Saturday, June 7, 2014

#myselfiesaturday - 1

This weeks theme is..


So here is #mysaturdayselfie - Tommy and myself being total geeks in a quick selfie!

Absolutely feel free to click on the badge and join in the linky fun courtesy of:

In my Bubble

Gemma xx

Friday, June 6, 2014

#FlashbackFriday - 1

For my first ever #Flashbackfriday 

The first picture of Tommy and I. He was 21 in this picture and I was 20. It was taken on a webcam (in fact it's a video still which further explains the awful quality of the picture) and I love how happy we look. We hadn't known each other long (I think about a month or so) and I think this picture, more than any other, shows the beginning of a relationship. It shows the exciting part, new beginnings and new love. 

We don't have many pictures of us together. I'm usually behind the camera rather than in front of it. But now I know we're becoming a proper family, I'm going to do my best to remedy that. After all, when Tommy and I are old and grey we will need plenty of family pictures to look back on and remember the good times and Ramsey will need plenty of pictures of his parents to take the mick out of for our clothes or hair styles!

Gemma xx

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Happy Week-iversary!!

Happy Week-iversary!

I can't believe it's been a whole week already since I started my blog. It's almost becoming like another limb! To celebrate my very first week on the blogging scene (or should that be blogsphere?) I thought I'd do one of the OLDEST type posts ever. The FAQ post. Most of these FAQ questions are pretty pointless, but I hope it's interesting anyway. Perhaps if any bloggers out there read this and haven't yet done an FAQ post of their own, this will remind them to get right on it!

Question One: Have you ever written a book?

Now don't get me wrong, I am the world's biggest reader. I cannot get enough of books or any kind. If I'm desperate for reading material then most things will do. But when I try to write, I struggle to write. Short stories tend to go okay if I have a really clear content in mind, but in terms of planning, constructing and then having the talent and concentration to put together a complex and interesting story is beyond me. It would be a dream come true, but is unlikely to happen. Ironically, I was going through the old photos and school things at my parents house to gain scrap book photos from my childhood and I found a book I had written and illustrated myself as part of  primary school project. The story happened to be about a girl with a wolf dog who helps her fight a dinosaur. Point made? I think so.

(If you're an avid story reader like me, feel free to check out the only short story I've written that's floating about on the interweb: Dog Days)

Question Two: Have you ever eaten a dog biscuit?

Now, hilariously enough... I was lucky enough to receive a Secret Santa gift for my dog the year before last. As I was hosting the event (at the best Jack Russell forum in the WWW!) I couldn't participate myself. Kindly, someone sent my doggy a gift that included a clear bag of homemade ginger biscuits. Now, admittedly they were small and dog treat sized, but they were round, not bone shaped or any other type of dog related biscuit shape. The label on them DID have a picture of a cartoon dog on them, but maybe they were just a cute theme for the packaging? Anyway, after debating whether the said biscuits were intended for me or my dog, I bit the bullet and ate one. Definitely dog biscuits.

My dog biscuits are your dog biscuits. For real.

Question Three: Do you ask for directions when you're lost?

Does anyone? I know from experience that being asked for directions is the worst thing ever, it puts you right on the spot and more often than not, you give out the wrong directions anyway despite knowing the right way. So no, I don't ask. If Tommy and I are lost in the car though... I nag him repeatedly until he asks for directions.

Question Four: Do you drink Pepsi or Coke?

Coke all the way! When my mum was pregnant with me and my two sisters her only consistent craving was coke. My youngest sister is now 18 years old and to this day my mum still has to drink fizzy drinks to get through the day (although he has switched to Pepsi Max and cut the amount considerably). I've always been a fizzy drink-er. Coke Zero being my champion of choice. When I found out I was pregnant I brought a bottle of caffeine free Coke which made me sick, so I avoided all fizzy drinks until I hit 14 weeks. Then the full fat Coke craving hit with a vengeance! I allowed one 500ml bottle a day at work and thankfully now have it down to a very rare treat. I'd imagine all that coke drinking is the reason for me putting on almost 2 stone at 30 weeks pregnant though!!!

Question Five: Have you ever returned a gift?

Yes. My lovely Tommy is not the most observant boyfriend. He's also not very good at buying presents and in the three years we've been together, I've received ONE Christmas card, ONE Valentine's day card and ZERO birthday cards. I usually tell him things I want or hint obviously (which 9 times out of 10 he doesn't get *sigh*) but for our first Christmas he brought me a necklace and earring set. It was lovely and very pretty and to be honest, pretty expensive. Sadly I don't, never have and never will have my ears pierced. I returned the gift. Of course the shop wouldn't take the earrings back so I used the money for the necklace to buy myself something else and gave the earrings to a friend! 10 out of 10 for effort though!

My thoughtful gift giver.

So there you have it, five totally random facts about me!

Gemma xx

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The great going home outfit dilemma

I've been thinking about packing my hospital bag. I do technically have a little while to go but apparently it always pays to be prepared! I have a bad habit of taking a really, reeeeaaaally long time to finish projects that I start. For example, I still haven't cleaned out a cupboard for the dog stuff that is laying around in carrier bags in my kitchen (by dog stuff I mean my dog has a huge wardrobe) I've re-arranged my furniture in the bedroom but still haven't put any baby furniture together so the empty gaps are slowly filling back up with random rubbish again and I still have empty boxes from two weeks ago that are supposed to be neatly packed by now. 

Going home outfits - ALIENS!

So I sat down yesterday to go through some of the many baby clothes I have adorning my house right now in the hopes of picking out a few outfits to take in the baby's hospital bag for first ever outfits. As you can see above, the aliens won. It was a toss up between the aliens and a set that included a hat that looks like an apple but I thought I'd try and save him the embarrassment. Aliens are cool right? Especially multi-coloured ones.

A cute outfit to match his moses basket, just because.

So I thought along with sharing the ONLY choice I managed to make yesterday (I'll pretend I've picked all the vests, hats, blankets etc, it's less stressful!) I'd share a few of my favourite bits I've picked up. I was pretty disappointed when I saw the majority of boys baby clothes. I'm sure I'm not the only boy mum to stare longingly at the frilly nappy covers and pink dresses. So I've made a conscious effort to pick out things that are cute and not typically boring boy stuff.

The Lion King - a very small insight into his huge Disney collection.

I've been told off numerous times by Tommy that I've clearly spent too much money on baby clothes. But you only have your first baby once right? 

This dog outfit seriously has a matching hat with ears. Cute right?

And of course, with his daddy being such a huge Arsenal fan (and with him being named after an Arsenal player) he had to have his first ever football kit right? (And more vests, sun hats, bibs, little jackets, cuddly toys with Arsenal shirts on them etc...)

Football kits always seem to look cute in miniature!

Gemma xx

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

50% Mummy + 50% Daddy

A 4D Scan Review!

A blurry pic sadly, but my favourite. I think it sums up our relationship. LOL

When I told Tommy's mum I was planning on having a 4d scan for my 24th birthday present her reaction was "Oh please don't, you'll spoil the surprise!" It wasn't the reaction I was expecting.

Lots of people told me that having a 4d scan would be a waste of money (which it wasn't by the way!) as I should wait until the birth to see what my baby's little face looks like, that after finding out the gender I would be spoiling even more of the surprise I should be waiting until birth for. Which sounds like a pretty stupid thing to say to me. I know my baby will be gorgeous and (hopefully) be the best parts of both me and his dad. I have so many things to look forward to. Will he resemble me as a child? Or will he be a poo holding behemoth like his dad? Will he be pensive, thoughtful and creative like me? Or will he be a loud (and I mean LOUD) outgoing sports mad boy like Tommy?

The 4d scan cost a little more than perhaps was necessary and I've had to sacrifice my lovely expensive pushchair to save money and get a cheaper travel system but nothing can compare to getting a sneak peak glimpse into your future the way a 4d scan enables you to. Its not just the cute face shot you get, you also get to see exactly what it is they're up to in there! I've heard all sorts, from thumb sucking, nose picking, swearing and foot in mouth quite literally. Okay, so Ramsey did very little, opening and closing his mouth occasionally and creeping us all out by opening his eyes. But it was an experience I'll remember forever, and something you should try to experience at least once (in my opinion) during a pregnancy.

Gemma xx

Monday, June 2, 2014

Scrap booking for dummies

Scrap book cover - almost finished!

I'm not a particularly crafty person. I can't cook (or more specifically bake) to save my life, I'm not an origami expert and I can think of better things I would like to do with my time than make cards. It's not that I don't wish I could create pure masterpieces of handmade goodness, its just that every time I do try, it looks like the attempt of a three year old, regardless of what particular craft I'm trying my hand at.

When I discovered I was pregnant I knew pretty instantly that I wanted to preserve as many memories as time allowed. I'm pretty big on taking photos. Fair enough the majority of my photos are of Alvin on walks and various beaches and campsites, but I love being able to "look back in time" as it were.

Suprise! It's a baby!

At first I figured I could buy a 'baby book' and fill in the pages etc. But I couldn't find a single one that included the kind of in depth information and the amount of pictures I wanted to record. Cue lightbulb moment.


I'm sure Ramsey will be full of suspense at this part.

I took the majority of difficulty out of it by buying backing paper, lettering etc from Hobbycraft. Despite being a much more expensive and time consuming past time than just filling in a baby book, I'm pretty proud of my accomplishment.  My son will have a personalised baby book dedicated solely to him from the moment he popped up on that pregnancy test (SURPRISE!) 

Yes, that is a potty shot.

It gave me a way to not only get excited about my first pregnancy but also to record milestones. There's a page for every month of pregnancy complete with average size information and a comparison belly picture. There are pictures showing what our home and life is like before the baby whirlwind arrives and a family tree.

First ever portrait!

I've managed to cram in copies of all my scans, make lists upon lists of cravings, jammed in the DVD's of my private scans and other random media. For someone who isn't so crafty (like me) I've found my first scrap booking experience so enjoyable. I'm not sure where to stop mind you..

Most recent monthly pages.

I'll continue to show my scrap booking progress as and when it develops over the next year or so. I'm more than excited to get to the birth part of the book!

The only thing I never really took into consideration when starting the book is that if I were to ever have more children (I'll see how the first one goes I think!) I'l have to make the same amount of time consuming effort with each and every one of them. Whenever Tommy mentions the word "kids" in relation to our future I kindly correct him. "Kid" as in singular. But he hasn't gotten the hint so far. In fact he wants a whole football team *sigh*

My last scan picture.. ever!! :'(

Gemma xx

Super Busy Mum

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Can a child really be worse than a dog?

I consider myself to be very lucky to have such a laid back dog. I am one of those smug owners who says things like "oh he never chewed anything as a puppy" and "he was toilet trained by about 12 weeks" and all of these things were true (aside from the one time he woke up before I did and smeared poo all along the bottom of the bed..). Alvin was perfectly content to follow people about in the hopes he might be able to steal offered tidbits of food and was rarely concerned with anything else.

As he's grown up (he's a mature 5 going on 6 year old now) his "quirks" have slowly come to light. My lovely, laid back, pink nosed pup has turned into a manipulative, scheming adult dog so gradually I almost didn't notice. For example:

This is a picture of Alvin, with black socks. Of mud. This is the dog that hates water (unless they're puddles) refuses a bath, won't go in the sea for fear of getting a teensy bit wet but obviously loves mud. I attempted a bathing operation after this picture was taken but the minute you lift him up and over a bath he throws his head back and wriggles as much as he can, you're lucky his flailing limbs don't knock you out or at the very least give you a black eye or broken nose. This dog's head hurts when it hits you, trust me. If you even say "Alvin, do you want a bath?" he does legs and is nowhere to be seen for at least half an hour. As a result, Alvin doesn't get bathed. Ever. And I had to change my light coloured carpet for laminate flooring. Alvin = win.

Me? Chewing up an important part of the strimmer? A piece that right now, Tommy is hunting for? Never! Alvin = win.

The master of manipulation right there! Alvin has always slept in my bed, right from the very beginning (he was the whiniest puppy ever if you were mean enough to make him sleep in his own bed). But since Tommy isn't the hugest dog person, Alvin is "supposed" to be relegated to his own bed. As he is in fact now an adult and not a puppy, you can tell Alvin to "get in his bed" and he very grudgingly does what he's told. Until you fall asleep. Then he uses all the skills he has honed over his 5 years to sneak artfully into the bed between the two humans where its warmest, place his head on a pillow which, lets face it, is rightfully his anyway, and snore his little doggy heart out. Alvin = win.

This is the sad dejected look you get if you catch him sitting on the windowsill. I know, he looks so hard done by! I don't mind him rubbing his dirty, snotty nose marks on my clean windows looking out and people watching if that was all he was up to. Trust me, behind that cute facade is a menace to the neighbourhood. Whether you look at him or not, even if you have no intention of coming up the garden path, if you walk into Alvin's line of sight when he's sitting angelically on his my windowsill he will turn into a growling, spitting, hair raised mentalist of epic proportions. Despite not being allowed on the windowsill, this is his preferred seat of choice in the house. No matter how many times I tell him to get down I turn my back and there he is, sitting like butter wouldn't melt. Alvin = win.

Finally, when he is worn out from his daily escapades, he settles on the dog bed sofa and relaxes contentedly. With his tongue out. And yes, I do wear odd socks.

So seriously, surely a child can't be harder work than keeping this unruly dog in check. In fact, I'm willing to bet my son will be so perfectly well behaved immediately from birth I'll have no need for this blog, like ever. Right?

Gemma xx

Saturday, May 31, 2014

10 weeks and counting

My first ever blogging belly picture (how exciting!!) I feel like I'm almost hurtling towards my due date. On the one hand, I'm kind of glad. There's only so much feet-between-ribs poking I can stand and I'd say I'm getting pretty close to that threshold already. On the other hand I feel myself getting more and more panicked about whether I've gotten everything I need (surely I've forgotten about something?) and getting the house in order for a new arrival.

I've spent a serious amount of my maternity leave so far re-arranging the bedroom to make space for all the endless baby paraphernalia. As it turns out, babies take up more room than a  big fat hippo  normal person. I've actually had to chuck out.. clothes! I would pretend I'm not totally devastated by that but I really, really am. Like almost tear shedding devastated. 

My bathroom is too small to store all the new baby towels, wash cloths, lotions, sponges and other general hygiene type things so I nabbed a whole cupboard to cram these types of things into. I emptied a whole chest of drawers to accommodate the growing pile of baby clothes. It's kind of at the stage now where I want to start turning down gifts of baby clothes   gratefully accept the 9-12 month shorts that I won't be needing for well over a year  and then worry about where i'm going to store them.

Having a baby, especially a baby who is the first grandchild on both sides of the family, is proving to be more difficult than I thought. One piece of advice I hear the most often is "accept everything you get as babies are so expensive!" Which is true, they are. That advice is pretty sound in fact, but doesn't help you out when you have a relative brandishing a hideous vile jumper cute little jumper or a pair of absolutely hideous blue and white striped moccasin socks. Just where is all of this stuff going to go? And how am I going to get around the fact that the hideous pair of moccasin socks cost £5 and will most likely have to be shown off to the buyer on the bottom of infant feet *sigh* Don't suppose the dog could help me out for once and "eat" them..?

Taken at 28 weeks and 3 days

I thought before I go I'd share another quick 4d scan picture. Look at that cherubic little face. Like butter wouldn't melt. He is clearly going to be one  little hellraiser laid back baby.

Gemma xx

Friday, May 30, 2014

What's in a name?

Back when I actually created this blog (and then never used it) I was 21 going on 22 years old and dreading it. I mean seriously, who doesn't want to stay 21 forever? I'd spent the year partying it up studying to become a qualified hairdresser (which I achieved in August 2012), and meeting various mental worldly people whom continue to enrich my life today.

Being 21 *sigh*

When it came to re-starting my blog I had imagined giving it a big, bloggy makeover. But to be honest, I'm just a little too lazy. I racked my poor shrinking brains for a brand spanking new name suitable for my foray into the world of impending motherhood but sadly pregnancy has robbed me of all rational and coherent thought. After spending an embarrassingly long amount of time staring at my laptop screen (something I seem to be doing more and more of lately) I decided to hell with it, what's in a name anyway? And then lazily kept the original blog name despite no longer being 21 (the shame)!

Luckily, I give more time and attention when it comes to naming the important people in my life (yes my dog is called Alvin, trust me it's a better name than the one I originally wanted to give him)! 

You wanted to call me what?!

When I got the first positive pregnancy test back in December (and the second, third, forth and fifth. Serial pee-er anyone?) I immediately set about picking names, one for a girl, one for a boy, just in case. That may seem a little extreme considering at the time of the positive test I was approximately 5 weeks pregnant but what can I say? I like to be organised. 

The first rule was, we both had to like the name. There was no "you name this one, I'll name the next one *snicker*" crap. I seriously had to veto a long, long list of awful football related names to begin with. How awful can football related baby names be I hear you ask? Bergkamp for a boy, Lanesra for a girl (read backwards) I mean really, Lanesra?! I was kind of hoping to be raising happy, well adjusted kids; not a poor miserable girl with a name that to be completely honest sounds like lesbian to me EVERY TIME I hear it (I know, it sounds nothing like the same, perhaps my brain is wired funny).

We went through Jack, Jackson, Rocky, Dennis, Henry among others for a boy and Isabella, Ruby, Caitlin, and India for a girl. We finally settled on Ramsey for a boy and Isla Joan for a girl. Two names which weren't even included on our original lists!! And so our future child gained his or her name at just 11 weeks gestation. 19 weeks and three scans later we discovered it was a Ramsey in our future (there was no mistaking that boy part! Except for when I totally did, cooing over the chubby "leg" at our 16 week private scan) and the debate has ensued on middle names. I'd imagine this little monster will end up with me scribbling a middle name on as secretly as possible when registering him be a cool trendsetter for his generation and end up with no middle name. 

Gemma xx



Having spent the first two weeks of my maternity leave halfheartedly attempting to "nest" (which lasted about 6 days) I have plunged into a state of despair. Yes I know that the floor needs hoovering (again) and the Christmas decorations need shipping off to my mums for storage (still) and there's bags of unwanted hand me down baby clothes ready to be delivered to the clothes bank (complete with the note I wrote last week stating this fact in large bold letters in the hope that my boyfriend would take said bag to the clothes bank still attached and on display) but I just cannot face doing any more "nesting".

As I still have 10 weeks (!!) left until my EDD I figured now would be a great time time to get my brand spanking new blog off the ground, starting with a spangly and welcoming introduction post.

My name is Gemma, I'm 24 and 10 weeks away from welcoming my first child into the world. I have quite an unhealthy obsession with documenting my life in a way that makes blogging almost a calling to me; and seeing as I have 10 long weeks where I will probably be sitting on my bum eating as much food as I can  really busy preparing for the new arrival  I thought starting my blogging journey chronicling my transformation into a first time mum would be best tackled now, while I have some spare time in my days to update and set up what can only be described as a complicated array of new fangled blogging options (RSS feeds anyone?) that simply did not exist back in my livejournal-ing days.

I share my home with my loving boyfriend and soon to be first time daddy, Tommy.

Now I can't promise he is completely grown up, or even that he will make it to see the birth of his first child unless he seriously stops playing Clash Of Clans on his iPhone literally every waking moment of the day (you know you have a problem when 'your troops are ready for battle' becomes a running joke in the household!) As you can see from the picture (taken outside the Emirates Stadium) he is an Arsenal fan (read Arsenal obsessive mentalist) who I think genuinely believes the impending birth of our first child is the sole reason for Arsenal winning the FA Cup this season. 

My life wouldn't be complete without the other man in my household. The forever malting, hugely annoying but largely cute and endearing Jack Russell that I share my home with. Meet Alvin.

Despite the impression his name gives off, he isn't cute and cuddly like his cartoon chipmunk counterpart. In fact he doesn't really like all that many people if I'm honest (except perhaps me). Nevertheless he is an important part of the family despite some of the annoying habits he has. He turns 6 years old this October, that is one year away from doggy senior status which I can guarantee will have me bawling my eyes out just because he will always be my first baby!

Being a bit outnumbered in the gender department, I figured it would be totally worth it to pay and have an early gender scan at 16 weeks, because while Tommy is one of five boys, I am one of three girls. Perhaps this baby will be the one to tip the gender scales back into my favour? 

No such luck. We are expecting our son in August and I am overly thrilled to be having a healthy boy. From the strength of his kicks in my more sensitive parts he is already well on his way to becoming the Arsenal football legend his dad envisions him to become. I've managed to source and buy every single cute boy outfit going and I'm becoming more impatient by the day to meet him (10 more weeks, just 10 more weeks!)

Baby Ramsey

That is just a brief little "who's who" of my little family . Between the boys I probably already have enough blog fodder to keep me going for months on end but I'm especially looking forward to sharing my journey into mum-hood and the inevitable boy messes that are about to wreak its boy havoc on my life.

Gemma xx