Monday, 15 September 2014

New York and Florida.... Our first family holiday as a 4!

It has been sometime now since I lasted posted. Life has taken over recently since Sophie being born at the beginning of April, up until our holiday which we returned from last Thursday. 

We had an excellent week in New York, followed by a lovely relaxing week in Fort Lauderdale in Florida. Overall, the four of us had a fantastic time and taking a 3 year old and 5 month old on a long haul holiday was no problem at all. The flights were the easy bit!

In New York, we stayed in a hotel in Midtown, so it was quite central to everything. What we didn't realise was how big Manhattan was! We did A LOT of walking and Harry coped excellently considering. We did make a few stops at various toy stores and playgrounds along the way! Sophie settled into the background as she usually does, but it did take Harry a while to settle into eating out 3 meals a day although some evenings we did just get a take out and watch TV in our room. 

We didn't get to do everything that is recommended to do whilst in New York, but we did go to Central Park, to the Top of the Rock (Rockefellar Center), ride on the Staten Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty. We got to see Times Square at it's quietest time and mistakingly also at it's busiest time! I think mine and Paul's favourite thing to see and experience was the 9/11 Memorial and new One World Trade Center. It was amazing how the atmosphere changed and how people were just so mesmerised by the amazing waterfall memorial. It was incredible.

I also got to see a couple of little sights I wanted to see including the 'Friends' apartment building and I had a cupcake from Magnolia Bakery which became famous following it's appearance on Sex In The City.
We also managed to go on a day trip on a train from Grand Central Station to Greenwich in Conneticut. It was a lovely quaint little town and we stubbled upon their own ferry to their own private little exotic island beach! What a find that was!

Unfortunately, Harry got poorly on our last evening in New York. He had a fever all night and it was quite scary for us as he has not been poorly before (yes, not in 3 years!). We were due to catch a flight from JFK to Miami at 8.50am which meant having to leave our hotel at 6.15am. At 5.00am we were all awake with Harry again. He had not got any better during the night so I called for an ambulance as I knew this would be the quickest way to get him checked out prior to getting on a 3 hour flight. We were in and out of the hospital in a flash following the diagnosis of a virus and dose of a Calpol equivalent (if only we had thought of going to a 24hr pharmacy and buying some ourselves?!). However, we didn't have quite enough time to catch our flight so we missed it by just a few minutes. The fast cab ride to the airport also resulted in Harry being sick everywhere so by now Harry was in just his pants and Paul stank of vomit. But there was no time to change, the airline had transferred us to a flight to Fort Lauderdale and we had to go straight through to board.

Paul was on hand with a sick bag the whole flight, much to the horror of the people sat around us, but Harry managed to hold it down. Near to landing, Harry did then need a wee so Paul then managed to also get covered in urine whilst helping him wee in the aeroplane toilet.

Once we had got to our hotel, just a few minutes from the airport, we all got showered and got down by the pool. Harry and Sophie slept while me and Paul just sat and did nothing for a couple of hours. Bliss..........
The 8 days we had in Florida was fantastic in a totally different way....... Lots of swimming, relaxing, casual waterside restaurants, shopping...... Just brilliant! I did get a wisdom tooth infection, but after a visit to a dentist (who offered to whip them out! - I declined!), I was dosed up on amoxicillin, which fought most of the pain away in a couple of days.

Back to reality with a bump now and I've got Harry and Sophie by myself for a week while Paul is in France riding his bike around the Pyranees for charity. We are still adjusting to the USA/UK time difference but Harry starts Pre-School tomorrow so hopefully the routine will get us all back to normal. 

If you are wondering how I'm getting on with my 'Lose 35 lbs in 35 weeks' target, I am now 10 stone 9 lbs, so 14 weeks until the wedding and 14 lbs to lose. Despite me being on target, this next bit is the hard bit! I hope to be able to update you regularly on my progress and weight loss methods!

Monday, 26 May 2014

#35in35.....30 weeks to go!

Well, five weeks in, I have lost 9 lbs so far. I'm happy that I'm 4 lbs ahead of schedule but I know I could have done better. If I'm totally honest, I haven't really made any significant changes yet. I'm definitely more conscious of what I'm eating, but not necessarily acting on it!
I've given myself a target weight loss of 2lbs this week, so by Saturday 31st May, I hope to see 11 stone 5 lbs on the scales!

I know this is going to take some effort this week, so absolutely no evening puddings or chocolate. This is both my and Paul's weakness and we're both as bad as each other! We can have a really balanced meal, but then follow it with something high in fat and sugar! 

I'm also starting to consider my beauty regime as well with the final 6 month run up to the wedding fast approaching. I've booked my treatments already for the 18th December, 2 days before the wedding which consist of Bee Sting Facial, Eyebrow wax, Shellac manicure and Deluxe pedicure. There is just no point me following a skin routine if I'm going to shovel fat and sugar in my body and not keep hydrated.

I had the pleasure of my other half doing a BodyStat test on my this week and it was absolutely shocking!! I can't actually believe I'm going to publish this information on the internet but it's HUGE motivation for me to achieve my goal this week.......

Body Fat Percentage: 30.3% (should be 20-27%)
Fat Weight: 22.2 kg (that is shocking!)
Water: 48.6% (should be 50-60%)

Ultimately, to me, that says I have a lot of fat and I'm dehydrated.

Exercise for me is also irregular at the moment. With Sophie still only 7 weeks, routine is very difficult. However, I'm also not making the best use of the time when she is asleep. Well, that's not entirely true. I'm currently spending the time she is asleep working. I hope that in the next couple of weeks, I have put things in place to make work more manageable for me and I can use this time to do some exercise.

Sophie has been taking a bottle of expressed milk very well in the last week too, so I also hope that I may be able to get out to an evening class once a week fairly soon too.

I look forward to updating you on Saturday with my 2 lbs loss achieved! 

M xx

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Sophie - 1 month old

So, my little angel turned 1 month old yesterday! I can't believe how quickly it's gone but then on the other hand, I can't believe that only 1 month ago I was still pregnant!

Sophie - 3rd May 2014
Sophie was 7lbs 5oz when she was born and dropped to 6lbs 12oz. She now weighs a healthy 9lbs. 

She has been feeding very well and we've settled in to breastfeeding on demand, which Harry seems to find fascinating! What he find really funny is when he is holding Sophie and she starts routing around on him! 

She has been incredible at night too - mainly waking just the once for a nappy change and feed. During week 3, she was suffering from wind and an uncomfortable tummy but since I've cut out dairy from my diet, this seems to have reduced a lot and she seems happier.

Following all that deliberation on what pushchair/pram to buy, we ended up not buying anything. We have so far coped when the one pushchair we have. Sometimes Harry sits in it and sometimes Sophie is in it when Harry is happy walking. I bought a Close Caboo wrap for Sophie and we have used it successfully both out the house and round the house when she doesn't want to be put down (or I don't want to put her down! :)
Me and Sophie out on a walk.
Harry is now 2 years and 9 months. He has now found his 'terrible twos', which at times has been a challenge but he has also gone through such a growth spurt recently, I feel for him. We had to buy a smart shirt for him yesterday as we're going to a wedding on the 31st and we had to buy Age 5!!!! Mainly due to the length of his back. When I have Harry to 'deal' with, Sophie is often left safe in her moses basket so she does seem to be able to settle herself. I'm sure if she was my first child, I would be straight over to her to pick her up once she started even the slightest whimper (as I did with Harry!).

Having two children is just amazing, especially when Harry obviously loves Sophie so much. It's just lovely to see. He clearly can't wait for her to be able to play back with him but I'm happy to treasure each day and hope they pass by as slowly as possibly. 

#35in35 - Week 3

Ok, so I think I'm paying for the amount of chocolate I ate of Easter this week........ I always find that if I've had a 'bad' week, I don't see the effects until the following week. The same happens when I have a good week - I don't see the benefits until the following week. 

I gave myself a target loss of 3lbs this week, however I've just lost the 1lb. I'm still happy with this as I'm still 4lbs ahead of schedule.

I've have kept to my fitness plan this week and really enjoyed stepping the intensity up a notch. There is nothing better than the feeling a little ache the following morning! I am pleased with my progress with my nutrition as well. I have cut my portion sizes down and have adapted the proportions of different food on my plate. So, I now have more veg and protein content in relation to the amount of carbohydrate. I've also changed the type of carbohydrate I have. So, I've replaced white pasta and rice with brown. I've also started to cut our dairy this week as Sophie has been suffering from wind and has been irritable from what seems like an uncomfortable tummy.

I have had a little chocolate (dark) this week and some white bread, however I personally think it's important to not deprive myself totally of the food I crave as the need for this food will just get stronger and stronger and I'll end up giving in! 

After 3 Weeks

Weight Last Week: 11 stone 11lbs
Current Weight: 11 stone 10 lbs
Weight Lost This Week: 1 lb
Total Weight Loss: 6 lbs
Goal Weight by 10th May: 11 stone 8lbs

I've given myself a target weight loss of 2lbs this week.

Fitness Plan this week:
Go out for three 30 minute walks - (record distance on IPhone app).
Attend 1 Mummy Movers class.
Complete three 25 minute home mini-workouts - squats, lunges, push-ups, x2 30s planks, pelvic floor.

Nutrition Plan this week:
Only have 1 evening with a pudding following evening meal.
Cut out dairy (more for Sophie's benefit).
Drink more water.
Continue to make changes to quantity and content of meals - higher veg and protein content, cut out white pasta/rice/bread.

Overall, I am pleased with how things are progressing so far. I have been hungry this week so hopefully I will see a comfortable 2lbs loss next week as long as I stick to my plan!!

Michelle xx

Sunday, 27 April 2014

#35in35 - Week 2

I didn't have time to post yesterday, so I'm updating you on my baby weight loss journey a day late.....

I have to admit that with Easter being part of the last week, there has been a fairly substantial consumption of chocolate in our household. Harry became addicted to it so me and Paul had to eat it all just to get rid of it (couldn't bring ourselves to throw it away!). My activity level has been ok though. I've managed to do a couple of walks and a few exercises at home when both the little ones were asleep, so I'm happy that I've started to get moving again, 3 weeks after giving birth.

I have an average of 1lb to lose per week to reach my target of a 35lbs by our Wedding on the 20th December. I gave myself a target of 1lb to lose this week, which in hindsight was a little unrealistic as after having a baby, especially if breastfeeding, some initial weight does seem to 'drop off'. I have therefore (despite a high chocolate diet), managed to lose 5lbs.

Weight Last Week: 12 stone 2lbs
Current Weight: 11 stone 11lbs
Total Weight Loss: 5lbs
Goal Weight by 3rd May: 11 stone 8lbs

I've given myself a target weight loss of 3lbs this week.

Fitness Plan this week:
Go out for three 30 minute walks.
Attend 1 Mummy Movers class.
Complete three 20 minute home mini-workouts - squats, lunges, push-ups, pelvic floor exercises.

Nutrition Plan this week:
Cut out chocolate and puddings after evening meals.
Drink more water.
Reduce meal portion sizes.

I look forward to updating you again next Saturday with my progress on achieving my goal this week. It would be great to hear of your experiences in losing weight after having a baby? What did you find worked well for you?

Michelle xx 

Saturday, 19 April 2014

#35in35 #1 (Wedding Weight Loss - 35lbs in 35 weeks)

On the 20th December 2014, I get married! That is exactly 35 weeks today!

Coincidently, I also have exactly 35lbs to lose to reach my goal Wedding weight of 9 stone 9lbs. 

I put on 3 stone during this recent pregnancy, reaching 13 stone 2lbs. Today, 16 days after giving birth to Sophie, I weigh 12 stone 2lbs.

My posts going forward are mainly going to feature my fitness and nutrition journey on reaching my goal weight by my Wedding Day. I highly anticipate that the weight loss will be quicker and easier initially, and slower and harder later in the year, but ultimately I have an average of 1lb per week to lose, which is a sustainable weight loss.

Start Weight: 12 stone 2lbs
Goal Weight by 26th April: 12 stone 1lb

'Before' Picture

Fitness Plan this week: 
Continue walking when I can. 
Regular pelvic floor exercises.
Other gentle exercises at home when I can, including shallow squats, lunges and box push ups.

Nutrition Plan this week:
Cut down on sugary foods.
Reduce meal portion sizes.
Drink more water.

My fitness and nutrition plans are quite generic currently but as the year progresses they will become more specific.

I am really looking forward to updating you on my progress each week. It is great motivation for me and I hope you find it an interesting read too!

M xx

Monday, 7 April 2014

Pregnancy Update - Final Days & Our New Addition!

Introducing our beautiful little girl, Sophie Anna Bailey who entered the world at 9.13am on Thursday 3rd April weighing 7lbs 5ozs.......
Sophie was born two days after her due date. During the week running up to her birth, I could sense things were starting to happen. On Sunday 30th March (Mother's Day!), I woke at 5am with tummy cramps. They were coming on and off so I decided to time them. They ranged from 3 minutes apart to 11 minutes apart. They weren't particularly painful but I thought I'd contact the Maternity Unit just to let them know what was going on. The midwife decided to pack her car, just in case things progressed further and they were required to attend. By lunchtime, however the contractions had faded away.....

By that evening, the contractions had returned, slightly stronger this time and regular, but again they faded away and I woke up on Monday morning still pregnant. 

This experience of contractions starting and stopping was so frustrating for me as this didn't happen when I had Harry. 

I spent most of the Monday and Tuesday doing lots of walking, keen to get things going again but because we had been keeping so busy, by the Tuesday afternoon, I couldn't remember when I last felt baby move. I decided to call up the Maternity Unit and they invited me in for a check up. All was fine. In fact, as soon as we arrived, baby started moving around in her usual fidgety way! This check up, however did put my mind at ease that labour was looming as I had another contraction while I was on the monitor and baby's head was engaged and ready.

On the morning of Wednesday 2nd April, I had a usual midwife appointment at my GP Surgery. This wasn't a very pleasant experience, considering my emotional state! It wasn't my usual midwife, nor was she a particularly friendly or empathetic one. We went through the motions, only after she told me I needn't have bothered going in for the appointment, having been at the Maternity Unit the day before. She was aware that I was due to have a home birth but despite this, she did focus on the fact that by 40 weeks + 10 days, I would be delivering at hospital and I "wouldn't be allowed to have a home birth". It was her choice of words that annoyed me most.

Anyway, I didn't need to wait that long as that night, at 3.00am, Harry woke me as he climbed into our bed. Now awake, I became conscious of similar tummy cramps, however they were already close together and each one got stronger, very quickly. I went downstairs by which point they were even stronger, so I called the midwives. They arrived just after 4.00am and examined me at 4.10am. I was 5cm dilated!

It was a whirlwind 5 hour 3 minute labour from then and Sophie was born on the bed as both my other half, Paul and our 2 1/2 year old, Harry sat next to me and watched her come into the world. It was my perfect home birth!
 Unfortunately, then things changed during the third stage of labour, the delivery of the placenta.....

My placenta was not budging. After 30 minutes, the midwives had to make the decision to call for an ambulance and transfer me to hospital 30 minutes away. Me and Sophie arrived there just before 10.30am and I was in theatre at 11am. As I had to have a spinal block, I had to stay overnight. I was so disappointed but I had accepted it was necessary.  

Paul and Harry visited me that afternoon and a couple of friends came to keep me company during visiting hours that evening. I made a good recovery overnight and following the midwives and doctors doing their necessary checks and reports, Paul and Harry were able to collect us at 1.30pm the following day.

We've had a few visitors over the weekend but it's been manageable and Paul has been great at sorting our meals. Sophie is an absolute angel!! I realise that some babies are 'good' but she is amazing! Where Harry used to feed and sleep in quite short intervals in the early days, Sophie feeds and sleeps in long intervals, so although her feeds are quite long, the amount of continuous sleep she manages is incredible! 

Our typical evening over the past 3 evenings consists of a lot of feeding in front of the TV. She has taken to breastfeeding really well, which I'm really please about. She then comes up to bed with me between 9 and 10pm, when she continues to feed while I watch the TV or read for an hour of so. From then, apart from a couple of little teeny tiny whimpers because she wants to change position, she sleeps soundly until I wake her at 5.30/6.00am to feed her before Harry wakes up. 

I'm by no means expecting it to stay like this, but for now, I'm a happy (not tired) Mummy!