Just a quick hello to say that I hope you had a fun-packed few days and to post a couple of Bump Day photos. 38 weeks down, although it's hard to know what's Baby and what's roast potatoes/Cadbury's Roses at this point.

Also a few pictures from the last few days including happy happy nephews on Christmas Day, walks along the canal trying out new bikes, pretty presents from my lovely husband, boardgames aplenty, reusable nappies washed and ready to be wrapped round tiny bottoms and gorgeous god-daughters.

So many beautiful presents received, I'll back to show them off soon. In the meantime I hope you're all enjoying some lazy days, too much food and rubbish TV xx



You've got to commend my Dad on the awesomeness of the random gifts you get at Christmas nowadays. As well as the beautiful necklace (gold and silver combo, a bird and a tree - what more do you need?) were two issues of Pins and Needles magazine, a Viyella Nursery pattern book and The Pictorial Guide to Modern Home Knitting, which you have to admire for the name alone. There are patterns a-plenty that will be getting stitched up asap for Baby and for around the house. Thanks Papa. x

And so, I reckon this will be the last post from round these parts for now. Come Friday we have 10 blissful days of Ben being at home so we're looking forward to food, fun and plenty of long and lazy lie-ins, rubbing this massive belly of mine. Our last Christmas just me and The Boy.

I hope that you have the most beautiful of Christmas' and that 2012 brings amazing adventures for you all. Thanks for reading this year, I love every comment and I can't wait to share our journey as parents with this awesome little community.

See you on the other side,
Nell xxx



Bump Day. 37 Weeks (and one day...again) down. Full term baby!

Me and the bump out picking some Holly in the back garden, ready to decorate the fireplace. Today the hospital bag has also been packed and the nursery is coming along nicely. Now I'm laying out the picture wall, trying to decide where to put what and loving re-discovering all the thrifty finds we've gathered over the last few months.

And last night, in opposition to all my other instincts, I had a dream that we had a girl. It could be any time now that we find out if it's been a girl or boy nestling in my belly. The best surprise in the world.

ps. Blogger seems to have been having a funny five minutes this week and I've had a few emails saying you've left comments and they're not appearing. I've reported the problem but let me know if it happens again, and thank you as always for your lovely comments xx



Some lovely things from the week so far...
1. wrapping up presents for some very special people and placing them under the tree. A bit of brown paper and some festive ribbon is all you need.
2. receiving beautiful gifts from friends across the sea, complete with inspiring words and brilliant home-made wrapping paper. Thank you so much Jodi and Che xx
3. watching my nephew Coby in his Oscar-winning performance as the innkeeper in his nursery nativity play. The snow fell outside as we listened to Christmas songs and Co's fantastic tambourine playing. I'm so happy I was on Maternity Leave and able to go see him, and can't wait to see our own kiddos up there doing their thing one day.

Oh I do love all the awesome things that the festive season brings. Now it's back to waiting for the pram to arrive. Between 8am and 6pm apparently. It's now 4.50pm...who wants to bet that it arrives at 5.55pm.



Bump Day. 36 weeks (and 1 day) down.

Le Bump a la Christmas. The first few days of Maternity Leave have been pretty busy, but in the best of ways. Yesterday we had a midwife appointment with our favourite lady Rose, who always leaves us feeling positive and full of beans. She makes you feel like your baby is the most important and that she's as excited as us, which is lovely and quite a feat considering she's been delivering babies for 30 years. We then spent the evening wrapping presents with pretty ribbons and paper.

Today we had our First 10 Days ante-natal class where we found out more about breastfeeding (I feel like we're so much more prepared now for what to expect) and met a couple who live 2 minutes from us, are expecting their first baby in a week and who both B and I genuinely hit if off with. We always hoped we would meet some new friends during this journey, so we exchanged numbers and plan to catch up when our babies are born. We left feeling on a real high.

So tomorrow? Coby's nativity play (he's the Innkeeper) and then I'm off to buy all the goodies for our hospital bag. Any suggestions from all those Mamas out there are more than welcome...



What a truly awesome weekend.

On Friday a fun-packed Christmas party where I managed an hour straight of dancing in heels while others around me discarded theirs. Me = hardcore.

Yesterday Ben and I decorated the tree and hung our stockings before enjoying a bit of a treat with a curry from the local takeaway and a mince pie or two, soaking up the loveliness of our last few weeks as a family of two.

Then today, a gathering of very cool ladies popped round for for my baby shower. Cakes were baked, banners made and a little 'design your own babygro' basket set up. Below are just two of the very clever finished articles courtesy of my mum and sister. Thank you gals for such a fun afternoon and for such beautiful presents. Crochet rabbits, teeny socks, homemade goodies, books made by and read my Dad when he was a kiddo and some hand cream for Mama. Feel the love.



Some fantastic paper treats from the awesome Kerry and her awesome shop. Some for Baby’s room and some for elsewhere in the house.

In other news, I am now officially on Maternity Leave. Tonight is the work Christmas party (which has also become known as my leaving do) so I’m off to glam it up and decide which heels I’ll be able to survive the night in.

This morning I was so excited about it being my last day, but after a little presentation with some very lovely and generous gifts, and even lovelier words, I’m feeling a little sad. Although I’m sure that when I’m lying in bed at 11am on Monday morning I won’t feel quite as bad…



Some snaps from our Saturday afternoon walk along the canal, all bundled up enjoying the December weather and taken using my fancy pants new iPhone. Man I love this thing. And all the genius camera and video apps I have downloaded. Claire, I know you’re playing with the 8mm video camera as much as me. The belly was taken to feed the ducks, splash in puddles and generally have a ball. Give it a couple of months and they’ll be a pram on walks like these.

Saturday morning was just as fun, with my first blogger date – a catch up with the fab Amy from here and here, and her little bundle of loveliness (wearing the most awesome trousers ever I might add) who slept soundly through the whole thing. I’ve watched many bloggers meet up over the last couple of years and always feel a pang of jealousy, so I was so happy when Amy emailed me. We chatted away in a cool little cafe like we’d known each other for ages, so here’s to new friendships and hopefully many more coffees and cakes.

ps. Today, someone at work told me I was the most content, moan-free pregnant lady they had ever met, and that I seemed utterly happy and peaceful. What lovely things to say.

pps. Hello Braxton Hicks!



Bump Day. 35 weeks down.

Today I started my last week at work, and boy am I glad it’s finally arrived. I honestly cannot believe it was 23 weeks ago that I told work we were pregnant and it’s going to be so surreal come the end of the week. No more Sunday evening blues for me.

This week, the nesting has gone into overdrive. I spent the day yesterday sorting the living room and our bedroom. Hanging the remaining pictures (myself, I might add – check out the handyman skills), cleaning window frames, washing curtains and packing away the clothes that B has had sitting on the chest for about 3 weeks. I have never been a cleaning fanatic, but I have to say I loved every minute. What strange urges this pregnancy malarkey can bring.

Tonight I’m thinking it’s the turn of the bathroom, and tomorrow the kitchen. During which time B will have finished painting the nursery and cleaned the carpet, so Wednesday I can start moving everything in. I’m also going to start the rather massive task of washing all baby-related items and can’t wait to see those teeny things hanging from the clothes horse. A glimpse of things to come…



The awesome invite I received for my Baby Shower this week, designed by my oh-so-clever sister. Next Sunday my favourite ladies will be gathering for yummy cakes and treats. How very, very lovely and what a lucky mama-to-be I am.

ps. Happy Birthday Miss Too Cool For School
pps. The 1st of December? Bring on the festive season...



Today, this story topped the headlines on BBC News (and made me late for work as I listened intently) so I thought it was time to talk about our plans for the arrival of Baby Mallia.

The Birth. As maternity leave, Christmas and our due date draw ever closer, the birth of our little friend is more and more at the forefront of my mind. We have actively taken an interest in the process of bringing our child into the world over the last 8 months and it’s been an interesting ride so far.

Back in the summer I started devouring Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth and re-reading inspiring birth stories that I’d seen over the previous few years online. B and I knew that we wanted something as natural as possible when it came to labour, but with friends and family birthing in doctor-led hospitals or with drugs and procedures, we didn’t know much about what was involved and how much input we had in such decisions. Reading this book opened my eyes to how glorious an experience birth can be. The more I read, the more I was filled with surprising positivity about something the western world (and a surprising number of people we spoke to) can really cast a negative light on.

B’s hippy-at-heart ways have certainly had a great influence on me over the last 11 years and in our house we believe quite heavily in mind over matter and the power of positive thinking. We’re a pretty happy-go-lucky pair and we truly believe that this attitude has inspired and led to many of the wonderful things that have happened to us over the years. So as I read (and recalled to B) Ina May’s words, and the words of sensational mama’s from around the world and throughout the last 30 years or so, we felt an absolute connection and decided that a doctor-led hospital birth was not for us.

So where to go next? Whilst the home birth stories we read sounded so calm and relaxing we weren’t sure we were quite prepared for that. Probably because of some sub-conscious fear-factor related to the media portrayal of home births or the look of terror and horror stories that met us when we even mentioned it. My best friend had planned to use the Chippenham Birthing Centre near their house for the birth of their daughter (she was premature so they wouldn’t take her in the end) and we knew that it was a possibility for us too, despite it being about half an hour from where we live in Bath. When we spoke to our amazing, awesome and lovely midwife about arranging a visit, the joy in her eyes and voice instantly reassured us that we were making the right decision. She was more than chuffed that one of her couples were thinking outside the box to use what is apparently a small, warm and friendly cottage style hospital run by some of the best midwives she’d met in her 40 years of delivering babies. Our tour is next week and we can’t wait to see the place we hope will become a home from home during those last hours of labour and our first as parents.

So, while we have an ultimate destination sorted we’re drawing on other stories to help us as we birth at home for as long as possible, and as long as we feel comfortable. Plus on Sunday we’re heading to our local community hall and the Bath Homebirth Group (where we’ll hear about the role of birth partners, what to get ready and attitudes to home birth) to prepare us more for what we can expect when it all kicks off and we’re working through contractions, just B and I. Which, with the help of the hypno-birth CD we’ve been listening to and the mantra I’ve been repeating, should help us have the birth we hope and dream of. And with utter conviction, I can say that right now that I have no fear at all. I know that with B by my side and working with the baby in my belly, we can create a magical experience.

ps. I’m fully aware that sometimes things don’t go to plan and that these little people can have opposite ideas to you when it comes to making their way into the world. But for this post, I’m not going to say hopefully or maybe or all being well. I’m going to say this is what is going to happen. Positive thinking – it’s the way forward.



If there was a shop I could happily walk into right now and spend a fortune, it would be this one. From the stock to the styling. I’m obsessed with it all.