Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Pregnancy Update - 25 weeks

Pregnancy Update - 25 weeks | www.teawithmrsbee.com

I haven't done an update in a while ha ha the end of the year is always crazy for us but I'm doing one now since it's been a few weeks since my last one :) 

How Far Along? 

25 weeks and 5 days

Size of Baby: 

Papaya

Weight Gain: 

I am now up to 61,1kgs which is a total of 5,4kgs weight gain so far. 

Stretch marks/Swelling: 

Still none yet - yay! I am still lathering on the cream now though so that could be why!

Symptoms: 

Nothing major except for my bump ha ha! I have begun to start having back ache and a bit of round ligament pain a few weeks ago but that seems to have now passed.

Cravings: 

I'm still completely on the breakfast train - it was CocoPops, and then changed to Pronutro and is now Weet-bix. I can also very easily devour a Milo chocolate slab in a sitting! Fruit is also pretty amazing at the moment! 

Gender: 

Still unknown :)

Mood: 

I'm still loving being pregnant, although sleeping is getting uncomfortable and the back pain isn't fun!

Nursery: 
The nursery is officially done and I'm SO happy with it! It's my favourite room in the house now because it's so calming and gets the best light in the house! Will do a post soon on the nursery!
Movement: 

This child is CRAZY busy, and in a serious routine! Every day between 10-11am, 3-4pm, 6-8pm and 9-10.30pm he/she is super active! Kicking and moving all over the place! It's such an amazing experience and I'm so glad D has gotten to feel it as well and can now feel it regularly!

Sleep: 

I have good nights and bad nights. Most nights I start off on my right side and then Bean kicks so much that I have to turn over and then he/she chills out. Turning over during the night also wakes me up although I'm now only getting up once to wee during the night - thank goodness!

Workouts: 

I'm still walking as often as I can and am doing squats pretty regularly.

Anything making you queasy or sick: 

Nope, yay!!

Best Moment This Week: 

Probably feeling like HARD kicks in my ribs. It's not the most pleasant thing but it's nice to have actual kicks now that are more than just little flutters.

Looking Forward To: 

Our 4D scan on the 30th of November and packing our hospital bag! Weird, I know!

Have a great week everyone!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Pregnancy Update - 16 Weeks

Pregnancy update - 16 weeks | www.teawithmrsbee.com


It seems like the last few weeks have really FLOWN by and just like that, I'm four months already! Sheesh! I'm really enjoying being pregnant now and these days, I wake up on my back with my hand on my tummy and am very aware of a tiny bump that's growing. Four months down, five to go till we meet this sweet baby!

How Far Along? 

16 weeks

Size of Baby: 

An avocado 

Weight Gain: 

Because I lost weight with morning sickness, I originally started at 55.6kgs and then went down to 54.3kgs and have only now come back up to 55.8kgs. 

Stretch marks/Swelling: 

None yet. Although I am lathering on the cream now already!

Symptoms: 

The morning sickness and tiredness dissipated at around 10 weeks, although I still have to get up during the night to wee and I still have odd food craving trends that change weekly!

Cravings: 

The beginning was sweetness in the form of chocolates, ice cream and CocoPops, and whilst the sweetness craving is still there, it's now changed to fruit and fruit juice. I'm also eating Pronutro like it's going out of fashion, weirdly enough. 

Gender: 

Still unknown :)

Mood: 

I'm really enjoying being pregnant, now that the nausea and tiredness has gone away!

Nursery: 
We have a few things that we've gotten from family already in the nursery, like a compactum and rocking chair, but other than that, nothing major is happening there.
Movement: 

Nothing at the moment, but apparently it should be happening in the next few weeks!

Sleep: 

I'm still sleeping pretty well, aside from getting up to wee during the night. I'm also beginning to be woken up by a blocked nose every now and then, but I just turn over and go back to sleep.

Workouts: 

I'm walking as often as I can and am doing squats pretty regularly.

Anything making you queasy or sick: 

Nope, nothing serious now - thank goodness!

Best Moment This Week: 

Finally having a noticeable bump. It still looks like I ate a few too many donuts, but not as bad ha ha!

Looking Forward To: 

Definitely excited to feel Bean moving and for D to be able to feel it as well! Hopefully that happens sooner rather than later!

Happy Monday, everyone! Hope you have a great week!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Things To Do Before You Start Trying For a Baby

7 Things To Do Before You Start Trying For A Baby | www.teawithmrsbee.com

Trying for a baby is a bit of an odd season of life to be in. For me it was, anyways. It's just before you (hopefully) fall pregnant so you're feeling quite adult-ish but it hasn't really hit home yet. It also feels weird because suddenly you learn more about making a baby than they ever taught you in school. It's almost like they missed out a few details. Or maybe I wasn't quite paying attention.

In any event, trying for a baby actually starts a few months BEFORE you even start trying. As weird as that sounds, it's true. So I've put together a list of things to do before you start trying.

1. TAKE FOLIC ACID EVERY DAY

Birth defects of the brain and spine, like anencephaly and spina bifida (do yourself a favour and DON'T look those up - you WILL freak yourself out! Just trust me), occur in the first 25-29 days of pregnancy - before most women even know they're pregnant. This means that starting folic acid after you find out you're pregnant is a good idea, but you've missed the crucial time where it's most needed. Studies have also shown that women who took folic acid up to a year before they fell pregnant had less chance of delivering early. The great thing about folic acid is that it's also water-soluble so anything your body doesn't need, you'll simply wee out. 

2. GET YOUR VACCINATIONS CHECKED

This is something that's super easy to do but is only checked after you fall pregnant. Once you fall pregnant, your doctor will run blood tests at your first scan to check a whole bunch of things. One aspect of those tests is to check that you're still vaccinated against certain illnesses - especially Rubella. Rubella is also known as German measles and if contracted by someone who's pregnant, can be fatal for the unborn child. It's great that your doctor will check that you're still vaccinated, but if you aren't vaccinated anymore and you're already pregnant, they can't do anything about it because to re-vaccinate you would mean putting live cultures of Rubella into your system, which they obviously can't do if you're pregnant. It's therefore better to have yourself checked before you fall pregnant so that if you aren't vaccinated anymore, you can go and get yourself re-vaccinated.

3. DRAW UP A BABY BUDGET

I am by no means a financial person, but this was crucial for me. I needed to see just how much having a baby would cost us in the first few months (i.e. adding up all the initial costs to have a baby, not just the monthly costs after baby comes) and if it was something we'd be able to afford. Drawing up a budget puts things into perspective A LOT and can also help you see what all you'll need, what you'll be getting from the baby shower and what, if anything, you'll be getting from friends and family. A budget will also help you determine what is most important for you and your partner and what you'd want to buy immediately or closer to the end of the pregnancy. 

On a side note to this, I was told when we were trying, that it's best to look carefully at your list of things you'll need to buy and decide what can wait to be bought in case it's something you might not need. You don't want to buy a breastfeeding pump (R2000 for an electric one!!) only to discover that you can't actually breastfeed. Somethings can wait until after baby is born.

A budget will also help put boundaries down as to how much you're prepared to or can spend on certain times or on things in general. 

4. DO YOUR RESEARCH

In school, and from our parents, we're all taught the birds and the bees. We all know how a baby is made, but realistically, making a baby isn't as straight forward as one might think. Do your research, track your menstrual cycle, know what ovulation is and when it takes place for you and how you can maximise your chances of falling pregnant naturally. Some women don't ovulate and they go months without knowing it. Taking a simple ovulation test will immediately ease the stress, or make you aware of a problem that you can then address, instead of going months of trying and you're actually not ovulating. 

5. START SAVING

Saving is always a good idea, so it should definitely be something you do before you have a baby. They say when you fall pregnant you should start stockpiling on things like nappies, and the same principle applies to saving. Saving means you'll have a decent stash to buy baby goodies when you do fall pregnant and it means you don't have to run around trying to find the moolah when you find something you need or really want. It also means less stress because you know that you have the stash and you don't have to worry about it.

6. GET ON THE SAME PAGE AS YOUR PARTNER

This may be an obvious one, but sometimes stuff happens and when it does, you may not be on the same page. Chat to your partner about trying, how much effort you want to put into trying, how long you'll give it before you go see a doctor, if you'd both want to try something more like IVF or if you'd both just go straight to adoption. It can also be a good idea to chat about the chances of defects and what your approach to it would be. Things don't always go according to plan, and although most couples fall pregnant naturally with in 3 months to a year, if it does end up taking longer, you need to know how far you both are willing to go.

7. GET THE FAMILY LO DOWN

Chat to your parents about their history. If your family has a history of miscarriages, find out why and if its something that can be prevented. It's also wise to find out whether anyone has previously struggled and if the cause is genetic. Knowing what you're up against can help your health in the long run - both in general and in terms of your pregnancy.


And finally, once you start trying, go to the gynae and get a good checkup. He/she can make sure everything looks good and healthy and that you're good to go, and then head home and enjoy the ride ;)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Guess what? WE'RE PREGNANT!


So it is officially public knowledge after waiting until the "safe period" of 12 weeks to let all our loved ones know and we can not be more excited to expecting a tiny baby! Baby Brown is due February 2017 and although the realization that I'll be VERY pregnant in Cape Town's hottest time is a little daunting, we can't wait to meet our little Valentine.

As my first pregnancy, I don't want to ever forget any part of this so I'll be doing a pregnancy update every few weeks and this week is almost 13 weeks :)

How Far Along? 

12 weeks, 5 days

Size of Baby: 

This depends on the app you're using, but most are saying a plum at the moment

Weight Gain: 

The first trimester has been a bit of an interesting one. I've had quite a bit of morning sickness and haven't really gained any weight as a result.

Stretch marks/Swelling: 

None, too early :)

Symptoms: 

Definitely! So far, I've had a pretty great pregnancy, especially considering how bad other ladies have it, but it hasn't been without it's experiences. Firstly, my boobs BALLOONED. They're also incredibly sore, so there's that too. I've also had morning sickness; not every day, but when it hit, it hit bad. It seems to have settled down from about 10 weeks on - touch wood! The frequent urination is also very definitely a thing. I'm not someone who usually gets up to pee during the night, so this was annoying in the beginning but now I'm pretty used to it. My current record is four times in one night. My sense of smell has increased, but it's not like "OMG I should become a detective with my sense of smell" kind of vibes.

Cravings: 

In the beginning it was Bar-Ones. I couldn't go to the shop without buying one. Then it became more of a trying-to-keep-anything-down game so I stuck mainly to coco pops and plain toast with marmite. I recently CRAVED dim sum from Beluga. So bad that I eventually drove from the northern suburbs to Beluga to get dim sum. Ha! Now it just seems to be milk, plain strawberry yoghurt and coco pops.

Gender: 

Unknown

Mood: 

This depends on the day. When I'm not pregnant I'm very emotional when I have my period so I was honestly expecting the mood swings to be the same when I was pregnant, but I actually haven't been too bad. I have gotten a bit cranky when I start to feel a bit useless (thanks morning sickness and no energy), but other than that I'm pretty excited and relaxed.

Nursery: 
This hasn't even begun yet. We have a plan and theme in mind, but will get to this at a later stage.
Movement: 

Nothing, still too early :)

Sleep: 

I'm sleeping pretty well, aside from getting up to pee during the night. I did wake up feeling like I haven't slept enough, but I think that was just the exhaustion, which also seems to be easing up.

Workouts: 

I'm trying a few pregnancy workouts Shante from Rose and Thorns sent me, but between having morning sickness and ZERO energy, exercise might only pick up properly from the second trimester. I do try to go for evening walks with D or our neighbour when I can.

Anything making you queasy or sick: 

Food. Ha! No, seriously, eggs are mostly what made me wanna hurl. Anything with a lot of flavour or oil and spices was also a no-go. Even the thought made me queasy. Now I seem to be doing better.

Best Moment This Week: 

This has to have been finally being able to make it public knowledge! The love we've received is unbelievable and makes us even more excited!

Looking Forward To: 

Hearing Beanie's heartbeat on Friday! I get so excited for scans, it's crazy! But that's probably it :) And to start showing ha ha!

Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Life of a Wife: Keri Bainborough

It's been a while since I last blogged and A LOT has been going on! For now though, I thought that I'd jump in again with another Life of a Wife series - which I haven't done in ages either. 

Keri Bainborough blogs at We Are The Wildflowers and is originally from the Midlands. Her and her hubby recently moved to Stellenbosch but every Instagram she ever put up of the Midlands always made me want to visit it! Her writing on her blog is beautiful and definitely worth a visit!

For now, I shall leave you with her pearls of wisdom on marriage and being a wife :) Enjoy!

Image - Keri Bainborough

1) Tell us a bit about yourself; who are you, how old are you, who are you married to and for how long, do you have kids and what do you and hubby do for a living?

My name is Keri and I am thirty years old; I've been married to Andrew for just over two and a half years now. We don't have kids. I am a freelance copywriter and Andy is a trained chef currently working in hospitality.

2) Did you live together before getting married , and how do you think living together/not living together affected your life and marriage today? 

 Yes we did. I don’t think it affected our marriage in any negative way at all. I suppose it prepared me for living with my untidy husband and knowing exactly what I was getting into!

3) What was the hardest thing about being married in the beginning?

Nothing. I loved everything about it. Except maybe changing my name. I’m still in mourning for my maiden name.

4) What's something that's completely surprised you about marriage?

The immediate pressure from friends and family to procreate and produce mini-me’s.

5) If you have/will have kids, how do you think this changed/will change the dynamic of your marriage?

The verdict is still out on this one. I think it would hugely affect our marriage and my sanity and this is part of the reason we're still a little reluctant to have them.

6) How do you and hubby keep the spark alive?

Date nights are mandatory! 

Image - Keri Bainborough

7) What, in your opinion, are the three key essentials for a great marriage?

Saying sorry.
Listening.
Physical affection. A cheeky bum slap or holding hands goes a long way.

8) What's the best piece of advice you got for marriage?

"Get a dishwasher. It will save your life and your marriage.” A truer word was never spoken!

9) What is your personal advice for newly married couples or couples who are about to get married?

Enjoy every moment with each other and always, always show your appreciation for your partner. Let them know how much you love them every day. Be open and honest about money and finances. Share with each other. Spoil each other and surprise each other on days other than Christmas and Birthdays. If you find yourself wanting to pack your bags and walk out, go to bed. Everything is always better and easier in the morning, including saying sorry. 

Thank you so much, Keri, for your answers. I haven't blogged or done Life of a Wife in ages and it's really refreshing to get an outside opinion on marriage :) You can find Keri on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

If you're keen to be part of my Life of a Wife series, simply pop me a mail on amy.francis777@yahoo.com.

Happy Wednesday!

xxx

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

2016 - onwards & upwards


I haven't blogged since the 11th of November, and before then I was pretty quiet then too. Mostly because life kind of gets crazy busy after August for us, and because I've become lazy with blogging. There. I said it. I want to blog. But I don't want to physically type and find pictures and all the other jazz. But also, I've been thinking lately about whether or not I really want to be so public about things going on in my life. I say that as if I have tons of readers. But still. After the whole Aussie-girl-social-media-is-fake thing went down, I've really been trying to be more present in life. Like still taking pictures of things that I want to remember, but mainly trying to remember that I really don't have to document every single thing. It still happened even if it's not on Snapchat. Someone really close to me documents everything. And when I say everything, I mean everything. So much so that she actually annoys people because she has to take a million photos of everything that happens in every single minute. And so many of my friends, myself included, have actually unfollowed her on Facebook because it's like a virtual diary. And personally, it's just not something I want to happen in my life. 

So maybe I don't have to document everything on social media. Life does go on if you don't Instagram what you had for dinner last night. But when it comes to blogging, I remembered that I enjoy writing. I'm a copywriter for flips sakes. Blogging isn't for anyone else. It's for me. Because I love writing. And I love the sound of the keyboard when my fingers are finally on a roll and they keeping typing and typing and typing. I like reading other people's blogs and as nuuskierig (curious in Afrikaans, for those who don't know) as it makes me, I enjoy knowing what's happening in other people's lives.

Which brings me to New Years Resolutions. People asked me last year what I was hoping for in 2015 and those things didn't all happen. Simply because that's life. They say that God laughs while you're making plans. And that's kind of how I'm taking 2016. I have things that I would like to happen, but I'm certainly not holding my breath. What is meant to be, will be. And it will be better than I could hope for. I do want to blog more though. Which may be my only 'resolution'. As for 2015, it wasn't a bad year at all.

I entered my third year of freelancing.

I realised just how much work and beauty there is in marriage.

I drank more wine than I should've. And promptly started limiting it. Because hangovers.

I jumped head first with D into him starting his own business.

We moved homes and absolutely fell in love with our new one.

We adopted two yorkies and realised that life is 1000 times better with them in our lives.

We learned that two of our closest friends are having a baby, and we could not be happier for them.

We then realised that we're now moving away from the "Getting Married" stage of our life, and into the "Having Babies" stage. Which is slightly overwhelming. 

We learned to trust God 100 times more than we used to.

I got a new car. Hello power steering, electric windows and a car that doesn't leak.


2015 definitely wasn't bad. It wasn't FLIPPING FANTASTIC LET'S DO THAT AGAIN either, but it was pretty good. And for that, I'm grateful.

*CHEERS* to a new year!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Moving is hard, yo.


Moving is a bitch. There really is no two words about it. It's chaotic and stressful and seriously throws everything out of whack for a good few weeks, even after you're on the other side. I'm usually someone who embraces change. I love new adventures and all that jazz but holy wow, do I hate moving. We moved just over a month ago and most of our stuff is unpacked (only two boxes left), but things have only just gotten back to normal. Ish.

I've seen a lot of people move in my life; my grandparents have previously moved 5 times in one neighbourhood alone (their total is more I'm fairly certain), my parents and I have moved 3 times (although I was still young so most of the moving and packing and unpacking of my stuff was done by some adult. Mostly my mom.), I've helped my mom in law  move 4 (maybe 5?) times and D and I have now moved twice. The first time D and I moved was actually us moving in together so it wasn't that stressful because we moved our stuff separately and in stages, but this move was my first major move that I did as adult. And man is it horrific. It's really no wonder that it's actually on the list of top 5 stressful life events

The actual moving went quite quickly and we only did 2 trips with 6 cars, but overall it's a royal pain. But with the help of family, I picked up on some tips that might probably will make the next move a little easier.

1. HIRE A CLEANING SERVICE

DO THIS. Don't even argue. The added stress of worrying about doing a GOOD clean on your old place is just not worth it. You're already worrying about the actual move, so just get a cleaning service in and you'll have peace of mind knowing that your old place will be cleaned properly, quickly and efficiently. There are some great companies out there and the one we used (Amazing Maids) was cheap as chips. Privilege arrived at 07.30, started cleaning immediately after I showed her where all the cleaning stuff was and didn't stop until she was done. And she did a bloody good job too! 

2. GET STUFF TO EAT AND DRINK

Moving is hard work for everyone involved. It means picking up boxes, walking up and down, packing cars, picking up more boxes, and a whole of other sweaty action. Whoever is helping you will get hungry and thirsty and therefore will get HANGRY if they're not fed. Stock up on quick bites like ham and cheese on rolls and make sure you have juice and styrofoam cups and paper plates on hand so you can eat and drink and throw stuff away quickly and not have to bother about washing up. Also make sure you have quick access to knives etc. so you can butter/cut/eat without running around looking for stuff. Most people will also be surprised by how much better they feel once they've had something to nibble and sip on.

3. GET AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU CAN INVOLVED

The more cars you have, the less trips you have to do and the more arms you have, the more boxes and stuff gets moved in a shorter period of time. We had 5 or 6 cars and we only did 2 trips. Also make sure you have someone standing by the cars just to make sure nothing gets stolen. You think I'm joking, but that stuff happens even in Constantia. People see free stuff just sitting on a trailer and it's like a flipping free for all. Guard your stuff. 

4. HAVE PATIENCE

Moving is a huge inconvenience. Like it's seriously a hack. But it has to be done and there's no point in getting irritable on the day. Start the day by knowing and accepting that things are going to be chaotic. Take everything as it comes and don't let things upset you. The last thing you need is to flip out at one of the peeps helping you and upsetting them. Or a neighbour. Just try to take things in your stride.

5. IF YOU HAVE KIDS OR DOGS, LEAVE THEM WITH SOMEONE YOU TRUST

Kids and dogs will get in the way and will make you more stressed because you'll constantly want/need to be watching them. The easiest thing to do is to leave them with someone you trust so that they're not in the way and they're also not upset by all the chaos. We left our two yorkies with my Grandfather and they were happy as pigs in poo. We then brought them back later and they could sniff and explore to their hearts delight without being in the way or me worrying about them. The same goes for kids.

6. GET TAKE OUT FOR DINNER THAT NIGHT

For your first night in your new home, just get take out for dinner. It's been a stressful and long day and the last thing anyone feels like doing is cooking. That's if they can even find items to cook with. Take out is easier, and it's comfort food so you kind of feel at home even though your new home is yet to feel like home.

7. MOVE YOUR BOXES INTO A NEATER ARRANGEMENT

This may sound ridiculous but it definitely helps make things feel calmer. During the actual move, everyone will just put boxes wherever they can find space, so once everyone has left, try packing your boxes into neater arrangements. When things appear calmer, you automatically feel calmer. Don't try and unpack stuff your first night - you're stressed and tired like its nobody's business. For now, you can just make things a bit neater and no one will judge you.

8. IF YOU CAN, UNPACK THE THINGS THAT ALWAYS MAKE YOU FEEL AT HOME

Understandably you may not know where most of your stuff is, but if you can, try and unpack things that always make you feel at home as soon as possible. For me, it was unpacking our couch cushions, coffee table flowers, decor and diffuser. For some reason those things always make me feel like I'm home and I'm OBSSESSED with diffusers because I love my home to smell nice. It's likely that your new home won't feel like home for a while, but trying to make it feel like home will definitely make you feel better.

These points definitely made things slightly easier to bare but if anyone has any other tips that could help me next time, please do share! We could all do with some lots of ways to make moving less sucky.