Eliana at 21 (and 22) Months

Eliana this is you at 21 and 22 (and a bit) months:

Again, I could write for days about the way your language is developing because every day you astound me with new words and phrases which will soon become an entirely unremarkable part of your everyday life (unless you become a literary genius, of course) so for now I’ll just include my favourites: ‘Back in a minute’, ‘Boring’ (out of context, entirely my fault that it’s entered your vocabulary at all), ‘Did it!’, ‘Thank you’ and ‘Vavoo’ (translation: Love you).

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Eliana at 20 Months

 

Eliana a quick round up of your month, because I’m late and you’ve already tipped over into your 21st month, with that two year marker, the one when we start talking in years rather than months, looming on the horizon. It’s been a bumper month but I’m keeping it brief* because your eager development has me chasing my tail and there is never, ever (ever) any time to spare.

I could write solely about how, in these past few weeks, you have gone from saying a few words to being about to talk.

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Eliana at 19 months

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Eliana, this is you at 19 months:

You have claimed a set of keys for yourself. They have a purple key fob and they are so important that ‘purple key’ was your first two-word phrase. We (Papa) mindlessly returned them to the friend whose house they unlocked only to have to retrieve them a day later as you refused to leave home without them. With key in hand you lead me to the park, pointing the way because it is a path well trodden by our daily journey.

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Eliana at 18 Months

Leanne Jade Photography

Eliana, this is you at 18 months:

Your words are coming thick and fast although to the untrained ear they are still a secret language that only we understand. Apart from happy, which you pronounce ‘appy’ like the French, and which you shout with gleeful abandonment. You’ve also decided daddy is Papa so we’ve taken your cues and rolled with the continental rebrand. You’ve inherited his photic sneeze reflex and when we go out as a family your sneezes synchronise as soon as we step into the sunshine and we laugh about the predictability of it, every time. From me you’ve inherited

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7 Instamum Accounts to Follow

When I was pregnant I wrote a post about my favourite pregnant instagrammers. Well, call me original, but I’ve now become a fan of the Instamum, that being the official superhero-sounding name for the popular mothers using Instagram these days which is appropriate really because they’re powerful, influential and they’re rife.

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My Mamas & Papas Fond Spot and A New Store Opening

Mamas & Papas Store

I was trying to work out the other day why I feel such brand loyalty towards Mamas and Papas. Yes, it’s just a shop but don’t people feel like that towards John Lewis and M&S? It’s not difficult to see how they manage it. Those stalwarts of the British high street have us eating out of their hands with emotionally-charged, cockle-warming and mouthwatering advertising campaigns that, quite flagrantly puppeteer us into doing exactly as they command – spending lots of money on stuffed penguins and ready-made chocolate fondant – all the while coercing us into believing that they’re there for us. Come to think of it, by baby bedtime at 7.30pm on a Friday night, M&S with your Dine in for Two, you really are there for us.

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Breastfeeding at 13 months: Boob Bites and Nipple Tweaks

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I haven’t written much about my experience as a breastfeeding mum which is a nonsense really, given that it has pretty much informed every aspect of how I parent but now that it’s so embedded in my day to day life it’s hard to know where to begin.

I have numerous half-started posts in my blog drafts box about breastfeeding-related highs and lows which seem redundant now because with every change my baby makes, there seems to be a change in the way I feed and my attitude towards breastfeeding.

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Our Nousha Family Photoshoot

We’ve just taken delivery of a rather large parcel containing what I would like to think of as a piece of artwork. An investment or an heirloom, perhaps. Oh, who am I kidding? As if I couldn’t get enough of her when she’s tethered to me 24/7, I’ve basically now gone and blown quite a lot of money on a large photo of my baby’s already quite sizeable head so that when you walk into our living room on any given weekday morning you’ll get a double baby whammy – the one climbing the walls and the other adorning the walls.

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Surviving The Wonder Weeks

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I’m a bit late to the party on this one, having had several people recommend it to me, but for those of you who are perhaps still in the dark or are new to parenting or have a sprog on the way, I would advise you download The Wonder Weeks app. It’s a condensed version of The Wonder Weeks book which is perhaps also worth buying for a more comprehensive overview of the WW concept but bitesize suits my attention span right now so app it is.

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Craving: An Olli Ella Nursing Chair

Olli-Ella MoMa-Glider

Last week I found myself, once again, doing the rounds of the nursery section of John Lewis. It’s a middle-class-mum pastime, if ever there was one, but that’s probably my pigeonhole so I might as well make myself cosy. It lures me in with a very handy parents room equipped with changing mats and nursing chairs; a clever little marketing trick really as it’s now got me hankering after a nursing chair of my own

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What’s in my Changing Bag?

What's in my Changing Bag?

As you may have noticed my blogging has been somewhat intermittent of late thanks to the appendage I have attached to me for 95 per cent of the day – the other 5 per cent taken up with other menial necessities including showering and eating (no longer for savouring, simply for survival) – leaving very little time for creative thought, and certainly not the hands to turn those thoughts into typed words.

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A Hairy Predicament

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People had warned me there would be hair loss post-pregnancy but oh my word. Talk about kicking a girl when she’s down. Like the revellers at a festival, all the good pregnancy hormones have had their fun, packed up camp and are making a sudden mass exodus from my body, leaving behind a bedraggled, muddy mess. Not only am I being sucked dry, and sleep-tortured, but now I’m also on my way to becoming as bald as my offspring.

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The Gentle Sleep Book – My Antidote to Sleep Training Stress

Last weekend, while having a family day out (pub garden, sunshine, Appletiser – the one drink that makes this endless sobriety bearable) I got to talking to the mother of a baby of similar age to ours and before we knew it she’d casually, but intentionally, dropped in the fact their baby sleeps through the night. The full night, not just the 5 hours of sleep that constitutes the official ‘sleeping through the night’ quota but a full 7pm to 6am night of sleep. Good for her was what I should have thought (whilst also wishing a baby sleep regression upon her household for bragging) but she caught me at a weak moment

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12 Weeks on: Our Mother and Baby Photoshoot

Copyright Liam Bergin

A little visual feast for you today, courtesy of photographer Liam Bergin who you may remember shot my pregnancy photoshoot back in December. He kindly touched base again recently and asked if he could pop by to shoot me and Eliana going about our daily business as mum and baby in the comfort of our own flat. I am thoroughly gobsmacked at how well he did, considering Eliana was not at her most obliging and how lovely he made our flat look!

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The Fourth Trimester

Fourth trimester pic

It turns out, and it doesn’t come as much of a surprise to me, nor will it to anyone who knows me, that my parenting instincts lie way left of centre. I’m an on demand-breastfeeding, babywearing, bedsharing liberal. I’m not one for labelling parenting styles but if I were to park myself anywhere then it’s firmly in the ‘Attachment Parenting’ camp. My baby is almost three months out of the womb, has lost all that puffy newborn-ness and is beginning to develop a personality of her own but in terms of physical closeness, it’s like she never left me.

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Cosatto Ooba Travel System Review

I have really been racking up the mileage in the past few weeks. I’d like to say they’re air miles but, alas, they’re the pedestrian kind. I used to be an A to B walker and needed to be incentivised by an end point (country pub, café with cake, basically anywhere with food and drink) for me to get my boots on. Then I had a baby and discovered the magical, soporific power combo of fresh air and movement.

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Long Nights, Short Weeks

Apologies for the blogging hiatus of late. It was inevitable really given the seismic shift that has taken place in my world recently but seeing as it’s Mother’s Day I thought it fitting to rekindle the blogging embers before they fizzle out altogether and I find I’m nothing more than a babbling, bottom-cleaning, boob-baring shell of a woman incapable of stringing a coherent sentence together.

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Pregnancy: Week 38

38 weeks pregnant

A few weeks back I got to that point in pregnancy when people started asking if I felt uncomfortable. Frankly, I didn’t really understand what they were talking about. While my hormones had begun upping the anti emotionally, physically I still felt very mobile and to be honest, I often forgot my bump was there as it didn’t really get in the way of anything. Then, week 36 rolled around

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Child Modelling: Advice from an Insider

Photographer: Emma Tunbridge

Child modelling is a controversial matter and I understand why. Despite the glossy coating of the fashion and advertising worlds, the reality is that a child model is a child being put to work, sometimes from the age of just a few weeks, and getting paid for it. It would be easy to argue that it’s a form of child labour, that it encourages ego and vanity and is comparable with America’s beauty pageantry but personally, I think that if approached properly then child modelling has the potential to greatly enhance your child’s life experiences.

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10 Pregnancy Instagram Accounts to Follow

10 Pregnancy Instagram Accounts to Follow

*For some more bump and baby Instagram accounts to follow see my update on this post here*

I have become a bit of a stalker of late. Virtual stalking though so it’s perfectly above board, given that everyone’s at it. The whole point of social media is to make oneself stalkable, right? It would be rude not to indulge the good folk of the online world who put their lives out there for everyone to peruse. Being a big image-lover, Instagram is my current favourite and with baby bumps being my main preoccupation I started delving into the accounts of prolific bump snappers and now I’m slightly addicted. In case you’re in the same boat and are looking for some visual bumpspiration, here are my favourites.

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My Maternity Photoshoot with Liam Bergin

Copyright Liam Bergin

You’ve probably noticed by now that I’m not shy about documenting my bump. Perhaps it won’t be the same with subsequent pregnancies but I have found the day-to-day changes in my body and the baby’s development completely mesmerising throughout this pregnancy and taking photos along the way has helped me to fully appreciate the gravity of the task. Now, at week 36, when I look back at the pictures I took at week 18 when I thought I looked ‘properly pregnant’ I realise that I really just looked like I’d had a hearty lunch.

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Coping When Pregnancy Goes Wrong

It was a year ago today that we first found out I was pregnant. The frantic week before Christmas was spent running around trying to tie up loose ends before heading out of town to see family but underlying it all I was constantly aware that my period was due and with every no show day I was getting more excited. When we finally did a pregnancy test we were stunned when it came out positive. 

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Pregnancy Yoga: Crying Myself Calm

Pregnancy Yoga

I walked through my front door last Thursday night and fell to pieces on the shoulder of MrE. I’d just been to my pregnancy yoga class and managed to hold it together in the car on the way home in the hope that MrE would be back from work to mop up the tears that I knew were about to brim over. Alarmed, he asked if I’d had a terrible class but through the sobs and gasps for air I tried to tell him that actually, it was quite the opposite, it had been another excellent session. Three minutes later I felt completely serene and spent the rest of the evening feeling better than I’d felt all week. 

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Pregnancy: Week 31

31 Weeks Pregnant

Forgive me if this post comes out all gobbledigook. I’ve made it to week 31 but in the process seem to have lost a significant proportion of my brain cells and am having trouble stringing a sentence together. I am a walking trimester textbook – after a glowy, synapse-alert, energy-filled second trimester, the third trimester has brought with it a lethargy on par with trimester one and a bump that is beginning to feel a bit heavy to carry around. I think it’s nature’s way of telling me to conserve some energy before due day but with the countdown on, the excitement mounting and to-do lists coming out my ears that’s easier said than done.

Big! Around 41-45cm long and 1.5kg

The baby’s eyelids are open and responding to light and he/she is getting more chubby and brainy by the day. Body, legs and arms are finally in proportion with his/her head.

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Maternity Modelling: Working the Bump

JoJo Maman Bebe shoot behind the scenes

Sorry for going a bit quiet on you lovely folk over the past couple of weeks. Truth is, my third trimester kicked in and with it came an overnight plummet in my energy levels at a point when I suddenly had an influx of maternity modelling work as my bump was finally deemed sizeable enough to show off. Unfortunately, the two things don’t go hand in hand and so despite my best intentions to keep feeding you blog fodder, any spare time I’ve had has been spent crashing out on the sofa

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Slogan Sweats for Expectant Mums

I love a slogan sweatshirt at the best of times but I’ve come across a few witty knits recently that I think would be particularly apt stretched over the bump of an expectant mum. If you’re comfortable showcasing your bump and are feeling quite jovial about your pregnancy then these offer a good talking point, a bit like a tacky holiday t-shirt but way more tongue-in-cheek chic.

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Why we chose not to find out the sex of our baby

There are two questions people ask when they find out you’re pregnant.

The first is ‘How far along are you?’ An obvious enough query but when it comes to a response you should be prepared to acknowledge the fact that pregnant women work in weeks. Unless you have been pregnant yourself or are trying to get pregnant or have lots of pregnant friends or a pregnant partner/daughter/sister, this will mean nothing to you. No-one works in weeks in the real world and with good reason. A week flies by without much drama, on the whole, but when it comes to baby-making a week can be the difference between an empty womb and a zygote, between no bump and a bump, between a bump that does nothing and a bump that moves and ultimately between being a woman and being a mother.

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Pregnancy Pamper: Mama Mio Tummy Rub Butter

With my third trimester fast approaching and a quick scan ahead in my increasingly dog-eared copy of What to Expect When You’re Expecting suggesting there’s a significant amount of baby growing still to do I’m beginning to wonder exactly where our offspring is going to fit. My bump is noticeable but neat but my skin looks to be at maximum capacity already and if I think too hard about how much more baby it will need to cover it leaves me feeling a bit itchy.

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Ways to Make a Pregnant Woman Weep #256

Jeez, John Lewis has gone and done it again: reduced me to a blubbering mess. The tears were inevitable; I love a good weep, more so now than ever and when I clicked on the link to their new Christmas ad that landed in my inbox this week (the 6th November, as soon as the last glowing embers of your bonfire are extinguished, being the official day that the Christmas season begins apparently) I was practically willing it to happen.

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Model Mother: An Introduction

Model portfolio pictures

Hellooo! Thanks for popping in and taking the time to read my first ever blog post. I feel a tad nervous so please be kind! Have a seat and make yourself comfy. I’ll pop on a brew and tell you how this came about.

A little bit about me: I am what it says on the tin – a model and a mother. Or at least a mother in the making, which I feel is close enough to justify this ever-so-original blog name.

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