blossoming in my tummy was something that made me feel a little “OMG – IS THIS REAL?” and a little “OMG – WE ARE GOING TO BE PARENTS!!” and of course “OMG, IM GOING TO DOUBLE IN SIZE AND BE A HIPPO FOR 9 MONTHS!!”.

To cut a VERY long and complicated story short, my boyfriend is Scottish and I am South African. We both decided to go over to Scotland together from South Africa (where my boyfriend was on holiday for just under 2 years) to travel over the next 2 years. After one month of arriving in Scotland, we found out about our baby news – which happened to be RIGHT BEFORE Christmas (2016)!! It’s safe to say that Santa clearly had something else planned for us! None the less, after everything had settled, the excitement totally began to kick in – the flying kick type – the one with the extra oomph!

The bump date!

Apart from being in a foreign country, one of my first thoughts about trying to figure everything out was “OMG, WHAT DO WE DO NOW?” “WHO DO WE CALL?” “DO I GO TO THE HOSPITAL?” “DO I GO TO THE DOCTOR?”, “HOW DO I REGISTER AT A DOCTOR?”. There were endless amounts of questions that we had about what the next step should be. Basically, I was a tourist, fresh off of the plane, that had extra cargo in my tummy that I had absolutely no idea about!

After googling left, right, and center, we found a number for a hospital close by and gave them a call. At this stage I was about 6 weeks pregnant and had to wait until 12 weeks in order for them to see me and for us to have our VERY FIRST SCAN! Well, you guessed it, what a long 6 week wait that was!

Our baby is already so loved by her Dad!

I had 6 weeks of unanswered questions to get through before being able to see a midwife. “Can I drink coffee?”, “Can I dye my hair?”, “Can I eat sushi?”, “Can I have a hot bath?”, “Should I be taking extra vitamins?” –  SO. MANY. QUESTIONS. And no – Google wasn’t my friend. She seemed to just confuse matters more.

One thing that I will say is that morning sickness is a real thing, and feeling like a sick Sarah around Christmas and New Years’ time was something that I totally had to work with and take one day at a time – but none the less, I was growing a freaking human!! How CRAZY is that?

Mom to be!

If you want to find out the answers to all of my unanswered questions that I had 6 weeks to ponder about, make sure to keep your eyes out for my next post all about that!

P.S I cannot tell you how excited we are to meet our little girl.

Until next time,

Mycaila – Jade & baby

xxx