28 weeks pregnant

So I’ve just hit 28 weeks and my third trimester.

It really is so mental how quickly it flies by. But looking back so much has happened! Thankfully the second trimester has been an utter dream really. I haven’t had a huge amount to complain about, especially compared to the hell of the first trimester.

28 weeks

This week has been especially good though as we were able to get in a lot of family time (albeit in gardens) and enjoy Easter as best as we could. On Good Friday Kyle and I headed to Stansted House to go for a lovely walk.

The weather was cold but sunny. I’ve been to Stansted House a few times – a couple of those times doing the Stansted Slog Half Marathon.

Let me tell you, that is not a half for the faint hearted! Undulating and off-road, but beautiful. Sadly it hasn’t been running for the past few years, COVID aside.

Anyway we had a lovely walk and decided to drop in to the gorgeous café to see if we could grab a hot drink. Well that escalated quickly when we saw just how many cakes they had on  display. We quickly upgraded our drinks to something a little more elaborate.

Kyle went for a sausage roll and slice of lemon drizzle, whereas I went for a warmed cheese scone followed by a Bakewell tart slice.

Oh wow it was fantastic! We did have to sit in our cars to eat it though due to the COVID rules but this was quite fun. We’ll definitely be going back again!

On Saturday I had the pleasure of Kyle joining me again for a long run. This time I managed to persuade him to join me for a bit longer. I was grateful for his company because along the Southsea promenade the wind was really quite relentless against us.

Kyle was great at keeping me going and motivating. In my mind I was just aiming to get to the public loo the other side of Southsea (just over 3 miles from my last loo visit – so kind of perfect). I’m definitely slowing down. Things are getting harder. But it’s still enjoyable and comfortable (not perfect but small aches here and there rather than any major discomfort or pain thankfully). I am finding though that I’m ready to stop running around 11-12 miles. I get tired, hungry and my hips are aching enough for me to know my body is done.

Easter itself was good. We saw my parents and some of Kyle’s family which was lovely. I also caught up with my sister who I hadn’t seen in over a year. Her work schedule clashes with mine and she lives in Southampton so it makes it tricky to meet up regular (and COVID, obviously). It was lovely to see her and for her to see my expanding bump.

Kyle and I also ate obscene amounts of chocolate in the form of eggs, brownies and Colin the Caterpillar (it’s my mum’s life mission to get us every new Colin – and for that I am ever grateful).

A lovely gift from Kyle’s mum (made by Kyle’s sister who has a side hustle baking business – find her HERE)

I do have moments of deep panic where I wonder if I’m eating too much chocolate and cake. But considering my weight gain has been steady and within the normal guidelines – and I have no other risk factors, I think I’m OK. Plus my diet hasn’t changed from before I was pregnant. I was just as greedy before.

These are just adorable and so tasty!

For my sanity though I am going to check with my midwife about gestational diabetes because when I’m halfway through an Easter egg these things can haunt me!

So a fairly quiet Easter really. I would have loved to have gone out for Sunday lunch or seen more of our family but hey ho – soon! I can’t wait for next year’s Easter where we can celebrate with the little man and make new traditions and memories. Very exciting!

How did you spend your Easter?

Do you enjoy Easter egg chocolate?

Sweet or savoury scone? I love them both!

Week 24 of being pregnant – featuring a lot of chocolate!

Week 24 of my pregnant and how are things going?

Well, pretty well actually! I feel really good. My energy levels are good, I’m sleeping well (though still grumbling about now being a side sleeper… I miss sleeping on my back so much!) and I’m still running three times a weeks (roughly around 25 miles/week) and strength training 3-4 times a week.

Running is getting slower of course and I’m finding both my hips get achy towards the end. But I’ve had some acupuncture and massage which massively helped, as does the lovely long hot water bottle Kyle’s sister bought me. Lots of good stretches throughout the day definitely ease the discomfort too.

I love running so much right now. I like to go first thing and just seeing the weather getting better makes me so happy. I might not be nearly as fast as I was before but I still get the same enjoyment. And the podcasts I listen to while running are now not just about running, food and movies but sprinkled with a heavy dose of pregnancy and baby related ones too.

Who’d have thought this would happen, definitely not me! I especially like Made by Mamas (though the number of adverts and sponsors they have in each episode REALLY annoys me) and the Pregnancy Wellness Podcast.

Food-wise things have been very good lately. Kyle amazingly treated me to some INCREDIBLE millionaire rocky roads from the Instagrammer @Nickichanlam (I’ve mentioned her before – she’s so so good). They were BRICKS!

They had a layer of caramel and a top layer of chocolate and then were basically packed full of mini-eggs, biscuit and marshmallows. So fricking good! I had one at 11am one day and basically was full until dinner that evening – and for me that’s really something!

I was also recently sent a super tasty set of drinks, Super DC, from Gusto. They’re basically healthily pimped out soft drinks aimed to boost your immune system as they’re packed full of vitamins.

They come in two flavours: Super DC Blood Orange and Super DC Blackcurrant & Elderberry. They’re full of antioxidants and contain a huge boost of Vitamin D and Vitamin C, for only around 60 calories a can.

 They actually taste REALLY good. The blood orange flavour tasted like a posh Fanta (and I love Fanta).

I honestly wanted to guzzle all the cans, they were super refreshing. Unfortunately they contain a bit too much Vitamin A for me being pregnant so I could only do a taste test, but this was good news for Kyle as he really liked them too.

I was also sent a really cool gift idea – a CHOCOLATE themed gift idea. It’s called ChocFace and basically you choose the photos you want to go on top of Belgian chocolate, which is all edible.

You can personalise what you call the box too, which I love

They come displayed in a really lovely box. I was quite impressed – the photos looked super clear and the chocolate was actually really tasty. I yomped my way through the box fairly quickly, I’m ashamed to say! It’s such a novel and fun idea. Really good gift for someone I think.

Slightly vainly I chose photos of myself and Kyle!

And on the note of food, Kyle and I had Monday and Tuesday off and we spent one of those days having a lovely walk down Southsea seafront and got some takeaway food from one of our favourite spots, The Parade Tearooms.

My favourite menu item from them is the Jane Salad (which I’ve had MANY times). It’s ginormous. And the takeaway version is just as big – giving you a large box of the cold items (salad bits, cheese, coleslaw) and then a large box of the hot items (crispy bacon, chicken and crispy potatoes). It was so good!

Unfortunately  my eyes were far too big for my tummy because after finishing this enormous salad I also wolfed down a gigantic wedge of tiffin afterwards.

This was a BIG mistake as honestly I felt so full for the rest of the day it wasn’t fun. I can definitely see this getting worse the longer the pregnancy continues because my stomach capacity just isn’t going to be what it used to be. Greedy Anna is going to have problems!

What’s your favourite, rocky road or tiffin? To be honest I’m not entirely sure the difference! I think rocky road has marshmallows and tiffin has raisins…

What’s your favourite salad? I really love caesar salads (especially if there are anchovies in it).

**Full Disclaimer: I was sent the Gusto drinks and the ChocFace chocolates for free in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own honest ones.**

Enjoying the food at least

Lockdown 3… the never ending days of sameness.

But Kyle and I have done our best to keep our spirits up and to enjoy the time we have left together (wow that sounds a bit scary). I mean, just the two of us (three with Alfie) before our lives get turned upside down in July.

One thing we really try to do every weekend is go for nice walks and enjoy our food. I mean, options are limited and this is really all anyone can do. But anyway, we try and have a nice walk together, or one of us will meet up with a parent or friend to go for a walk and a takeaway coffee to liven up the social juices.

During my pregnancy I’ve changed my usual coffee of choice (an obnoxiously complicated order) to a decaf almond latte which I just find divine. Previously I’d have some sort of syrup in there but my tastes have changed a bit and all I want is a coffee flavoured delicately creamy drink. Normally at home I’ll have a black decaf coffee (which I’ll invariably liven up with a side of chocolate), so it’s nice to have this simple pleasure to look forward to at the weekend.

Anyway a few other things that I’ve been really enjoying is cooking. We regularly get Hello Fresh, which we love as it jazzes up our weekday meals and keeps organising meals quite easy. But I was also recently sent a pack of game from the Game & Wild company. I’ve had meat from them before and really enjoyed it so I was excited to try out some other bits.

I don’t regularly eat game – I’d be more inclined in a restaurant to try something but I never think to try anything in a supermarket. But their Cook with Game Starter Pack is perfect for people who aren’t sure where to start. It comes with a selection of game and SO helpfully a recipe book.

Within the pack you get:

  • 6 Partridge Breasts
  • 4 Pheasant Breasts
  • 8 Pigeon Breasts
  • Venison Mince 500g
  • Talking Game Recipe Book

I don’t think  I’ve ever tried partridge, pheasant or pigeon so I was quite intrigued. I’ve had venison before (as a steak) but not as mince. I mean I was instantly thinking, burgers! I flicked through the recipe book, and the helpful seasonal recipe leaflet they included, to find options for the meat and the choice was fantastic. So many options!

I used the venison mind to make some INCREDIBLE burgers. They were so tasty. Less beefy than beef but just as juicy. Kyle was a BIG fan.

For the partridge I made a delicious lemon and mushroom risotto using one of the seasonal recipes and it was really tasty.

I love risottos but also feel a bit cheated when there isn’t a lot else going on so the added partridge gave it that extra jazz.

I had grand plans for the pheasant and pigeon by with the recipe of tasty looking curry and a stroganoff but as the weekend weather changed I got a very random and spontaneous desire for a BBQ. I could not get it out of my head!

Thankfully we had some coals saved in the shed, so got it fired up and, instead of wasting money on extra meat at the shop, we decided to bravely try the pigeon and pheasant on the BBQ (as well as some random pork steaks and ribs in the freezer in case it went pear shape!).

I tell you what, it worked! I marinated the breast with a tasty paprika and pepper herby blend and served with salad and buns. It was so good! Different, definitely, but a lovely treat on an early spring evening.

Really recommend this starter pack if you’re in the market for jazzing up your cooking and meals, especially during this boring lockdown period.

As well as cooking, we’ve also been ordering brownies from Instagram.  I mean this has sort of become a problem as we’ve now done it three times. The brownies are SO FRICKING good. They’re from an incredible hobby baker who does bespoke brownies that you order via direct messaging her.

M&M’s, Mini Eggs and Galazy Salted Caramel brownies

She’s been made redundant from work so this is a way for her to get a bit of money while she looks for another job. But MY GOD, she should definitely consider doing this for a living. Her brownies, honest to god, are the best I’ve ever had. I’d even go as far to say the best dessert food I’ve ever eaten. They are dense, squidgy, moist, soft, moreish and packed full of chocolate pieces (of which you can choose). I meeeeean WHAT. Kyle and I can’t get enough.

If you’re in need of a chocolate pick-me-up, I can’t recommend her more. She also does blondies, rocky road and millionaire shortbread (or monster creations blending them). Her Instagram is @nickichalam. Check her out immediately!

Mini Eggs and Guylian Shells brownies

We’ve already got another order on the go with her for next week…

What foodie bits have you been enjoying recently?

Have you ever ordered any baked items off of Instagram?

**Full disclaimer: I was sent the Wild & Game meat for free in exchange for a review. All thoughts are my own honest ones.**

Our lockdown gender reveal party

So I am now 17+5 weeks pregnant. It feels like it’s flying by but it also feels like it’s crawling, which is weird. I mean, comparative to the pandemic and lockdown(s) I suppose.

We recently had another private scan so we could (hopefully) find out the baby’s sex. We could of course wait until the NHS 20 week scan but both Kyle and I are rather impatient. And also, there’s no guarantee at the NHS scan they’ll tell us (I’ve heard a few stories of this).

Originally I wasn’t going to find out. Kyle was going to be told and then I would be left in the dark. He would then text his sister, Lucy, the gender and she would beaver away making a “gender reveal” cake ready for a big family Zoom call the next day. I thought it would be quite fun me finding out the same time as my family and through cutting into the cake. However, I caved on Friday morning and decided there was no way I couldn’t not find out. It would be so hard Kyle knowing and me not.

We headed to Hello Baby in Southampton on the Friday evening and I was now super excited. Kyle and I were both convinced it would be a girl. Like I was almost CERTAIN (impossible I realise but I had such a strong feeling). We played silly games on the way to the scan like “the next singer’s gender will be our baby’s gender” or how many blue or pink things we could spot.

The woman doing the scan (the sonographer?) was so lovely and went through all the different parts of the baby saying how the sizes were good and healthy… and then she said did we want to know the gender? Yes! Yes! Yes! She explained she would turn the lights off, and then turn either the pink light or the blue light on. Oooooh.

Off went the lights. And on went the blue light! We were SHOCKED. So shocked. It was weird. I had a sudden, unexpected flood of disappointment, which upset me. I knew keenly that I wasn’t at all disappointed it was a boy. I was actually very chuffed we were having a boy. But I realised I was sad because all the things I’d imagined with a girl were now not going to be a reality. Like I’d imagined two scenarios in my head, and now one was now firmly gone. It was a brief moment of mourning for the little girl we wouldn’t be having.

But then suddenly I was excited and happy. A BOY! All the scenarios with a boy suddenly became cemented in reality. A little boy!

Kyle was super happy too. To be honest, we were going to be happy either way. There are so many pros to both. We FaceTimed Lucy and let her know (she was super excited for us) and then celebrated at home with a takeaway – of course.

The next day Lucy dropped off the cake. It looked incredible! We’d asked her to make it dinosaur themed (which is gender neutral in my eyes) and inside would be, of course, blue sponge. It had dinosaur “eggs” on top which were in fact cake pops and little chocolate dinosaurs. It was amazing.

We spent the day counting down the hours until we’d have the call with the family. We had to wait until everyone was free and ready – oh so hard! We were so impatient! We set up the cake in front of the laptop, positioned my phone to film it (for the memories and to share on social media).

Finally everyone arrived and we got them to guess before we’d cut the cake. It was pretty even on the guesses. And then we cut the cake.

It was such a special moment! Of course we’d have loved to have done it in person but at least this was still a bit of fun and such an enjoyable experience. I’m  so glad we filmed it as well as it means we have it forever.

Everyone, of course, was so happy for us and if I’m honest I’m glad it’s a boy not a girl now because on my side of the family we have no boys. My sister has two little girls so it’s nice my parents have a grandson to look forward to now.

So onwards to the 20 week scan now!

Did you do any sort of gender reveal party if you’ve had a baby/babies?

Just keep swimming… or running

I realise my blog has suddenly become quite pregnancy focused. Somewhat understandable as that’s what’s currently going on right now for me, and let’s be honest there’s not much else happening anyway!

I’m now a couple of days away from 15 weeks and feeling miles better than I was during the first trimester.

Some days I get a little bit of random nausea early in the morning but mostly I’m out of the woods. Just general tiredness really. And other than the increasing size of my boobs, I pretty much look the same as before. I don’t currently have a noticeable bump. If I eat a lot in the evening (like when we get a takeaway at the weekend) it definitely pops out more, but I’m guessing this is mostly bloating and the food I’ve just eaten. By morning I’m back to “normal”.

Other than my pregnancy, Kyle and I are just pootling along through Lockdown 3.0… WFH during the week, Facetiming family and friends and then getting a takeaway or two at the weekend to keep us from going mad.

Last weekend was nice as my friend Mark was able to join me for a 10k run on Saturday morning. It was just so nice to run with someone else! I did used to run with Kyle at least once a week but he’s struggling a little with motivation (no races, no parkrun) and doesn’t particularly want to get up early in the week like I do. For me, if I don’t run in the morning I’d really struggle to go later as my motivation just dips completely.

So anyway Mark and I were able to run together and it just reminded me how easy running feels when you’re chatting away with someone. Hopefully we’ll do it again soon. He’s coming back from injury so my pregnancy pace was luckily not too slow for him! (He’s quite zippy normally).

I’m trying not to think too much about the coming months if I’m honest. Kyle and I deliberately didn’t take any holiday other than the Bank Holidays over Christmas so we could carry more holiday over to this year. The plan being that we could go on a little “baby moon” (hate that phrase) before the baby arrives.

We have to take this holiday though before the end of March and I’m panicking we won’t be able to go anywhere because we’ll still be locked down. Obviously I don’t expect us to go anywhere abroad, but I’d love to go somewhere other than Portsmouth right now! A little AirBnb, some walks, some time together just the two of us.

I’d dread that we’d have to take the holiday and be sat inside our house. I would go mad. And I don’t really want to take any holiday after March for the 2021 allocation because this is going to help boost my maternity leave pay. Argh. But it’ll be what it’ll be.

So we just work weekend to weekend and try to find little things to keep us going. Like ordering doughnuts from the local bakery. Or trying new takeaways near us.

Delicious cake from The Parade Tearooms

Or going for walks down to Southsea and getting takeaway coffees and cake.

Anything to just keep it from feeling too much like Groundhog Day.

How are you doing?

Are you planning any holidays this year?