Saturday, 28 May 2011

Colds ahoy chez Thrift..booo...hissss

Yup we are all under the weather a bit here this week, full of colds and sneezing. The glorious (not!) weather probably hasn't helped but I am feeling very sorry for myself today. Thankfully MR G.T has taken the kiddies to his parents for the morning so I have been able to get some things done (house looks so clean *sigh* shame it won't stay that way very long!) and will now eat a meal all the way through in peace (luxury!) and maybe read a bit of my book afterwards!

Jeddy has turned 6 months this last week, wow, he just doesn't seem a baby any more, quite sad if I dwell on it but hoping not to. To celebrate he has cut his 1st tooth, which I am pleased about as he has done it really without too much fuss, but problem now is he seems to have adjusted his latch or feeding style as I am sore again, like really sore! It's like starting all over with breastfeeding again! Hope that a few tips I have picked up online can help, but as he won't take a bottle or dummy I have no choice really but to grit my teeth and carry on, hoping it improves in a few days. I don't remember this problem last time with GS and he had his 1st tooth at 4 months, and I BF until 8 months. I suppose it just goes to show all babies are different, and when you get painless feeding you can get an unsettled baby with teething, and when you get a fairly fuss free teething you can still get nipple problems, all swings and roundabouts. If the pain continues I will get some advice at my breastfeeding support group on Friday, they are fantastic ladies and the lactation consultant there is also wonderful, anyone considering breastfeeding or wanting to get support, try and see if your local Surestart, hospital or Children's centre has one of these as their guidance and friendly approach has been such a boost for me.

Monday, 23 May 2011

I know...

two posts in one day... big shocker!!

I am now determined to keep on the blogging wagon so will try and update as often as I can (read- as often as children allow)

Thank you so much for the handy thrift/fitness tips from my last post, really appreciate all advice as I can literally feel the squeeze on our finances now the summer is approaching. Even trying to keep costs down and buy the bare minimum my shopping bill this month is still about £30 more than it was this time last year (and buying similar stuff) and diesel is costing us an extra £20 per tank, these little additions all add up, and yet Hubby hasn't had a pay rise in 3 years and I now take home a lot less, so where is it supposed to come from? I had a financial advisor call me last week to review our life insurance that came with the mortgage and I actually laughed aloud when she asked me how much savings we had and whether we had seperate life insurance for illness/loss of earnings etc, how are average people with families supposed to afford all these insurances/savings. Yes we could probably save loads by not having a car, but we live in a rural village with one bus service that runs hourly to 2 towns, it would be impossible for hubby to get to work on time without a 3 bus/2 hour trip each way, and as far as bus/train fares go probably as expensive by the time we are all travelling to appointments/work/visits. There are however areas I know I can save us money on, clothes, toys, food (kind of), holidays/days out etc can all be done cheaply it's just getting in to the habit of thinking that way and finding the best offers at the best places.

The school half term looms ahead next week (didn't they literally just have Easter?!!) and I am dreading it. I love GS to bits, but he is at that stage where it's almost impossible to capture his attention for more than 10 minutes with any one activity, and as much as I try, Mary Poppins I am not, so that moves me to the question many parents ask... How do you keep a 3 year old entertained (possibly by themselves) for an hour? I have already purchased a few cheap colouring packs, activity books, new felt-tips (the old ones are worn out and don't work), I am armed with a few ideas (teddy bears picnic, board games, treasure hunt etc) but I am worried he'll exhaust all these before noon next Tuesday! It's pretty tough when he won't entertain himself for very long, if at all, without needing one of us there to supervise and play with, which we try too but sometimes stuff needs doing (like going to the lavatory!) and any time he is left alone he seems to start this bored/hyper/play up creation of whirling up in to a tantrum or path of destruction that inevtiably ends up with him sat on the naughty step screaming whilst I nurse a headache. I am hoping full time school might tame the beast within here and provide him with that much needed full-time attention, structure and a little self-discipline, but thats 4 months away, I may go completely bald before then tying myself up in knots of ways to entertain a pre-schooler... Are there any good blogs/links/lists of (cheap!) crafts/activites/games for this untameable age group you may have?

Having moaned about him, he did get a lovely report from school last week totally singing his praises, so I am one proud Mummy I'd like to add.

Yorkshire Shots

A few pics from our Yorkshire trip! Enjoy!

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Back once again...

Hi there!
Well, our little one is now just shy of 6 months old, it's flown by in a haze of sleep deprivation, adjustment and fun all jumbled in to one big half a year! Phew, no wonder I am a little exhausted. Jenson is doing very well! There have been times of despair when he won't nap (still working on that one), won't take a bottle to give me a break (given up on that one so breastfeed 100% now, well as well as solids that is), or on a growth spurt so pretty unsettled & un-fill-able for weeks (learned to go with the flow there!), but I am a lucky mummy to a gorgeous smiley happy chap most of the time who seems easily pleased and full of fun, so long as his needs are met, I'll take that and rejoice as GS was much tougher to placate and keep happy (and still is, but thats for another post).

We've just returned from some time spent in West Yorkshire, it was fantastic and although the weather was typically British we managed to get plenty of fresh air and long walks in. GS loved walking and is now able to keep up our pace and was enjoying the hikes even when my legs were aching (I am so unfit, more on this later!) I will pop up some pics later of the gorgeous scenery & attractions around Haworth, Keighley and Skipton.

Maternity leave is beginning to take its toll financially, the reduced income plus recent government changes to child benefit, gas/elec bill increases and fuel costs have all hit hard; we seem to start saving in one area only to have that gain taken away from us by something else thats gone up; food, fuel, insurance, blah blah blah. Its hard juggling it all and i know we aren't alone and there are lots of people much worse off too. I only pray our jobs are both safe (I work for a council libary and we all know they've been heavily targetted for cuts- I wait and see). So, once again instead of burying my head in the sand I am on a thrift-drive to save our outgoings as best I can and make sure we have the money for the basic essentials, that will hopefully mean I can take the unpaid leave at the end of my paid maternity period to spend valuable extra weeks with my boys before GS starts school in September and Jed will hopefully be a bit more ready to be left with Granny Nanny while I return back part time. That's the plan anyway. It worries me as it was during such unpaid time in my last maternity leave that I was made redundant landing us in terrible debt and in a right mess, I hope history does not repeat itself but what can you do, just take it a month at a time.

I will be trawling all your blogs and forums for thirfty finds, ideas, recipes and projects from now on and PROMISE to update this blog more regularly so I hope you'll join me in discovering how it pans out, and I will in return try and add my own thrifty finds to share along the way!

My first thoughts are now about getting fitter, and more specifically, whether it's possible to get fit in a thrifty manner? Yes, starvation is definitely thrifty, as is lots of free outdoor exercise, but the actual logistics of eating a well balanced diet (as I am still breastfeeding) and combining exercise with looking after two young children in often less than sunny weather is not as easy as it seems, or at least I am not finding it so. I have a skipping rope I have yet to find half an hour to use without a little one within accidental whipping range, a free guide from a magazine to get fit in 10minute stretches which I am too exhausted at the end/start of each day to do, and a bike in the shed I similarly get no time to go on as I can't afford a baby seat. I suspect there are ways around these if I look closer, but I am lacking a real option to fit in any exercise other than the occasional kick about with GS & walks when the weather is fine, and several trips up and down the stairs every hour. Cooking more lower fat is slightly easier, although convenience foods are, well convenient, they are not healthy and I do actually enjoy cooking most days so I find homemade food is easy enough to do fairly healthily, I think my downfall is needing a bit of a social life every week I'll pop with friends or Granny Nanny to a cafe and then consume fatty & expensive drinks and cake no doubt, really need to bang this on the head but without going to these places I don't get out much and end up a bit cabin-crazy! Portion control is another naughty, I am so tired I feel the need to stodge up until I am full, and then seem ravanously hungry an hour or two later, I know breastfeeding means I need to eat regularly and when hungry but i think i need to train myself in to having smaller portions and of course better snacks instead of naughty biscuits and cake! I have a few friends that are doing Slimming World and blog about their experiences and recipes, so I am sneakily (thriftily?!) stealing their menu plans and recipes to try and semi-follow the principles in a light manner, particularly the portion/fat control side of things, so we will see where that gets me, if necessary I may need to buy a guide or two or even join up for access to the full plan to shift things if all else fails, but really hope to avoid that cost if possible. Does Nutracheck still do free trials, I found that a handy website before for keeping me on my toes? I shall have to google that and see. I need to state that this is NOT a need to lose weight for me, it's about toning up the parts that have gone extra wibbly after pregnancy and increasing my fitness so that I can keep up with my 3 year old's pace and not be out of breath walking up a relatively small hill, so I won't be doing weigh-ins etc, the proof will be in the (lack of) pudding of whether I can feel more healthier inside as well as out.
Wish me luck, and by all means offer tips you've found helpful if you have been/are on a similar mission!

Wednesday, 26 January 2011


Jenson Edwin Levi, our beautiful new boy!

Born 25th November, 12 days overdue, 8lbs 7oz.
He is now nearly 9 weeks old and we are all doing well, needless to say I have been busy adjusting to having 2 little ones to care for but am loving being a Mummy 2nd time around. He is a pretty good lad and sleeps well at night, I tend to wake up once or twice to feed him but he does go for long stretches of sleep which is a blessing seeing as his big brother took months to get to that stage.Breastfeeding has had its ups and downs again, but I seem to have settled in to a happy state with it now and am certainly enjoying the convenience of how quickly J can be appeased when he is hungry and is gaining weight really well, he weighs 11lbs 13oz now.

Jenson is a name we love and being motorsport fans it was fitting. Edwin and Levi are the names of my great-grandfathers.

I was hoping for a home birth but it was looking likely I would need to be induced as I was so overdue but thankfully he came at the final hour the day I was due to go in hospital all by himself, lazy boy :) So, I got my homebirth again afterall and found it a magical experience being in my own surroundings with my home comforts and family.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Hello again!!

Many thanks for the lovely messages on my photos!

I had uploaded them with every intention of following it up with a detailed update seeing as I have been very quiet on here of late, but GS had other ideas by coming down with a bad cold, so I had to abandon at the upload stage so in effect it was a post and run!

As you can see we had great fun doing the photoshoot, I really wanted to get a few nice bump ones with us as a momento, it just goes so fast, hard to believe baby will be here at some point by the end of next month, where has the time gone?! I still find myself smiling when I realise I will soon be a mum of two, I think for a long while this pregnancy has been very symbolic of everything we went through with GS and my miscarriage last year, so I am hoping and praying for a healthy bouncy baby this time, and will only truly feel like I can relax once baby is here (emotionally that is, not physically obviously lol!)

I get a lot of questions asked now when I am at work and in public about how far left, comments about how huge I am then in the next conversation someone will say how small I am, I have to say I feel well versed in all this from last time, people say the funniest things when they see a bump! I get a lot of obvious questions about whether its a boy or a girl, and then peoples predictions follow, but genuinely I am very keen to obviously finally meet and know the flavour of our little bundle, but not fussed at all one way or the other, I'd be very blessed to have 2 boys or a boy and a girl as my family, I do just actually want a healthy baby at the end, I just can't wait to meet them now, well maybe a few more weeks of sleep first!

My finish day for work is fast approaching, my last shift is October 18th, when I will be 36 + weeks, work have been amazing to me and very accomodating, but it is tiring to be on my feet and up and down a lot as you do, so it will be nice to be able to finish and put my feet up a bit more in the weeks approaching d-day.

I have been very organised for Christmas and have quite a few presents made and bought already, I may even admit to having my cards and giftwrap ready... it's still my intention to continue with the homemade theme of presents for family like I did last year with apple chutney ready for the making, and then shortbread, biscuits and flapjacks in the pipeline for nearer the time. I got the Lakeland xmas catalogue through the other day, oh so very tempting to go mad on cutters, craft tools and cellophane bags from there, might have to reign it in for something cheaper but still, it's always free to browse (and dream!)

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

New hair, new chapter

I've gone for the chop and had my hair cut, ready in preparation for having very little time to wash it let alone dry it (it was so long and thick it was taking over 5 hours to dry naturally or half an hour to blow dry it!) it's also put a lot more shine back in to it, so hopefully I can keep it healthier from now on. I go through stages with my hair, i've had it very long and very short, luckily my hair grows rather fast so can keep up the pace. I very often find that I chop and restyle my hair in response to changes in my life; new job, new baby, new outlook, etc, isn't it strange how something as simple as our hair can form such a part of our identity and our statement to the world about how we are and how we're feeling?

Big news this week in the Thrift household is our gorgeous son turned 3!!

The good news is he enjoyed his party and birthday very much, probably the 1st one he has really been old enough to understand and get excited about! The bad news- we have a house full of huge plastic toys that are taking over, and requiring a massive shop for batteries, aaaghhh!
Feeling a little low today, I am realising being nearly 7 months pregnant and getting a stinking cold is not a good combination, but then again I should count my blessings, compared to last year my health has been fantastic and this is the 1st cold for months, so I'll just take it easy today, eat jacket potato with cheese & beans (my newest craving!) and keep putting the roof back on the lego police car GS has been given for the hundredth time today!

We are off on Friday for a few nights in York; I love this city and haven't been before with hubby and GS so looking forward to exploring the old sights with them and showing GS the railway museum especially! The hotel we are staying at is actually converted railway carriages by the side of the main line, so should be very exciting for GS (and Hubby!!)